Over the years I have been pretty harsh on prolific sports broadcaster Mauro Ranallo, although I was vaguely aware of some personal health issues he had. I admired his uncanny grasp of historical details, but I just didn’t care for his relatively loud and impassioned style.
Finally, I decided to do some research and find out exactly what his issues were; exactly what made him tick. I read some things, did some research on the computer, and then watched a mesmerizing documentary on Showtime on May 25 titled, “Bi-polar Rock N Roller” in which Ranallo (pictured with Showtime broadcasting partners Brian Custer and Al Bernstein) shares his feelings on his struggle with mental health illness and its stigma. Mauro’s issues specifically deal with bipolar disorder, an illness with which he has been suffering for a long time.
The acclaimed Mayo Clinic defines bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, as a mental illness that “causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and deep lows (depression).” Mauro’s lows and highs mirror the extremes of this disorder—from deep depression and rage to the highs he experienced announcing the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight and the Mayweather-McGregor event.
What I learned from my research gave me an entirely different perspective of this boxing broadcaster who also does MMA and WWE. I went from dislike to inspired admiration.
From the subject of suicide to the fact that his condition doesn’t just affect the person, but there is a ripple effect, Ranallo doesn’t hold back as he discusses the trigger effect of losing his best friend at a young age, later using cannabis as a medical aid, and even having suicidal thoughts. He opens up his entire life in the film with the hope that it will inspire others to pursue their dreams despite the challenges of bipolar disorder.
“It’s a daily struggle for me to stay alive, says Ranallo. “I don’t mean to be melodramatic, hyperbolic, or go into my broadcast mode. But even that, my career is bipolar. So that is what made this uniquely compelling and powerful; my entire journey, with the amount of success that I’ve had, parallels the amount of turmoil that my personal life is in a large majority of the time, and I wanted to share that with people and hopefully inspire and allow people to persevere through their own hardships and their own forms of stigma.”
He adds, “There are so many people who are going to lose the battle, and all we have to do is do what you and I are doing right now. Let’s just talk to each other a little more. We talk about the weather ad nauseum. We analyze fights ad nauseum. Ask people, ‘How are you?’ and really mean it. That’s all. Maybe a few moments of concern is [sic] all they need, and then you go on with your life. Imagine.”
Here is what the promotional cover page says, “A raw and unflinching account of Mauro Ranallo’s decades-long struggle with Bipolar Affective Disorder. The voice of WWE and Showtime Championship Boxing, Ranallo has called some of the biggest sports events in history – all the while fighting his own epic battles with mental health. Follow his journey as he combats the stigma behind mental health issues and sheds light on what it’s like being at the top of the industry despite seemingly insurmountable odds.”
I encourage you to watch the documentary. Copying and pasting this link will start the process: http://www.sho.com/titles/3460233/bipolar-rock-n-roller;jsessionid=708EC468035E0235E1679DC07AE51FAC.ws400
Funny thing, but I can’t wait to watch him on Showtime soon.
Ted Sares is an active full power lifter and will soon be attempting a 4 in 4 (4 meets in 4 months) something never before done by an octogenarian. A member of Ring 4’s Boxing Hall of Fame, he was recently cited by Hannibal Boxing as one of three “Must-Read” boxing writers.
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