Here’s something you probably will never see me acknowledge the existence of again, but I actually took my wife to the WWE event in Sioux City on Monday. (It was her Christmas present, and might be the last time I buy her tickets for a winter event for Christmas because it was the second straight year that it took me 3 hours to make a 1-hour drive, but that’s another story.)
If wrestling fans say they don’t watch soap operas, they’re lying. In the 3 1/2 hours we were there, there were more “plot twists” than a season’s worth of “Days of Our Lives,” and it was so predictable that I saw most of them coming. One of the reasons I cover sports for a living is that I don’t like knowing how things are going to end before they begin and, for the most part, I could figure it out. (Had I watched last week’s “Monday Night Raw” and “ECW,” I’m pretty sure I could have had it completely pegged.
I won’t say that it was a complete flop. If WWE can do two things, it is market and put on a show. We got there 30 minutes before the doors opened, and the line already extended outside. (Much to the dismay of the people inside who were trying to stay warm. Almost everyone in the Tyson Events Center last night had a sign or a shirt or both.
But there were only six or seven matches the entire night, and the rest was their “soap opera”: A wrestler getting “fired,” two wrestlers plotting to go after another, wrestlers lobbying for position at the upcoming “Royal Rumble,” etc. I also thought there was way too much dead time — no music, nothing on the big video board — for the amount of time and money that was spent.
All he did during his career was win 287 games while playing for mostly sub-par teams: Minnesota, Texas, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Minnesota again, and the Angels. He did play for two World Champions, the 1979 Pirates and 1987 Twins, but
He completed 242 games — over a third of his starts — while throwing 60 shutouts, one shutout in every 11.4 starts. His strikeout total of 3701 is among the best in history.
One BWA injustice was righted this year with Jim Rice joining the Hall of Fame in his final year of eligibility. (Rickey Henderson made it, too.) Hopefully next year they will right another wrong by circling Bert on their Hall of Fame ballots.