Wrestling is a "sport" that is often mocked in mainstream America. We always
joke about punches that missed but the recipient acts better than a European
soccer player, who just had some egregious offense comitted against him. Not to
mention the black eye the athletes endure with the shroud of performance
enhacing drugs and substance abuse. Some of these instances have been well
documented in the media, and my purpose is not to bring them up again. I am not a fan, havent been since the Von Erichs, Stone Cold and Sean Michaels left the sport.
Against this backdrop and with very little fanfare, a local wrestler from
Worcester has just achieved an incredible honor.
John Cena, perhaps the current day most popular wrestler, has just granted his 300th wish to a child from the Make-a-Wish foundation.
To put this in perspective, only 3 other athletes have made it to the 200 benchmark. They are in order, Hulk Hogan, Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon.
Mr. Cena himself doesn't think very much of his accomplishment, stating "Let's make a big deal about it when I get to 1,000"
It is refreshing to see this kind of humilty out of any athlete. Especially one who never shows it in character on TV. John Cena always makes a point to bring the child who makes the wish to a show. He thinks it lets that kid know that he is fighting for him! When I heard that, my heart broke. It reminded me that many of the athletes we see on TV do many things that we never see. However I always feel free to lump them all together and call them overpaid bums!
It must be hard to visit a terminally ill child. Especially one that sees you as their hero, and who just by making that wish has put an incredible amount of pressure on your shoulders. I suspect there have been times the Mr. Cena has had to say no when the foundation has asked. (To be fair I don't know that as fact, I have never met or spoken to the man) But when you have spent time with 300 kids, I doubt that has happened very often. I would like to make a challenge to all athletes to stand up and be a hero. That is how a lot of kids see you, sick or not!
It bothers me that of these top 4 athletes, one of whom is deceased, there are no representatives of the 4 major sports. At least it seems wrestling cares.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation actually has a room that is dedicated to all the athletes of the WWE in it's headquarters.
I hope someday that John Cena can look back on what he has done to help these kids and feel proud! The fact that he is from a hardworking town in Massachusetts only makes it all the better for me. His motto in the ring is "U Don't C Me!". Yes John, we do! Congratulations even though you don't want it. You have restored this man's faith in the modern athlete!