Hello friends, and happy Friday.
I’m going to tell y’all a strange tale. This is a tale this is unfolding before our very eyes although very few that actually aware it’s taking place. This is the tale of our very own Aiken_Drum and his transformation from lovable Chiefs Superfan who would motivate his many followers like very few have before him, into the dark and mysterious villain, one that lives in the fanshots like a troll under a bridge making comments about the current administration and the lack of focus.
Not even a year ago, Aiken_Drum would be seen making post after post with his memorable catch phrases, his red and yellow colours shining through and racking up rec’s at a torrid pace. Now he’s a dark villainous character who would make old women shriek and run across the street when he crosses their path.
Then I gots to be thinkin’….this is all very familiar. Sounds like a story that has already been told. It sounds like someone we’ve already seen before make this transformation. But who Craig? Who was once beloved by millions, was brash, bold and outspoken in Red and Yellow colours who turned his back on his fans to live a life in the black pit of misery that he created for himself?
Oh. My. God.
Aiken_Drum is Hulk Hogan.
Chapter 1 - The early Years
Before Hulk Hogan was Hulk Hogan, his name was Terry Bollea. Terry was a young man trying to make his mark on the Wrestling world, who performed all over the world under many different pseudonyms. He was a technically proficient wrestler, one who was said was great to work with because of his professionalism and talent. He wasn’t flashy and brash, he was a grinder and a consummate professional inside the ring.
Before Aiken_Drum was Aiken_Drum his name was…well I never actually got his real name but I’m going to go out on the world’s smallest limb and say he has a real name (I’m not 100% convinced he’s not actually Todd Haley, but come on Craig, focus here). Before Aiken would write his brash posts on Arrowhead Pride guaranteeing Superbowl and playoff victories and Chief dynasties, he was actually a sound writer. He wrote some very informative posts about Parcells Disciples' use of power back formations, and Haley’s use of the Erhardt-Perkins offense. Very professional, very informative.
Chapter 2 – The birth of Hulkamania
Being a sound wrestler wasn’t enough for Terry….he wanted more; he wanted the limelight, but being a masked wrestler in Alabama wasn’t going to bring him fame and fortune. At some point in the early 80’s Terry met Vince McMahon and the rest was history. Together Vince and Terry created Hulk Hogan who was larger than life, but it was no longer about the Wrestling, it was bigger than that. Vince McMahon was a marketing genius who could sell snow to an Eskimo and Hulk had the charisma and the Greek-Godesque stature that enabled McMahon to turn into a phenomenon. My the mid 80’s Hulk Hogan wasn’t a wrestler, he was a pop-culture icon. He had catch phrases like "Whatcha gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild on you" and "Train, say your prayers and eat your vitamins" that could be heard on the school yards all over the world.
Like Hulk Hogan, Aiken_Drum also started to get a taste of the limelight and wanted more. He noticed that the more he wrote, the more comments and more importantly, the more "rec’s" he got. His quotes were ending up in peoples signatures, he was gaining quite a following, but also wanted more. It wasn’t about the writing anymore...writing the long well thought out researched posts were a lot of work. How could he fulfill his insatiable need for rec’s if his posts all took a week to research and write? Then the writing happened more frequently with less substance, and more catch phrases like "Chiefs will" and "The Right 53". You know what? The public ate it up. Not everyone could sit through a 3,000 word essay about Don Coryell’s complex offensive systems but everyone loved "rah-rah" posts that gave you goosebumps with the thoughts of Superbowl victory.
Chapter 3 – The Champion
I never was around for the moon landing or when Paul Henderson scored the goal vs Russian in 1972 , or when JFK was assassinated. Wrestlemania 3 was my ultimate "You know where you were when it happened" moment. When Hulk Hogan picked up Andre, bodyslammed the unbodyslammable and then gave him his signature move, the leg drop in front of 100,000 people, I couldn’t contain myself. This was Hulk’s pinnacle moment and a moment that all wrestling fans remember from their childhood. But like any pinnacle moment, there is only 1 way to go. For the rest of the 80’s Hulk became a caricature of himself, to the point that if he had an hour long match, 58 minutes of it was now pumping up the crowd and being his own hype machine. Wrestling now took a backseat to the spectacle.
Aiken_Drum’s apex point was when he launched himself with his larger than life posts into a main page contributor for the largest NFL blog in all the land. Aiken_Drum’s "Wrestlemania moment" happened November 19th, 2010 when his excellent writing style was so persuasive that he got 20 rec’s from some of the world’s most intelligent football fans after arguing that Matt Cassel was an elite QB because he threw for 400 yards. It was quite a phenomenal moment, as I’m sure most of you remember. But like Hulk, he became a victim of his own success and his talent took a back seat to his hype culminating last year when he wrote a large post that was simply "Chiefs Will! Chiefs Win! Believe!!!!!" over and over 35,000 times.
Chapter 4 – The fall from Grace
For a solid decade, into the 90’s Hulk at the Apex of Wrestling, he had feuds with all of wrestling’s biggest stars ranging from Macho Man, the Ultimate Warrior and Iron Shiek (As an aside, there is no more interessiting Twitter follower than the Iron Shiek). In 1992 there was an allegation of steroids and Hogan disappeared from the limelight. He would later go on to admit he had taken steroids throughout his career. He would disappear with no explanation…..
Like Hogan, Aiken_Drum was at the new posterchild for Chiefs positivity and had hundreds and thousands of fans. He also had some very public feuds with some of AP’s biggest stars which only helped his overall exposure. Then after a Palko-infused suckfest, Todd Haley was fired and Aiken_Drum would also disappear with no explanation…..
Chapter 5 – Hollywood Hulk Hogan
Years later, Hulk Hogan would return to wrestling, but this was no Hulk Hogan that I remembered from my child hood. He was now dark, unshaven and dressed in all black and now called himself "Hollywood Hogan". He no longer wanted the admiration of the fans, instead turned his back on them and was now embracing the "bad boy" mantra he had given himself. He was dark and brooding and wasn’t the same charismatic character that made him one of the biggest stars in the world. He often rebelled, not with his fellow wrestlers, but questioned the powers that be and those who ran the organizations he was now fighting for. It was very unrecognizable and a disturbing way to see our childhood hero.
Months after Todd Haley was fired, Aiken_Drum also returned to Arrowhead Pride, but not as the once proud flag waving chiefs fan, but as a pessimistic poster who now questioned the very administration who he once claimed would take us to the Promised Land. He was also dark, mysterious and very foreboding. It was tough to watch a once proud Chiefs fan turn his back on the very administration that he so proudly wrote about, into a mysterious troll, talking of doom and gloom in the fanshot section.
Chapter 6 – The return of Hulkamania.
Well we all knew this would happen right? Hulk Hogan couldn’t walk away into the sunset as a dark villan, he needed us just as bad as we needed him. In Wrestlemania 21, some 18 years after Hulk slammed Andre the Giant in the Pontiac Silverdome, Hulk Hogan returned to the ring with the same red and yellow flair that made us all love him in the first place. His theme song was once again "Real American" the song that to this day still gets me off my seat. It was great to have the Hulk back!
Well Aiken_Drum, the ball is in your court. We all know that this bad boy persona can’t last forever, these are exciting times for Chiefs fans and even the hardened hater can’t help but feel positive about the team we have built. Will Aiken return to glory and sport the red and yellow boa that Hogan wears, or will he continue to dwell in the depths of darkness? All I know is that most of Hogan’s main feuds (Andre, Macho Man, Ultimate Warrior #3, Earthquake, Rick Rude etc etc etc) have ended up dying far too early, so I better get off his back :)
Stay tuned AP, this story doesn't have an ending yet....