Saturday, June 11, 2005

The New Will Rogers: That would be Mike Tyson -- he of the endless insights into the modern era. He never fails to say something quotable, something memorable. In preparation for his upcoming fight, we have this interview where he gifts us with such gems as these.

"I want to be a missionary. I think I could do that while keeping my dignity without letting people know they chased me out of the country." (Who knew that after everything, Mike still has dignity?)

"If you saw a (police) lineup and saw Tyson and Dahmer and they asked, 'Who killed and ate those people?' you would pick me and not Jeffrey." (That's true; people tend to forget that Evander Holyfield is still alive, only somewhat gnawed upon.)

"You have to understand. It is a pervasive (belief) that I'm an animal - undomesticated as well. But regardless of the bizarre (stuff) I've done, I'm a very rational individual. But everybody still thinks I'm crazy and stupid because that's what they want to believe."

"My biggest fear now is to go to a New York state penitentiary - then I'll see all my demons," he says. "My family, people I know, put me in that den of iniquity. I could easily be right there with them because, really, I am one of them." (What could be more rational?)

"Nobody's going to change me. I'm going to fight that. You can't change me; you can't tame me. When you say that, I'm going to bite you even harder. I'm more ferocious, more complicated. I'm not going to let anybody win a popularity contest off my conduct."

In the face of all that, Mike keeps his eyes on the prize. In his weigh-in with upcoming opponent Kevin McBride, he offers this clever quip.

"I'm gonna gut him like a fish."

Mike Tyson just keeps on giving. He is the Mark Twain of the criminally insane; the Oscar Wilde of the violently deranged. He is truly the Will Rogers for the new century. He never met a man he wouldn't bite.