Thoughts on Mick Foley’s Interview on TSN’s ‘Off the Record’

Wrestler-author Mick Foley, the hardcore legend, has another one of his interesting interviews, with Michael Landsberg of the Canadian cable network TSN’s Off the Record. The podcast is at http://www.tsn.ca/window/podcastcentre.aspx?xmlURL=http://images.tsn.ca/podcasts/otrpodcast.xml&mp3URL=http://podcast.tsn.ca/otr/fullotr_111010.mp3.

Charming, uncommonly intelligent, and sincerely interested in using his celebrity for the greater good, Foley is impossible to dislike. However, his insights on concussions and their public-health meaning – both his own, which he estimates at more than 100, and the general problem – are incomplete. A civilized society is not about “chasing your dream” without limits, because those kinds of dreams can have unacceptable costs for the rest of us. Foley, like most pro wrestlers, is too much of a “mark for himself” to understand this.

On the subject of Vince McMahon, Foley testifies to the promoter’s good heart and points to two examples. After the infamous Hell in a Cell match in which Foley inflicted ridiculous damage on himself, McMahon said he didn’t want Foley to do that sort of thing again. (I’m not going to detail the Hell in a Cell performance here, because these phony-shocked descriptions have turned into their own subgenre of pornography of the spirit, and miss the point.)

And when Foley complained of mobility problems, McMahon urged Foley to retire for his own good, even though he was at his peak as a draw for McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment. (Of course, the retirement didn’t take; it rarely does. Foley now works for WWE’s very weak competitor, TNA, and doesn’t rule out returning to WWE.)

Unfortunately, anecdotal evidence that Vince McMahon cares about the people who maim and kill themselves for his near-billionaire wealth – which just funded his stunningly unqualified wife Linda’s unsuccessful $50 million bid for the United States Senate – doesn’t cut it. I’m pretty sure McMahon doesn’t beat his pet dogs, too. As a matter of policy and civilized sense, what we need to be asking is what McMahon’s junk-entertainment factory tells the successor in Foley’s top spot, and every other glory-seeker competing for it, what, if anything, no one is allowed to do in the name of “getting over.” When there is no answer to that question except defensive, corporate, “cost-effective” double-talk, the answer is government regulation.

My essay “Concussion Issue Reaches Critical Mass in American Culture and Politics” is scheduled for publication tomorrow at Beyond Chron, the San Francisco online newspaper (http://beyondchron.org).

 

Irv Muchnick

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3 Responses to “Thoughts on Mick Foley’s Interview on TSN’s ‘Off the Record’”


  1. 1 Scott Druyan November 11, 2010 at 11:08 am

    If Mick Foley is so pro Vince McMahon why aren’t the two doing business with each other? The reasons are multiple not unlike each of their personna’s! First and foremost, Mcmahon does not want to do business with Foley because he’s as close to the next on a long list of casualties as one can possibly be!!(And that wouldn’t be good for business so let him be someone else’s headache!”Enter TNA”)secondly,Foley is too good of a self- promoting machine to fit in with “Corporate Wrestling”. Plus his over the top honesty as an author while giving himself a good rub, rubs other’s most notably Vince Mcmahon, the wrong way! Sure we can make everyone think we’ve kissed and made up. But the truth of the matter is Foley can make a difference in the safety and well being of pro wrestler’s for generations to come by using his celebrity to assist in changing “the culture” in a business where he’s put his body thru hell and back. It’s going to take human statistics like Mick Foley to correct all the wrong’s in this business, it’s going to require a tremendous amount of intestinal fortitude! Are you up to the challenge Mick? I know Cactus Jack would give it a “Bang Bang! I’m sure Dude Love would thank the Heaven’s above! Please Mick “FOR ALL MANKIND!”

    • 2 Mighty Vastardikai November 11, 2010 at 11:27 am

      And it’s not like WWE has never glorified his injuries for sales purposes. (The back cover of his first book details them like a road map, including the 8 documented concussions he had at that point.) This is a guy who, in the early days of his career, would use the “Nestea Plunge” (Falling backwards off the apron and smacking his head on the concrete) to get a reaction.

  2. 3 JR November 11, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    I’m pretty sure Foley will return to WWE in some capacity once his current TNA deal expires, that would likely account for his recent singing the McMahons’ praises


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