there was a time when i was still a teenager when i had dreams of being a star sportsman.
various things stopped me from achieving my dreams - mostly my love of confectionary: cursed with a love of twix, aztec, mars, curly wurly, wagon wheels and kitkats.
i have never been a great one for watching sport on tv and since the inception of the bbc's 5live pretty much most of my sport consumption has been via the radio.
in recent years only two sports have bucked that trend: basketball and wrestling.
i became a fan of basketball when it was being shown late at night on the tv hosted by alton byrd, it was also the era of michael jordan - a magical time for sport. that led to me attending the games of the london leopards and a few years of glory at the london arena.
wrestling was something that crept up on me. a couple of the lads at work were big fans of the (then) wwf. they got some stick for their fannish attitude towards the grapplers.
because of their chit chat i would check out the occasional bout on tv whenever i was away stuck in a hotel because of work.
then the intervention of another fan (yes shep that would be you) tipped me over the edge (geddit) and i became a wwe junkie. what helped cement my love of the wwe was the fact that for a year i could watch it on freeview, just before i would sit down and watch the sunset beach omnibus edition.
i was hooked.
i still am.
i was lucky because my first immersion into the world of sports entertainment was during the wwe's attitude period when stars such as stone cold steve austin (WHAT). kurt angle (WHAT), the rock (WHAT), triple h (WHAT), chris jericho (WHAT) and others were in their full pomp and splendour. high flying action, big storylines, great work on the microphone. for me it was superhero comics meeting theatre, as if stan lee had written macbeth with catch phrases.
i was hooked then.
i am hooked now.
the wwe has moved beyond being a guilty pleasure.
there are creators who i admire people like orson welles, frank zappa, john zorn, robert fripp, ritchie blackmore, stephen king, philip k dick, edgar rice burroughs, bruce springsteen, john woo, stan lee, chris claremont, jack kirby to name a few.
among them has to stride the figure of the wwe's ringmaster vincent kennedy mcmahon - he may look like max bygraves on steroids - but vinny mac, the genetic jackhammer, is entertainment writ large.
the wwe is a work of art.
no it is more than that- the wwe is genius.
and i love it.