1997 long in the tooth Attacks: By the time the year finally bit the dust, chomping incidents were becoming old news.

January 01, 1998|By Georgea Kovanis | Georgea Kovanis,KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE

What is there to say about 1997?

It was the year a toupeed sportscaster chomped his longtime lover's back.

The year a heavyweight boxer -- and ex-con -- bit off a chunk of his opponent's ear during a fight.

The year a movie star sunk his teeth into the stomach of a guy during an argument.

And the year a seemingly nice woman with bad teeth gave birth to septuplets.

So what can you say about 1997?

Well, you could call it The Year That Bit.

Sports announcer Marv Albert avoided jail on charges of biting his longtime lover on the back.

Mike Tyson bit opponent Evander Holyfield.

Cabbage Patch Kids ate more than plastic fries.

In January, Mattel pulled Cabbage Patch Kids Snacktime Kids out of U.S. stores because the dolls -- which feature battery-powered jaws that move when fed plastic carrots and french fries -- were also eating the hair and fingers of children who played with them.

During a February hotel room tryst gone bad, sports announcer Marv Albert bit his longtime lover on the back. She said he was angry she had not arranged for another person to join them for three-way sex. He said their relationship had included consensual biting and he didn't know he'd hurt her.

In divorce papers made public in April, actor Billy Bob ("Sling Blade") Thornton's wife accused the Oscar winner of threatening her life and biting her during their four-year marriage.

Boxer Mike Tyson said he "just snapped" in June when he took a bite out of Evander Holyfield's ear during the third round of their heavyweight bout.

Tyson said he would seek psychological help.

Also in June, a man accused Richard Lee of cutting in front of him at an Atlanta-area Taco Bell drive-through. The man bit off Lee's ear, spit and fled. Doctors reattached Lee's ear and were to use leeches to reduce the swelling.

And yet another June biting incident: A West Virginia judge took a chunk off the nose of a defendant who cursed him in court. Bill Witten swore at Judge Joseph Troisi after he denied his request to reduce his bond. Troisi stepped off the bench, removed his robe and bit Witten's nose.

Christian Slater, who was in "Interview With the Vampire," was accused of biting the stomach of a man trying to defend the actor's girlfriend. Slater was fighting with his girlfriend at a party in August. The man came to her aid. And then, chomp!

Videotape seemed to show Philadeliphia Flyers captain Eric Lindros biting San Jose defenseman Marty McSorley on the head during an on-ice scuffle in November. NFL officials reviewed videotape and decided Lindros did not sink his teeth into his head.

In Bucharest, Romania, stray dogs bit 50 people every day in 1997.

Pub Date: 1/01/98

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