The Boozeletter

July 2008 An entirely plagia!"ic pamphlet for $ %scerning modern &ntleman

RVD: I didn’t used to love weed, then I did, etc, etc.
Utter stoner in ‘advocating marijuana use in sports’ shocker
I believe cannabis improves performance in athletic and contact sports (such as wrestling, powerlifting, football), co-ordination sports (snowboarding, surfing, basketball), and finesse sports (golf, bowling) by providing a relaxed state of mind and agile body, I've wrestled professionally for about 18 years, won more championships than any WWE wrestler in history, traveled the world more times than I can recall ‒ and cannabis has been a big part of it all. People might presume that athletes do not use cannabis during their sport event and only consume off duty away from the gridiron or snow slopes, but let me tell you: that certainly isn't my experience! Many athletes use marijuana before, during, and after performing. I recall one time during a show we were passing a doobie around back, and my dearly missed good friend Joe C said my music was playing ‒ I had missed my entrance! I did get out there, though, and performed an awesome show. While the subject of cannabis use is considered too controversial to really discuss on most mainstream platforms, once in a while it crosses over. For instance, sometimes a famous athlete gets busted amidst huge media coverage, such as Olympic Snowboarder Ross Rebagliati in 1998, NBA basketball star Carmelo Anthony in 2004, and Miami Dolphins football player Ricky Williams in 2005. Consequences can include a pressured and hasty apology, expulsion, or loss of a medal or award. I was a championship belt winning wrestling athlete... until the sport disqualified me after an enormous media coverage of my 2006 pot possession bust, which came only days after a popular televised bout and I was stripped of my WWE world championship. During my first couple years of professional wrestling, which began in 1990, I didn't have anything to do with marijuana. While other guys toked weed driving down the highways, I avoided the smoke by sticking my head out the window. I remained uninterested in partaking for a while, as I had accepted the prevailing ideology that it was destroying their health. I had been focused on chasing my dreams of becoming professional wrestler since I was 14 or 15 years old, and stayed clear from all drugs. I paid extra attention in health and fitness class, as I was dedicated to living the life of a pro athlete, and it was there i learned how protein is made of amino acids and is essential for muscle growth. It's also where I learned that marijuana was a dangerous, hallucinogenic drug in the same classification as LSD and herion. They told us that marijuana was a gateway drug, and people who smoked it couldn't stop themselves from falling down the destructive path they just put themselves on. I remember watching a movie in class with some guy on PCP tripping like he was possessed, and felt like I was watching The Exorcist! The scare tactics worked. I

In '( me's-soaked (sue:

Andre: Je suis fucked up on the booze

RVD: Oh my god man cookies

Huff’n Steve: Not actually in this issue

too many “I recall one time during a show we appear to havewas proud goals in life. I be anti-marijuana while were passing a doobie around back.” todevotedly pursued my I remember promising myself that I would never allow drugs to take control of my life. Marijuana was only for losers, I believed. And sure enough, the kids that seemed to smoke pot behaved contemptuously of the athletic world I inhabited, and didn't 1 wrestling career dreams and got into professionalleague wrestling ‒ a move that led me to trying cannabis for the first time! It was my 21st birthday and I was lucky enough to be wrestling in Jamaica just days before Christmas,

in 1991. The professional wrestlers that I looked up to for their amazing athleticism were all toking and telling me this won't hurt you . I was surprised to learn that these professional athletes smoked marijuana regularly. They were living the lifestyle I wanted to be a part of ‒ and, apparently, smoking pot was part of that lifestyle. So after years of being anti-marijuana I finally decided to try it for myself. I hit the joint two times; that's all it took for me. I was so comfortable just staring at the wall, like it was a live sex show. I couldn't look away, no matter how concerned I was that the guys would notice and make fun

Other wrestlers said I was making myself a target by admitting to something illegal, and I understand that all the fish would still be in the ocean if they kept their mouths shut, but there's a greater cause at hand than personal enjoyment. terminally ill patients are arrested, families and lives destroyed, a world of people remain misinformed ‒ just like I once was ‒ people who don't know the truth and continue to demonize marijuana. I had to help change that. So as I continued to entertain wrestling fans all over the world, I advocated the healing herb as

openly about cannabis and no change occurred with my suspension. The reason that it couldn't have happened at a better time is that no one would have given a shit if I hadn't been the World Champion, so it was good for the attention the cause received. Not only could I talk openly about cannabis, but I was also free from a grueling schedule. Traveling with the WWE is a physically and mentally fatiguing job, where you're likely to live in a different hotel in a different town almost 300 days a year, if you're on top. That's in addition to the brutality of the matches themselves. The grueling schedule is why I chose not to resign when my contract expired, instead favoring an extended break. After I left, bad news struck with the horrible tragedy of the double murder suicide case of Chris Benoit, who apparently killed his son and wife before committing suicide. I can tell you that Chris wasn't a pot smoker, but I did talk to him often about the fucked up laws on the subject and he agreed they were wrong. I wonder if cannabis would have treated him and prevented tragedy. The peaceful persuasion of pot may have relaxed a violent, raging mindset, but that's not all I'm talking about ‒ I've read about studies that describe how THC helps stave off plaque formation on the brain, a condition associated with Alzheimer's disease and which is similar to plaque build up from physical brain trauma. Indeed, the investigating coroner found Benoit's brain had damaged protein deposits built up from physical trauma, and his brain damage compared in some ways to that of an 80 year-old Alzheimer's sufferer. Using Cannabis in Athletics I have been around the good herb for many years, and as a pro athlete, I want to share some of my personally gained knowledge. I feel that anyone who reads about my experience is continuing research to some extent ‒ at least by receiving information ‒ and we need more cannabis research. Allow me to

of me ‒ and, being fairly new to the scene, I was anxious to fit in. But the rest of the night was wonderful and I came to appreciate marijuana. Professional wrestlers smoked in private and kept quiet about pot in order to stay out of trouble. But after learning more about marijuana science and research, I wanted to reach out to wrestling fans that were also stoners and knew the truth about cannabis and hemp. I helped spread awareness of 420 by wearing it on my in-ring gear and even naming moves, such as the 420 leg drop . Soon, other wrestlers started coming out and capitalizing on their love for the grass gift: Godfather, X-Pac and Road Dogg were all on mainstream television with related merchandise and monikers. Godfather said things like roll a big fatty for this pimp daddy in WWE pre-match promos. We even filled a room up with smoke for a funny promo video of me getting ready for a match. My merchandise t-shirt that read RVD 420 means I just smoked your ass! got the attention of High Times magazine, which approached me to do an interview (over ten years ago now). Even though the other wrestlers warned me not to do it, I wasn't deterred, and after the article came out I was lauded as a warrior for the cause.

much as possible.

The crowning moment of my wrestling career was winning the WWE World Championship title. Holding the WWE belt on one shoulder and the ECW Championship belt on the other, all eyes were on me ‒ I was basically, for the moment, the representative of professional wrestling. So that's why the media was interested in me when I got busted for possession of marijuana, and was stripped of my titles. I was traveling with my long time friend Sabu when it happened. After we were let go, I tried to explain that it wasn't a big deal, no one would find out, and he should relax. I've been busted many times before with no public mention, so there was no need to worry. Before we made it to the arena the next day, our cell phones were ringing like crazy and we learned that the news was out, big time. Within the next few days, our bust was in every newspaper, on every radio and television station, and all over the internet. Many say it couldn't have happened at a worse time, with me having to forfeit the World Championship titles and face a 30 day suspension ‒ I say it couldn't have happened at a better time. I have always talked 2

“I wonder if cannabis would have treated Benoit?”

walk you through some important athletic benefits from cannabis use. To be at it's best, the body needs to be as stress free as possible. pain from old injuries, swollen joints, and tired muscles are anchors that weigh down athletes. I've had my share of prescription painkillers, such as the common Vicodin, and it is helpful in dealing with pain. Many people have a hard time swallowing pills, get upset stomachs or feel woozy, and fear addiction. Vicodin is one of the many painkillers such as Percoset and Oxycodone that are popular in and outside of sports, and is often abused. I personally know some wrestlers who take over fifty 10milligram Vicodin pills a day. To put that in perspective, doctors often recommend two a day ‒ so the ridiculously abusive daily amount of 500mg equals a month's supply. No doubt, those wrestlers face serious liver damage as well as physical dependency. I've lost many friends and associates to fatal drug abuse over the years, and have even been a user myself. I'm thankful that I survived that destructive part of my life when many others did not. You don't have to be a disciplined athlete to understand the importance and validity of marijuana as medicine ‒ science has shown that marijuana can replace or decrease the required amount or prescription drugs and still deliver the same effect or better. The fact that it is impossible to overdose is enough reason for many athletes to give it a try, and when they realize how safe it is compared to pills and chemicals, they can feel good about what they're putting in their bodies. Cannabis helps an athlete relax and get into the state of mind needed for complete connection with the body, and encourages the smooth execution of many athletic tasks in every sport. Athletes often stretch as part of a warm-up ritual before physical activity or a competition. Freeing the mind of distractions, such as stressful thoughts and annoying body aches, can be achieved much easier and to a higher level, so to speak, with some herbal love. While stretching the different body parts, an athlete needs to feel each separate muscle that is being targeted. This action requires a sort of meditative state of mind that concentrates on the inner self rather than the world around. THC helps free up energy to put

towards connecting with muscles and breath, while other cannabinoids (such as CBD and CBN) are physically relaxing. Taking a break to focus on oneself is a refreshing and rewarding experience, and during physical activity the brain releases endorphins making an athlete feel happy, fit, and ready for action. Once an athlete is stretched out and warmed up, he or she needs to get their mind in the zone . This could be mental preparation for lifting heavy weights, running a race, or performing gymnastics ‒ any skillful and demanding physical effort. When competing or training, athletes often use a strategy called visualization : a calm, meditative mind-set quietly fixated on what is before them. the athletes who want to imagine performing a task in their mind so vividly that the muscles involved believe they've already done the movement, so once the action has been performed in the brain the body will be prepared for the actual physical movement. During visualization, there is no time for the lyrics of a favorite song or any other thought to be taking the brain's energy; being in the zone is all about being immediately present, fully ready for action, but also focused and relaxed. Athletes use the uplifting benefits of cannabis to get to a superior state of awareness. It's up on that level ‒ away from the spasm in a leg, the bills that need to be paid, the screaming audience in the background ‒ that an athlete can accomplish anything and everything. After an athlete has visualized the game plan, what comes next is challenging: performance. Stress is the number one enemy to health, and comes in all forms 3

“I’ve had my share of prescription painkillers.”

and fashions. If you've ever had the attention of a huge crowd of people, you may have felt it as nervousness. You're up at bat, looking at hundreds of people in the bleachers screaming your name, and you've got a bad case of anxiety ‒ your adrenaline kicks into overtime and your legs feel weak. If you choke, you're done. Sometimes when an athlete just isn't feeling too well and it's affecting his physical performance, he can count on the magic of marijuana to give him the mental and emotional drive to change things around. not only will body aches and arthritic pains be much less of a bother, or gone altogether, but if he's smoking the right stuff he's prone to find himself happy, positive, and encouraged. Many athletes learn to count on cannabis' dependable properties to get them in the desired mood as part of their regular regimen, and also utilize reefer relief for paranoia, depression, anxieties and other nervous conditions and social disorders that keep pharmacies busy these days. Consuming cannabis is also an effective and reliable way to remedy jet lag which, for me and other frequently airplane-bound athletes and performers, was very helpful. You may justifiable wonder about the dangers of performing after smoking cannabis, but that depends on the athlete, and the reaction to the ganja. Marijuana should be given credit for assisting many athletes through highly successful careers. I've held the claim of being one of and perhaps the most athletic wrestler in the industry for years because my acrobatic flips, my gracefully balanced maneuvers off the ropes, and martial arts swiftness have always stood out. I'm no longer surprised when I hear about pro athletes getting caught with pot because I understand why they use it, and I always hope that it helps change public perception. NFL super star Ricky Williams made big news when he decided not to continue his football career because he would not be allowed to smoke

marijuana; NBA star Rasheed Wallace's endorsement of nature's high is public knowledge; and once when basketball legend Charles Oakley was interviewed, he claimed that 60 percent of NBA players were regular pot smokers. At the Pride 33 mixed martial arts competition in Vegas, Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Nick Diaz fought a hard battle with Takanori Gomi and scored a well deserved victory. However, the Nevada State Athletic Commission reversed the decision months later when they declared that Diaz failed a post-fight drug screening. They gave Nick a $3,000 fine, suspended him for six months, and overturned the fight decision because they say his THC level was so high that it gave him an unfair advantage. Isn't that a flat-out acknowledgement of the benefits of cannabis? Following the passing of superstar and friend Eddie Guerrero, a Wellness Program was institutes in the WWE. Eddie, known for his drug abusive past, had an enlarged heart, and it was heart disease that ended his life early. In reaction, wrestlers on contracts were given an enormous list of banned painkillers, fat burners, steroids,growth hormones, sleeping and waking drugs that were no longer tolerated, in addition to random piss-tests. Penalties for use included suspension without pay. When they took away the pharmaceuticals, most of the wrestlers switched to cannabis ‒ which was not being tested for at the time ‒ and many of the nonpartaking peers started asking me for advice as they chose the safer pain-relieving alternative. There's a reason that marijuana is the most commonly tried illegal drug ‒ it rates high in safety and effectiveness. If more people knew just how incredibly it compares to prescription painkillers, antidepressants and muscle relaxants in safety alone, we could see a change in the law. I personally know boxers, body builders, cyclists, runners, and athletes from all walks of life that train and/or compete with the assistance of marijuana, but they might not feel comfortable sharing this information. Demonization by the government has made it possible for them all to be kicked out of their profession for the use of marijuana ‒ but not expelled for the use of alcohol, tobacco, or prescription drugs.

This seems to be the reason Mark Stepnoski retired after 13 years of NFL superstardom. As a Dallas Cowboy and a Houston Oiler, Mark won two Super Bowl rings before he shifted his energy in 2001 to become the president of the Texas chapter of NORML. Mark specifically wanted to dispel the myth that cannabis will prevent users from attaining their goals, and he uses his career as an example. People ask me how I, as a role model for kids, can be so open about marijuana. I say: How can I not be? I'm in a high profile position and reach a lot of people ‒ don't I have an obligation to tell them the truth? Shouldn't they know that 18% of annual American deaths are from smoking tobacco cigarettes (435,000 in the year 2000)? Or alcohol killed 85,000, adverse reactions to prescription drugs killed 32,000, vehicle crashes killed 26,500 and even aspirinlike non-prescription tablets killed 7,600 people that year? All are legal, as are the guns that are responsible for the 29,000 gun deaths that year. And wouldn't everyone be interested to know that the number of recorded lethal cannabis overdoses in the history of the planet is zero? There are no cases of lung cancers, respiratory cancers, or Alzheimer's in anyone who has smoked marijuana exclusively ‒ even for decades. That's important information about a weed that White House drug czar John Walters calls the most dangerous drug in America , and I think it would be selfish to keep that kind of information to myself. Despite government resistance, we are continually learning more about the benefits provided by marijuana. I hope you've learned something from my experience with pot in sports, and I hope you'll share it with others. If we don't try to change the perception, aren't we condoning lies? Article transcribed from Cannabis Culture magazine by some internet geek

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4

Andre: Drunk off his fucking face until death
Stinking frenchman consumes gallons of fine beverage
Do you have a favorite drunkard? Some amazing man or woman, past or present, who stands colossuslike atop the Big Keg, the ground below littered with crushed empties and the blacked-out carcasses of lesser beings? A verging demigod, whose prowess with a bottle leaves you shaking your head in pop-eyed adoration? Lots of us do. In addition to their wrist-raising abilities, we deify great drinkers because they indulge their lust for intoxication while simultaneously operating at the peak of their powers in whatever their chosen profession. In other words, great drunks are also great writers, actors, athletes, scientists, statesmen, philosophers, and so on. I have a favorite drunkard. He was an athlete̶a professional wrestler in fact̶but he was also a gifted entertainer and a true artist. His parents named him Andre Rene Rousimoff, but we knew him as The Eighth Wonder of the World, Andre the Giant. For two decades, from the late 1960s through the mid 1980s, Andre the Giant was the highest paid professional wrestler in the business and a household name across the globe. Promoters fought tooth and nail to book Andre, as his presence on a card all but guaranteed a sell-out. Fans cheered his every move, and mobbed him on the street as if he were a great big Beatle. For proof of his drawing power, look no further than Wrestlemania III in 1987. The main event was Andre vs. Hulk Hogan. The show drew the first million-dollar gate in wrestling history, set a pay-perview record that lasted a decade, and set the all-time indoor attendance record for any live event ever̶78,000+ butts in seats at the Pontiac Silver Dome in Detroit̶destroying the previous record set by some rock band called the Rolling Stones. His rematch with Hogan two months later, broadcast live on NBC, attracted 33 million viewers, making it the most watched wrestling match ever. Known to his friends simply as Giant or Boss, Andre was born on May 19th, 1946, in Grenoble, France, the child of Russian immigrants. Shortly after his birth, he was diagnosed with a rare glandular disease, acromegaly, which caused his body to over-produce growth hormones. As a result, Andre grew to a height of somewhere between 6 11 and 7 5 and a weight of over 500 pounds (his actual height and weight have been speculated about for decades ̶the business is notorious for inflating wrestlers statistics̶but Andre s illness sometimes made him slouch or bow his shoulders, so he might well have been the advertised 7 5 ). He first wrestled as Andre the Butcher, but it was Vincent J. McMahon Sr., owner of New York s World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF), who christened him Andre the Giant.

“As far as great drunkards go, there is Andre, and then there is everyone else.”
rather scary one considering its context, which is this̶it has been estimated that Andre the Giant drank 7,000 calories worth of booze every day. The figure doesn t include food. Just booze. 7,000 calories. Every day. I don t know about you, but it makes my brain turn somersaults. Hell, it makes my brain perform an entire floor routine, complete with colored ribbons. When Andre arrived in New York to begin his long working relationship with the McMahon family, his reputation as both a serious student of the nightlife and an extravagant spender was already a topic of speculation and wonder among East Coast wrestlers and promoters. Andre might make $15,000-$20,000 for a single appearance at Madison Square Garden, and a substantial amount of that went to settling the bar tabs he piled up as he boozed his way up and down Manhattan until sunrise. Andre s generosity matched his size. He often invited a gang of fellow wrestlers along for the ride, as he disliked drinking alone, and picked up some truly staggering tabs. Andre was going to

While it can be argued that a miniscule handful of professional wrestlers matched Andre s in-ring achievements (Gorgeous George back in the 40s and 50s, perhaps; Dusty Rhodes in the 70s, and Hulk Hogan, without a doubt, in the 80s), no other wrestler ever matched his exploits as a drunkard. In fact, no other human has ever matched Andre as a drinker. He is the zenith. He is the Mount Everest of inebriation. As far as great drunkards go, there is Andre the Giant, and then there is everyone else. The big man loved two things: wrestling and booze̶mostly booze̶and his appetites were of mythic proportion. First, consider the number 7,000. It s an important number, and a 5

have a good time and went out of his way to make sure everyone else did too. Worried about his headliner, Vince McMahon Sr. assigned a handler to the Giant̶long-time wrestler, manager, and road agent, Arnold Skaaland, whose only job when Andre was in town was to keep him out of serious trouble and get him to the arena in time to wrestle. Skaaland was an old-school drinker in his own right, but Andre blew his mind. On one occasion he could only watch goggle-eyed as Andre went about demolishing a dozen or so quarts of beer as a warm-up for a match. With Skaaland on the job, Vince Sr. knew Andre was in capable hands, but the promoter still worried about how the Giant would cope with the insane amount of travel required of a wrestling superstar. Andre loathed flying̶no commercial airliner could accommodate such a massive man without resorting to the luggage compartment̶and his opinion of most cars wasn t much sunnier, because aspects of his disease caused intense pain in his knees, hips and lower back when he remained too long in a cramped position. When a tight schedule left a plane or car as the only option, Andre eased his discomfort by getting good and hammered. Vince Sr. pondered the situation and arrived at a novel solution. He wanted to keep the big man happy, so he bought a trailer and had it customized just for Andre. With plenty of room to spread out and relax, Andre could now travel in a semblance of comfort, which allowed him to do some serious boozing. During trips Andre consumed beer at the incredible rate of a case every ninety minutes, with bottles of vodka or top-rate French wine thrown in for variety.

necessities in a trailer. Lined with plastic tarps, the rickety trailer was filled with ice and cases of Budweiser tallboys. As he cruised the nation s highways, Andre kept a case on the seat beside him, stopping only for food, more ice, and another case or two if he ran low.

“Go to the bathroom in their lilliputian facilities.”

Sadly, the trailer wasn t available outside the WWWF territory; Vince Sr. wasn t about to do the competition any favors. Andre didn t expect other promoters to pony up a trailer just for him, so he commissioned a customized Lincoln Continental. With the front seat now positioned about where the back seat would normally be, Andre had a little leg room. He carried his luggage and wrestling gear in the trunk and towed his

several times with Andre and witnessed the Giant s alcohol consumption first hand. According to Hogan, Andre drank, at a minimum, a case of tall boys during each bus ride. When he finished a can Andre would belch, crush the can in his dinner-platter-sized hand, and bounce the empty off the back of Hogan s head. Hogan learned to As famous as Andre was in this count each thunk, so he could country, he was even bigger in anticipate when Andre was running Japan. He spent a few months out low. Whenever the bus stopped, it of every year over there, where was Hogan s job to scamper off to he was treated like a living god the nearest store, buy as many and pocketed five-figure payoffs cases of beer as he could carry, and for a single make it back before the bus night s work. departed, a sight that never failed to That being make Andre roar his bassoon-like said, Andre laugh. didn t really like Japan. On one tour, Andre s Japanese Everything sponsors rewarded him with a case was too of expensive plum wine. Andre small. Hotel settled down in the back of the bus beds were and started drinking. Four hours like later, the bus arrived at the next bassinets venue, and Andre was polishing off and it was the last bottle of wine. all but impossible Sixteen bottles of wine in four hours for him to is a considerable feat, but it gets shower or go better. Andre proceeded straight to to the the ring and wrestled three bathroom in matches, including a twenty-man their battle royal. The 16 bottles of plum Lilliputian wine had no discernible effect on facilities. He Andre s in-ring ability. By the end of was known the evening, Andre had sweated off to rip the the wine and found himself growing door off his cranky. He dispatched Hogan for a hotel few cases of beer. Hogan hurried to bathroom do as Andre asked, knowing from and make painful experience that a drunken use of the Giant was a happy Giant, and a toilet by happy Giant was less likely to sitting fracture some vital part of an sideways opponent s anatomy in a fit of with his legs grumpiness. sticking out into the main room. In 1977, The American Dream Getting from show to show Dusty Rhodes wrestled Andre at presented its own problems. Madison Square Garden. Japanese promoters preferred to Afterwards, the old friends went out transport the gaijin wrestlers by on the town. They adjourned to one bus, vehicles which steadfastly of Andre s favorite watering holes refused to house giants. In order and took stools at the bar (Andre to placate their star import, occupied two). Several hours and promoters removed several rows some 100 beers later (around 75 of of seats from the back of the bus, them were Andre s), they decided to creating something of a private head back to their hotel. Andre cabin for Andre, a place spacious looked at taxis with the same scorn enough for him to stretch out or as most other conveyances and catch a nap. Mostly, though, announced that he and Dusty would Andre used the space as a walk, which was problem because comfortable spot to do his Dusty was having trouble drinking. maintaining a vertical position. Andre studied the situation, and a A very green rookie wrestler twinkling grin blossomed across his named Hulk Hogan toured Japan huge face. People who spent any 6

time with the big man quickly learned to watch for that grin. It was a harbinger of danger. It meant that Andre was contemplating something risky, something with potential legal ramifications, but also, most assuredly, something fun. A moment later, the two huge wrestlers attacked a pair of horsedrawn carriages. Dusty threw a handful of paper money at one driver while Andre hauled the other from his seat with one hand. While one driver cursed and the other scrabbled around on the ground collecting his windfall, Andre and Dusty thundered off in the carriages. They raced through the Manhattan streets, dodging cars and pedestrians for fifteen blocks before ditching the carriages and lathered horses a block from their hotel. By the time the cops arrived, Andre and Dusty were enjoying snifters of brandy in the hotel bar, appearing as innocent as angels. The next day, they main-evented another card at the Garden. Another sell-out. Two pros at the top of their games. Another time, in the 70s, Andre was holding court at a beach-front bar in the Carolinas, boozing it up with fellow wrestlers Blackjack Mulligan, Dick Murdoch, and the inimitable Ric Flair. They d been drinking with gusto for hours when Flair goaded Mulligan and Murdoch into some slap-boxing with Andre, who had poured over 60 beers down his gullet. One of the two accidentally suckerpunched Andre. The Giant became enraged, grabbed both Mulligan (6 5 , 250 lbs.) and Murdoch (6 3 , 240 lbs.) and dragged them into the ocean, one in each hand, where he proceeded to hold them under water. Flair intervened, and Andre released the men, assuring them he was only playing around. Murdoch and Mulligan, who had nearly drowned, weren t so sure, but neither messed with Andre the Giant again. They also picked up the tab. On another occasion, Andre was touring the Kansas City territory and went out for drinks after a show with Bobby Heenan and several other wrestlers. When the bartender hollered last call, Andre, slightly annoyed, announced that he didn t care to leave. Rather than risk an altercation with his hulking customer, the bartender told Andre

the actors alone, but Andre could only be Andre, and the other cast members continued to pay the price. The shooting schedule required Andre to be in England for about a month. When his part wrapped, Andre checked out of his suite at the Hyatt in London and flew back to his ranch in North Carolina. His bar bill for the month-long stay? Just a shade over $40,000. Now, if everything I ve described so far isn t proof enough that Andre the Giant was the greatest drunkard who ever lived, these last two stories should set my claim in granite. You won t find it in the Guinness Book of World Records, but Andre the Giant holds the world record for the largest number of beers consumed in a single sitting. These were standard 12-ounce bottles of beer, nothing fancy, but during a six-hour period Andre drank 119 of them. It was one of the few times Andre got drunk enough to pass out, which he did in a hallway at his hotel. His companions, quite drunk themselves, couldn t move the big man. Fearing trouble with cops, they stole a piano cover from the lounge and draped it over Andre s inert form. He slept peacefully until morning, unmolested by anyone. Perhaps the hotel people thought he was a piece of furniture. Think about it: 119 beers in six hours. That s a beer every three minutes, non stop. That s beyond epic. It s beyond the ken of mortal men. It s god-like. Giants are not made long for this world, and toward the end of his life injuries and health problems caused by the acromegaly caught up with Andre. It became difficult just to walk, let alone wrestle, so he

“Andre, slightly annoyed, announced that he didn’t care to leave.”
he could stay only if he was drinking, imagining, surely, that he would soon be rid of the big fella. Andre thanked the man, and proceeded to order 40 vodka tonics. He sat there drinking them, one after another, finishing the last at just after five in the morning. When ill health forced Andre to largely quit wrestling in the late 80s, he accepted the role of Fezzik in Rob Reiner s movie The Princess Bride. Everyone on the set loved the big man, with the possible exception of Reiner himself. Ever the sociable fellow, he kept fellow cast members Mandy Patinkin and Carey Elwes out night after night, drinking and otherwise goofing around. The actors were incapable of matching Andre s intake, but certainly gave it a serious try. As a result, they often showed up on set still loaded or suffering from the sort of hangovers that make death seem a pleasant alternative. Reiner tried to get Andre to leave 7

retired to his North Carolina ranch to drink wine and watch the countryside. He declined myriad requests for a comeback, despite promises of lavish payoffs. He was simply in too much pain to perform at the level he demanded of himself. Then he received a call from Vince McMahon Jr. McMahon was in the midst of taking his WWF promotion national. He d scored big-time with his Wrestlemania events on payper-view, and as Wrestlemania III approached, Vince Jr. was hot to make it the biggest thing yet. To make that happen, he needed Andre the Giant. Andre was in France visiting his ailing father when the call came. He thanked Vince Jr. but said there was no way he could get back in a ring, even though he very much wanted to. Not willing to give up, Vince Jr. flew to France to speak with Andre in person. He took Andre to see doctors specializing in back and knee maladies. Radical back surgery was proposed. If successful, the procedure would lessen Andre s pain and perhaps make it possible for him to get in the ring for Wrestlemania. If Andre was game, Vince Jr. agreed to pay for the entire cost of the surgery. The time arrived, and the anesthesiologist was frantic. He had never put a person of Andre s size under the gas before and had no idea how much to use. Various experts were brought in but no solution presented itself until one of the doctors asked Andre if he was a drinker. Andre responded that, yes, he d been known to tip a glass from time to time. The doctor then wanted to know how much Andre drank and how much it took to get him drunk. Well, rumbled the Giant, It usually takes two liters of vodka just to make me feel warm inside. And thus was a solution found. The gas-passer was able to extrapolate a correct mixture for Andre by analyzing his alcohol intake. It was a medical breakthrough, and the system is still used to this day. Five months later, Andre the Giant wrestled a body-slam match against Hulk Hogan and brought down the house. 8 Two liters of vodka. Warm and fuzzy. Side by side like that, the two sentences hardly make any sense. For most of us, two liters of vodka means a one-way ticket to Blackout Island aboard the good ship Regurgitania.

“‘ It usually takes about two liters of vodka to make me feel warm inside.’”
darken a life. It did not darken Andre s. He chose instead to pack his days with as much insane, drunken fun as they could hold. Instead of languishing in the darkness, he chose to walk in the sun. I ve said it before, and I ll say it again now. Andre the Giant was an inspiration. I would pay a fortune for the opportunity to go back in time 30 years to watch such a master practice his craft, in the ring and at the bar. Andre the Giant was the very embodiment of what being a drunkard is all about. ̶Richard English Article pinched from Modern Drunkard magazine’s website, and I don’t fucking care if you’ve read it before

After Wrestlemania, Andre retired for good. His beloved father died in 1993 and Andre returned to France to be with his family. He was still there when, on January 26th, 1993, Andre died in his sleep of heart failure at the age of 47. The key to Andre the Giant is this ̶ even as a youth he knew that his disease would dramatically shorten his life. He knew there was no cure, and lived every day with the understanding that death could shamble around the very next corner. Knowledge of this sort can

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