Mike Tyson

mike-tyson1

Did anyone else see Mike Tyson on Conan last night?

Man, what a fascinating guy.

My life in sports has sort of paralleled Tyson’s, as far as the years involved. When I was a kid/teen, Tyson was coming up through the ranks, battering the Marvis Fraziers and Tyrell Biggses of the world.

I was riveted.

Then there was Tyson’s downfall—losing to Buster, going to jail, the various women stories, altercations, etc.

I was repulsed.

That was followed by the downfall. The two Evander fights. The tin cans. The disinterest.

I was saddened.

Now, Tyson is back. New documentary that’s earned rave reviews. A killer cameo in The Hangover. He’s left boxing behind, and is in the midst of this cultural comeback that one has to love. The thing I’ve always felt about Tyson is that, as far as athletes go, he’s extremely bright and well thought-out. He expressed himself with an uncommon depth and insight. You hear Evander Holyfield speak, it’s pure idiocy. He sounds, to be crass, like a boxer. But Tyson always seemed to grasp his own flaws. He conveyed who he was and what he was feeling. Sometimes, he was a caged animal. Other times, he was a dignified man trying to escape. I’m convinced, beyond a doubt, that Tyson is a victim of his environs. Had he been raised with two loving parents in a stable home, he’s a college graduate doing impressive things.

I know … I know—hard to imagine. Especially with the eye tattoo.

But there’s something unique about the man.

Something we all can finally enjoy. And embrace.

7 thoughts on “Mike Tyson”

  1. “The thing I’ve always felt about Tyson is that, as far as athletes go, he’s extremely bright and well thought-out.”

    Really?

    Mike Tyson?

    Extremely bright and well thought-out?

    You’re talking about the guy who once said that he was going eat someone’s children? The person who has Chairman Mao tattooed on one arm and Arthur Ashe on the other? The person who bit part of someone’s ear off during a boxing match?

    That guy?

    I’m going to need a lot more evidence.

  2. Compared to Holyfield, Tyson sounds extraordinary. Charlie Brown’s teacher would as well when compared to Holyfield.

    I don’t consider him bright, nor well thought out. But I’ve always had a strange admiration for Tyson.

  3. Mike Tyson vs. Buster Douglas.

    I’m playing pool with some Army buddies at the El Dorado bar in Leesville, La.

    We were all anxiously awaiting the fight.

    We went next door to the Pussy Cat Club to watch on the big screen.

    Ten rounds later, moments after Tyson spit out his mouth guard, I left the bar and returned to the barracks.

    Maybe it was all the cheering when Tyson got knocked out. Maybe it was the sick feeling I had in my gut. But I didn’t feel much like partying that night, not even at the Pussy Cat Club, which doubled as a nudie bar.

    In high school, I loved Mike Tyson. He was so mean looking and intense. He was always smaller than his opponent, and often gave up 10-12 inches in reach.

    I liked his black boxing trunks and matching socks. He wasn’t flashy like many of the other boxers.

    I rooted for Iron Mike to make a come-back. I pulled for him even through the troubled times.

    And even though I have since given up on him, I had to smile a little bit when I saw him in The Hangover.

    In some ways, Tyson reminds me a lot of Michael Jackson.

  4. I agree about Tyson’s intelligence. He’ll drop some lunatic stuff about eating children, but then on the other hand I have seen interviews with him where he displays a lot of insight and self-awareness.

    He is not well-educated and he is definitely more than half-crazy…but he’s not a stupid man.

  5. Classicist, I phrased that poorly. I didn’t mean it to sound like our athletic lives paralleled each other’s. I just meant that I grew up watching Tyson; that he and Michael Jordan were the dominant jocks of my youth.

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