At one of Hoeberl's recent competitions in Austria, the fire-engine pull was delayed for several minutes until the local fire chief could be talked into relinquishing the driver's seat. Hey, this ain't Paul Tagliabue's league.
The competitors grouse about the compromises they have to make at WSM because of television. "There you are, working yourself into a froth to pick up a car, and you're told, 'We can't film now because the roller coaster we want in the background isn't running yet,' " says Kazmaier. But that will never change. As far as the world knows, WSM has, like Truman Burbank, no existence other than the one revealed on the tube. The likelihood is that strongman competitions, led by WSM, will appear in their current chopped-up form for at least the next four years, the length of TWI's contract with ESPN.
Keep in mind, though, that early in the next century there will be an urgent need for another Magnus in WSM. If that's your name, and you're a big fellow who likes to eat meatballs, potatoes and asphalt, there's probably a place for you.