FIRST ... USC - ND
Wow, that game nearly slipped my mind. I never understood why sometimes they play that game near the end of the year and other times they play it in the middle of the season. One thing I will say about this match up, is that the Irish fans may feel arrogant, but they are not as arrogant as other fans I know ... say Michigan football or Carolina basketball fans. Redskins fans are simply annoying.
Irish people it seems, are willing to accept that this is their best chance to beat the Trojans (beat the Trojans ... there is a double entendre somewhere to cover talking about them!!). Not because the Irish are that good. But that Pete Carroll's team has more holes in it than a pair of my running socks! That isn't arrogance, that is a concession that the programs are on different levels.
I would like for ND to win and Beth 'n Ken have a good football weekend. I haven't ever cheered for USC. But that part of the pressure on their coach to win this game is that the Trojans are weakend at a time the Irish is sorta good. Given this kind of mindset, next season when the Trojans are back up to speed, I guess it will be okay for the Irish to get trounced again.
Doesn't seem like arrogance. Seems like groveling. When you compete, you aren't waiting for the 'chance' to beat someone because they have slipped. That is why the Holyfield - Tyson thing on Oprah's show seemed so awkward to me. Mike's interview on the show earlier this week, he showed contrition for the ear biting incident. He DID offer a token defense for his actions and then ...
... he shifted into his 'trained bear' mode and told people what they wanted to hear. Some of what he said he does feel, like when he talked about Evander Holyfield being a 'John Henry' kind of man. I am sure he meant that. But the competitor in him never let him say 'sorry' and it hasn't other than the one time he did say it when he felt that everyone 'made him say sorry'. Mike isn't sorry and I don't think he should be. I don't agree with why he bit Evander, but I get the why he did it.
First of all, the training for the Olympic Games that they spoke about was when Evander saw he could beat Tyson. They tossed boquets to each other when speaking on it, but truth was there was only ONE cat who could deal with Mike. Not only deal with him, but put him in his place. Mike was 'running people out of the gym', and when you consider that they would win gold medals in the respective dvisions, that is saying a lot.
Evander was one of the lightly regarded members of the '84 team. He was in a 'dead' weight class at 178, and his moving up to cruiserweight didn't excite many people either. Not only that he had to beat a cat who many people thought was possibly the best fighter at any weight to make the team. He was not thought to be anything remotely close to being the hall of fame fighter he would become. But you could see where if they ever fought ...
And that brings me to #2. Styles makes fights. Mike Tyson's style never matched up with Evander's skill set. Because his punching prowess overshadowed his execution, people couldn't 'see' how Mike fought. You had to be a little scared of Mike for him to able to blow you out in the way he was known for and Holyfield (and myself ... the SFC remembers that about me!!) was never that.
AND NUMBER 3
Going back to Mike's non-apology, I was not at all surprised. For whatever reason someone wants to say, I have paid attention to Mike Tyson. I remember writing to him when he was in the pokey for the rail road job he got for the Desiree Washington case.
I will also let anyone tell me why I feel a kinship towards him and like Mike did this week, I will let the world be right. It wouldn't matter to me. I do know I think that many of the demons that haunt him haunt many black men in America, and one of the images I have for Mike Tyson is that of what would happen if you pulled up one of the creatures that dwell and spend their lives near the bottom of any of the great oceans of the world. Life had pressed upon him so hard in his youth, not at all unlike the pressure that the ocean exerts on life at the bottom of the sea. Those that can swim between the worlds do ... those that can't, obviously don't.
Every so often, they pull something up from the bottom of the sea and talk about how it hasn't been seen for however many centuries. Same with people. Maybe Mike was supposed to be left at the bottom of the 'ocean of humanity'. Maybe his life is complicated because he wasn't equipped to live at the level he does now.
He reminded me of the one sit down I had with my ex-wife last year. I knew how she felt about our relationship and I didn't remember it the same as she did. Rather than 'play ball', I was in many ways 'like Mike'. I said what I needed to say to facillitate our conversation. Kept my calm and was polite. But when it came to the brass tacks of our marriage, I did not budge. I told her that she jumped me and for all my whoring about, I only ever went out with one person and NEVER while we were in the same home. I think we spent as much time seperate as we did together in a marriage.
Maybe I could have talked 'bad' about myself and been super contrite. F*ck that. Some of MY best years were wasted fooling with her. Somehow my oldest daughter has found it simpler to ignore me and act as if I never lived at all under her influence.
Yup ... I bet Mike wanted to tell Evander, Oprah to kiss his a$$ and to leave him the hell alone about this crap. There wasn't anyone to give him a break in Brownsville, and the only person who did care about him would pass on before he could finish maturing. The all the leeches and the people who didn't care about anything but what they could get from their relationship with him.
'Trapped in a world he never made.' That was the line that went with the title for the 'Howard The Duck' comic book. I think that is what has happened to Mike.
He started to ramble a little bit ... because he was so off his mark. I am sure he had to 'motivate' to sit down for the inital interview. He really didn't know what he wanted to say ... and he DIDN'T apologise for anything either. I think he wants to be mainly left alone and live what is left of his life.
I know that feeling, too.