Mick Foley Web Column (9/27)

COUNTDOWN TO LOCKDOWN: 4 DAYS

By the time you read this, I may have already made a dramatic announcement on my twitter site @realmickfoley You may want to rush to http://www.twitter.com right now, and then come back for news of almost equal importance.

May of you may have realized that there was no column last week. At first I was disappointed, since one of the benefits of writing for the internet is the instant gratification of seeing your words available for public consumption almost immediately after writing them.

But sometimes, when you have something of real and lasting importance to say, it makes sense to take the time to say them the right way, and to make sure they are told at a time when they can make maximum impact.

Honestly, with the book coming out,, and the other huge announcement that just came out, it’s not the correct time to make this other, more serious public statement.

Wow, the Countdown to Countdown is down to 4. Four big ones, though as many of you have discovered, some retailers have started selling the books early, including Amazon. So, if you really can’t wait another four days, there are places to find “Countdown”, if you are willing to look. I’m really excited about the book, and thus far, it has been getting some great notice, including a very solid review from Publisher’s Weekly, which I wouldn’t have guessed would even review it, let alone like it. Trust me, my two novels didn’t fare that well with PW. The review did ask (as I will point out in Thursday’s Impact, during my face to face with Ric) whether wrestling was still as important to me as other aspects of my life. The review mentioned the substance of specific chapters on the use of performance enhancing substances in pro-wrestling and the growing list of wrestlers dying to young. It also specifically talked about how touching chapters dealing with my work in Sierra Leone and with RAIN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network) were. Which leads me to my next subject.

Occasionally readers will remark that they don’t particularly care for my mentions of this type of work in a wrestling book. I understand their concern; I don’t agree with it, but I understand it. The world is a particularly tough place right now, and I am sure that there are many of our fans who tune into our show, or choose to follow wrestlers into outside projects in order to escape their day to day troubles – not to be occasionally reminded of people who have it worse than them. If that’s the case, please take this as a warning that my book might not be the right one for you. I do have outside interests, and I do occasionally talk about charitable work I am involved with. OK, you’ve been warned. If you still feel like taking a look at the book, I hope you will understand that I look at the exposure I have received through pro-wrestling as a gift, and as an opportunity to do what I can to create awareness of some of the suffering that goes on around the world and inside our own country. When my last wrestling book “The Hardcore Diaries” was released, it included a chapter about visiting a child I sponsored in the Philippines through Child Fund International, and then included contact information for those interested in sponsoring children themselves. As a result, I was told that several dozen children had found sponsors. The book was not a huge runaway success, but it did pretty well. Doing a little math and throwing around some general estimates, I’ve guessed that somewhere around one in every 1,500-2,000 people who read the book ended up sponsoring a child. You know, what, I’ll take those figures, because they’re better than zero. I’m giving out the same contact information in this book and I hope several dozen more children will find sponsors. I hope others will read about my work with RAINN and feel compelled to volunteer.

I truly feel that this is my moment to make a difference. I understand that I may lose a few fans along the way. That’s alright – thanks for joining me for part of the ride. I hope to be talking about this same work on The Joy Behar Show on September 30th, and Fox and Friends on October 1st. Hell I even talked about sponsoring kids on Opie and Anthony several moths ago, and even though they gave me a hard time in a funny, kidding way, it was still an opportunity to make a possible difference. Maybe I’ll get another opportunity when I see O+A again on October 1st.

There was an HBO documentary, “The Broad Street Bullies”, which contained a quote that has really stuck with me: “if you don’t want to be criticized – do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.” No thanks, not me – even if it means losing a few of you along the way.

By the way, here’s some contact information in case you feel like helping out, but have no interest in purchasing a book:

http://www.chilfund.org

or, if you are interested in volunteering or if you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual violence, please contact http://www.rainn.org

Honestly, I would rather someone sponsor a child or volunteer than buy a book, but there’s nothing wrong with doing both.

Please watch this Thursday’s “Impact”, for the interview with Ric Flair that I felt was on of the greatest moments of my career.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, 100% of my advance has been donated to RAINN and Child Fund. A few well meaning sources have reported that I am “donating 100% of the royalties, which may not turn out to be true. In the interest of fairness, and to keep a few of the more cynical types from questioning my integrity down the road, especially as it relates to charitable donations, I will readily admit that there is a chance I could make money from “Countdown to Lockdown” somewhere down the road. But in order to make any profit at all, I believe I would have to first sell in the neighborhood of 45,000 copies – a tough task in today’s publishing and economic environment. I hope I’m wrong. Maybe this book will far exceed my expectations. But as I head out into the book tour, I am doing so accepting that there will likely not be much (if any) financial reward involved, and with the heartfelt belief that this book was written as a labor of love – as my way of making a difference in the world.

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About Ray Mullan
Ray Mullan is a longtime wrestling fan and Owner/Editor of TNA UK . Also a contributing writer to a number of other online wrestling media including 1Wrestling.com, Wrestle Zone UK & Lords of Pain.

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