Sunday, April 3, 2011

A weasel in a dunce cap (someone's won both awards this week)

"The mind is a terrible thing to waste."---United Negro College Fund slogan.

For the first time ever, one man has been bestowed with both the Dunce Cap Award and the Weasel of the Week honors, and that one man could only be Vincent Kennedy McMahon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the WWE.

Earlier this week, McMahon, 65, issued an edict declaring that his Connecticut-based company would no longer be known as World Wrestling Entertainment, but rather, the name would be shortened to the familiar WWE acronym. McMahon considers "wrestling" to be a dirty word, and perceives his talents to be "superstars" & "divas", not wrestlers. Talk about causing undue embarrassment to your employees, especially the ones who've been in the wrestling industry for years!

For all of the chair shots that McMahon has allowed himself to take on the air over the last 14 years, and the critics will point to those chair shots as being part of the root cause for the diminishing mental faculties McMahon has demonstrated in recent years, McMahon has lost sight of reality, preferring to operate in a myopic pocket universe where he thinks he knows what is best for his company's future. That stubborn disconnect with common sense is what drove his son, Shane, out of the company at the end of 2009. Vince's wife, Linda, stepped down as CEO to make a failed run for the US Senate last year, but reportedly is giving it another go for the Senate in 2012.

Meanwhile, Triple H (Paul LeVesque), one of McMahon's top stars, is already transitioning into an office position, having taken on an advisory position while recouperating from injuries last year. His wife, Stephanie (Vince's daughter), has scaled back her duties as Vice President in charge of Creative, spending more time at home with the couple's three daughters. You would think they would've tried convincing Dear Old Dad to begin a transitional period himself, one that would lead to him passing the baton to them when he feels he can't continue. That should've been done 3-4 years ago, rather than have McMahon continue to embarrass himself, the family, and the company on national television. At best, WWE needs a fresh voice at the very top of the corporate ladder, but for now, those voices are being muted. Not good. 2 years ago, McMahon told ESPN's Jeremy Schaap that he would never die or retire. And, therein lies the problem. In that one interview, McMahon told the whole world that he has lost touch with reality.

The only analogy I can think of that might fit Vince McMahon is that of the comics icon, the Batman, and his alter-ego of millionaire Bruce Wayne. The Dark Knight blurred the line between his two identities long ago. In real life, Vincent Kennedy Mcmahon has blurred the lines, as well. As "Mr. McMahon", a modern day JR Ewing, if you will, he's grown increasingly insane over the last decade. I've said more than once that the real McMahon may in fact be the same way. His decision to excise "wrestling" from his company's name, dishonoring the memories of his father & grandfather in doing so, only reinforces that belief, and will only add more voices to the chorus calling for McMahon to finally step down and retire. He has 5 grandchildren who will one day inherit a company that is in danger of losing its identity, if but because the man in charge can't bring himself to re-embrace reality.

If it was ever possible for a weasel to wear a dunce cap, well, this is the closest thing.

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