19 years ago, there was a charity pigeon race out on in Tyson’s name. He was supposed to show up at the end and take a photo with the winners. He never did.
In the third ep of Taking On Tyson, Mike decides to redeem himself with a charity pigeon race to benefit the Police Athletic League New York (PALNYC), an organization he credits with keeping him out of trouble as a child.
In an effort to organize the event, Tyson visits several pigeon clubs in the area and is required to join one in order to compete in the charity race. He chooses Lyndhurst, the club of his coach, Vinnie Torre.
From another top club in the area, The Bronx Club, we meet Marty McGuinniss. He’s been flying pigeons for over thirty years, and its probably most displeasing to his wife. Marty makes no bones about it – the pigeons are his first love. He even went to get a new tattoo of a pigeon on his chest, near his heart. His wife wasn’t amused. Her name is tattoo’d on his back.
Fellow competitor Joe Green is shown having to leave his long time roof and coop, because the building had been sold.
Tyson’s buddies Junie and Ricky speak of how their father’s death turned their lives upside down, and changed them for the worst. The pigeons saved their lives too.
We also get a glimpse of the relationship Tyson shared with Constantine “Cus” D’amato (he died when Tyson was 19 years old,) and how the bond shaped Mike’s life. One can’t help but wonder how different his early fighting years would have been, behaviorally, had Cus still been alive.
He is a different man now, Tyson. He expressed how he now “gets it.”
But, for now, Tyson and his team have to “get it” with the training of their birds, or they are in serious jeopardy of losing the upcoming races.
Check back next week for the Ep 4 update.
Taking on Tyson can be seen Sunday nights on Animal Planet, 10 E/P.