Thursday, January 17, 2013

Lance Armstrong Confesses And I Say "Yawn"

All the reports are saying that in an interview with Oprah scheduled to be broadcast tonight that Lance Armstrong will admit to using performance enhancing techniques in order to make himself a better cyclist.  My response: "Yawn. What else is on?"  Really?  Why do we care about this?  And more importantly why are we shocked?

Yes I know that he has defended himself vigorously for a long long time, but so has Roger Clemens and most people don't believe him.  Is it because he beat cancer?  He has certainly done a lot for cancer research and has been an inspiration to millions, and that can't be taken away.  But again why are we surprised by this?  Cycling has to be one of the most corrupt and drug using sport out there.  I think the last time the Tour de France had a winner who wasn't under suspicion was when the Wright brothers' bicycle shop was sponsoring a team.

There is a lot of speculation of whether this confession will make any difference in public opinion.  The usual cliche that Americans are a forgiving people is being trotted out, but ask Pete Rose, Mark McGwire and Marion Jones, among other notable examples, how that forgiveness thing worked for them. Will Lance ever be able to recover his glory days?  Absolutely not, and his confession won't have any impact on that.  He lost those days when the USADA declared victory and stripped him on his titles.

But once again, just like in baseball, this tirade and animosity seems to be driven by sports reporters more than the general public.  They seem upset that they were lied to and so want to "get him back."  It's a good thing they went into covering sports rather than politics, because if they flew into a tirade every time a politician lied all we would ever see would be tirades.  I think it's time for them to just get over it.

Armstrong is just another example of where we live in sports, all sports, these days. The difference is he overcame a lot more than most other athletes to get there. No athlete is ever as bad or as good as they are seen and portrayed and sports reporters need to understand this fact and stop believing the stories that they themselves are pushing.

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