JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Mike Tyson and the art of the athletic aftermath

I have a friend who thinks Mike Tyson is the biggest scumbag on earth. She says he’s a rotten wad of crap; that his rape conviction from long ago cannot be erased by a couple of lighthearted movie and TV appearances.

Perhaps she’s right. Perhaps she’s not.

All I know is that, when I see Mike Tyson nowadays, I’m always smiling. I find myself loving the guy. His willingness to cry during an interview. His self-loathing over a greedy, arrogant past. His ability to laugh at himself and his image. Seriously, I can’t think of a more riveting, more impressive transition from one public image to another.

The above video is the latest—and maybe best—example of Tyson learning from his past misdeeds, and evolving to something unique and, perhaps, special.

I love it.