I can say now that I have more sympathy than ever for what WWE Superstars do.
I've gotten maybe two or three hours of sleep. My alarm rang at about 5 a.m., which is way too early for my own taste. I'm currently sitting at the Greyhound bus station in Islip, N.Y.
It's fairly cold and I'm waiting for the bus to begin boarding. I can't even imagine waking up and doing this every single day, 300 days a year.
To only be home once or twice a week. This kind of road schedule on a daily basis would probably drive me insane.
My schedule says that I've got five different bus transfers to take and the total travel time is about 29 and a half hours.
I've got four canned items and some pop tarts to survive on for the next day. Oh, it's going to be good.
I made the commitment to document my travel experiences leading up to WrestleMania XXVII in Atlanta and I'm going to keep my word. I see so many IWC pundits talk about understanding what it is to be a fan.
I think what the Internet community tends to forget, and I am guilty of this myself, is that we're not WWE Superstars and we don't work in the business, no matter how badly we wish we did.
I've gone on the forums on some of these websites and seen people refer to "the biz" and "those of us who understand how things work."
Let's make something clear—we're not industry workers.
We don't know how the business works, we don't know the real "backstage dirt," nor are we industry insiders. Internet fans of this mindset are only fooling themselves.
It's a nice thought, though. It's nice to feel as though we're actually working in the industry that we revere so much, but in the interest of reality, it's important to remember that we're not.
We are at best, educated outsiders who can guess and/or predict particular aspects of the business and at worst, a persistent nuisance in the sides of those who really do work in the industry and single-handedly responsible for the death of "pro wrestling magic."
To those fans that believe their own hype, I have a challenge for them—travel 29 hours on five different buses to go to WrestleMania.
WrestleMania to me is a lot more than just a wrestling event. It's more than just a four-hour pay-per-view extravaganza that costs $44.95.
If you're a true football fan, you go to the Super Bowl. If you're a true baseball fan, you go to the World Series. For wrestling fans, that destination is WrestleMania.
No matter if you support TNA or WWE, of if you preferred the WWF over the WWE. Regardless, WrestleMania is our Mecca.
WrestleMania is the place where men and women immortalize themselves within our hearts and leave an everlasting imprint on history that can never be altered.
Only an event as monumental as WrestleMania could put this writer on a bus for such a grueling journey and now that I'm undertaking it, I have a newfound respect for the athletes that do this on a daily basis.
I'm going to cut it short now. I have a long morning ahead of me, filled with broken sleep, iPod playlists, books and hobo meals. All in the name of making it to Atlanta on my last few cents to punch my ticket to the Showcase of the Immortals.
That is what it means to be a wrestling fan, ladies and gentlemen.
I'll be back tomorrow with the next entry in the Road To WrestleMania Diaries as I document my first day in Atlanta for WrestleMania weekend. Until then!
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