In a previous post about wrestlers Edge and Christian, I pointed out some discrepancies with their stated heights. Today, I would like to further the height discussion by bringing up Rowdy Roddy Piper (one of my all-time favorites) and a couple former Chicago Cubs.The picture above is from my January 2005 meeting with Piper in Tampa (FL). I am slightly over 5'11". Piper is billed at 6'2". If I recall correctly, Piper was also wearing some sort of boots, which probably added a bit to his height. When I saw him in Rosemont (IL) shortly after, he appeared to be slightly shorter than me.
Wait though, the fun doesn't end there. The Chicago Cubs also got into the stretching business. The 2006 picture below shows Piper flanked by former Cubs Scotty Eyre and Bobby Howry. Eyre is listed at 6'1" and Howry at 6'5". Surprisingly, Eyre is shorter than Piper. At least Howry might be a legit 6'5".
In wrestling (pre-mass exposure), I suppose heights and weights were changed to further storylines and make the wrestlers look larger than life. A 7'2" Andre the Giant does sound better than a 6'11" Andre. Even so, in the current era, fudging the stats seems pointless.
I never really understood heights and weights being altered for effect in other sports. Perhaps in the old days (prior to videotapes and the internet), maybe fudged info gave a player a slight and short-lived advantage. However, now when mere bloggers like me write about this stuff, don't they think that other players know the difference?