The Irony Behind the “Iron”

Some of us are known for something because our greatest desire is to be recognized. Others of us fly under the radar of life because our greatest fear is to be found out. And yet another demographic exists, of those who are so talented at something that neither their fear nor desire can remove the spotlight from them.

I don’t believe that our human population is split into thirds in this idea, it is just a rash generalization of humanity that I am going to make for a moment, but I will end my generalization here…

Personally, I would love to be recognized… by everyone! However, to be known sounds exhausting and unnecessary, especially because there are things that I don’t particularly want you to know.

Moments I haven’t faced.

Pains I haven’t healed from.

Dark places that I have only turned on the light, only to shut the door and leave the closet unattended.

These things would make me a horrible person to be recognized… [or maybe I’m being slightly self-deprecating]

It seems to me that as the general public we idolize and want to emulate those who are socially recognizable, because we think that they have something we will never have, which is likely true if we’re speaking materialistically. But, as we should know from our personal experiences with pop-culture, the famous are not any different than the every day person in terms of pain experienced, insecurity, need for healing, or the “what” that triggers our acting out.

This is the source of our need for a second chance… No matter the person, the status, or the action… we [as a human race] are never beyond this second chance.

Because of this general belief I have, I feel as if I can relate with someone so many worlds apart from me, such as “Iron” Mike Tyson…

Since the onset of his fame, the very thing that propelled him into the spotlight of American media and crowned him as the “Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World” is also what haunted his personal life.

Both of these quotes from Mike Tyson were spoken in March 1988, just months before I became a fan of “Iron Mike”… at the age of six.

“I love to hit people. I love to. Most celebrities are afraid someone’s going to attack them. I want someone to attack me. No weapons. Just me and him. I like to beat men and beat them bad.”

“When I fight someone, I want to break his will. I want to take his manhood. I want to rip out his heart and show it to him.”

This is the very thing that made us fall in love with the boxing career of Mike Tyson… Because as a spectator, you knew that Tyson was going to go in to each fight trying to kill his opponent.

And that’s what we paid for, right?

However, when it came to his personal life, we ridiculed him and called him “crazy” and a “freak”, because the same heart issues that made Tyson an animal in the ring, also made him an animal in his home.

Accused of beating his wife, Robin Givens, multiple times.

Accused of nearly decapitating “tough guys” in bar fights.

These are the news stories that made our relationship with Iron Mike a love/hate relationship…

And then came the moment when Mike was more hungry for flesh than he was a victory… Almost exactly 9 years to the day that I became a fan, I lost interest in his career; on June 28, 1997 during a rematch with Evander Holyfield, Mike leans in and bites nearly an inch of his right ear completely off!

I am guilty of writing off Tyson after that fight…

Then came the face tattoo…

I have had numerous conversation about my once upon a time boxing idol, “Iron” Mike Tyson where I have referred to him as a lunatic, crazy, and even insane… But when I take a step back and look at why Mike Tyson was the way he was and compare that to why I am the way I am…

Grace seems far more appropriate than judgement, wouldn’t you agree?

Take this same step back… really take an honest look at why you act out in the ways you do and then ask yourself, “could I handle America’s recongnition?”

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4 thoughts on “The Irony Behind the “Iron”

  1. The darkest part of this post is when you stopped being a fan after Mike bit off a piece of Evander’s ear. That should have been the point at which your fandom was launched into a new orbit. That was the single greatest/rememberable moment of fighting in the last 30 years. I’m just saying, anybody willing to go that far to prove a point is a guy I want on my side. Okay, what I’m really saying is that if it came down to it, I would bite your ear off to win a fight. Okay, what I’m really, really saying is that a guy with that much passion would be an amazing deciple if he took his second chance.

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