For a generation of children, the dream was to beat Mike Tyson.
A few started training with the intention of becoming the heavyweight champion of the world by defeating the baddest man on the planet.
The majority, however, just wanted to pull off the task on their TV screens.
Guiding Little Mac through as stereotypical a field of contenders as a video game could hope to get away with and beating Tyson for the belt to win “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out” earned school kids ultimate bragging rights.
That’s why it was crushing to hear this week that Tyson was so bad at the game.
Forget Great Tiger, the turban-wearing Indian magician who would disappear and reappear in the ring, or Soda Popinski, the family-friendly version of Russian drunkard Vodka Drunkenski; Tyson couldn’t even get past the game’s first opponent.
“I couldn’t even beat Glass (expletive) Joe,” Tyson told TMZ.com this week.
It’s like finding out Pac Man couldn’t turn ghosts invisible and eat them for a short time after eating a flashing pellet.
Now that we know about Tyson’s horrendous ability at his game, someone needs to look into another issue: How was it possible that 107-pound Little Mac could get sanctioned to fight for the belt?
■ SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY — Friday was a historic night at Turner Field in Atlanta, and it had nothing to do with the game being played there.
It was all about what was going on behind Section 130, where Waffle House opened its first concession stand.
It’s surprising a Waffle House stand wasn’t already in the stadium, considering Georgia has almost 400 Waffle House locations.
Turner Field officials are concerned long lines will form at their Waffle House stand — because customers will be confused ordering off a menu they never have seen while sober or before 2 a.m.
■ CAN’T STOP THE MUSIC — It’s widely assumed athletes and celebrities are privy to perks most people can only imagine.
Thanks to social media, some of those are being shared with the public.
LeBron James’ hotel suite in China comes with an extra benefit that seems cool at first but could have issues.
The Miami Heat superstar posted a few Instagram videos documenting the “24/7 DJ” in his room.
Seems awesome. Return home from a day out promoting Nike and walk into a party.
But what happens when it’s time to sleep? The DJ can play only so many lullabies before they become obnoxiously redundant.
■ SPEED KILLS — Two of the NFL’s fastest players — Chris Johnson and Devin Hester — will participate in “Man vs. Cheetah” as part of Big Cat Week on the Nat Geo Wild network.
Johnson and Hester will race against the fastest land animal, which is capable of accelerating from zero to 60 mph in less than three seconds and maxes out at 70 to 75 mph.
The cheetah has other advantages, too. It probably wouldn’t hold out and miss training camp like Johnson once did, and it also probably would show better hands than Hester when catching passes.
COMPILED BY ADAM HILL LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL