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  March 25, 2000



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Changing arenas

The Hitman denies political aspirations -- for time being



By BRET 'THE HITMAN' HART -- Calgary Sun

 It was my pleasure to be interviewed by Vicki Gabereau (airs Tuesday) and you won't believe who showed up for a surprise unscheduled appearance! Rowdy Roddy Piper!! Anyone who is a wrestling fan will have a blast watching this show.

 Bischoff is back! The way things have been going at WCW, there could be more big changes and it'll be interesting to see what happens on Nitro.

 The other day, on Canada AM, I made a remark that didn't come out quite as I intended, a perfect example of what happens when a guy with a concussion does interviews at six in the morning. I was saying how much I appreciate all of my fans and then went on to say that I don't think much of American wrestling fans. Needless to say, I heard from a lot of disappointed American fans. What I meant to say is that I don't think much of one group of American wrestling fans -- the unsavoury characters who pride themselves on being disruptive and obnoxious. To the rest of the American wrestling fans, I apologize that it came out wrong. Some questioned if it was the start of another disgusting anti-American storyline and I give you my word that it wasn't and also that my concussion is not part of the storyline, either. I wish it was.

 As for my fans in Calgary, I want you to know that it really means a lot to me that so many of you came out to see me at the Marlborough Wal-Mart last Sunday. I stayed overtime for as long as I could because I wanted to meet each and every one of you, but the longer I stayed, the longer the line grew. It was really cool that the fans I didn't get to meet on Sunday came to the autograph session at Indigo/Signal Hill on Thursday and a good time was had by all.

 One of the people I met at Wal-Mart was a reporter who asked me a question while I was talking with the hundreds of fans in line and signing autographs. He didn't ask me about wrestling or The Calgary Hitmen or Perry Lefko's new book about me. Right there, amidst the busy scene, he very seriously put it: "What does a wrestler with a concussion do next? Will you pursue a political career?"

 All I said was, "never say never".

 Well, the floodgates opened, reporters called from all over wanting the scoop on the Jesse Ventura story north of the border. They were completely and totally serious and then I got to thinking, whoa, hold on a second , yeah it would be really cool to be a politician. If Jesse can do it, then so can I!

  I remember riding the highways with Governor Ventura when he was a wiley ole wrestling veteran and I was just a kid starting out, soaking up all the brilliant political ideas that he spewed forth mile after mile, in between bites of fast food while driving in the fast lane -- his feather boa blowing in the wind. It was just me and Jesse, town after town, OK , well, Big Jim the Anvil was there, too, pulling his gate' (goat-tee), eyes twitching back and forth. It was like, wow, a crash course in politics. So what if I really only sat in a car with Jesse three times in all those years, the point is, he left a big impression.

 It'd be cool to be mayor, but you know what, I really like Al Duerr and I think he's doing a great job. I have the same problem with being premier -- although the similarities between my background and Ralph Klein's do leave one to wonder if maybe the next arena I'll headline is the political one. After all, his dad worked for my dad as a referee back in the '50s. He honed the fine art of compromise pulling apart crafty toughians the likes of Al Murder Mills, Earl Macready and Sky Hi Lee, an ability passed down to young Ralph, who used it to become both a newsman and a newsworthy man.

 So it looks like I'll have to go all the way, reach for the top and become prime minister. "His Excellence of Execution"!

 If I was prime minister for just one day, the first thing I'd do would be to get the biggest damn bulldozer there is and mow down all the darn Olympic housing around my dad's house and give him back his view. I'd drive the bulldozer myself. Then I'd have my sister Georgia's Grade 4 homeroom teacher brought to my office where I'd make him put out his hands and I'd strap him -- for doing absolutely nothing -- like he did to me. Next on the agenda would be to immortalize the old time Stampede Wrestling greats -- like Stu, John Foley, Ed Whalen and the whole bunch of 'em on postage stamps. And I'd commission a dollar coin with Abdulah the Butcher's head on it! And last, but not least, I'd make a new law requiring Vince McMahon to wear a specially designed collar whenever he's on Canadian soil that would send a powerful electric shock through his whole body every time he tells a lie.

 As for suggestions to change the Canadian flag to pink, I think maybe that might be going a little too far.

 Nah, I think the world is safe from me -- for now -- because I, in fact, have no political aspirations. But, never say never!

 What somebody in office should do, though, is make it mandatory for hockey players to wear eye protection and step up safety throughout sports and entertainment in general.

 Look at Eric Lindros. For anyone wondering how bad my concussion is, just read what Eric has been saying about his. I identify with all of the symptoms he's describing and sadly I fear that it may end the career of the greatest Canadian hockey player in the game today. Eric, I hear ya' brother. I hope both of us can play again soon.

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