Well, we are upon the Thanksgiving holiday when we get together with family, and friends to celebrate being together, and commemorating the Pilgrims and the Indians sharing traditions after the harvest. Many people thank their God for blessing them with what they have while remembering those who do not have as much. Those who are fortunate will go serve in homeless shelters, and such places, and deliver turkeys, and meals to the poor, so those less fortunate can also have Thanksgiving. It is a wonderful holiday, and a great American tradition.
As for me personally, and I am not going to go totally Tim Tebow on my readers, but I am thankful to God that I have family, friends, and my Episcopal Church family who love and care about me. I am thankful for my 14 year old beagle, Ace Frehley. I am thankful for my overall good health, and a roof over my head, and I am very thankful that I get to write these blogs for this great site, and share my views with the readers.
This blog is about one other thing I am very thankful for: SPORTS, and SPORTS RELATED items (pro wrestling). Sports have been a big part of my life. Music, and movies have also, but sports are a lot more fun in the sense that you can really have a great debate over them. I love how they are a distraction from every day life also.
Anyway, I am going to be discussing the sports related items that I have been thankful for this year, and I hope you enjoy them, and even debate them.
The NFL 2011 Season happening: For much of the year, all we heard was “Lockout,” “deal is close,” “deadline league,” “canceling games,” etc. There were optimists about the CBA (John Clayton, Adam Schefter), but there were WAY more pessimists (Collinsworth, King). However, I never thought they would miss any games, at least any GAMES THAT COUNTED. Ok, they missed the Hall of Fame Game. Wow. One preseason game. I am just thankful that Bob Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots jumped in there despite his wife’s dying of cancer along with other cooler heads (Jeff Saturday, and John Mara of the Giants) and got the CBA done. I’m thankful to see my favorite NFL teams in action once again.
The New York Yankees not only winning the AL East, but making the playoffs: It is amazing how powerful the alphabet network from Bristol, CT is. Just about all their “experts” said the NY Yankees wouldn’t win the East, and they wouldn’t make the playoffs based on the mighty Boston Red Sox getting all these players in the off season. Wow. I guess the boys in Bristol didn’t count on the Red Sox (who did have a game and a half lead going into September) chowing down on Pizza, chicken, and beer in their locker rooms, and tuning out Francona, and just choking that entire month. Yeah, yeah, the Yankees got eliminated in the first round. They made the playoffs when the “experts” said they wouldn’t. It’s ok. They got 27 rings to look at.
Harve De Grace is a leading candidate for Horse of the Year: This year, there is no clear favorite for the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year. However, with the Breeder’s Cup Classic as her only clunker (4th place finish), it is looking like filly Harve De Grace (see my previous blog about meeting her) is a leading candidate. Winner of the Woodward against males, winner of the Beldame, against her own sex, and winner in a couple of other stakes, she definitely should be able to take the award. Friday, is the Clark Handicap where BC Classic runner up, Game On Dude, and 5th place finisher Flat Out are running. If either win, then it will be interesting to see if she still will be the leading candidate. Anyway, I think she should win. Would be great if a third female in a row won HOY (Rachel Alexandra in ’09, Zenyatta in ’10)
WWE possibly catching on that they need to build new stars: With the rise of super star, CM Punk, and seeing Randy Orton lately putting over Wade Barrett, and Cody Rhodes, and Dolph Ziggler, and Zach Ryder getting elevated, it appears that WWE has realized that they need to put over new people if they want to continue into the future. I don’t need to tell long time fans that for YEARS, Vince and the gang have overworked the same warhorses (Taker, HHH, Cena, Orton, Batista, Edge, HBK, Jericho, Kane, etc) in top matches. The top titles would go back and forth between these guys for years, and none of the younger guys would get elevated. NOW, the large majority of them are gone from the company, and NOW the youngsters are being pushed. The company should have had the older top guys put over these youngsters while they were still around. Oh well, at least it appears that WWE is getting the message now. Thankful for Orton to put over young guys. Just waiting on Cena to do so.
Edge leaving the wrestling ring with his health intact (pretty much), and on top: April 11, 2011 is a date that will be in my mind forever. I went through that day as normal. I surfed the net, and nothing of note fancied my interest. I was on twitter reading what people were saying about this and that. I was watching “Tough Enough.” The show took a commercial break right before the part when Stone Cold does the elimination, about 8:50pm EST. Raw did their little preview that they do or whatever, and they flashed a rather sad looking photo of Edge and on the bottom , it said “Edge Retiring?” Cole and Lawler’s voices could be heard speculating. My heart sank. I was stunned. I was like, “Is this an angle?” “This better be an angle.”
I knew Edge back in June of 2010 spoke of retiring in about two years, but then around WM27, he did a couple of interviews, and he said things indicating that he had apparently changed his mind, and would go a couple of more depending on his body. I had noticed in the months going into WM27 that he looked to be in quite a bit of pain. I noticed it in his left arm in particular. He’d either come down shaking it, or if he was hit in the left arm, he’d flex his left hand. I remember from his book, he said when he was having problems with his neck, he had issues with his left arm.
Anyway, when Raw came on, pretty much during the show , Cole and Lawler speculated about this “retirement” thing. People on twitter went nuts. I then remembered on the previous week’s Smackdown, he speared Brodus Clay, and grabbed his neck. Anyway, at about 1015pm, you could see him talking to Cena, and when you saw him walk to the arena, you could tell it was not an angle by looking at his sad face.
Of course, as we all know, he made the tearful announcement, and gave up the title the next night at the Smackdown taping. Edge’s retirement hurt me so much. I was affected by this so much. I cried for a week. For a few months, I hurt so badly over it. I couldn’t understand why God allowed this to happen. It really wasn’t fair. I was upset about how WWE handled him after he returned from the Achilles tendon (he returns from a career threatening injury and they deny him the belt at Mania? the heel/face turning of his character, switching him from SD/Raw/SD, feud with Kane. but that’s a blog for another time).
I was kind of upset that he was made to look like Del Rio’s bitch up to Mania, and was very annoyed that they put an 11 time World Champion the freaking CURTAIN JERKER at WRESTLEMANIA, and had to put up with people saying Del Rio should win. Hello. Del Rio beats Edge’s arm to a pulp and takes his belt too?? Edge lost 3 previous World Title matches, and now some dude who’s been on tv six months who made Edge his bitch on TV should get Edge’s belt too? NO WAY (again another blog). NOW, I had to deal with the horrible news that Edge was forced to retire due to injury to his neck.
However, seven months later, even though I still miss him terribly and always will, I am thankful to God, the spinal stenosis was caught, and Edge got to go out on top, as the World Champion. I am very thankful that Edge, and WWE decided to have the MRI done to make sure he could proceed as a wrestlers. I am sure it was very hard for him to cope with when he heard the news, but I am thankful that his friends and family were there for him to give him support. I constantly pray for him, as I always have. I am also thankful that he got to do Haven.
He said in an interview with Eurosport Superstar Caz that he was glad that he did Haven as he said that at first he wanted to hide in the mountains and grow a huge beard, but after doing Haven, he said that hiding would have been the wrong thing. I am glad that he did Haven, and the show will be renewed so I will get to see him that way. I am thankful that he will spend the rest of his life walking, and such. As he was scheduled to do a ladder match, I would have just (figuratively speaking) died on the spot if I saw another Droz or dare I say it, another Owen Hart incident.
Also, as much as Del Rio’s getting the belt at Mania may have been the “right” business decision, Vince McMahon’s decision to keep the belt on Edge wound up being the right decision. I am very grateful that Edge went out as champion. Not everyone gets to go out on top as champion. Very few do, being it wrestling (Trish Stratus I believe did), or in sports (Jerome Bettis, Michael Strahan), so as sad as his retirement was for me as his fan, I thought it was an honor well deserved.
Well, I hope readers enjoyed this. Happy Thanksgiving
Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/missedgehead