As kids we find all sorts of people to idolize. Whether they be fictional characters or people we know in our own personal lives. Sometimes however, when someone portrays a character so often, or as their real self, it can often be disappointing when they do something wrong or you grow up to find they are not the people we thought they were. As a young child I idolized professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, real name Terry Bollea. I said my prayers and took my vitamins like the Hulkster always said I should, in hopes I’d one day be like him. Now as an adult, I want to be anything but Hulk Hogan.
When I look back at the Hulkster, it’s hard to contemplate that we would now apparently be using racial slurs in conversations that have now been documented on two separate occasions. In one case, Hogans representatives have claimed that he was merely describing a time that wrestler Booker T let the N word fly on national television. But instead of saying they N word, he well…said the N word. Make sense? Apparently as well, during the alleged “Hogan Sex Tape” that Hulk has been fighting the release of in court, he also lets racial slurs fly. This has all been the nail in the Red and Yellow coffin for me.
A few years back when Hogan and his family were “reality TV stars”, Hogan and his family would get in trouble for allowing young son Nick to street race, with them in some cases, and Hulk was even caught buying cases of beer for himself and his under aged son. Now I’m not claiming to be a Saint, nor do I understand the burden of being someone who is looked up to by multiple generations of fans, but I know that when you are in that position you don’t do stupid stuff like that.
Since the age of the internet has arrived wrestling fans have gotten a real behind the scenes view of the business and in some cases have found out that the people we admire, have less than admirable qualities. Hogan isn’t the great idealized man he portrayed himself to be. Hell, maybe now more than ever he is finally living up to the nickname of being a “Real American.” I can never take away all the positivity he has put forth in his life and his work. His dedication to helping kids and for many years being the top requested Make A Wish guest is undeniable. I can however, now say as an adult that I’ve grown up enough to realize that while I have lost a hero in Hulk Hogan, I can finally accept him not as his character, but as Terry Bollea the human being.