February 1, 2002
Tyson, a Lovable Lunatic
| February 1, 2002
Lovable is probably not a word that’s often used to describe someone who’s threatened to rip another man’s heart out and eat his children. But, c’mon, admit it. Mike Tyson is lovable.
Not lovable in the sense that he’ll cook you candlelight dinners or in the sense that he’d be a good shoulder to cry on during The Bridges of Madison County.
I mean lovable in a more conservative sense of the word. Lovable because he’s enigmatic. Lovable because he’s spontaneous. Lovable because he’s bordering on lunacy. OK, maybe not bordering.
In my lifetime, I haven’t known a celebrity who has been more of a character than Tyson. This, after all, is the man who claimed that “I’m on the Zoloft [an anti-depressive drug] to keep from killing y’all.”
I’ve seen plenty of characters pass through the doors of fame in the last couple of decades: Woody Allen, Darryl Strawberry, Ted Kennedy. But none has had the lasting-power, the magnetic attraction to the front pages of newspapers that Tyson can claim.
From the time Tyson won his first heavyweight title as a 20-year-old in 1986 to earlier this week when he was denied a Nevada boxing license because of his idiotic conduct at a pre-fight public relations event last week (when he allegedly bit Lennox Lewis’s leg), Tyson has allowed journalists to write stories that they wouldn’t be able to drum up even on an LSD trip.
He’s managed to accumulate several fortunes, and he’s somehow managed to blow them all. He dropped out of high school, but he earned his GED (and converted to Islam) while in prison for a rape charge. He became so enamored with the writings and ideology of Mao Tse-Tungn” Nthat he now boasts a tattoo of Mao on his triceps. He actually even managed to force Britain to debate whether it was safe to sanction a visa for him so he could fight in Manchester.
But as Tyson himself argued in front of the Nevada Boxing Association earlier this week, he’s neither Mother Teresa nor Charles Manson. Yes, he’s called himself a hellraiser and his partying and womanizing antics are well-known. But, at the other end of the spectrum, every holiday season he returns to his native Brooklyn and hands out turkeys to the needy.
He’s mugged old women, robbed houses, and even begun riots in casinos. But he’s also arguably one of the greatest athletes this generation has ever known. But for the fact that his own reprehensible behavior has put him out of commission for several years of his prime, he could have probably held the heavyweight title for the last 15-plus years. The fact that even while in jail he trained like a madman —
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February 4, 2002
This time there would be no pre-game festivities. No fish, here. No acrimonious rivalry. Fans kept filing in through the middle of the first period. Normalcy returned to Lynah Rink on Saturday evening, one day after Cornell destroyed the hated Crimson of Harvard, 6-3. But despite the lesser amount of fanfare, the Red (15-5-1, 11-2-1, ECAC) played well enough to defeat visiting Brown (8-11-2, 4-8-2, ECAC), 2-0. The victory extends Cornell’s win streak to six, its longest since the 1987-88 season. The win, coupled with a Harvard to leaves the Red atop the ECAC; five points in front of its nearest competition. After a battle with the hated Crimson the previous evening, it was natural that the Red did not enter the match with Brown with equal intensity. Yet, despite having nothing to show for it on the scoreboard, the Red dominated the first period, out-shooting the Bears, 13-2. “It was not quite the start we had last night, but I was pleased coming out of the first period that we responded the way we did,” head coach Mike Schafer ’86 said. “Everyone in town was talking about the game last night. It was such a great sporting event. It was difficult for everyone to focus on the task at hand, but we outshoot them 13-2. We didn’t give them very many scoring chances, if any,” he continued. Cornell controlled the play early on and garnered a few chances in the middle of the first stanza. Sophomore Ryan Vesce had a beautiful feed from the net for classmate Scott Krahn, who fanned on a shot from just outside the left side of the crease. The Red used strong play along the boards to generate most of its 25 shots. Particularly in the opening period, Brown appeared to keep the middle open allowing the Red to set up several shots in the slot. “I think we moved our feet a lot better in the offensive zone than in the past. We forced the other team to move their feet defensively. We forced them to make decisions,” Schafer said when asked to comment on his team’s offensive breakout. The second period proved to be the decisive one though. “We knew we dominated the first period. We wanted to get the first goal and be more thorough around the net, and we did that,” junior forward Sam Paolini said, explaining the team’s mindset going into the middle frame. It didn’t take long for the Red to accomplish that mission. Just over five minutes in, senior Denis Ladouceur eluded a defender behind the net and slid the puck in front to a wide-open Matt McRae who lifted it past Brown net minder Yann Danis for the 1-0 lead. At the other end of the ice, Cornell freshman goalie David LeNeveu continued his stellar play. Brown was unable to score, despite having three power plays in the period, largely due to the efforts of the rookie sensation. He might have posted one of the best-looking saves of the season at the 9:21 mark, when he was able to get his blocker up on a blistering wide-angle shot off the stick of Bear’s defenseman Paul Esdale. “The key to the game was that David played well in the second period and that we capitalized on a few of our opportunities. He was very solid throughout the course of the night,” Schafer said. Paolini agreed, adding, “[LeNeveu] played super. That’s all you can really ask out of a freshman. He’s on fire.” A modest LeNeveu accorded most of the credit for his outstanding effort to his teammates. “It feels great,” he said after posting his second shutout of the season. “Guys are playing very well and that helps in keeping my shots down. Any shots I do get, the rebounds are cleared fairly easily. The guys are playing great in front of me.” The Red was able to afford itself a little breathing room when freshman defenseman Jeremy Downs tallied his first collegiate goal at the 16:10 mark. Centerman senior Krzysztof Wieckowski sent the puck toward the net where it deflected off the skate of the rookie. Initially the tally was scored as Wieckowski, but the senior informed the scorer that Downs should be credited with the goal. “Makes you more comfortable on defense in a close game. It puts a damper on Brown’s play,” the freshman said of his marker. The circumstances might have been less than ideal for the milestone, but Downs, who was presented with the goal-scoring puck by Wieckowski was no less satisfied. “I pictured it me beating five guys down the ice and making some sick move and putting it in the top corner. I’ll take it, it’s my first one so I’ll take anything,” Downs said. Brown, who has developed a reputation lately as a Goliath slayer, having defeated No. 9 UMass-Lowell and then No. 2 St. Cloud. Play broke down a bit as the third period wore on. The Bears, not usually regarded as a scrappy club appeared frustrated but despite five chances, the home side was unable to convert on the power play which went a less than stellar one-for-nine on the weekend. The unit has struggled all season with consistency Wieckowski expressed optimism with the No. 5 power play unit also. “Teams are starting to camp out on some of our players [on the power play], but we adjust to that. There are five guys out there who can score goals and there are only four guys on their team so there is not much luck on their side,” he reasoned. On the other side of the puck, the Cornell penalty kill was in fine form, stymieing five Brown power plays, including two crucial ones in the final period. The unit has surrendered just seven man-advantage goals on the season is best in the ECAC. “The penalty kill was great tonight. It’s fortunate that it was. Brown has a good power play. They move the puck around pretty well,” Schafer said. Overall, Cornell’s defense was equally sweltering. The Red was outstanding the neutral zone, thwarting nearly every chance Brown had to set up. Having won six in a row, the icers are playing with an unmistakable swagger. Said Paolini: “We’re riding high right now. We really feel invincible. We feel like we can beat any team in the nation. It’s a great feeling knowing that guys are going to step up. We’re just going to keep adding to the fire.”Archived article by Gary Schueller
February 4, 2002
NEW YORK CITY — It turns out that Manhattan was prepared to accommodate dissent as well as big business after all. Fears that the World Economic Forum would spark civil unrest and result in a violent clash between protesters and the New York Police Department never materialized during the five-day anti-globalization convergence that concludes today. Instead, arrests were for mostly minor offenses and numbered in the dozens rather than the hundreds among protesters whose numbers were estimated between 7,000 and 15,000. Activists opted by and large to attend public forums on Thursday and Friday in lieu of street demonstrations. Groups, including Students for Global Justice and International A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), constructed a highly organized calendar of meetings and rallies to prepare protesters with discussions on various topics related to globalization. One series of meetings, called a “Public Eye on Davos Conference,” addressed social and environmental impacts of corporate globalization, export credit agencies (such as the International Monetary Fund), corporate power in global governance and impacts on the lives of women. Highly critical of the mass media, many demonstrators throughout the weekend distributed their own fliers and newspapers. Others snapped photographs and scribbled notes for independent documentation of the events. “The main issue [appearing in the corporate media] is the terrorists, but a lot of people are getting laid off,” said Greg Hardison, a union steward for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73 in Chicago, Ill. Hardison said he traveled with other SEIU members from the midwest, because he was seeking peace. Gesturing to the crowd around him along Park Ave. across from the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, Hardison pointed to an assortment of placards that were as diverse as the people carrying them — but also urging for peace. Clusters of people had begun assembling near the site of the World Economic Forum meetings in lower Manhattan at around 9 a.m. Saturday under signs calling for an end to U.S. military action in Afghanistan and the Middle East. There were the two elderly women wearing sweaters that read, ‘Grandmothers for Peace;’ signs demanding ‘Money for Wages, Not for War;’ and ‘Free Mumia,’ (Mumia Abu Jamal, the death row inmate in Pennsylvania). All the while, protesters intermingled behind police barricades between 50th and 53rd Streets. Sarah Tew, a theatre teacher at the Hyde School in Woodstock, Conn. traveled with 13 of her high school students to attend the street demonstrations. The group stayed at the home of one student’s parents Friday night in Scarsdale, N.Y. and then managed their way to Park Ave. in time for a mid-day rally Saturday. “There were a lot of public put-downs in school meetings,” Tew said, after she informed parents and teachers that she would help bring the students to Manhattan. “Many from the school disapproved because they claimed that the protesters didn’t stand for anything.” As a result, the Hyde School students decided to bring along a banner that read ‘United We Stand, Divided We Fall’ — including elements of disunity that they came up with. Bear Kittay, a 16-year-old Hyde School student, pointed to the words ‘materialism’ and ‘militarism’ as he and his friends unfurled their sign. “It’s almost like our personal selfishness turns into corporate greed,” he explained. Along with the critique of global capitalism, scores of protesters turned out to express solidarity with the victims of the World Trade Center attacks. Several wore hats bearing the New York Fire Department logo and denounced terrorism in its many forms. Martha Grevatt, a volunteer with International A.N.S.W.E.R., wore an arm band to identify herself as part of the event security. While she stood across the barricade from the police, Grevatt described how this protest, in post-Sept. 11 New York, stood apart from earlier demonstrations in Quebec City, Quebec and Genoa, Italy — and especially in Davos, Switzerland. “The weekend’s events were more peaceful,” she said. Gazing at a nearby sign, she signaled that while only time will tell where the movement will lead, activists were correct to insist, as the sign declared: ‘Another World Is Possible.’Archived article by Matthew Hirsch