You know how Charles Barkley can say just about anything and get away with it?
Whether it’s race, religion, politics, whatever, Chuck can touch on all things controversial in a public forum and be just fine the next day.
The reason is because we know what to expect with Barkley. There’s precedent. We know he’s going to shoot straight from the hip and make no apologies.
Now, there was once a time in this country when Mike Tyson was legitimately scary to women, children and men without tattoos. That Tyson is long gone.
Tyson has been doing shows in Vegas and on Broadway, where he does nothing but talk about his screwed up life and, more or less, makes fun of it. Crazy enough, what we have now is a Mike Tyson that is nearly on par with Barkley.
Ten years ago, if this video below went viral (did things go viral in 2002?), there would have been a nationwide uproar. Tyson would have again been condemned for saying ‘the N-word,’ among other things, and allowing a young child to be on the set of such a “mature” conversation.
Instead, what we see here is Tyson keeping it as real as humanly possible. More athletes should take Barkley and Tyson’s lead. At some point, something stupid is going to be said. Athletes are all human, after all. But if you set a precedent as being a straight, somewhat vulgar shooter, all is typically forgiven when you happen to go too far.
This is without question the best type of forum for Tyson. He has perfected the shoot interview, long ago made famous by the Iron Sheik.
ESPN loves its baseball
Tired of Yankees and Red Sox games on Sunday Night Baseball every week?
Sorry, your TV viewing life is about to get that much more depressing.
ESPN paid $5.6 billion (who says Bud Selig is a moron?) to land an eight-year deal to carry MLB games, according to the Sports Business Journal. The Worldwide Leader basically paid double the current price to broadcast Sunday, Monday and Wednesday night games.
This confirms that ESPN is taking its newest competitor, the NBC Sports Network, very seriously. They vastly overpaid for a sports package just to keep it away from a rival.
Oh and a big part of the deal was the fact that ESPN will get to broadcast New York and Boston games whenever it gets the chance. There will be plenty of chances.
Matt Burke is Sports Editor at Metro Boston. Follow him on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS