Who's Biggest Nut Job in Pop Culture?
By Gino Bona
Special to Page 2

Gatorade launched its brilliant "Be Like Mike" advertising campaign 12 years ago, and it had millions of Americans singing the same tune. We wanted Michael Jordan's good looks, his guaranteed contract, his sick vertical leap.

But as MJ spends another new day as a 40-something, two other famous people -- who happen to share Jordan's first name -- are going toe-to-toe for the undisputed title of "Biggest Nut Job in Pop Culture."

We're talking about Michael Jackson and Mike Tyson. While these celebrities couldn't be further opposites on the exterior, their careers have shared a common pattern over the past 20 years. Both Tyson and Jackson reached the pinnacle of their popularity in the '80s, plummeted into dire times in the '90s, and have spent the first couple years of the new millennium as undeniable weirdos.

Of course, both have had their share of controversy, too. Tyson is on the verge of snapping like a Slim Jim during every fight and interview. Meanwhile, the word "allegedly" hangs over Jackson's head like an umbrella on a sunny day.

These days, the catchy chorus of "Be Like Mike" should carry a parental warning.

So which one deserves the title of "Biggest Nut Job in Pop Culture". Check out the list below and cast your vote in the poll at right.

Michael Jackson
Mike Tyson
Nickname   "King of Pop"   "King of Pain"
Trademark move   Moonwalk   Profanity-laced tantrums
Net worth   Depends on who you ask   Ask Robin Givens
Career highlight   "Thriller"   "Thrilling 91-second thumping of Michael Spinks"
How they describe themselves   "I'm Peter Pan"   "I'm Sonny Liston"
Comfort food   Snow cones   Ears
Was teased as a child for ...  
Having a huge nose
Talking like Cindy Brady
Is teased as an adult for ...   Acting like a child   Are you crazy!?! We're not teasing Mike.
Current foe   Martin Bashir   The flu (according to his promoter)
Likes to throw   Water balloons   Right hooks
Facial adjustments   Nose hanging by a thread   African tribal tattoo
What he has in common with normal people   Lies about how much money he has   Hasn't been to the gym in a while
What he's looking forward to   Fox airing "Michael Jackson Take 2: The Interview They Wouldn't Show You."   Fox airing "Michael Jackson Take 2: The Interview They Wouldn't Show You." Aren't we all?
Favorite pet   12-year-old Gavin   Those damn pigeons
Memphis connection   Married Elvis Presley's daughter   Only place that lets him box
Reckless behavior  
Playing "Dangle Doddle Dandy" over hotel balconies
Live press conferences
What they wish they could borrow from each other   Tyson's enviable falsetto   Prince Michael II's chiffon scarf to cover up the new ink
Favorite activity with children   Wants to share his bed with 'em   Wants to eat 'em
Worst beating  
From Dad after messing up dance routine
(Tie) Buster Douglas, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis
Authority figure who didn't do quite enough   Liz Taylor   Cus D'Amato
Las Vegas craving   Bizarro shopping sprees   The Nevada State Athletic Commission to reconsider
Startling transformation   From black man to white hermaphrodite   From the youngest heavyweight champ to America's 2nd-most beloved cannibal
It's a shame that   Macauley Culkin's too old now   Tonya Harding's pro debut will be delayed
Career low point   Stay tuned   Ditto

Gino Bona continually strives for rock bottom on his "Wink & The Gun" site, which can be reached at www.winkandthegun.com. E-mail him at gino@winkandthegun.com.



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