A loss of one and almost loss of another, both of which I admire

by Peter Marus

It’s been a real odd couple of days for me.  The past couple days has had a loss of a great athlete and performer, and almost a loss of another.

Pro Wrestler Eddie Guerrero passes away over the weekend of an apparent heart attack, brought on possibly form his years of alcohol and drug abuse (he had been clean for about four years at the time of his death).  Now some of you are saying, “well what’s the big deal, wrestlers are almost like carneys.”  Well, Wrestlers are some of the most athletic performers in the world today.  Yes their competition are predetermined like theater, but for these performers to do what they do at a physical level they are required to perform at, it’s mind boggling that someone would want to do that.  Eddie’s story isn’t just about him as a wrestler, but one of a man who has overcome crippling demons that almost cost him his life and family.  He worked in an industry hat required him to be alone and separated form his family for almost 300 days a year, non-stop just to feed his family (he is survived by his wife and two daughters).  He had said that when you are on the road like that, you need drugs and alcohol to cope with that and the everyday pain of performing.  He was finally able to defeat his demons and start over with his family, also finding peace in the Bible.  

It’s sad to hear that all his past indiscretions finally caught up with him, especially at a time where he seemed to be the happiest.  He was also a great ambassador to the Latino community for wrestling, where his family is considered the best family of wrestlers.  He was also one of the fan-friendly wrestlers, in that he always did the promotions the company required and he treated his fans like he wanted to see them.  I always enjoyed watching him perform, not just in his actual performance of wrestling, but in the other parts of it.  He had a character that was charismatic, and comical.  He, along with his nephew Chavo Guerrero Jr., had a gimmick where they would lie, cheat, and steal to win.  At first this was supposed to make them bad guys (or “heels”), but over time the crowd just loved what they did, not because of that they didn’t fairly won their matches, but that they way they did it was in a comical way, and that the Guerreros were honest in their dishonesty.  Eddie will be missed, and it is sad to hear scumbags pass this off like “oh he died due to all the steroids those people do”.

Another major event I heard of was the heart attack of Fez Whatley of the “Ron and Fez” show.  Apparently he had a heart attack Wed. night, but didn’t really know he did.  He actually did his radio show, where afterwards he went to the doctor.  He was rushed to Lennox Hill hospital and had an angiogram and angioplasty.  I’ll say this that was the best hospital for him to go to.  My father has had angioplasty and angiograms done there and they are fantastic in their service.  I remember that last Friday, the show wasn’t a new show, but a “best of”.  I just guessed they took the day off for Veteran’s Day.  

On Monday, Ron came on the air to say what happened.  He also mentioned that Fez has Diabetes, and that Fez is doing well, just out of commission for a while.   For some reason this all hit me hard.  My father has had heart issues that required angioplasty (in fact one time the doctor said that if he didn’t have it done then, my father would have surely had a heart attack due to the blockage he found).  My father is doing well now, but I always worry about him.  On top of that, my mother has Diabetes.  She has to have insulin shots everyday, and if she misses them, there are problems (which are frightening to experience, and sometimes hard to deal with when she is too damn stubborn to be taken to the hospital).  It scares me to think of all the potential problems they can face (more so my mom, due to her smoking), but I try not to dwell on it.  This whole thing with Fez really put all my thoughts in front of me again, and it frightens the hell out of me.  I find myself now being a little more concerned about my parents, asking them more “are you OK?” and “what’s wrong?” if they seem to have a problem.

One other thing that struck me was how Ron kept saying how guilty he felt since Fez apparently had chest pains recently and Ron didn’t do more for him.  This wasn’t a bit or skit, you could hear the sincerity in his voice, something many fans have heard when meeting him in person at events or at the studio.  This also made me seem more concerned with my parents; because I can’t even think of how much guilt I would feel if I was in the same position.  

Like I said, Fez will be ok, just he needs to rest and get adjusted to a new lifestyle.  I hope those out there will keep him, and the other members of the show, in your thoughts and prayers.  Ron and Fez are some of the nicest people I have ever met. I never met more humble people to their fans, and they are people who actually care how the fans feel about them.  There was supposed to be a get together with them and members of the Ronfez.net board members this week at a bar, but that was postponed for now.  Even when the board members would get together, Ron or Fez would show up and hang out, since the read about the event on the message board (the board isn’t ran by them, but fans of the show.  Ron and Fez do read the boards to get an idea how people like what they are doing, and what criticisms they have of the show).  I remember when I went to the XM studios to see them, I mentioned my screen name on the board, and Ron instantly said “oh yeah, I read your work and emails, good stuff.”  That blew me away and I just thought that was cool.  

I really don’t have anything else to say at the moment, but I just wanted to write this and I hope you got something out of it.