Saturday, July 01, 2023

Droz Passes Away

World Wrestling Entertainment has announced that Darren Drozdov has passed away.

The former college and pro football player had a short career in pro wrestling after suffering a horrific injury during a Smackdown taping. It resulted in him becoming a quadriplegic.

I read the family statement released by the Drozdovs. In it, they mentioned how Droz had a lot of time for others. 

I know this isn't exactly what they meant, but I did have on interaction with him in the early 2000s that would highlight the notion of Droz giving up his time for others.

WWE Announces Droz's Passing

There was a scene in the movie Any Given Sunday which made me wonder if it was done because of him. 

In the aforementioned scene, a football player was seen vomiting on the sidelines during a game. I was aware that Drozdov's early nickname in the then WWF was 'Puke' because those in charge of creative were aware of Droz being able to vomit on command and was seen doing so during a live Monday Night Football game.

Droz was also shown vomiting in a bin while Vince McMahon yelled 'Oh My God, He's Gonna.. He's Gonna. PUKE!' in a scene shown from Vince's office in the Beyond The Mat documentary movie.

Anyway, with knowledge of Droz and his vomiting history, I saw the bit in the Al Pacino movie and emailed Droz to ask if he had seen the film. My second question was whether he thought that little spot was a nod to him.

Droz replied to my questions indicating that the scene may have partially been inspired by his real-life. I thought the fact Droz didn't accept the full credit for the movie makers having a football player vomiting on the sidelines was quite gracious of him.

I still believe he was the inspiration for the short moment in the film. 

Any Given Sunday premiered in 1999, so the vomiting during MNF would have still been fresh in people's memories. It was remembered enough for Vince McMahon to have him throw up in the documentary scene in Beyond The Mat, which also came out in 1999, but would have been filmed in 1997 or 1998.

Fifty-four years is too young to pass away. It's even sadder when you acknowledge twenty-four of those years were spent in a wheelchair following that terrible accident.

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