I often think about someone like John Olerud at a time like this. He was second in batting average and hit a record number of doubles that year…Anyone who knows, knows, doubles are usually hit off the centre field wall.Usually higher than the glove of the centre fielder.Close to going over the fence. He had a sweet swing ala Ted Williams. There was never question that he was on the cusp of greatness. I am certain that he did not do steroids. If you remember he had a medical condition from a childhood illness where they replaced part of his skull with a metal plate in his head. The point is, I am sure that he was advised not to take steroids and in fact his performance illustrated that he didn’t. Had he taken steroids, all those doubles would have been home runs. He could have been in the Hall of fame but he chose just to be a sweet swinging doubles hitter. The guys who do cheat may get fame but really we get nothing from them. We don’t improve our swings but rather our muscle. Instead of running the base paths they jog after home runs. Roger Clemons wants nothing more than to go to the hall of fame, so much so, that he is trying to concoct a comeback. And what he is trying to do, in actuality, is to delay his candidacy for such(so he is not compared to other juicers). Baseball was always better, with the double steal and stolen bases, Bunting and double switches, instead of always swinging for the fences or beyond. Sure, I understand cheating, and wanting to win, but I also don’t care enough.
I have followed the Tour de France for over 25 years and witnessed a stage at Grenoble in 1990. Compared to TV , Live cycling is a carnival. Very little to do with the cycling itself. It is a 3 week self promotional campaign by France, Narcissism by Narcissists. When I heard that Lance Armstrong was sick with Testicular Cancer, I immediately thought that he was on the Juice. if you saw him before the sickness. You would think he was a Linebacker. He had 44 inch handlebars (regular 38-42) and couldn’t climb hills. After his sickness he lost 40 pounds and was able to ascend, Like no one before him , including himself. I watched as many of his victories as I could or I would read along. I even cheered for him. But I was never fooled. He isn’t a role model, A hero or certainly not John Olerud.
Lance Armstrong isn’t a hero like John Olerud. He is a cheater. He got a parade of Sponsors endorsements. He was comped, Feted, Glad-handed, and worshipped….The person who comes second after the cheater doesn’t get a Parade. They may get a medal or some money but do they get to sip Champagne on the Champs Elysee? No. Or have a Family dinner at a fine french restaurant with his family from Wisconsin? No…They don’t. Do they get to make a speech to the good people of France? Probably not. What these Cheaters really steal is the glory.They steal the limelight which can only be lit once. Even if they have to pay it all back, they never have to give back the experiences in the interim time where they seduced, ate, drank, at the watering hole of celebrity. It is Time, that they are stealing. BUT I must also say that we do not know who the real winners were. And of course Lance will be lumped into a group eventually who must of all been cheating. And it will fade in our memories.
It is my theory that, Lance Armstrong will run for office(mark my words) in Texas and win. I also think that the federal Authorities went after Lance Armstrong because his Livestrong campaign had Half a Billion Dollars!!! And they were scared they would use it for Campaigns…Keep an eye out.
Do you know who the real cheated person is? Me, I watched every possible televised minute of those Tours de France’s and I was pedalling every revolution with Lance . And… I will never get that time back…
I have written in the past how I suspected/knew he was cheating all along. I was a triathlete. I know the numbers , in terms of effort, and before all this, I ran into and met Dick Pound, formerly of WADA. He said at the time, that FLO JO and even Carl Lewis were guilty but it was always a question of levels. He mentioned HGH and said they hadn’t come up with a test yet.. I suggested that companies were now doing the doping instead of the “East Germans” and what not. That there was a huge NIKE connection and the UCI was definitely complicit… without a doubt.
No, I am not hurt in the least. I would say I am relieved. The Tour De France is a 22-23 day race where the cover almost 3000 kilometres and they average almost 40 km/hr…Try that for just one hour…It is/has been one of the dirtiest sports for a long time and everyone in it knows it. And now everyone outside it But the real mistake Lance made, was not letting someone else win. That is the kiss of death in cycling. (assuming everyone is dirty). In the picture above I am standing with Robin Williams in 2005 and I asked Robin if he thought Lance was clean. He said “for sure”. Two months later Robin Williams entered rehab (voluntarily).
The sub-text of all this is, that we are living in a time, where this was almost acceptable. That is the real problem. Cheating is rampant. Speeding, downloading, and self entitlement, are also becoming epidemic. I do believe That Karma takes notice, but I think the consequences are beyond the abusers and are starting to affect us all.