Jan 282002
 
Authors: Lee Miller

We’re only four weeks into 2002, and Mike Tyson has already made the news with public displays of profanity.

Tyson’s attempt to intimidate Lennox Lewis at last week’s press conference was nothing out of the ordinary; it happens before every Lewis fight. But the string of bleeps Tyson spewed toward a writer later in the week earned him a spot on The Daily Show’s “Moment of Zen.”

Obviously, Mike wouldn’t be Mike if he wasn’t getting into street fights, threatening reporters, and giving Jay Leno monologue fuel. But let’s try to remember a time when Tyson was the most feared man in America.

Fifteen years ago, Tyson was to be the greatest boxer who ever lived. He demanded respect from the entire boxing industry and amazed boxing fans everywhere. Four years in jail, some very weak opponents and a severed ear later, Tyson has become a joke. He has lost the respect he once had, and he is realizing that he is no longer the best at what he does.

It’s unbelievable Tyson and Lewis already scheduled two matches for this year. Tyson faces disadvantages in height, reach and smarts. The speed and power he once used to intimidate will not be enough to beat Lewis. Sure, Mike will make money, but he will never regain his stature and respect.

It is a shame that Tyson continues to make spectacles of himself because his image today clouds the memories of his devastating knockouts of the 80s. The only publicity he gets anymore is negative, and while it keeps him famous, he will never be considered as great as he could have been.

Speaking of negative publicity, you have to enjoy watching Bobby Knight’s Texas Tech team tear up the top 10. In Saturday’s game against No. 6 Oklahoma, the Raiders controlled the entire pace of the game and won handily, as they had done a few weeks before against Oklahoma State.

I know there is still nearly six weeks before the brackets are set, but it would be great to see Coach Knight back in the tournament in his first year with a perennially mediocre team. The Red Raiders are 15-3 this year and are trying to break into the top 25. With games at Oklahoma State and Kansas coming up next week, they can prove themselves as real competitors in an already tough Big 12 Conference.

Coach Knight draws attention no matter where he goes, but continues to be successful. Indiana University is changing its uniform design in an attempt to separate the school from its history with Knight, while the coach is proving that his worth as a good basketball coach far exceeds his violent reputation.

Finally, I know that by the end of the week, everyone will be sick and tired of the constant media attention to the Super Bowl. But I just can’t help it; I have to make a plea for the Patriots.

The Pats have been through a lot this year with the death of their quarterbacks coach in the preseason, the 0-2 start, the injury to Bledsoe, the rise of Brady and two really good playoff games no one expected them to win.

Sure, the Rams have fastest, most efficient offense in the NFL, and they can most undoubtedly win on Sunday, but the best Super Bowls are always the ones where the underdog makes an inspiring run to win a close, emotional game. Not only do the Pats have to put up with being the underdogs, they also have to deal with the media coverage of the quarterback question for the next six days. Believe me, if the Patriots win this game, it will be a memorable one.

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