98575648 e1280336998721 Tiger Woods Is Our New Mike TysonI’ll always remember watching Mike Tyson lose to Buster Douglas. I was 13 years old, and one of the things I knew about sports, even more about the world, was that Mike Tyson beat everyone.

Boxing experts will tell you that Tyson wasn’t that great, and that the Douglas fight wasn’t that big a surprise. I’m not a boxing expert, but I know what I saw in Mike Tyson before that fight. It was like nothing else I had ever seen.

I wasn’t upset or disappointed when Tyson lost. I was stunned though. I think we all were. Douglas was a 42-1 underdog, and Mike Tyson was, well he was Mike Tyson.

We spent the next several years, through Holyfield fights, jail, and Peter McNeeley, waiting for the Mike Tyson we remembered to come back. The one who beat Michael Spinks in 91 seconds. Deep down, we knew he was gone, but we weren’t ready to admit it.

We might be doing the same thing with Tiger Woods.

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The timelines aren’t exactly the same, but the similarities are certainly notable.

1029486991 Tiger Woods Is Our New Mike TysonBoth Tyson and Woods were so dominant, they had video games named after them. Mike Tyson’s Punchout and Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf were mainstays for sports gamers.

Before the loss to Douglas, amidst controversy with his wife, Robin Givens, Tyson fired long time trainer Kevin Rooney.

Tiger Woods swing coach since 2004, Hank Haney, resigned in May, at the start of a Woods comeback. That layoff because the indcident with his wife, Elin. An incident directly related to Woods’ infidelity.  There were rumors that Woods was getting ready to fire Haney.

Tyson was convicted of rape, and didn’t fight for 3 years. He was 26 years old, prime time for a heavyweight boxer.

Since 2008, Woods has had layoffs of 3 months, 10 months, and 7 moths due to both knee injuries and controversy regarding his infidelity (reports are he told his wife he had over 120 affairs). He was 33 when it began, prime time for a professional golfer.

Both Woods and Tyson have legendary tempers, both swept under the rug and generally ignored while they were successful only becoming an issue as their performance declined.

Tyson’s decline happened sharply. Happening because of equal parts declining ability and dissaray in his personal life.

Perhaps Woods won’t happen so quickly, but the signs are there. The dissolving marriage, the knee injuries, the controversy. We’ll probably see Woods win another tournament, but we’ll probably never see the dominant Woods again.

To think about the great version of Mike Tyson, the one who beat Michael Spinks, we have to struggle through memories of jail, face tattoos, and ear biting. We waited so long for Tyson to come back. We were paying such close attention, and all we ended up seeing was disaster.

Hopefully one day we won’t have to wade through similar memories to recall the 2008 US Open.

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