Mike Tyson: Still Crazy, but Somehow Making Sense

Image courtesy of Animal Planet

Mike Tyson is getting a reality show. To further perplex you, you should realize that the show isn't going to be on Bravo or VH1. It's going to be on Animal Planet and focus on Tyson's love for pigeons and his efforts to begin racing them. No, seriously. Who could make this up?

What's with athletes and pigeons? No regular people like them. But Chad Ochocinco amusingly tweeted about his "pregnant" pet pigeon for weeks last fall, raising the question, "Who on Earth has a pigeon for a pet?" That answer is: Chad Ochocino. And Mike Tyson. But for Tyson, they're not just pets. As Animal Planet puts it, "his pigeons and rooftop coops remained his one constant and secret solace." Umm....wow.

The fact that: 1) Mike Tyson is getting a reality show; 2) His reality show is going to be on Animal Planet; and 3) The show is going to be about pigeons are somehow not the most notable parts of this story. I know. I'm still trying to come to terms with that fact myself.

So what is the headline? To me, it's the fact that Tyson is actually making some sense. So upsetting is this fact that I find myself doubting my own sanity.

Tyson was asked in a recent interview about his feelings on Mike Vick. As a side note, something I'm curious about: Is it now taught in journalism classes that, regardless of your interview subject and the topic at hand, you ask about Mike Vick? There is so much controversy and drama in Tyson's own history. Is there really a need to bring in someone else's baggage? But I digress

Rant aside, in this case I'm actually glad that the question was asked. Because Mike Tyson--yes, the man whose judgment is so sound that he placed permanent ink over half of his face--gave one of the most thoughtful, even handed responses I have ever heard on the Mike Vick forgiveness/redemption issue. Yes, I know. How can this be? But it be.

Tyson said:

"Listen, listen. I don’t know why people do what they do. What should we do with Michael Vick? Really, really: Why don’t we castrate him? Why don’t we do something bad to his children to teach him a lesson? Is that really the answer?

Or instead, we can say, 'Hey, you’ve been given the wrong signals all these years, and you didn’t realize you were destroying God’s animals.' So we have to change his way of thinking. Not kill him, not assassinate him. We have to kill his way of thinking in that particular area. So yes, we should give him another chance. And so far he’s taken great advantage of it."

See what I mean? I have thought about and debated the topic of whether Mike Vick deserves forgiveness extensively, and Mike Tyson came up with the best answer I have ever heard in an interview about pigeons. Go figure.

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