I Think I Accidentally Murdered Owen Hart and George Steinbrenner Guys
It was May 23,1999 and I loved wrestling more than you love your mother. I’m not exaggerating when I say I would have plotted the demise of the kid that didn’t know how to treat my WWF action figures with respect and dignity the 8 inch tall hero’s of mine deserved.
Every WWF pay-per-view was like our own personal superbowl that was held every 30 days rather than once annually, for me and my cousins whom I watched most events with. Our obsession with watching grown men in tights act out story lines and pretend to hurt each other was more than entertainment for us, it was a way of bonding and a way of life. Unlike many of the 40 year old slobbering drunks that show up to Wrestlemania every year,even at the tender ages of eight and ten we knew it was fake. We knew it was scripted. We understood that the Undertaker was not really a dead man walking, and that Big Boss Man was not affiliated with any law enforcement organization.
As much as we knew it was fake, that didn’t stop us from obsessively loving or hating certain characters for a wide variety of different reasons.
The Hart Family have been a staple of professional wrestling for as long as I can remember.
I had a strong dislike for Bret Hart from the time I laid eyes on him. Maybe it was because he wore pink,maybe it was because you could tell he went home still believing he was Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart and most likely dished out sharpshooters as punishments to his kids or maybe it was because he choose my childhood hero Shawn Michaels for an adversary.
Nonetheless, I disliked him and every one of his brothers and cousins that Vince McMahon employed.
That dislike slowly turned into actual hate when the WWF began having the Hart family parade around draped in canadian flags in American arenas, while verbally trashing the American fans that had just spent half their pay checks to come see them do so.
The organization figured out how to turn every American against the Hart family in a hurry.
It became deeply personal. Not just for me but for immature gullible Americans with nothing better to do with their time then watch wrestling everywhere.
In fact at about the age of ten My cousin and I attended a Monday Night Raw event in Atlantic City and it was a night we will never forget due to the fact the grown man who was seated in front of us spent the majority of his night screaming out passionately through drunkenly cupped hands, and I quote, “Hey Owen, you big fat assssssshole”.
We found it hilarious,not only because we also disliked Owen Hart and found the word asshole in general funny but also because we didn’t take the sport serious enough to make ourselves look as foolish as the grown man in front of us had and we had not yet even known what it was like to be teenagers.
Fast forward back to May 23rd, 1999. It was a Sunday Night and my cousins I settled in to watch a wrestling pay per view event called “Over The Edge”. At this time, Owen Hart had taken on the alter ego of “The Blue Blazer”. The Blue Blazer made a name for himself by abruptly interfering in matches of those characters that the majority of fans loved and by blatantly stealing catch phrases from another one of my childhood heros, Hulk Hogan.
Owen Hart took to the camera for an interview with Jim Ross, in his Blue Blazer get up and began telling kids to say their prayers and eat their vitamins as Hogan had done so many times ten years earlier. I had seen enough. I immediately turned to my cousins and said aloud
“I Wish Somebody Would Shoot Him”.
Now, even though my passion and capacity to love and hate was both misguided and over the top even at the age of twelve, I said what I said in the same way a kid tells their parent that they hate them as their being sent to their room. I didn’t know what I was saying and if I did I certainly didn’t mean it literally.
Ten minutes later, during the middle of a match that was not Hart nor Blue Blazer oriented, out of literally nowhere, a figure came crashing down from the top rafters of the stadium and hit the turnbuckle of the ring. Now it all happened so fast that nobody really knew what had just happened, including the people that were in attendance at the event.
A minute later, Jim Ross and Jerry The King Lawler announced that it was Owen Hart in his blue blazer attire that had fallen from the top rafters of the stadium, in a botched attempt at a stunt to bungee him into the ring for a grand entrance. They assured viewers this was “not scripted and not apart of the story line”. That was when we knew shit had gotten real. The WWF assumed most people knew it was scripted but never openly and plainly stated such.
When they began saying that, all I could think is “I didn’t mean for him to actually die”.
Both of my cousins looked at me with almost an ominous stare of disbelief.
Owen Hart was pronounced dead on National Television five minutes later.
For weeks after it was brought up that I killed Owen Hart with the power of my thoughts and words. We’d laugh about it but I think something about it really messed with my twelve year old prepubescent thoughts. Twelve year olds shouldn’t be made to believe they can decide another’s fate with a few simple words that were derived from a misguided and hateful thought.
Nevertheless, I wished death upon Owen Hart and ten minutes later he was dead.
Let’s move forward to July of 2010. The Philadelphia Phillies won a World Series in 2008 by beating the Tampa Bay Rays. I had been waiting for a Philadelphia Championship since Mitch Williams threw one away,one wild pitch at a time back in Toronto in the fall of 1993.
The Phillies winning that World Series came at a time when I was headed straight for the ground floor in life and had abandoned any hope I had in just about everything else, other than my sports teams. We made it back to the World Series the following year to face the highly favored New York Yankees. As a fan of Major League Baseball, you either love the Yankees or you hate them, there is no inbetween. They either won you a championship or stole the rights to your favorite teams favorite player right out from under you in exchange for a couple million dollars, made him shave and kiss owner George Steinbrenner’s ring and then went on to use that player to beat you in a World Series. It’s who they are, love them or hate them.
I remember being on Summer Vacation down the shore the morning George Steinbrenner died.
For the record, I was angry at most things and people in life in the summer of 2010, especially myself and who I was slowly but surely becoming. I drank too much and cared too little.
It was the morning of the 2010 All Star Game and I arose from a drunken vacation stupor. I don’t remember what bullshit move the yankees pulled or attempted to pull that morning but I definitely remember sending the text to the very same cousin I wished Owen Hart’s demise to ten years earlier, that stated how I hoped George Steinbrenner died.
To put it into context, the man had just turned 80 years old and had been dealing with health issues off and on for the last few years prior. So it was no shock when the man suffered a heart attack and passed rather quickly only hours after I sent that text.
Once again I had wrongly misguided whatever anger I had inside me for whatever reason at something I could openly and visually hate with a certain sense of social acceptability, wished death upon it and watched it come true the same day. How Horrifically astonishing.
I tell both those true stories, half in jest yet also in part with a sense of remorse. Not because I believe I truly caused the death of either George Steinbrenner or Owen Hart.
But because I truly have come to understand through many other very real experiences outside of these stories just how powerful our thoughts and words are and can be. They have the potential to create life or end it, whether we acknowledge it or not. What you tell yourself is what you sell yourself. We create our own realities in the sense of what we tell ourselves about ourselves and those around us, be it good bad or indifferent. It is essentially what creates each individual’s reality.
Where you focus your time,thoughts and energies creates your reality.
Your state of mind places a distinct tint around everything you see and experience. It’s responsible for the light in which you see things or the darkness in which you cannot. If you tell yourself you’re not capable of doing something, I couldn’t agree with you more.
Furthermore, the point I really want to drive home is that I’m no believer of fairytales or black magic but I do believe in an unseen force in the universe. I do believe we get back whatever energy we put out. I know hating anyone or anything only brings it back tenfold on the original proprietor and is a complete waste of time and energy. I know every action put out into the universe has a corresponding reaction. I’ve seen it work in my life for as long as I can remember. I just choose to use it for good today. Utilizing this theory of thought has shown me that if and when i’m able to remember that any bad that is done to me or wished upon me by others will be returned by a force far greater than myself, if I just stay out of the way. I don’t have to return hate with hate today because it’d only produce more of the same. My plan never works.
What does work is putting out as much good as I can to the universe and to others, even to those people places and things I deem undeserving and stepping back and watching the results it produces be it today, tomorrow or ten years from now. I get that I probably sound crazy to the few people that made it this far into this post but hear me out.
I dare you to put out some positive thoughts,words and ideas and see if it isn’t what you get back. Or if you so choose to and insist, do the same with a bunch of hate and negativity and see if you don’t get back a plate full of the same.
I dare you to lift someone one up instead of breaking them down or wishing the worst upon them as I did in my own life for so long. See if it doesn’t make all the difference in your life and in the lives of those around you.
Remember kids, drink your milk, say your prayers and take your vitamins.
Thanks For Reading.