Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Short Cuts II: "I'm not Mike Tyson"

"It's not about the boxing"
Those were the words of California boxing promoter Medi Vakili as he defended "Mike Tyson's World Tour" following its opening night in Youngstown, Ohio. The Plain Dealer dubbed it Dancing with the Star, as Tyson faced off for four rounds with 292-pound sparring partner Corey Sanders. The 'fight' didn't begin until 12:15 in the morning, and fans began chanting expletives after the first round. "I like to think it's about the opportunity to meet Mike in places where he has not fought. It's about a whole lot of fun," said the post-ironic Vakili.

In the days leading up to the event, Tyson's desire to fight female boxer Ann Wolfe was widely reported: "She's such a prominent, dominant woman in the boxing field." Despite outweighing her by up to 70 pounds, the boxer assured the public there'd be no risk to Wolfe: "It's all fun. I'm not Mike Tyson. I'm not 20 years old. I'm not going to smash anybody. I'm not going to talk about smashing anybody's brains. You're not going to see that guy no more." Sigh. If only that were true. But to illustrate what that halcyon world might look like, I've chosen the photo at left of Mike Tyson with Aaron and Nick Carter at a 2003 party at the Neverland Ranch. Movin' on...

There Must Be An Election
A more accurate illustration of Tyson's fight garb is the image at right. Look closely and you'll see that the fighter is endorsing Michael Steele for U.S. Senate. Currently serving as Lieutenant Governor, Steele was the first black elected to state-wide office in Maryland. Just to confuse Canadians, Steele's a Republican, although you can search high and low on his campaign web-site before figuring that out.

Meanwhile, rained-out starter Jeff Suppan has been filming an attack ad for the courageously-named Missourians Against Human Cloning (they went with the much snappier web-address Suppan's 10-seconds of fame consist of the following message: "Amendment 2 claims it bans human cloning, but in the 2,000 words you don’t read, it makes cloning a constitutional right. Don’t be deceived."

I'm not deceived: I believe Jeff Suppan hasn't read the 2,000 word amendment. In fact, it brings back fond memories of John Crosbie's honesty in '88 when he stated the obvious, that he hadn't read the full text of the Free Trade Agreement. But I digress. Suppan is joined in the ad by Mike Sweeney, Kurt Warner and Jesus Christ (James Caviezel). Ever the diplomat, Tony La Russa avoided being drawn into a controversy: "Our organization encourages guys to get involved in something beyond just baseball. I just like the fact that guys make a commitment."

My take's simple: everyone should get involved in politics, but why the hell should I care what Jeff Suppan thinks about stem cells? The pro-Amendment side at least trailed out a celebrity with a link to the issue -- Michael J Fox -- but even then I'd rather see researchers, doctors, ethicists and religious leaders battle this one out.

And tying this all together in one neat package: Fox is also stumping for Democrat Ben Cardin. And where is Cardin running? In Maryland, against Michael Steele. The solution is obvious. Let's resolve the battle over Amendment 2 in the ring: Tyson v Fox. Twelve rounds. Winner gets the stem cells.


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