From cameraman to grappler

Keith McConico, a k a The MAC, is pursuing a lifelong passion in the wrestling ring.

On any regular day you can find me operating cameras or jib in a number of the ESPN studios.

After work, I lead a different life.

On June 25, the Eastern Wrestling Alliance, an independent wrestling promoter, opened a show in Feeding Hills, Mass.

The venue is about the size of a high school gymnasium. The crowd is small, but it is hardy.

These fans are getting ready for the 8-man tag elimination match.

Behind a curtain leading to the locker room, I put on some glowing sunglasses and get ready to take on my wrestling persona “The Mac.”

I’ve been a wrestling fan all of my life. It started when my Uncle Harry got me into it when I was a kid.

We would watch old school World Wrestling Federation (now World Wrestling Entertainment) and WCW (World Championship Wrestling) every week.

While the rest of the kids were big into baseball, football, and basketball, I was in love with wrestling.

Sadly in 1998, my Uncle Harry passed away and it hit me really hard.

The MAC takes care of business.

From that point on, whenever I watched wrestling, I always felt that I was keeping a part of him alive.

Fast forward to 2009, in my second year at ESPN.

One of my co-workers introduced me to Kurt Juszczyk, another ESPN employee. Juszczyk was also a professional wrestler, competing in the New England area for years.

He helped convince me to to stop talking about living my dream and pursue it. He introduced me to Kevin Landry and Antonio Thomas (a former WWE star) who ran a wrestling school in Chicopee, Mass.

For almost over a year, I trained at the school, learning all the basics of wrestling. I had my very first match on Sept. 11, 2010 wrestling for the EWA.

The rush that you get when you get when you come from behind that curtain and feel the energy of the crowd is indescribable.

The support from fans, friends, family and co-workers has been phenomenal.

Wrestling is my passion, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.

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