Tag Archives: Mike Tyson

Ronda Rousey is the 21st century Mike Tyson. R.I.P. to the great Rowdy Roddy Piper. And Joe Biden, running for President once again?


Heading home to NYC today after a wonderful weekend with friends in Massachusetts, where we picked blueberries, went swimming, and I tried mightily not to annoy the locals with DeflateGate jokes. It was hard, though, especially after I was served my Dunkin’ Donuts beverage in a Red Sox cup. Love New England, love, love, love it. But man do I hate their sports teams…

Back in late 1980s, Mike Tyson would win some of his boxing matches before he even stepped into the ring.

His opponents would be so psychologically frightened and psyched out, that they didn’t even think they could win, and would enter the ropes already hoping the damage they’d suffer wouldn’t be too bad.

I don’t follow boxing, nor do I follow UFC too much, but Ronda Rousey pretty much demands your attention, and she is quickly becoming the 21st Century version of Tyson. She had another “fight” Saturday night, this one lasting all of 34 seconds, which is a little longer than her bouts have gone lately.

She destroyed yet another opponent, Bethe Correia, and this time didn’t use her signature finishing move, the armbar; instead, Rousey just knocked Correia out with some well-placed punches to the face.

Rousey truly is an elite athlete, worthy of being compared to Serena Williams and other female stars. I wonder if her opponents really think they can beat her, or if, like when Tyson reigned, they’re already beaten.

If you haven’t seen her fight yet, she’s definitely worth a look.

**Speaking of wildly entertaining characters in the squared circle, I must spend a minute or two today remembering the great Rowdy Roddy Piper, who died on Friday at age 61. When I was an enormous wrestling fan in the 1980s, Piper was the ultimate villain, with his wise-cracking remarks, his incredibly obnoxious face, and of course, his kilt. He was over the top with his verbal deliveries that as much as you hated him, you had to kind of admire and laugh at him.

As a wrestler, Piper wasn’t so great, but man, was he fun to watch. He and Hulk Hogan help build the WWF into the colossus it is today, and there hasn’t been anyone as good on the mic since.


**Finally today, the big political news over the weekend, besides the frothy anticipation and must-see television that will be the first GOP presidential debate this Thursday (I can’t wait, it’s going to be a freak show/car crash kind of TV show), was this New York Times story saying that Vice-President Joe Biden, who twice has run unsuccessfully for President, allegedly thinking about running again, and challenging Hillary Clinton.

I’m actually surprised it’s taken this long for Biden to jump in, although I don’t think he has much of a chance. Democrats like me who are looking for an alternative to Hillary aren’t likely to support Biden, whose age (72) and previous failures in primaries don’t engender much support.

I love the guy, and hope he runs, because I want as competitive a Democratic primary as possible (and don’t think the Hillary people haven’t noticed the Bernie Sanders momentum).

But Biden as Prez? I think standing next to Barack Obama is as close to the big chair as he’ll get.

The XBox that can see you naked. A hilarious Foot Locker ad. And how the post office can read awful handwriting.


So I’m not much of a video-game player anymore, but I still like to keep up on the big trends (when I substitute teach in NYC the kids are always amazed when they learn I’ve heard of Grand Theft Auto. They really think all grown-ups are idiots. Then again, I probably did too when I was their age.)

Anyway, a new version of XBox is coming out, the XBox One (shouldn’t the first version have been called One? But I digress) and it’s got this cool whizbang infrared camera thingy built into it where it can capture the player’s image and motion, even when the lights are out.

Sounds great, except for one thing: Early testers of the game discovered that game can see you naked.
Seriously, right through your clothes and into your birthday suit.
Yep, it seems to project all of you onto the screen, which, let’s face it guys, we don’t really need to see at three o’clock in the afternoon.

**Next up, a truly brilliant commercial from Foot Locker. To celebrate what the shoe company is calling their Week of Greatness, they decided to see what could happen if they could right previous wrongs in the sports world. So we get Mike Tyson returning Evander Holyfield’s ear to its original owner, Brett Favre reversing his pattern, and other wonderful changes. Really great…

**As someone with truly horrendous penmanship (not proud of it, just something I’ve learned to live with since I was little), I appreciate how difficult it is for the post office to read handwriting of those like mine.

And now thanks to the great folks at Mental Floss, I know how they do it. It’s actually quite complicated, with three different layers of service based on how difficult the handwritten address is.

I found this article pretty fascinating. And to all the mailmen out there who have to look at my chicken scratch, my apologies. I’m trying my best.

A withering self-assessment by Mike Tyson. What happened to all that tobacco settlement money 15 years ago? And some cancer patients at Duke hospital have some fun


Mike Tyson continues to be one of the most fascinating athletes in the whole world, way more interesting than he was in his prime.

Just in the last few months, as he continued to spoof his own image, he told the world of his dangerous and very-recently dealt with addiction to drugs. Now, Tyson has written a searing account for New York magazine (it’s actually an adaptation of his forthcoming biography, which now I really want to read) about his life growing up in Brooklyn, all the time he spent in jail and youth detention facilities, and how boxing saved his life.

It’s honest, it’s painful, and it explains a lot about how Tyson became the monster he was in the ring during the 1980s and early 1990s.

It’s exceedingly rare anyone, let alone a famous athlete, completely exposes themselves like this in print. Andre Agassi did it in his incredible autobiography “Open,” but it’s rare.

I learned a lot about Tyson from reading this. If you have a few minutes, definitely worth your time.

**I’m a little biased about sharing this video, since as you know I’m a huge fan of the Duke men’s basketball team (can’t wait for the season to start). But I think even if you hate all things Coach K and spit at the ground just hearing the name “Laettner” you still might be able to appreciate this video.

Some current Duke players went to the cancer ward of Duke Children’s Health Center and lip-synched the classic Bill Withers song “Lean on Me.”

Good stuff.

**Finally today, I really enjoyed this story on NPR from last week. Remember 15 years ago, when dozens of states settled their major lawsuits against the tobacco companies for, well, poisoning millions of lungs, marketing that poison to children, and then pretty much lying about their product for decades?

Yeah, me too. The tobacco companies had to pony up a whopping $246 million to states over 25 years, and since we’re now well into that period, NPR took a look at where all the money has gone.
As you might expect, some states have used the settlement money for what it was intended for; anti-smoking support groups, PSA’s, and other tobacco-related matters.

But other states… well, let’s just say they’ve taken the money and ran. I think this is an important story that has been overlooked for too long, and I’m glad NPR went and researched this.

The NYC real estate developer who wants a “poor door.” Mike Tyson plays “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out.” A U.S. journalist calls out Russia on their state TV.


**Going to Yankee Stadium Thursday afternoon, where I hope to lustily boo Alex Rodriguez, now easily No.1 on my least favorite Yankees ever…

Well, this story had my jaw dropping.
I wish I could say this is from The Onion, or some other satirical website or publication, but nope, it’s apparently real.

A real estate outfit in NYC called Extell Development Company has a new building planned between 61st and 62nd Street on Riverside Blvd. here in Manhattan, on the Upper West Side.
And what they have proposed is something that has to be a first: They want to have a separate door for people living in the “affordable housing” section of the building, and a separate entrance for the wealthy tenants.
Why? It’s a legal maneuver that will allow Extell to collect major tax breaks.

According to this story, “floors two through six of the building will be available only to residents earning less than 60 percent of the area median income, putting them under the “affordable” umbrella. Those five floors are part of the exact same building as the luxury condos, but because of the separate entrance they could be legally designated as a separate entity. So technically, [the developer] would have an entire building consisting of affordable housing. On paper, this makes the project eligible for subsidies ostensibly meant to protect lower-income tenants, not move them out of sight.”

Is this not one of the most ridiculous things you’ve ever heard? A separate entrance for the poor people living in your building? I’m sorry, has New York City suddenly become Birmingham, Alabama in the 1950s? Will the laundry rooms and elevators in the place also be separated by income? “Sorry sir, before I let you ride this elevator with me, let me see your last W-2.”

I mean, there’s greed, there’s Donald Trump-level greed, and then there’s Extell Development. What a disgrace.

**You know, I’ve said this before but we’ve reached a point with Mike Tyson that I will watch anything he does, because it’s almost guaranteed to be funny.

And so I give you the brilliance of Mike Tyson, playing the old classic Nintendo game “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out.”

**Finally today, some kudos to an American journalist I’d never heard of before today. A man named Jamie Kirchick was asked to be on Russia state television channel RT to talk about the Bradley Manning verdict.

Instead, Kendrick used his time to talk about Russia’s horrendous new anti-gay laws and browbeat his hosts.
This should be an enormous story every day, everywhere, leading up to the Olympics. It should be shined a light upon by NBC, which pays billions to broadcast the Olympics and therefore won’t touch this issue, and every other major media outlet.

It’s Arsenioooooooo Hall, back again! Mike Tyson coming to Broadway. And when your stolen goods show up at a neighbor’s house

Big news this week about two late 1980s/early 1990s stars, returning to the spotlight yet again.
First, and I don’t care how uncool this makes me seem, I used to be a huge Arsenio Hall fan. Like, I would sneak the TV on on school nights sometimes just to see who he had on.
Yes, I was a short, goofy white kid from suburbia, but I loved Arsenio. Just thought he was cool, and funny, and different, especially with the crazy outfits the dude used to wear.

He had different guests, he totally shook up the boring late-night TV scene, and he just seemed like a cool guy.
I will never forget the night he had Magic Johnson on, the day after Magic announced he was HIV positive. It was unbelievably compelling TV.

After starring in some movies and having his show cancelled, Arsenio sorta disappeared for a while. But now he’s back, and he’s getting a late-night show again.
Yep, the “Dog Pound” and the fist-pumping and all that is coming back. Arsenio will be  getting a talk show starting next fall (as in, fall, 2013), and sure, I know it won’t be the same.
But I still can’t wait.

**Then there was this: Mike Tyson, coming to Broadway, in a one-man show directed by Spike Lee. Right now Tyson is someone I’d watch do anything. He’s totally reinvented himself as a comedic performer the last few years, like when he did this hilarious spoof of “The King’s Speech” on Jimmy Kimmel.

It’s only running for a week, but watch this interview on “The Today Show” and tell me you don’t want to see Iron Mike on Broadway, talking about his life in front of a live audience.

**Finally, this sounds totally made up but it’s true. A couple in Utah was robbed recently, losing $6,000 worth of goods.
Yet when they returned home, they noticed their next-door neighbors were having a garage sale.
With some of their stolen items for sale. The thieves were arrested and charged with felony burglary and theft.

Though sadly, an additional charge of “absolute stupidity” was not pressed.

Two more small steps in accepting gays in sports. Mike Tyson, ballroom dancer. And the worst political ad ever

It’s the middle of 2011, and sometimes I can’t believe we’re not there yet.
But we’re not. Still, incredibly, we’re living in a country where not one major American athlete has come out of the closet and admitted he’s gay while playing his sport.
All the progress that has been made in America, and still, this fear and this taboo exists for the gay male pro athlete (and of course there are pro athletes who are gay. Anyone who believes differently is fooling themselves.)

Still, this week brought two encouraging signs of progress. Small steps, maybe, but steps nonetheless.
The president of the Phoenix Suns, and a very well-respected man in basketball circles, Rick Welts, admitted he’s gay in an interview with the New York Times. It’s a remarkable story, about a man forced to hide so much of who he was as he rose through the ranks of the NBA.
And then I saw this story on ESPN.com about former Villanova player Will Sheridan, who has come out and acknowledged that he, too, is gay.
Sheridan said something very beautiful in this story, something I want to share here:
“I’m trying to have a voice, and I want that voice to reach as many people as it can,” he said. “I mean, look at me. I’m black. I’m gay. I’m like a quadruple minority, and I feel like a little piece of me resides in everybody. Maybe there’s a kid out there who doesn’t think he’s OK, and he can look at me and say, ‘OK, he played college basketball. He went overseas. He has a music career and now he’s living his life. Now he’s who he wants to be and he’s happy and confident and comfortable.’ It’s my responsibility to talk about that.”

Amen, Will. Amen. I just wish someone in the pro sports spotlight right now had the same courage.  It would do so much good for so many.

**Because anything that involves Mike Tyson is 12 percent funnier than it would be without Mike (I measured it, 12 percent funnier, guaranteed), I give you this: Mike Tyson and a  pretty woman, ballroom dancing and looking damn good while doing it.

**I would love to have been in the meeting when Congressional candidate Dan Adler’s people told him that this ad was a good idea.

I mean, seriously????  Watch and be astounded; I was.

Goodbye to UD’s mother Hen. We will all miss you. And “The King’s Speech” with Mike Tyson and G.W.Bush

It’s the kind of news that punches you right in the gut.
I walked off the tennis court Monday night, feeling good after my partner and I rallied for a three-set victory in our league.
Got back into my car and saw I had a new voicemail.
“Sandy Iverson died,” was the message.
Immediately, my mood sank. There are some people you meet in this world, who scribble their name on your heart in ink, not in pencil.
Sandy Iverson is one of those people. Sandy, for all of those my age who knew her, was, in the famous words of my friend Melissa Tyrrell “the grown-up up front.”
Her job, officially, at the University of Delaware, was in the accounting department, and specifically she was in charge of making sure the students running the student newspaper didn’t run up thousands of dollars of bills on the school dime.
I met Sandy in 1993, when I was a callow and timid freshman wandering up to the offices of The Review for the first time. Over the course of the next three years, Sandy was many things to me: A friend. A confidant. A mom (“Michael, aren’t you supposed to be in class right now?” Me: “Yes, but I’ve got to finish my story on the football game.”)
Truly, she the was adult those of us working 80 hours a week on the newspaper saw most during our college years. She was our mother Hen, and we loved her for it.
Sandy had an amazing smile, and she had patience like few others.
Looking back, I can only imagine what we all must’ve looked like to her: Thirty-five 19 and 20-year-olds, being loud, rude, and slovenly at all hours of the day and night, with the only “grown-up” being Sandy.
But if she was ever bothered by any of our madness, she never showed it. Sandy, with her wonderful disposition and heart as big as Australia, always had time for us.
When I was running for editor-in-chief my junior year, she was the first person I went to for advice. We spent a few hours going over every single part of how the newspaper ran; I craved all the inside knowledge of this place I had come to know and love, and she graciously helped me all she could.

I stayed in touch with Sandy for several years after college, but then we both let our friendship lapse. I went back to UD last fall for the first time in over a decade, and hoped to see her if possible. But I didn’t, only leaving her a note on her desk at The Review, where she still worked.
I learned tonight that Sandy has been sick the last few months, dying of colon cancer. Her daughter Heather was kind enough to fill us in on the details over Facebook. (of all its wonderful uses, I think Facebook is most valuable as a place for us to communally grieve over a lost loved one).
Sandy Iverson was a wonderful woman who I was privileged to know. As I sit here typing this, I’m smiling thinking of all the wonderful memories she gave to hundreds of Review-ites over the years, and how we all believe that tonight, the world is a slightly poorer place since she passed away Sunday night.

R.I.P., Sandy. You touched so many lives, and we are all so, so grateful.

**And now, for something completely different. Jimmy Kimmel did a hilarious sketch spoofing “The King’s Speech,” the other night. Starring, of course, Mike Tyson and George W. Bush. This is freaking brilliant:


Mike Tyson picks the Oscars. Another scary Rolling Stone expose. And a great live TV interview with a drunk guy

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The Oscars are Sunday, and as usual I’m excited. I’m very bad about picking the winners, though I did see 5 of the 10 Best Picture Nominees this year (saw “The Social Network” Friday. Excellent. Aaron Sorkin is one of my writing heroes, and he did not disappoint. Still hoping “True Grit” wins, though I know it’s a longshot).
Really, though, every year at this time I know you’re thinking what I’m thinking: Who did former heavyweight champion and all-time lunatic Mike Tyson like this year at the cinema?
Well, wonder no more. We have our answer. Iron Mike, you’re the new Roger Ebert, my friend (this clip definitely NSFW):

Vodpod videos no longer available.

**I’ve become somewhat immune to some of the sleazy tactics employed by our government since this “War on Terror that will never, ever end” started.
But this pissed the hell out of me. Rolling Stone, which still does some sensational journalism, has an incredible story up describing how one U.S. Lt. General, William Caldwell, manipulated his “psychological operations” team to scare visiting politicians and dignitaries into increasing funding for the war.
Michael Hastings, who wrote this story, has a sterling reputation, and Gen. David Petraeus says he’s looking into it.
How disgusting.  That U.S. commanders would order soldiers to use tactics used previously only on the enemy against Americans, all to scare up more support and funding, is horrendous.
Then again, we’re a country that still tortures people, so maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised.
How’s that “closing Guantanamo” thing going, Mr. President? Remember that 2008 promise?

**I don’t think I need to say anything more about this video, found on SI.com’s Extra Mustard, than this:  Man’s house burns down. So he gets interviewed on live TV. Also, the man is wildly drunk:

The billionaire now working as a volunteer. And Mike Tyson as Bobby Brown is hilarious

I love, love this story. When great writing meets a great subject, good things happen.

Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated, a colleague I greatly respect, has the story today of Joe Moglia, the richest volunteer assistant coach in the history of college football.

Until two years ago, Moglia was the CEO of AmeriTrade Corp., and was worth billions of dollars. Then he stepped aside to pursue an old passion: football.
He managed to convince the University of Nebraska to let him be a volunteer, and help out around the program.
He may be the happiest guy in America, going from his exorbitant salary, to now making pennies. But he’s happy, as happy as he’s been, Moglia said.

Check out this wonderful tale from SI.com, and remember the lesson of Joe Moglia: Doing what you love is so much more important than making big bucks.

**I stole this from my buddy Pearlman’s blog, I freely admit. The brilliant website Funnyor Die.com has another great entry up. It’s comedian Wayne Brady, and Mike Tyson, with a parody of the great 1980s video from Bobby Brown, “Every Little Step.”

I freely admit this may only be hilarious to you if you grew up in the 80s and watched MTV a lot. But I laughed my tushy off:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

A thrilling game Sunday. And oh yeah, the Super Bowl was good, too

I know every sports-related blog in America will be starting with the Super Bowl today, and I’ll have plenty of thoughts on that in a minute.

But just to be a little different, let me tell you how amazing that Washington Capitals-Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game was Sunday afternoon. Sidney Crosby, the second-greatest player in the NHL, scores twice, and helps his team get up 4-1. Then Alex Ovechkin, who I’d stalk if I lived in D.C., and also the greatest player in the NHL, comes back with a hat trick and sets up the game-winning goal in overtime, as the Caps won 5-4.

As I keep saying, this rivalry right now, Caps-Penguins, is what hockey is all about. It’s thrilling every time they play, and anyone who wants to be introduced to how awesome hockey is, should make Caps-Pens their first required viewing. Great stuff.

**OK, now to the Super Bowl. Thought it was a really good game; not quite as dramatic as last year, but still really damn good.

First, the non-football stuff, the commercials:

— Absolutely loved the Google commercial about the guy studying abroad in Paris, which led to so many other things. I thought the Vizio spot was really cool, too, and the Monster.com ad of a beaver playing a violin, well, how could you go wrong with cute animals doing Mozart?

But I think my favorite ad was the Audi “Green Police” commercial; thought it was brilliant:

— I guess I have to weigh in on the Tim Tebow/Focus on the Family ad, which I criticized quite harshly on CNN.com here. It was totally harmless. I don’t know if the ad was originally more strident, and because of all the controversy Focus on the Family toned it down, or if it was just always that benign.

Again, my point in the column wasn’t to criticize Tebow; it was to point out CBS’s awful double standard: Homosexuals, bad. Christian anti-abortionists, good.

— I thought The Who were fine as halftime entertainment, though I was hoping Pete Townsend would break his guitar at the end. Though Posnanski had a great line: Will Pete Townsend break his guitar, or break his hip?” Maybe the NFL can get ZZ Top or The Monkees for next year.

–OK, to the game itself. One of the more shocking sports things I’ve seen in my life, not up there with Douglas knocking out Tyson (just watched that clip again, still can’t believe it happened), but still pretty stunning, was the great Peyton Manning throwing that interception late in the fourth quarter. Tracy Porter made a great play, but it was one of those deals where you couldn’t believe Manning really screwed up like that, and to have it returned for a touchdown? Wow.

–Drew Brees, you were fantastic. Didn’t hit any long balls because the Colts took that away, but picked apart the defense.

— Man, at 24-17, I was convinced we were headed for our first Super Bowl overtime game.

— Phenomenal game by Jonathan Vilma, the ex-Jet. So glad Mangini decided to trade him.

— Great text from my good buddy Scott Sterbens, fellow Jet sufferer, after the Manning pick: “He couldn’t have effed up like that in the last game against us?”

Finally, how about the cojones Saints coach Sean Payton? Loved him going for it on fourth down in the first half, and the onside kick to start the third quarter took major guts. He knew he had to take risks to beat Manning, and he did.

— Oh yeah, in case you’re wondering, I still wasn’t sure who to pull for when the game started. I ended up cheering for the Saints; what a wonderful story for the city of New Orleans.

And now, no more football for a while. Sadness.