Welcome all! Once again it’s that time of the week where I get to have the privilege of presenting my personal favorite sports stories of the week to the best readers in the world …YOU! It might not be the top stories but I can guarantee you it will be entertaining and possibly, downright hilarious! The best part: Instead, of sugar coating everything, you have the opportunity to “Sound Off” too! Welcome to Shanda Sounds Off!
As a kid there were athletes that I (just like any other child) looked up to: Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Joe Montana and “Iron” Mike Tyson. I consider myself not just a sports writer in my adult years but a sports fan. I see now clearly what was always cloudy to me as a child fan, case in point: Mike Tyson. A man who’s right upper cut could knock an opponent out for 5 mins. He was a new school legend in the 80’s flossing model girlfriends and new money.
So, watching him come apart at the seams over the years has been saddening and a little uncomfortable to watch. This week as he promoted his new Fox Sports 1 show at ESPN’s Friday Night Fights post-fight press conference in Verona, Tyson was asked about reconnecting with former boxing trainer/commentator Teddy Atlas. Tyson launched into a disheartening explanation about his efforts battling with alcoholism and drugs, hating himself and wanting forgiveness for "bad things he's done", which really hit home for me, as well as thousands of other viewers.
The former heavyweight champion is no stranger to scandal over the last 20 years between rape allegations, financial troubles and lest we forget biting off Evander Holyfield’s ear. Yes, he's been the center of controversy BUT watching him come clean about the fast life he’s living and being a "vicious alcoholic" is a major cry for help. If you missed the video, check it out for yourselves:
Mike Tyson seeking redemption and trying to right all of his wrongs from the past is an extremely profound moment in sports. There are so many others in the sports industry struggling with the same demons and feeling like that they can’t express feelings like this even with close friends and family, yet Tyson bares his soul to the people of the media, his harshest critics. This defining moment in sports history, I hope to be a wake-up call to others with similar stories, that everyone goes through battles but it’s what you do to move forward that matters.
It took a lot of guts to confront yourself in front of the world and for that, I have a new level of respect for Tyson. It's one thing to know you have a problem and to recognize it and it takes a big person to not only do something to try and change but to also voice it to the world. That's what he did this week. I wish him the best, not only is he a fighting legend but now he sets himself apart from his past and makes way for a new beginning.
Tyson on reuniting with Atlas:
“So, I went to my AA meeting. I had to make a discussion, check out what we gonna do. So I explained to them, my fellow alcoholics and junkies, that I was gonna deal with this certain situation here, and I explained the feelings that I evoked from it. Almost like, um, something like a Hatfields and McCoys, I kinda explained to them. I made the right decision. I made Cus proud of me. I made myself proud of me. I hate myself. I’m trying to kill myself. I hate myself a lot, but I made myself proud of myself, and I don’t do that much. I was happy I did that.”
Does this erase your past thoughts of Mike Tyson and allow him to start fresh with you as a fan? Sound Off in the comments!