The Boxer, Tiger, and Riverboat

"Hey, Evander, did you tell Steve about Tiger Woods last week?"

In the 1990s, I worked at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. It's the building everyone sees when the famous Christmas tree is lit each year. The building is also the home of NBC and the television show _Saturday Night Live._

At that time, I would see many famous people pass through the lobby or hopping into an elevator. They included the likes of Dick Clark, Dustin Hoffman, Conan O'Brien, the _SNL_ cast, and many others. Sometimes, celebrities and tourists would take the elevator up to the then-famous Rainbow Room at the top of the building for a drink and a view of the city skyline.

I worked on the 60th floor for a French banking firm and often had a long minute to travel before leaving the elevator. One day, I squeezed into an elevator with a large group of people who were clearly traveling together on their way to the Rainbow Room up on 65. I pressed my floor and found myself standing next to a very large man in a yellow suit. Another man in a very expensive-looking classic pinstriped suit looked over and said, "Hey, Evander, did you tell Steve about Tiger Woods last week?"

I realized that I was standing next to the boxing champion Evander Holyfield. He looked back at the guy and started laughing, telling him to the tell the story. (Tiger had just started to enter the national limelight.) "Last week," the guy began, "we went down to New Orleans for a charity event and stopped off at this riverboat casino. At the front door, we saw Tiger Woods getting stopped by the guy that checks your reservations and I.D.s. Apparently, he wouldn't let Tiger in because the boat was having some type of gambling event, and Tiger was underage. Another guy with Tiger said: 'Come on, you can let him in. Do you know who he is? He's Tiger Woods.' The gatekeeper looked back without blinking and said, 'I don't care if he is the Lion King. He is not getting in here if he is underage.'"

Everybody laughed as I went on my merry way.


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