Yesterday, Eddie Guerrero passed away. For those that don't know the name, he was an elite professional wrestler and his loss is the equivalent of a shot to the testiculars, with brass knuckles. For what it's worth, my thoughts are with his family.
Eddie belonged to a very rarified group of wrestlers. He wasn't the largest, he wasn't the quickest and he wasn't the best-connected when it comes to the politics of the business. Eddie had the thing that most wrestlers will never get, the total respect of the fans. The kind of respect that can only be earned by complete dedication to the fans. You get that respect not be being the next big thing, not by being the biggest guy in the company, you don't even get that respect by being the most charismatic and certainly not by being the bosses son (or son-in-law). You get that kind of respect by going out every day and throwing yourself into your role with abandon. By giving everything you've got every night, sometimes twice a night. You earn that respect by giving the best performance of your life every night, regardless of that nagging pain in your knee, regardless of that cold, regardless of the fact that you haven't seen your kids in two weeks, regardless of the fact that the booking committee is trying to bury you. You get that respect by never phoning it in. By giving the same performance whether your opponent is Bret Hart or Doink the Clown.
Eddie Guerrero was a master of his craft who gave everything to the fans every night of his too short life and the fans loved him for it, even when they hated him.