Unsolicited advice for Gregg Doyel on the day of his fight against Chris Lytle

by Kent Sterling

Given the choice between fight or flight when in a boxing ring with Chris Lytle, choose flight.

Indianapolis Star columnist Gregg Doyel is going to step in the ring tonight against boxer/mixed martial arts fighter Chris Lytle.  It’s all for a great cause, the fight against Parkinson’s Disease being waged by Rock Steady Boxing, but that won’t make a right cross from Lyle hurt any less.

On my radio show Tuesday, I told Doyel I wanted to be Maish to his Mountain Rivera, a reference to “Requiem for a Heavyweight”, a 1962 film with Anthony Quinn and Jackie Gleason about the abuse and death of an aging fighter.  Probably not the most uplifting boxing movie parallel I could have mentioned.

Doyel told me to put my career as a motivational speaker on hold.

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Might have been more appropriate to go to “Sailor Beware” with Jerry Lewis.

My advice to Doyel is RUN.  Get on your bike and ride in circles until Lytle is to dizzy to throw hands.  That’s not the way Doyel is built, and so he’s going to try to see how he measures up against the experienced and dangerous Lytle.

It’s not as though Doyel has never climbed into the squared circle and boxed.  He has trained for a long time and enjoy three wins in three amateur fights.  That means he has that annoying and dangerous voice in his head that calls for him to test his mettle.

Doyel is going to wonder whether he can stand toe to toe with a talented fighter and hold his own.  Lyle is a nice man, so he’s not going to cause serious damage to Doyel, but if Gregg decides to get aggressive, maybe Chris will feel the need to put a little hot sauce on that jab.

There is a brave and courageous man inside all of us that wonders what we are capable of.  Without it, man would never have gone to the Moon, sailed across the Atlantic, or gotten off the landing crafts at Omaha Beach.  Also without it, we wouldn’t stick our tongues to frozen metal, light farts, or chase tornados.

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The question is whether Doyel is bravely confronting fear, or needlessly putting himself in harm’s way.  The answer is both and neither.  Both because whatever happens tonight is going to hurt, and neither because he’s doing it for a great cause.

Parkinson’s Disease is a scourge that attacks the nervous system, and the work Rock Steady does to help those afflicted is magical.

They deserve our support, and whether it’s blood lust or a willingness to support them that sends us to 6847 Hillsdale Court in Indianapolis for tonight’s event doesn’t matter because the cash all goes to the same place.

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