Ripe For The Picking

This Monday before Easter has me still beaming at how well the Notre Dame Fighting Irish played Saturday night against the Kentucky Wildcats, arguably the best NCAA basketball team to play in the past forty years. They hung with the Wildcats most of the way until UK caught a couple of breaks in the last minutes of the game. The Irish nearly won the game at the buzzer on a desperation three-point shot from deep in the left corner of the court.

This reminds me of the greatest upset I ever predicted.

I was living in Marietta, Georgia in 1996, and in the fall of that year, I was telling friends and family that Evander Holyfield was a steal as a 6-1 betting underdog against Mike Tyson. Six years earlier, a journeyman boxer named Buster Douglas shocked the world to knock out the seemingly invincible Tyson in Tokyo in early 1990. I knew from watching the tape of that fight over and over that Tyson couldn’t handle a boxer with a good jab that would use that punch to set up combinations, and if Iron Mike couldn’t handle Buster, Holyfield would likely dominate him with Tyson’s diminishing skills.

If you remember that first fight (not the famous second fight where Tyson gets disqualified for biting Holyfield’s ear, that would happen the following year), that’s pretty much what happened. Holyfield was never in trouble in that particular fight, knocking Tyson out in the eleventh round, proving to many that he was the superior fighter of those two.

And of course, no one listened to me.

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