But Erik being who he is (see below), he has not stopped fighting. This would be laughable if not for all of the people that he has helped or even just given some hope. (Okay, it's still laughable, but that doesn't make it any less impressive).
They come to Erik from all walks of life -- an ex-marine, an AIDS patient, a forest activist. Down on their luck and tired of being pushed around by the system, they find Erik. More accurately, they find his alter Ego, Fight Rickenbacker. Their e-mails and messages begin as pleas for help, but by the time they finish writing they have been inspired by the mere fact that someone is listening.
"I plan to retaliate big time against them."Many readers will remember Erik as the man who talked his way on to the Los Altos High School Talon student newspaper by telling the advisor about his plan to hold an ultimate frisbee game between the cheerleaders and the mutants. Others will remember him as the man who led out water polo team in purchasing cheap suits to wear to tournaments, or as the man who accrued unreasonably high amounts of store credit at Tower Records, or, alternatively, as the man who carried around 50 pairs of women's shoes in his trunk, or even as the man who broke his wrist skateboarding down a small cliff in Half Moon Bay, tore off his cast bit by bit in the face of common sense and his doctor's advice, only to miraculously recover in time for our West Bay Water Polo trip to Hawaii, where he organized the 14-under water polo team we were coaching in using a garbage can to switch the water in the hot tub with the water in the pool (each of which were reportedly too extreme in temperature).
"I'm with you on anything you can do to put these criminals out of business...& behind bars!"
"I ... want badly to hurt these people's business without mercy. I signed up at the myspace site going for Rickenbacker's blood, and I want a pint of it for my own."
The list, as you might imagine, goes on. Today, on the occasion of his 27th birthday, we may add one more description: He is the man who beat Rickenbacker.