I am a fan of World Wrestling Entertainment. Say what you want about the various faults about the World Wrestling Entertainment business–scripted matches, fake, etc–but when the opening video for Monday Night Raw hits on USA Network, the little boy inside of me comes out. I think back to the days watching The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and the various other wrestlers–or entertainers as they are now called–over the past decade.
One of the things I enjoy most about the WWE is the promos that are carried out by the various “wrestlers”. Perhaps the best promo that I have seen throughout my time watching WWE was the one that Chicago native–and Cubs’ fan–CM Punk gave on Monday Night Raw in June of 2011. Punk’s promo that night sparked renewed interest in WWE, and started a revolution of sorts in terms of putting a spotlight back on WWE. To clarify, Punk’s push during the summer of 2011 was more so about him providing the voice of the voiceless.
In the event that you are not a WWE fan like myself, here is a video of Punk’s promo.
What Punk succeeded in doing with this promo is, in a way, throwing out the propaganda that was said in the past in relation to the business side of World Wrestling Entertainment. Indicating that most of the executives involved with World Wrestling Entertainment were “yes men” to Vince McMahon.
This is where I recently drew similarities to Theo Epstein. Chicago Cubs baseball is real in every sense of the word, especially during this season when the Cubs could potentially lose 100 games. But, Cubs fans should not be surprised by how bad the Cubs have been this season. Normally, that is not the case. Normally, Cubs fans are surprised by the result of the Cubs’ season because they feed into the propaganda that former general manager Jim Hendry tried to sell during his tenure with the organization. Ironically, as Punk indicated with McMahon, Hendry surrounded himself with “yes men” within the Cubs’ front office. There was no one in the Cubs’ front office to challenge authority.
But in the course of this past year, Epstein has taken everything that Cubs’ fans were accustomed to and threw it out the window. With intelligent individuals like Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod now a part of the Cubs’ front office, the opportunity is there for authority to be questioned. That is not a bad practice either. As that could lead to better results in terms of scouting and player evaluating. Cubs fans have long been crying for authority to be questioned within the Cubs’ front office and a sense of diversity, but the fans were voiceless during the Hendry regime. Epstein has provided our voice, and in turn, put a brand new focus on the Cubs’ organization and revolutionized the idea of baseball within the farm and Major League systems.
Epstein may not be coming out to his own theme songs and entertaining a crowd in a wrestling ring, but he certainly has been a voice of the voiceless for the Chicago Cubs and their fan base.