Cheat 2 Win

WRITTEN BY CHARLES ODUGBESAN

Now who doesn’t love Eddie Guerrero… actually I suppose those who don’t have an interest in wrestling won’t do. Allow me to elaborate. Those familiar know Eddie Guerrero as a high flying, low riding, risk taking luchador who throughout the course of his 18 year career not only wowed fans all over the world with his technical brilliance and wrestling prowess, but captured our hearts with an incredible charm and charisma and indeed is an inspiration to many of today’s wrestlers because of these attributes. He sounds like a perfect ‘superhero’ type wrestler doesn’t he? Well let me highlight two well documented features of Eddie’s wrestling gimmick and personal life that suggest otherwise. The first is his catchphrase during his latter years in the WWE “I lie! I cheat! I steal!” Now I know that wrestling is classed as Sports and Entertainment and not purely Sports but bear with me, I’ll make it work! The second point about Eddie is the vices in his personal life – drugs and alcohol abuse brought Latino Heat’s life to an abrupt end at the age of just 38… A wonderful talent taken far too soon. 
 
For me, Eddie Guerrero is the perfect model for the way that I see Sport as a collective these days. In its purest form, Sportsmen and women, fans and experts get to relish the passion, the brilliance and the spectacle of whatever Sport it is they love and follow. In its purest form, there are moments in time that individuals in each Sport produce that will live with us till we ourselves are old and grey. In its purest form, each Sport has the rare ability to unite people from all walks of life divided by political, social and racial conflict in the spirit of competition. In its purest form, Sport itself can provide a young, impressionable boy or girl with a positive new option in their life, away from certain factors in this world only present to deter them from realising their potential – it breeds positivity… its purest form that is.

But the fact of the matter is that the Sporting world clearly does have its vices (whether it comes from individuals or from organisations) and there are those that lie, cheat and steal to win. Recently two of the Sports I have a keen interest in, Football and Athletics have come under severe scrutiny in the news. Ranks of Footballers from the English game have revealed themselves to have at some point in the early stages of their career, suffered some form of child abuse from representatives within the club in question, including the likes of Chelsea FC, who were highlighted to have paid a sum of £50,000 to the victim in return for their silence…disgusting club. As an avid Football fan, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has now questioned what it really takes for a young playing to make his way to the top. How can so many young professionals have been subject to something as awful as child abuse in pursuit of doing something we all would love to do?!

Elsewhere, we all remember that almost 400 Russian athletes were banned from the Olympics in Rio this year over doping allegations. Rumours are, as of last week that almost 1000 were ‘benefitting’ from the doping programme. Greats such as American female sprinter Marion Jones and Cyclist Lance Armstrong have been named, shamed, banned and stripped of their respective gold medals. Nowadays we can’t even witness an athlete in the Olympics achieve something truly amazing without having it in the back of our heads that “that guy/girl is probably on drugs” right? I could go on for days with examples of politics, match fixing and other cases that exist across the board but these are the ones that have stuck with me of late.

So you see where I’m going with this Eddie Guerrero thing now? He represents sports today! As much as we love this thing that we watch and participate in, that we live and breathe and cherish for all the beautiful moments it gives us, like all things in life I guess, it doesn’t come without its impurities that bring us out of our fairy tales and back down to earth with a big ol’ painful thud. I could never fall out of love with sports because that ‘purest form’ still exists… but my word is it corrupt!!

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