Notes: Mike Tyson -- What can you say? He's a wonderfully talented athlete, but given to a bit of control problems. Having been a mediocre athlete who tried hard but remained mediocre for lack of exceptional talent, I dislike seeing someone with the athletic gift waste it.

Boxing is the most directly violent sport. Consequently, you'd expect boxers to be violent much like Tyson reportedly is. However, heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis manages to restrict that violence to the ring. So did Mohammed Ali, unless you count his playful sparring with Howard Cossell during interviews as violence. Keeping the violence in the official fight is what makes boxing a sport and not simply a violent lifestyle. Tyson erodes this even given that some think his last out-of-the-ring lunge for Lewis was staged to build interest in a rematch.

Nevada, Texas, Colorado and Georgia have all denied Tyson a license to fight. However, according to Wednesday's Washington Post, "The D.C. Boxing and Wrestling Commission gave its initial blessing ... to the license application of boxer Mike Tyson, a major step toward a heavyweight title bout at MCI Center that has been eagerly pursued by Mayor Anthony A. Williams." Williams is, of course, interested in the large amount of money that would flow into the city if the fight were held there. Some protestors such as a group from N.O.W. are seeing red not green.

Though the final decision has not been made, Washington, D.C. does strike me as a fitting forum for Tyson. Where the greed of politics reigns, the greed of sports may not seem out of place.
02.24.02