Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



Brian Pillman died 20 years ago today. It remains one of the most profound losses I’ve experienced. “The Loose Cannon” was a close friend and confidant, and a big part of him lives on in the way I do my radio program.

Had Brian lived, he’d doubtless be a huge participant in wrestling’s creative process. Wrestling could certainly use a mad scientist right now.

Brian’s son, Brian Jr., is 23 and the spitting image of his father. He’s training at Lance Storm’s wrestling school in Calgary…Alberta, Canada. No one is a better teacher than Lance, and I’m certainly rooting hard for Brian Jr.

Here’s my Brian Pillman/Super Bowl XXX story. It never gets old.

I was covering Super Bowl XXX – Dallas vs. the Steelers – for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Brian was between companies, having conned his way out of WCW by way of building his brand through multi-promotional insanity and a vague promise to come back. (He didn’t. He signed with WWE in June, 1996.)

Brian called me up. At 2 a.m., like always.

Brian: “Hey, you have a press pass for the Super Bowl, right?”

Me: “Uh…yeah. Why?”

Brian: “Here’s the plan. You give me your press pass. I use it to get into the game. I run onto the field during the game and chain myself to the goalpost. It’ll be on TV everywhere.”

Me: “OK, but…here’s the problem. Then I can’t get in. I can’t cover the game. I’ll get fired, and probably never work in my profession again.”

Brian, after a long pause: “Look, I can’t be the only one making sacrifices.”

If I had it to do over again, I'd have given Brian the press pass.

Brian Pillman, RIP. Here’s his take on my least-favorite city, Philadelphia:

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