Photo of the Day: WrestleMania April 04 2011
Last night WrestleMania broke the audience size record for any event ever held at the Georgia Dome with 71,617 in attendance, so for a lot of the event, I turned away from the stage to focus on the huge sea of people filling the stands. This kid was loving the action happening on the stage and his expressions were priceless.
Watching how people felt such strong allegiance to particular characters made me think how lots of us want to identify ourselves with something larger than life — the same way sports fans have insane bonds to their favorite team. We really want to identify with these teams, the individual players, and our fellow fans. In the same way, there's a wrestling character for everyone — Stone Cold Steve Austin chugs beer and rides in on a 4-wheeler; The Undertaker is all dark and gloomy; The Rock is the peoples' guy. You pick your favorite and become part of that community and fan culture. You pay to see matches in person or watch it on Pay-Per-View; you buy the shirts and jerseys and hats; you pay to join the club. You buy into the brand. And clearly, the fans are getting something out of this whole transaction or there wouldn't have been 70,000 people crammed in the Dome last night.
Anyway, despite all this capitalism and brands and down-with-the-system mumbo jumbo, I know it's really all in fun. And sometimes in life it's best to just crack open a beer, turn off your higher brain, and watch these massive, ripped behemoths pummel each other into a pulp with folding metal chairs.