Tyson, Holyfield mix it up with Oprah

BY foxsports • October 18, 2009

Not when Evander Holyfield called up expecting an apology. Not when Oprah suggested he finally make things right.

Still missing a bit of that ear? A shame, Evander, because you're such a nice guy.

But, really, what's there to say after all these years?

"This is a beautiful guy," said Tyson, holding Holyfield's arm Friday in a tender moment that surely had millions of Oprah fans reaching for tissues all over the country. "I just want you to know it's been a pleasure passing through life being acquainted with you."

Tyson may have disappointed Oprah, who invested not one, but two, shows in the former heavyweight champion this week. But boxers don't usually say they're sorry about much, and, for all the soul searching Tyson has been doing lately, he still remains convinced that biting Holyfield's ear was just payback for being head butted in their infamous 1997 fight.

Besides, apologies are so overrated these days, as Serena Williams showed us at the U.S. Open last month. No need to show any sincere remorse when there are no real consequences for your actions.

Rush Limbaugh certainly wasn't apologizing this week for any of the incendiary comments he made over the years getting in the way of his bid to buy the St. Louis Rams.

Much easier to blame someone else, like his partner in the effort and the media who were involved in "repeating the lies" about him. Limbaugh's scorched earth policy probably made him feel better about the whole botched bid, though it ensured he will never have any part of the league he professes to love.

Florida State wasn't apologizing either, even after the release of NCAA documents that indicated one "student-athlete" on the football team had an IQ of 60 and others were reading at the second-grade level. Coach Bobby Bowden has been in the game long enough to know that you don't beat Florida by recruiting a bunch of Rhodes scholars.

Then again, it had to be a bit embarrassing to find out that in place of requiring SAT scores for admission, recruits only had to prove they could master the illustrated version of "See Spot Run."

And there were no apologies coming out of Mannywood, even though Manny Ramirez hasn't been able to hit an inside fast ball since he returned from a 50-game suspension for using a female fertility drug and is a big drag in the Dodger postseason lineup. Come to think of it, Manny hasn't apologized for anything, and probably never will.

It might also be that few apologize anymore because it's so hard to do. Just look at LeGarrette Blount's formal apology for decking a Boise State football player, which either took him weeks to prepare or was done by the University of Oregon public relations department.

And consider the plight of Australian golfer Robert Allenby, who went off on Anthony Kim after he was beaten badly by the young American on the final day of the Presidents Cup last weekend.

Allenby called Kim the "loosest cannon on that team" and said he was doubly upset because he had it on good word that Kim was out partying until four in the morning and was probably suffering from a bad hangover when he beat him.

When it came time for offering the obligatory mea culpa, though, Allenby didn't go on Oprah. Instead, the PGA Tour issued a vague statement saying that maybe someone might have misinterpreted something he said and that he and Kim were still great buddies no matter what.

Kim accepted the apology via a tour issued statement of his own, then headed for Las Vegas, where the tour issued a statement that he missed the cut.

Oprah had to be expecting more out of Tyson, who first appeared Monday to talk about his tortured life and choke up whenever he talked about his kids. The appearance was to promote his movie, which consists of Tyson talking about his tortured life and choking up when he talks about his kids.

Holyfield apparently saw it and called Oprah asking that she host a program where Tyson could say he was sorry, Holyfield could forgive him, and everyone could share a group hug.

It didn't quite turn out that way, though Oprah tried her best.

"Can you feel the love people have for you?" she asked Tyson at one point.

The way Tyson was pouring his heart out to Oprah he seems sorry for a lot of things he has done in his life. Surely he's sorry that he can't fight off a bizarre compulsion to keep telling the world about them.

But apologize for biting Holyfield's ear?

Sorry, Evander, not a chance.

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Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at)ap.org


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