Vince McMahon, Chairman and CEO of WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), seems ideally suited to address the dilemma presented by the artificially generated stampede. Over the past year, I’ve given the matter a great deal of thought — exactly who is well-positioned to solve this foreseeable national security crisis? I consider him to be a member of exclusive company along with West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, President Barack Obama, former NFL Head Coach Bill Cowher, the rock band Pearl Jam and the writers of South Park.
The recent publicity from Wrestlemania XXX gave rise to me examining the possibility of Vince McMahon. Wrestlemania XXX took place on April 5, 2014 at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The attendance figure was 75,167. Official NFL capacity is listed at 76,468. There’s a discrepancy due to the additional field seating, but for the sake of argument, let’s just conclude the venue was sold out.
This marquee event is one of the few spectacles capable of selling out a major NFL stadium. This gives Vince McMahon an unusual opportunity. One that I believe he might be willing to take advantage of.
The WWE could start routinely informing fans that “a legitimate emergency evacuation order would NEVER be delivered via your personal cell phone.” With its worldwide exposure, an event like Wrestlemania would be a golden opportunity to get this message out in the public domain.
It has become apparent that the U.S. government, the NFL and the NCAA are unwilling to disseminate this public safety information. The WWE is in a unique position to fill that void.
To most, divulging this information would just seem like good ol’ fashioned common sense. But with it, would come tremendous blowback. You would be indirectly limiting the government’s authority. You would also be exposing its inability to protect its citizenry. Furthermore, you’d be leading the charge into an unexplored realm of national security… the prospect of using a human stampede as a deadly, asymmetric weapon. Killing people without conventional weapons is a big deal. Very few people are willing to go on the record with this issue. The stakes are high.
McMahon seems like an ideal choice for several reasons:
- Vince McMahon has already battled the behemoth U.S. government. In 1993-94, he repelled federal steroid trafficking and conspiracy charges. Rather than settle the case, he rolled the dice and went to trial. He was eventually acquitted. He fought the law… and HE won.
- When compared to other billionaires, he has demonstrated a willingness to “bleed for his brand.” Granted, much of it’s wrapped in theatrics, but it’s nearly impossible to find members of the fiscally super-elite who are willing to endure physical punishment, emotional torment and verbal abuse. Vince not only talks the talk, he walks the walk.
- Back in the late 1980’s, McMahon made a conscious decision to “out” pro wrestling. He chose a bold course of action. He conceded that the product was not entirely legitimate and more accurately termed as “sports entertainment.” He decided that the days of condescension were over. What better an individual to level with the American people?
- His wife Linda McMahon has demonstrated political aspirations. In 2010, she ran for a U.S. Senate seat. Her campaign slogan, “A businesswoman, not a politician, for Connecticut” reflected a desire to shake things up. It’s reasonable to assume that Linda and Vince share similar visions. Exposing outdated emergency evacuation protocol for large venues would be uncharted territory, much like a high-profile political campaign.
- Since 2003, WWE has held a yearly event called Tribute to the Troops. It has taken place in Afghanistan, Iraq and various military bases in the United States. McMahon’s desire to entertain our military is more than an extension of patriotism. It reflects a greater, unwavering commitment to safeguard U.S. citizens as well.
- The U.S. government, the NCAA and every professional sports organization remain mired in a purgatory-like state of inaction. As a legendary promoter and marketer, I think McMahon would relish the opportunity to “one-up” these institutions. But of greater importance, history would vindicate him for taking action and doing what is morally right.
Rest assured, this revelation would send shock waves. Once the cat’s out of the bag on such a grand scale, there is no turning back. Vince might even construe it as the ultimate payback for the hell the federal government subjected him to. But the beauty of it all… this time it would be McMahon who’s on the side of human rights and civil justice.
In the year 2014, Vince McMahon again demonstrated his penchant for risk.
Writer Jonathan Snowden…
At WrestleMania 30, for the first time in decades, the WWE shifted the paradigm. The risk, as it was in 1985, is huge. Rather than distribute the show on pay-per-view, a time-honored delivery platform that has made the company hundreds of millions of dollars, WWE has shifted the show onto its new online WWE Network. The WWE, once again, is on the cutting edge of technology, gambling that its fans are ready for something new.
Regardless of all the hype and shenanigans tied to pro wrestling, people should not dismiss the bravery and tenacity of Vince McMahon. When it’s all said and done, an ample supply of courage is what’s needed here. Plain and simple. For there to be meaningful resolution, a powerful issue requires a courageous individual.
The more I reflect on this matter, the more truly convinced I become. Vince McMahon is the perfect candidate to publicly broach the issue of the artificially generated stampede.