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SPECIAL COMMENT: Thanks For Nothing, Jimmy Wilder

(Editor’s note: This column has virtually nothing to do with professional wrestling, but I’d like to think that the lesson in this tale is universal, and can be applied to almost every aspect of one’s life.)

“Let’s kick the tires and light the fires, big daddy!”
-Capt. Jimmy Wilder

As we prepare to observe the 20th anniversary of the War Of 1996, we are reflecting on the heroes who saved our planet in its most desperate hour of need. Many men and women sacrificed. Others showed courage in merely surviving. We salute all of our heroes, but not everyone is worthy of such honor and acclaim.

It’s an uncomfortable reality to accept, knowing that not all of us are meant for greatness. Some are seemingly born with the ability to deliver in the biggest moments. Derek Jeter in November. Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania. Jack Bauer in an interrogation room. No matter the odds, you know they’ll deliver.

Such heroes are rare. For every Capt. Stephen Hiller, who warmly welcomed our alien oppressors to Earth, there must also be a Capt. Jimmy Wilder.
“Man, you are never gonna get to fly the space shuttle if you marry a stripper.”
-Capt. Jimmy Wilder
20 years ago, Capt. Steven Hiller (despite his stripper girlfriend) delivered. Capt. Jimmy Wilder? Not so much.
Let’s be honest. Jimmy choked. When the United States of America, Planet Earth and its billions of helpless inhabitants needed him the most, he choked.
Before the planet’s best and bravest taught the aliens you don’t mess with Earth, Jimmy was just a mess.

Jimmy, no.
I mean, honestly, who tries to bank at that speed? Especially when you’re trying to evade alien technology you’ve never encountered before. Really, Jimmy? You’re gonna “try something” in the opening minutes against the aliens? You’re an Atari 2600 in a roomful of PlayStation 4’s. It’s time to regroup, not do something stupid. Clearly, Jimmy was overwhelmed by the moment.

“Why we are on this particular mission, we’ll never know. But I do know, here today, that the Black Knights will emerge victorious once again.”
-Capt. Jimmy Wilder
Jimmy had bravado. He had swagger. He talked the talk, but when it was time to walk the walk, he turned out to be more Glacier than Goldberg. All hype.
If Jimmy were standing here today, I would not go quietly into the night. I’d tell him the truth. Jimmy, you dropped the ball. We’re lucky Hiller, Levinson and Whitmore were around to pick it up. Hell, Russell Case was barely sober and flying an F/A-18 for the first time and he almost single-handedly brought down a 15-mile wide alien spacecraft. That’s clutch.

Enjoy celebrating our Independence Day, and remember… keep your mask on, never ever try to bank at that speed and don’t mess with Earth.