Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Lance Steps Up to The Plate

One theory goes that Lance Armstrong is to Ryan Braun the way George Steinbrenner is to Billy Martin.  To quote the great Reggie Jackson, "One's a rat.  The other one's a mouse studying to be a rat."

All that said, Lance gave me more sporting thrills than any of those baseball people so I have a tiny fond spot in my heart for him even though he is clearly a massive shit of a man.  And I had to laugh when he recently weighed in with this when asked about his doping:

"If I was racing in 2015? No, I wouldn't do it again," Armstrong told BBC Sport for an upcoming documentary.  "Because I don't think you have to do it again. If you take me back to 1995 when it was completely and totally pervasive? [I'd] probably do it again."

Considerable truth lies therein.  You see, people, the thing about baseball is that there were a ton of players NOT cheating during the zenith of the baseball doping era.  Which makes the assessment of bad vs. good relatively simple.  Black and white, if you will. Whereas in cycling, the luxury of the binary gestalt is absent to those of us who stand in judgement of our fellow man.  Of the twenty-one podium spots (seven times three) available on the Tours de France that Lance won, only one is occupied by somebody who hasn't since been found guilty of doping.  One spot!  Some dude who somehow came in third one year.  Everybody else, plus just about everybody in the peloton who didn't make the podium, was up to their asses in blood transfusions, human grown hormones, etc.

All of which brings me to The Look.

That being when Lance, on the slopes of l'Alpe d'Huez, rose in his saddle, turned and stared at his arch-rival Jan Ulrich (riding, as I do, a Bianchi).  Who, it should be noted, was likely riding with blood so full of red corpuscles that it was at least as thick as high-fructose corn syrup.

No words were spoken, but the gauntlet was thrown down.  "Stick with me if you can," Armstrong appeared to be saying.  Then he turned back around, accelerated up the hill and put so much time into Ulrich that the Tour was essentially over, barring injury or accident, on that day in the mountains.

That was a moment.

My complaint with Lance was not that he was doping.  It was the righteous indignation with which he confronted the people who accused him of doing it, and the heavy hammer he used to beat them on top of their heads.  Which is why, if there is a Hell, he is going there.

He'll be seated next to Dick Cheney.

I'm not sure you used the word 'gestalt' properly.
Nobody ever does.
No they don't.  It's like 'fascism' in a sense.  Ask a hundred people what fascism really means and I doubt five will answer correctly.
But that doesn't stop them from using it in a sentence when they feel they need to.
No it doesn't.  
Nicely said.
Thank you.

No comments:

Post a Comment