Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Wrestling with Rodman's Appeal

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Wrestling with Rodman's Appeal

Article excerpt

My friend Jim says Dennis Rodman is an embarrassment to his

favorite sport.

Rodman makes a mockery of all those great names past and

present who have worked so hard to make the sport one of the

most popular draws in the world. This tattoo parlor in shorts,

this pin cushion of pierced body parts, this multi-hued head of

histrionics and hedonism is too much of a carnival freak.

Rodman's raunchy image and foul mouth will soil the image and

reputation of a proud pastime.

"We don't need him," Jim says. "We don't want him."

Jim, in case you were wondering, is a longtime professional

wrestling fan.

And as a longtime pro wrestling fan, he is distraught over

Rodman's debut with Hulk Hogan this past weekend in a World

Championship Wrestling extravaganza in South Carolina. Pro

wrestling aficionados, you must understand, take pride in the

off-beat outrageousness of their sport. And now Rodman is about

to ruin all that. The wacked-out Worm is about to take pro

rasslin' mainstream.

Rodman's wrestling debut was actually shown on ESPN's

Sportscenter -- proof positive that his personality and aura

transcends basketball. You can forget Bo Jackson and Deion

Sanders. Already the most marketable player in the NBA, the man

formerly known as Mr. Madonna is about to become the biggest

two-sport mega-star of our time.

There are some who insist there is something terribly wrong

with Dennis Rodman. There are many who believe this lewd, crude,

profanity-spewing, cross-dressing, head-butting,

photographer-kicking maniac is a problem. But he's not the

problem at all.

We are the problem.

You are . . . I am . . . we all are. Rodman only sells his

obscene image; we are the ones who line up, ante up and buy it.

Kodak is the problem. And Nike. And McDonald's. And Comfort

Inn. And Pizza Hut. And Victoria's Secret. And every other

corporation that, at one time or another, has employed Rodman as

a company spokesman. …

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