Excerpt from “Again”
The reason I have elected to write my name as JohnA Passaro is because of the feeling I get when I hear it said.
When I wrestled in high school, there could be a thousand people screaming at the top of their lungs during my matches, but there were only two voices that I heard, no matter what the situation was.
One voice was from my brother Joe, and the other voice was from my coach, Dan Nolan.
Whenever things got tough in the match, and I needed to draw upon something for a boost, I would hear,
Most everyone else called me Johnny.
They called me “JohnA”
With the emphasis on the A.
During all my matches that I can recall, the voices of my brother and my coach, the two people I would run through a brick wall for, came through crystal clear.
Like Billy Chapel when he “cleared the mechanism”.
All screams went to mute, and then I would hear crystal clear,
They say you like someone because of the way that they make you feel.
I believe that.
Hearing “JohnA” in Coach Nolan’s or my brother Joe’s voice immediately made me feel confident.
Like the outcome had already been predetermined.
And they knew that I won.
That it was just a formality that I had to finish the match.
That my hand would be raised.
So I have added the A to my first name as a silent reminder and tribute to the two great coaches I had in my life that gave me an inner confidence in myself.
To this day, I love the way hearing “JohnA” makes me feel.
Whenever I need a boost of confidence, I say “JohnA” over and over in my head, trying to mimic the exact dialect of my brother Joe and Coach Nolan.