Mike Tyson reading from ‘The Book of Mormon’ … now that might work

Consider yourself warned:

Mike Tyson’s one-man play called “Undisputed Truth,” a Spike Lee production written by Tyson’s current wife, Kiki, and something that promoters have tried to pass off as having a “highly successful bout on Broadway,” will come out swinging for a three-night run in L.A. as part of a 10-week, 36-city nation-wide tour next year.

It shouldn’t have a puncher’s chance at succeeding, but this being Hollywood, why not do it if only for the shock value.

The Pantages Theatre is offering this from March 8-10, 2013, sandwiched appropriately between a run of “Jekyll & Hyde” and “Catch Me If You Can.” The producers also are required to inform you that this runs 90 minutes, no intermission, and is recommended for mature audiences (no one under 5 will be admitted).

But we know what you’re really wondering: Back in the day, when you’d commit to putting up $50 for a Tyson pay-per-view bout, it would often end in less than two minutes. Is this the same?

If only …

The New York Times’ recent review pointed out that the “incongruous, almost childlike Tyson charm pokes through occasionally and makes you momentarily forget how ham-handed and manipulative the show it. .. But by the end of ‘Undisputed Truth’ you may at least be willing to grant that it would be swell if Mr. Tyson has finally found a nondestructive way to exist in the world.” The Hollywood Reporter reports that there “are more missed punches than knockout blows in this self-serving if weirdly fascinating one-man theatrical tell-all.”

This is not your drunk uncle’s Jake LaMotta stage show.

Tyson, the youngest ever heavyweight champ best known for (fill in the blank, and that can include “The Hangover” and “The Hangover 2”) starts his tour in Indianapolis on Feb. 12-13 and also takes a bite out of Chicago, San Francisco, Houston and Washington D.C.

His quote from a press release: “After a successful run at the MGM in Las Vegas and on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre with Spike Lee, I’m excited to take ‘Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth’ on tour and share it with my fans across the country,” said Tyson.  “’Undisputed Truth’ is my stor —  I’m giving my all.”

The promoters point out that a “limited number” of VIP packages (from $300 to $500) that include a post-performance meet and greet with Tyson are available. More information: BroadwayLA.org or 800-982-2787.

We’re thinking you might do yourself better by renting the 2009 James Tobak documentary “Tyson,” to avoid the awkwardness lingering in the air of a live performance. Plus, you can pause it to laugh at inappropriate moments.

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Five things we learned from the past weekend: Nov. 23-25

Notre Dame running back Theo Riddick, right, and wide receiver Luke Massa, left, celebrate after Notre Dame defeated USC on Saturday night at the Coliseum to remain unbeaten. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

Just a little help staying ahead of the sports world learning curve heading back into the work week:

1. Notre Dame, 12-0, yet far from perfect. Just ask the folks at Stanford who won when the two schools met on the football field a short while. But do the Irish have a prayer in the world to capture the BCS title sometime early next year against either Alabama or Georgia – or whatever SEC team is thrown in there to keep the streak of six national championships for the conference in a row? Plenty of them, especially if every series ends in a goal-line stand. Because Notre Dame won’t stand for it, as USC reluctantly figured out  Saturday night in a 22-13 grind-it-out loss. From South Bend to South Beach, after that detour in South Central, Notre Dame’s luck isn’t going to run out any time soon. They’ll sell tons of school logo apparel during the Christmas season, ring in the new year in Miami, and ride this wave through the recruiting season. Lucky them? “Everyone calls it luck but I think we’re a very good team,” said Irish defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore after Saturday’s win. That’s good as gold.

Continue reading “Five things we learned from the past weekend: Nov. 23-25” »

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Play It Forward: Nov. 26-Dec. 2

Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:


MLS CUP: Galaxy vs. Houston, Home Depot Center, Saturday at 1:30 p.m.,ESPN:
Nope, we probably haven’t seen the last of 37-year-old David Beckham. Not unless we stopped looking at billboards, TV ads or magazine covers. But his  six years of staying power in Hollywood adjacent has given Major League Soccer a major boost that will end today as he calls it a career playing in his third and final MLS Cup game in the last four seasons with the Galaxy. In this 17th edition of the league championship – and they said it wouldn’t last — the fifth seed from the Western Conference is looking for a sequel to its title moment from a year ago, when it outlasted these same Houstonians, 1-0, on the Carson pitch.
Becks gets the showy sendoff, but it’s really been Robbie Keane’s show during this playoff run, with his five goals. Landon Donovan is expected back from hamstring soreness. Houston came all the way from a fourth-seed in the East to scramble back into title contention, without much fanfare. “I don’t think we’re the prettiest of teams,” Houston manager Dominic  Kinnear said of his undynamic Dynamo squad that has been to four MLS Cups in the first seven years of its existence. “We’re not glamorous. We don’t hoot and holler and talk about ourselves too much. We just go about our way.” Yeah, kinda like Beckham.

Continue reading “Play It Forward: Nov. 26-Dec. 2” »

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Weekly sports media column version 11.23.12


What constitutes this week’s media sports column: The annual Dubious Dozen of the Sports Media. Sorry. It had to be done.

We came close to putting this thing out of its misery, pulling the plug in part because we aren’t sure what constitutes “dubious” much in these multi-media “fire, aim, ready” climate. Websites like Deadspin.com have become over diligent not at just compiling media faux pas almost as they happen, but also blowing them out of proportion.

Take the latest involving Peter King and his cellphone number getting out in a tweet unintentionally. Really?

We considered other mix-and-match muffs to include in this year’s list as well. There was a recent open-mike slip by ESPN’s Neil Everett. A meltdown by a reporter who got himself canned for being a little too honest in his assessment of his employers. A San Diego sportstalk host who was fired (not Lee Hamilton), and the San Diego columnist who was let go because he didn’t agree with the agenda of the new publishers. Terry Bradshaw made some mangled reference to fried chicken, Cris Carter was singled out for doing a lame “C’Mon Man” reference to the South Carolina kicker who wears glasses, Samantha Steele isn’t hiding a relationship with Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, a bunch of websites perpetuated a typo about where the World Series was headed, HBO had to cancel its series “Luck” because of, well, some bad luck on the race track involving the star attractions, and a kid covering the University of Kansas football team was put into an awkward position to not ask questions at Charlie Weis’ weekly press conference.

And Lane Kiffin somehow had nothing to do with it.

Not to mention the KCAL-Channel 9 new sports anchor, Kristine Leahy, reading the story last month about the passing of promiment boxing trainer Emanuel Steward, noting that he was once connected with Oscar de la Renta. She did correct herself — it was Oscar De La Hoya.

New York Times

So there it sits in a post-Thanksgiving seat of honor, as a reminder that credibility and reputation are things that too often get damaged in the pursuit of being first on a story, whether it’s one transmitted via Twitter, text, email, Facebook or whatever non-traditional forms are acceptable thse days.

And sorry if any of the links above were switched by accident with a recipe on how to properly roast acorn squash. Toggling between the two websites could have caused even more dubiousness in prepping for the Thanksgiving day dinner.

Meanwhile, the other media notes that are worth paying attention to:

Continue reading “Weekly sports media column version 11.23.12” »

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Five things we learned from the past weekend: Nov. 16-18

Just a little help staying ahead of the sports world learning curve heading back into the work week:

1. UCLA has a victory T-shirt already for sale at its student store. “Celebrate Good Times” it says, with the final score. For 18 bucks. If I want it standard flat ground rate – we’re guessing a few business days — that’s $6.95 added for shipping. But what if I want it before Thanksgiving? One-day shipping is $26.95. Two-day shipping: $16.95. But then, if I want it delivered to me at my Pauley Pavlion seat, it’s only a $100 charge. Even better since there’s not another game at Pauley until next Sunday. Gotta go with that option. It makes the most sense.

2. Not sure what we’re supposed to take away from Johnathan Franklin’s throat-slash gesture after he scored his game-clinching touchdown for UCLA against USC on Saturday. We’re inclined to go along with what Patrick O’Neal of Fox Sports tweeted out on Sunday: “Johnathan Franklin established himself as greatest running back in #UCLA history but hurt chances for mayor of LA w/ throat slash.” Considering he is serious about that mayoral campaign as some point, this could come back to an otherwise upstanding citizen, especially with the way things can be interpreted in Los Angeles.
We give him the benefit of the doubt in that the throat slash is the way those who play in the video game “Mortal Kombat” signal that their opponent is finished. Except there was a story last month about a Chicago fan who came into a Jacksonville bar to watch a Bears-Jags game and died after he had his throat slashed. About 10 years ago, the NFL issued an edict that it would start to fine and suspend players who did the throat slash. The league called it “an unacceptable act of violence.” The gesture had been used by, among others, the New York Jets’ Keyshawn Johnson. ”I like to come up with something new every week,” the USC grad said at the time after doing it during a “Monday Night Football” game. “I just try to be original.” Originally, we didn’t think much of it. But now we’re wondering if Franklin even know what he was doing. The only thing the officials could do Saturday was flag him for an unsportsman-like conduct penalty. We’ll leave the Pac-12 to see about any further reprimanding, and the voters of L.A. to see how short their memory can be.

Galaxy players protect themselves as Seattle Sounders’ Fredy Montero takes a penalty kick during the second half of Sunday’s game in Seattle. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

3. Gotta hand it to the Galaxy — their return to the MLS Cup, clinched by Robbie Keane’s penalty kick goal that came as a result of a pass somehow catching the hand of Seattle defender Adam Johansson in the penalty box, makes David Stern-type conspiracy theories sound reasonable for the pro kickball circuit. The league’s glamour team has made it in after a season where it barely made the playoffs then somehow did its best imitation of the Kings to man up during the post Supporters Shield celebration. Their rematch with Houston, the No. 5 seed from the East – on Dec. 1 at Home Depot Center would hardly move the needle during the regular season. But now that the Galaxy have one more chance to win a title before David Beckham likely hangs up his boots (that’s the correct term, right?), AEG might as well start mapping out another parade route. Short, and sweet.

4. Eight Pac-12 teams are bowl eligible – neither of them are Utah nor Colorado — and there’s a spot for all of them if they’re not careful. Still, some more BCS befuddlement. Not only has USC fallen out of the BCS standings, but Kent State is in.
At No. 23. A notch higher than Arizona and two up on Washington. The 10-1 Golden Flashes, who clinched the MAC title, has one win against a ranked team — 35-23 against No. 15 Rutgers in late October. No. 10 Florida State, which is as high as No. 5 in the coaches’ poll, did not even rate a ranking spot in the Kenneth Massey computer, one of six used to factor into the BCS rankings.

Ryu Hyun-jin, the South Korean pitcher who is negotiating with the Dodgers, watches fans dance to “Gangnam Style” by musician PSY during Sunday’s Lakers-Rockets game at Staples Center. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

5. Mike D’Antoni might not call it a knee-jerk reaction, but as long as his knee replacement continues to take time healing, no need to speed up the replacement process as long as Bernie Bickerstaff’s babysit produced wins four times out of every five contests.

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