Thursday, February 11, 2010

20 Years Since Buster Lit Up Tyson? Srsly? Dear God, I'm Old

February 11, 1990.

Yes, that was 20 years ago today that The Baddest Man on the Planet (TM) was captured on film looking like a guy stumbling into the street after a nasty night of drinking...or possibly a rabies patient, depending on how one looks at the mouthpiece.

I was 11 years old at the time, only a couple of years into my great sports awakening. Before I knew that death and taxes were the great guarantees in life, there was only one guarantee that I was personally sure of: Mike Tyson would feed James "Buster" Douglas his own pancreas. Most likely through a straw.

When I got this issue of Sports Illustrated in the mail, it was more of a shock than finding out that there was no Santa Claus. Honestly, I'd posed the "how's he get around the world in one night?" question pretty early, so that one wasn't all that big.

But Tyson losing to this guy? I considered a religious conversion right then and there, because it seemed like a sure sign that the apocalypse was upon us.

In hindsight, the only real world ended that night may have been Iron Mike's. It was only a year-and-a-half later that Tyson was arrested for rape, but he'd already been going through a circus, firing trainers, having promoters dueling over him, and ending a disastrous marriage. In comparison, jail may have been a holiday.

We may just now get to find out what the real issues have been with Mike, thanks to filmmaker James Toback and his critically praised documentary Tyson. Next time the wife and I head to Blockbuster, I'm most definitely grabbing a copy of that one off the shelf.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to go have some prune juice and sit on the can for an hour, because I'm suddenly feeling extremely aged.

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