Jim Ross took some time to remember Andre The Giant, who passed away 19 years ago today, on a blog from MattyCollector.com. An excerpt is posted below:
"Andre knew that he had an illness known as acromegaly, where the body produces too much human growth hormone. At that time, there was no cure for this affliction. Andre knew that fate had dealt him a terminal hand that would end his life at a young age.
The greatest sports-entertainment attraction who ever lived walked around on a daily basis knowing that he had been given a death sentence, so Andre lived each day to its fullest and as if it were his last.
Many fans remember the 500-plus pound, aging version of the Giant who was in horrific pain from a litany of injuries, specifically a debilitating back condition. This version of Andre the Giant was essentially immobile and was a shell of his younger self.
Looking back at video clips of a young Andre and having the privilege to referee some of his bouts in the 1970s, I can tell you, without exaggeration, that a near-400 pound Andre was an amazingly agile athlete who could drop kick and move like a much smaller man. Andre was programmed to rarely leave his feet, so many fans never saw just how amazing Andre the Giant actually was.
There will never be another Andre the Giant, in my opinion. He was “guaranteed money” for so many wrestling territories. His mere presence on a wrestling card virtually guaranteed that the promoter and wrestler’s night in any given territory was going to be a success.
Little did most know that Andre the Giant, the greatest attraction ever in the game, lived the last several years of his life in constant pain, but continued to perform because of the love of the business and his fans.
Andre the Giant is, fittingly, the biggest and, arguably, the most memorable piece of the unique puzzle that comprises the amazing genre that is sports-entertainment."
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