As a compendium to my thoughts on WrestleMania 27, here are my favorite photos from the event and the surrounding atmosphere. I was going to include some videos I uploaded to YouTube, but the WWE filed a copyright claim against me. The least they could have done was a personal cease and desist call from Vince McMahon, right?
As I get older, I feel itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s important to do things once in a while that make me feel like a kid again, that evoke the things I enjoyed back when my main responsibility was to have as much fun as possible while still learning my multiplication tables.
ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll find me eagerly anticipating every new Spider-Man and Batman movie, why I remain a Big Bird apologist, and why youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll never hear me say a bad word about brooding Mets flameout Gregg Jefferies, whom the fifth-grade version of me adored.
And thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why I found myself — albeit in a slight state of disbelief — among 71,000 screaming enthusiasts at the Georgia Dome for WrestleMania 27 on Sunday night.
I know itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fake. I know IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m 30.
But standing with my friends in section 110 at Phillips Arena in Atlanta last Sunday, when his music hit and Edge made his surprise return at the Royal Rumble, I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t help myself; I cheered my head off, flossed in my Edge shirt and gave high-fives to little kids.
And thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the thing I still marvel at. It makes no sense that after all these years, through all the changes in my life, professional wrestling is still something I enjoy. And yet there I was.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll almost certainly never leave Bergen County, but if I did, the only other places IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve considered living are Miami, Durham and Las Vegas, though in recent years I have cultivated a fascination with Los Angeles despite never having been there.
That said, after my second visit this weekend, I came away with real respect for the city of Atlanta. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not convinced it makes my short list, but much as I feel about all things Jersey, Atlanta has a manner and rich heritage all its own that give it a fascinating cultural identity, and a refreshing perspective and passion for sports.