Brian Hoffman – Sports Editor
Today is day 263 AG, or eight and a half months “After Gobert” came down with the virus and the Utah Jazz walked off the court. Since then sports events have become a week-to-week adventure with few or no fans in the seats and many things being called off.
It’s been better lately, at least for fans, with some decent stuff to watch on TV. Remember how it was back in mid-summer, when Korean baseball was a highlight of the week and most of the sports we watched were replays of games from years gone by? Well, last week’s fight between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. was something that would have been a big event in June, but not now.
Tyson, 54, and Jones, 51, fought to a draw over eight two-minute rounds in Los Angeles Saturday night. I discovered this “event” was going to happen last Friday and thought it might be interesting to tune in. So, I checked to see what channel it would be on and found it to be on “FITE TV” and “Triller.”
I get hundreds and hundreds of channels on my TV but I never even heard of those two. I get a dozen or so Spanish-speaking channels and international soccer games and the golf channel. I watch old Jack Benny and Groucho Marx shows on the Jewish station and every gangster or Nazi known to exist is on some channel or another late at night. But the “Triller” channel? Is that 24 hours of Michael Jackson dancing or what?
I found the easiest way to get the fight was on pay per view, and you could buy it for “only” $49.99. If you think 50 bucks is a little steep to see two guys box whose combined ages are 105, join the club. I wonder if anyone actually signed up for that? Not me.
As most of you realize, Tyson is one bizarre character. Anyone who gets tattoos on their face is either a couple bricks shy of a load or planning to be in prison for a good number of years. From what I understand, if you’re in prison and you look really crazy they’ll leave you alone. Never been there so I can’t say for sure.
Tyson was at one time the heavyweight champ and a feared opponent, but that was many years ago. His explanation for his return to the ring is as strange as the man himself. He claims “Toad Venom” made him do it.
“I took the medicine, and the medicine told me to get into shape,” he said, via USA Today. “It really blew my mind. It told me to come back and start getting in shape.”
Now I went to college in the’70s and I did some things I’d just as soon not reveal in my column, but “Toad Venom” was never an option in my social life. I never heard of it, or knew toads had venom to begin with. After some research I found the following on the internet.
“The Addiction Center released a report in October 2019 calling toad venom a ‘trendy new psychedelic’ and comparing it to mescaline. The drug comes from a toad native to the Sonoran Desert that produces venom known as 5-MeO-DMT. It’s reportedly about six times more powerful than the hallucinogenic DMT, or n n-dimethyltryptamine.”
If you can understand that you did better in chemistry than I did, and that’s not a misprint, the two n’s are like that. Sounds to me like it’s something you might take before a Pink Floyd concert. I would think its likely illegal, but so strange there might not be a law to cover it. Can you see a security guard stopping you at the door and asking, “Hey buddy, what’s that croaking under your sweatshirt?”
The Internet study I found went on to report that it’s such an intense experience that, in most cases, doing it at a party isn’t safe. It’s not a recreational drug. If people get dosed too high, “they can ‘white out’ and disassociate from their mind and body,” Alan K. Davis, a clinical psychologist and assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University’s psychedelic research unit, said in the report.
I knew some folks who would pay good money to feel like that, borrowing a line from Christopher’s Lloyd’s “Reverend Jim” character in the classic TV sitcom “Taxi.” Most of them never graduated but they were a lot of fun to be around until they flunked out.
I wonder if they checked the fighters for toad venom prior to Saturday night’s “big bout?” From what I read Tyson won the early rounds before Jones came on in the last few to earn the draw. Tyson hasn’t ruled out fighting again, but only exhibitions and not as a professional. I guess it depends on how many toads they can find in the desert.
Also on the card was a bout between someone named Jake Paul and former NBA basketball player Nate Robinson, who was known for his thrilling dunks despite being one of the shortest players in the league. Paul knocked Robinson out with a “brutal right hook” in the second round, leaving the former baller unconscious. I guess playing for the Knicks doesn’t seem so bad after that.
And that’s the way things are in 2020. Maybe instead of stimulus checks they ought to send everyone a little toad venom to help get us through the year.
Hokies look good against Villanova
Only in 2020 could a Virginia Tech team beat third-ranked Villanova in basketball and a day later Richmond beats Kentucky, while Virginia, who’s supposed to win, loses to San Francisco!
Did you watch the Hokies on Saturday night? They were expecting to play Temple at the Mohegan Sun casino and resort in Connecticut and you know most of the money was on the Wildcats. The majority of Tech’s players are newcomers in the era of the “transfer portal,” and with the virus raging I can’t see where there was much chance to develop teamwork this early in the season.
However, the Hokies took it to the Wildcats for an impressive 81-73 overtime win that had a bizarre finish to regulation play. Tech’s Keve Aluma put the Hokies up by a point with 1.3 seconds on the clock and was fouled in the process. Aluma went to the line and the folks on the broadcast suggested he miss the free throw, giving Villanova 1.3 seconds to snatch the rebound and score at the other end, a near impossible scenario.
Aluma was told to miss the free throw, but it banked in anyway for a two-point lead. Then, Villanova ran the baseline on the ensuing throw in and drew a foul on Tech’s Justyn Mutts, who was guarding the inbounds pass. The Wildcats made two free throws at the other end to tie the game and send it into overtime.
At that point, I expected third-ranked Villanova would be so glad to be in overtime they would turn it up a notch and escape with a win. But not so, the Hokies dominated the OT and came out with a huge win.
When Aluma went to the line I was thinking how I might miss a free throw on purpose it in that situation. Instead of shooting it straight and trying to make it long or short, I figured the best way would be to move right from my normal spot and shoot it as usual, trying to hit the side of the rim. I’m going to have to practice that on my court at home to see how that would work.
Whatever, it was a great win for Tech and you have to give coach Mike Young lots of credit for having this good a team in just his second year as coach.
What was the name of that last coach that left for Texas A&M? I can’t remember, but Mike Young certainly has the Tech fans buzzing.