The Life of Flair
When I was younger, my brothers and I enjoyed watching wrestling together. The three of us very well knew that Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, and others were entertainers far more than they were competitors. What we didn’t know was that some of these men led very volatile lives outside of the ring. When I first saw The Wrestler, I was struck with the notion that many professional wrestlers feel so passionately about maintaining their persona that some of their efforts to do so have resulted in tumultuous consequences.
But I sort of brushed the notion aside. “It’s just a movie,” I thought. “I’ve never read about any real-life wrestlers enduring that.” Then, a friend of mine shared with me this story about the wrestler Ric Flair. Ric Flair’s legal name is Richard Morgan Fliehr. Of course, there’s tax problems in the story of Ric Flair, but the tax problems merely scratch the surface of the problems throughout this man’s life.
I’m not sharing this story to build sympathy for Flair. I’m sharing it because it added far more substance to the life of a man who I previously had an overly simplistic view of.
The final line of the story tells us so much in just a few words: “He could never separate Ric Flair from Richard Fliehr.”