Look closer: Our favorite images from WrestleMania 27

Alberto Del Rio: out of place 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?

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Link to the past: WrestleMania trip a form of time travel

Paul Bearer looms As I get older, I feel it’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.

That’s why you’ll find me eagerly anticipating every new Spider-Man and Batman movie, why I remain a Big Bird apologist, and why you’ll never hear me say a bad word about brooding Mets flameout Gregg Jefferies, whom the fifth-grade version of me adored.

And that’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.

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Wrestling with shadows: Rumble trip beautifully illustrates passage of time

You think you know me

I know it’s fake. I know I’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 couldn’t help myself; I cheered my head off, flossed in my Edge shirt and gave high-fives to little kids.

And that’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.

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ATL, stand up: Sojourn to the south reveals unique sports culture

We were up somewhere way past that glowing Hawks sign Let it be known that I love it here in New Jersey. North Jersey to me is like Mississippi to Faulkner. It’s a part of the fabric of my life, woven into everything I do.

I’ll almost certainly never leave Bergen County, but if I did, the only other places I’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. I’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.

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