Column O’ Nonsense: Giving Back

Douglas Nunnally

Two and a half years I have sat at a computer typing diligently for those elite humans who call themselves wrestling fans to read. Two and a half years I have spent editing, critiquing, and reading columns by the masses. Two and a half years I have spent in the deep midst of the column world. Yet in that time editing, writing, critiquing, and reading, there has been a question that I among others always have. Why columns? Or better yet, why do we select few wrestling fans feel the need to vent our opinions, frustrations, and fervent love of the business into a Word document and then onto websites for thousands and perhaps millions to read?

Seems like an interesting idea for a column in itself, now doesn’t it? Hopefully, it will pan out, but in the hands of a less capable writer, things don’t always go according to plan, sadly. Seriously, though, why columns? Why this innate feeling to spend time growing calluses on our fingers and losing sanity trying to post on godforsaken websites that give us so many viruses we can’t even think straight? Why all the questions? You would think for someone who has spent the better part of his teen years writing, I would have the answer. Well, let’s start there, since that’s where my mind started down the mysterious road of questions. Me? It’s simple with me, just like everything else in my non-eventful life. Writing is a passion to me. I feel it to be a gift I have; a talent that I would be better off not leaving untapped. Whether or not I tap it well enough is a completely different story though. Like I said, for me it is simple, but for the other five hundred columnists on our little nook of the internet? I am one writer in a mob of hundreds, and one thing I have learned early on is that no two writers are the same no matter how you cut it. Calliope touches each of us in a different way every time we sit down in front of the computer with a new idea we birth. Although we do get a more than seldom visit from the muse of writing, that seems to be one of the few things we internet columnists have in common. In life, we are as about as diverse as you could think. Popular columnist Linda Robin is a full time mother and receptionist while fellow veteran Mike Steele is studying in the field of graphical design. Hot rookie Tim Wronka is fighting his way through school while another newcomer Kay Farmer is adjusting to a big move. A very varied group indeed, now isn’t it?

I said that the visit from Calliope was one of the few things though. What are the others? Well, wrestling is one, of course, but what else? Ah-ha, the desperate writing makes a break for curiosity early on. Like I have stated though, we are all different, but writing is not just it. Most of the others share no passion for writing and have no desire spending their time on a keyboard typing abound on other trivial subjects. No, wrestling is what they choose to write on. Wrestling and wrestling alone. Wrestling is what we share in common, but you already knew that. So what must I be digging at? There must be a concrete answer to my babbling and because of your good fortune and the fact that Calliope spent a bit more time with me than usual, there is one. A good one, I might add.

Wrestling fans as a whole are diverse in themselves, not just us columnists. Looking in the crowd at a wrestling show is evidence enough. Even wrestlers themselves are diverse. On the most recent NWA Virginia road trip, one of the guys in my car happened to look at the other car full of workers and just candidly blurted, “What do you think people say when they see a bunch like that?” It was true. There you had a skinny guy with blue and yellow spiked hair, an old-timer with bifocals, a ragin’ redneck going through a pack of Marlboro Reds, and a ponytail wearing guy who looked like he got into a bit with a black marker and lost. That is as diverse of a crowd as I have ever seen. So in a diverse crowd like that, what can they all possibly have in common besides wrestling? At this point in the column, I just broke two pages in word and you might be asking yourself when my babbling will get straight to the point. Well, while Calliope did pay me a visit, she said nothing about not being long-winded, so I’m going to have some fun. Don’t worry though; we will get to the point. So, how about that TNA title change? Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, it sucks. Oh, the column? Crap, let’s get back to that.

Like I was saying before I went a little nuts, we fans are diverse. I proved my point above through shear example and probably my rambling, but you probably already knew that. You yourself reading this right now are different from the millions of other fans. Sure, you cheer and boo similar people, but the way you watch it, the way you react, the way you love it, it’s just one hundred percent different from everyone else. If we were all the same, promotions would have a much easier time getting over people like Chris Masters and David Young. Our unique personalities in wrestling come to an end though in a common trait. We all want to give something back to this business. Whether you realize it or not, you have that desire. Even more, we all give something back. Whether it be buying all the Indy shows you can get your hands on, taking part in all the polls, watching every single last show there ever will be, or just staying abreast of everything happening everywhere, we all try to give something back to the business we take from.

And that, my friend, is where the few, the proud, the IWC columnists come back into the mix after three paragraphs. Thank God.

We are like you. We all want and most often do give something back to the business, whether it is small or big. What do we do specifically that makes us similar? We sit here behind our computers for sometimes hours on end writing columns on everything from the recent news like Team 3-D in TNA to giving you some huge insight on the spirit of competition. We do it all to give you the fans a better look, whether biased or insightful, into professional wrestling. We do it to give something back to this business. Don’t mistake this for a blunt attempt at an ego praise. It’s not that. It literally couldn’t be further away from that. Whether you like columns or not, they spark debate; they spark interest. If someone like Wade Needham were to write a column talking about a new Southern California promotion (which he most likely will soon enough), there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that interest in said promotion would peak if only a little bit. Now, of course, that’s not always a good thing in the case of the card carrying “WWE Hatred Club” columnists, but I think my point is there well enough. That is the other thing we columnists share in common besides the trip from the Muse and of course, the love for two guys rolling around in tights. Excuse me; wrestling, not rolling. That’s something I share in common with another select group of people and that’s a story for another time as well, as long as it’s after hours.

We may not all do this directly to help the business. Like I said early on, we all have our own reasons here and there for doing this. E-fame, boredom, the gift of eloquence, or just the desire to chat among fans more. But indirectly, we are trying to help the business. We are trying to give more insight as to the next boom period or why the champ of a certain promotion may be severely lacking. We may not always succeed in the end, but we try. As Francis Bacon said, “There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that which is lost by not trying.” Truer words were never spoken outside this column.

So what was the point of this? Does the supposedly great Doug Nunnally have nothing left in his tank as far as columns goes so he just rants on columns themselves? Probably, but I do have a point other than that. Next time you read a column, remember this one. Remember that we are just trying to help in some way. You may not see that way, you may not understand that way, or you may think that way is completely idiotic, but we are trying. We are trying to help this business. So going back to the first of many questions I posed to you, why columns? By writing these columns, we are doing what every other unique fan does. We are giving something back to the business. It’s not as clear in an anti-WWE column as it is in a pro-TNA column, but we are trying. We aren’t experts on the business and not many of us claim to be. We are just simple fans, just like you. We are just simply trying to give something back to the business that will give us memories that will last as long as our hearts are beating. You may try giving back by buying all the DVDs you can; others do by actually wrestling in bingo halls. We give back simply by typing and writing. It may not be much, but it is something. We are giving back to the business with every letter typed and every thought formulated. Just remember that.

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