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Mike Tyson Says He "Won't Survive" Unless He Gets Help

By J.R. Gamble August 30, 2013, 02:38 PM EST

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The “Today Show” and Matt Lauer are the latest entertainment vultures to ride the Mike Tyson train. Tyson was a mess last Friday at a post-fight press conference for his initial venture as a boxing promoter, admitting he's been sober for just six days.

Tyson was then interviewed by Lauer, so the TV host could find out more about the ex-heavy weight champ’s recent admission that he's still grappling with substance abuse issues and is "on the verge of dying."

Mike Tyson gets more “black sympathy passes” from folks than former DC crack mayor Marion Barry. Tyson’s entire career has consisted of him doing insanely vile stuff and then people who are unable to shake the hypnotic lure of his brief dominance as heavy weight champ say, “that’s just Mike.”

Along his journey of twisted situations, Tyson’s managed to be accepted for who he is. And he’s shown way more resilience in life than he ever did against Buster Douglas that crazy night at the Tokyo Dome in 1990. 

Most people only wish the best for Tyson and hope he can live the rest of his days in mental and emotional peace. He stays relevant as a money machine for opportunists, and as a flawed, but respected mythical figure to the younger generation.

Whenever TV needs some numbers, call up Mike for an interview. He’s bound to say something that will have the tabloids spitting your show’s name for a solid 24-48 hour social media news cycle.  

In a segment that was taped on Wednesday in Las Vegas, Tyson went in with cringe-inducing honesty.

"When I start drinking and I relapse, I think of dying," Tyson told Lauer. "When I'm in a real dark mood, I think of dying. And I don't want to be around no more. I won't survive unless I get help."

It’s typical Tyson. He’s a straight-shooter in most interviews. It’s just that somewhere deep down, when we hear he’s doing something  theatrical with Spike Lee , or other promising ventures, we tend to equate that with Mike is getting his life back together. In reality, however, he’s a tormented soul that is exploited in a similar fashion to how Michael Jackson was in his last days.

"I've been sober 12 days now and it's tough," Tyson said. "I'm mean and irritable…Yes it's a real challenge because I don't know if I like this sober guy. It's hard for me to live normal - straight is hard."

It doesn’t look good, but Mike is more of a rubber band man than T.I. ever could be, so we know this is his way of calling out for help (and promoting future endeavors). He always lands on his feet, always finds a way to keep his paper coming and you always know where he stands. Problem is it’s just never in a good place. 

Jr_gamble

J.R. Gamble writes for The Shadow League. He's been covering pro sports as a radio host and journalist since 1996. He's written for The Raleigh News & Observer, Newsday and SLAM Magazine. He has co-hosted Sportsrap Radio with A Tribe Called Quest legend Phife Dawg. Follow him @fanalyst1 & find him on Facebook.

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