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America at Large

America and our "Mikes": Their Fresh, New Look at Life
By Ricky Allen
Jun 14, 2005 - 9:00:00 PM

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I stood with my co-workers as the jury read the verdict in the Michael Jackson case and felt like I was watching the O.J. Simpson case again. Come on, it had the same suspense.

And just like that, after the first charge was not guilty, the case turned into the last two minutes of a football game for me, where the commentators begin thanking the producers and telling you who the game was sponsored by. Then you watch the quarterback take a knee to run the clock out.

I hate to say it, because I know half of America has already said it (but I put it in print): I knew he wasn't guilty. There, I said it.

For the prosecution, I felt there was a conflict in what they were setting out to prove. I felt that they put Michael on trial for five years worth of issues rather than the issue at hand. That might have been the turning point for the jury. Guaranteed they presented the facts to the best of their ability, if they had stayed on target with the present charge, they might have got'em.

Yeah, right. How many times have you seen someone get convicted on speculation?

But America has been 0-4 thus far with celebrity cases. Kobe, O.J. Simpson, Robert Blake, now Michael - no jail time.

We got Martha Stewart ... wow.

But hey, for all you business buffs, we still got the Scrushy case going on, even if it is day 14.

Hopefully, now that Mike is out of the frying pan he can get back to what he does best (other than get into trouble): Make music. I think it would be a great therapy for him, an outstanding move after so much bad press, and  even if it didn't sell one record, at least he would be moving on with his life. That's all we want to see.

But enough about the "King of Pop" let's goto the former "King of the Ring."

Mike Tyson gave up this past weekend in what would be his final fight. The boxer retired Saturday after losing for the third time in his past four fights, quitting after six rounds against Irish journeyman Kevin McBride.

I guess we can truly say that Tyson has officially left the building. No returns. No dramatic comebacks, just a quiet loss to an Irishman who will boast forever that he beat Mike Tyson. If you live in that type of world, I guess a win is a win, even if you do feel Tyson could have killed him if he wanted to.

I wish Mike the best. He's been through a lot. He's had the power of a King in the Ring, but has only lived the life of a Pawn in many people's, businesses, and life's games.  Some say that when Tyson went to jail, The world of Boxing stopped rotating. How many boxers can have that said about them?


Whether you want to face it or not, America's "Mikes" have had a lot in common: 1. They have both had their run-ins with the law. 2. Never had a firm grasp on the real world and how it works. 3. Both were exploited for their talents. 4. Scarred from a childhood that never was. 5. Both only want the one thing that money can't buy - peace in their lives.

And just like two ships passing in the night, these two ships have finally crossed each other's starboard and port sides for a brief moment. Think about it: Right now, at this same moment, at this very same second, the same week, as different as their lives are, they finally have the same chance at having that peace.

I am not bitter, are you interested?

Email me at with your thoughts. Good or bad, I welcome them all. Don't forget to put where you're from so that readers can see where responses are coming from.

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