Tyson in Freefall: We’re No Longer Watching

January 4, 2007

mike-tysonIn the beginning we watched a former juvenile delinquent named Mike Tyson with awe and amazement. He was a little – big man with a never before witnessed combination of speed and ferocious power. While most of his fights were sensationally brief and abrupt we were nontheless completely entertained.

It wasn’t long before we could see the cracks and the flaws. But we were still entertained. He was a “true” reality show character, before there was a TV format for it. Tyson, the monster-manchild would even go on to marry a Hollywood starlet named Robin Givens. It really was beauty and the beast. And we couldn’t take our eyes off of them – especially him.

We watched even more when the beauty betrayed the beast on national television, accusing him of abuse while he sat passively beside her. It was real-life theater playing out before our eyes and we loved it and surprisingly loved him even more.

We watched when the completely unknown Buster Douglas knocked Tyson out. We watched when he was charged with rape and went to prison. We watched Tyson come out of incarceration three years later arm in arm with Don King who not suprisingly was wearing a multi-million dollar smile. We watched in horrified facination when Tyson bit off part of Evander Holyfield’s ear. Tyson was pure box office. Our watching and fawning helped earn Tyson more than $300 million dollars. He was the most entertainingly flawed boxer of all time.

But when he threatened to eat Lennox Lewis’ unborn children, the Tyson channel started to get some static. Lewis would violently knock out Tyson for that transgression. By the time Tyson literally had his face tattoed he was broke. And another unknown fighter would viciously knock him out. A fight that could be barely found on TV. Tyson was no longer entertaining. And we moved on to the Flavor of Love and Bobby and Whitney.

When Mike Tyson was arrested in Arizona the other day for drug possession, alledgedly admitting to cocaine addiction, most people weren’t shocked and didn’t care. Furthermore we weren’t watching at all. The Tyson Show had been cancelled.