Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 5:21 AM ET, 03/ 7/2011

Mike Tyson, pigeon fancier, makes his Animal Planet debut

By Cindy Boren

Iron Mike. The guy who bit off another guy's ear. The facial tattoo. The convicted felon. Tiger owner/Phil Collins fan from "The Hangover."

Add lover of pigeons to the list of "ways to describe Mike Tyson." His not-entirely-convincing reality show, "Taking on Tyson," premiered on Sunday night on Animal Planet and will follow him around his old Brooklyn neighborhood as he races homing pigeons. Yes, pigeons. Tyson loves 'em and has since his hard-scrabble youth.

"It's just what I am as a normal person. This is what I love to do -- this is a hobby I do with childhood friends, we battle against other friends," Tyson told Entertainment Weekly. "It's a really ancient sport, before Christ even. Pigeons have had [their] place during some memorable moments in history -- the pigeons were very necessary for the Crusades....

"What was interesting was when Napoleon fought [the Duke of] Wellington, and when Wellington won the war, somebody was spying for the Rothschilds. He released a pigeon, the pigeon went back to the Rothschild's coop, and they got the information before anybody else that Wellington had won, and these guys bet their whole life fortune on the war. That's why they were able to make such a mass fortune."

Pigeons, in fact, predate pugilism for Tyson. When another kid stole his pigeon and Tyson confronted him, the kid ripped the pigeon's head off. "I said, 'Gimme my bird back,' and he said, 'You want it back?' and took it, like [acting out decapitation] and put the blood in my face and hit me with it. ... Some guy said, 'Fight him back.' So I started fighting. I couldn't fight, but I was flailing away. I hit him more than he hit me, so I guess I won."

By Cindy Boren  | March 7, 2011; 5:21 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: City Paper lawsuit brings still more bad press for Dan Snyder
Next: NFL, NFL Players Association return to talks with Friday deadline

No comments have been posted to this entry.

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company