Nobody (with the exception of the bicycle fascists, of course) in America would give a fock about professional cycling and the Tour de France if not for Lance Armstrong. Not even Greg LeMond moved the needle as much as Armstrong has. If an American is not winning it, or in the hunt for the win, who but diehard cycling fans would honestly care about the Tour de France? That’s right, not a blip would appear on the sports radar screen. No one in the States really cared about the Tour de France and the narcissistic bitchy cycling world ((despite the greatness of Eddy Merckx)) before LeMond and Armstrong and no one will really care much about it now anymore. I didn’t follow the exploits of Bradley Wiggins very much this year and neither did you.
So now all these cycling geniuses and policy wonks are at each others little throats like a bunch of jealous schoolgirls at a slumber party gone horribly wrong. So what. The sport has been a juicer’s haven for years and that Lance dodged this bullet for this long is a fairly remarkable in and of itself. We as sport fans have become jaded about this from the fall from grace of favourite or not so favourite baseball cheats. We’ve also become a bit cynical and automatically assume the worst. Assume guilt ahead of innocence. For example, did Ryan Braun pull one over on us on a technicality, or was he truly innocent? We blithely assume most of our NFL football players were or are using some form of enhancement.
What sets this Lance Armstrong mess on it’s ear is not whether or not he was juicing or blood doping or whatever to speed up recovery time during the Tour de Focking France. I don’t think it really matters all that much to most people. whether he was or wasn’t. What matters is still the amazing accomplishment of 7 Tour de France win by an AMERICAN cyclist who overcame focking CANCER to achieve something other (equally juiced) humans were UNABLE to achieve. After all, the lads who finished 2nd, 3rd, 4th were juicers too. They couldn’t do it, and Lance did. Scoreboard.
And whether the gains were ill-gotten or not, Lance did more good with his gains and his prominence than just about any athlete you’d care to name. The yellow bracelets, the Livestrong Foundation, the inspiration and hope he gave to many….you can strip him of his titles (theoretically) but you can’t really take any of that other stuff away. The more troublesome thing now is that against every bit of that inspiration and hope that he backed up with the example of his own life, he has thrown in the towel himself and given up the the fight. It’s easy to assume, of course, that this is a tacit admission of guilt. You have a lot of smartass pundits cackling about THAT. But it might simply be a case of being tired of the same old stupidity. Either way though, it’s not a good thing. But in the long haul, Lance will be remembered for what he accomplished and not for how he specifically accomplished it long after Travis Tygart and the rest of that lot are long forgotten.
True, despite all the good stuff he did, it probably doesn’t justify him juicing ((assuming of course that he did)) or being a total douchebag in real life ((I wouldn’t know…I’ve never met him in person, but from what I’ve heard…)) or throwing his former juicing teammates under the bus. But all the same, it’s a fall from grace that proves one thing for sure, he’s only human after all.
And that just might be a good thing.
50 game suspensions for those two…well…it seems like a slap on the wrist. Noted with alacrity and soon forgotten. There’s bigger fish to fry, I suppose, and the US Anti-Doping Authority, which has more powers evidently than The International Court of Justice in The Hague Netherlands seems hell bent on bringing down the biggest. And now I’m sure they feel they have bagged their biggest catch in Lance Armstrong. I’m sure they’re all jumping for joy over there, high-fiving each other and going “Fuck YEH!!” And squealing like a bunch of little schoolgirls at a slumber party because the cute boy they’ve secretly had a crush on has paid attention to them. Something like that.
But why stop with Lance? Get after all them cheating cack-suckers, eh? I’m sure you could find something on Tiger Woods too while you’re at it. Dig at him with the fervor you’ve been digging at Lance ((I’m not defending Lance, I’m just making a point)). Hey…Tiger probably didn’t get that physique and sexual tension just by doing some push-ups, heh? Take all them majors away and ban him from any golf competition. He’s even less likeable actually than Lance in some respects, and off the course, he doesn’t actually have a charitable purpose he can point to justify his human failings. He was a marketing machine pure and simple, he endorsed products and services based upon a charade, a fraud. There ya go.
Now I suppose we can say the same thing now about Lance. He was pulling a fraud on us who thought hew wasn’t doping ((I’m not saying he was or wasn’t here, I’m just saying)), who thought he did it all pure and clean. But the difference between Lance and Tiger is as obvious as seeing a priest on a mountain of sugar. But for those of you who can’t spot the priest, let me simplify. While Tiger was tearing it up, he was fucking whores while pretending to be a loving family man, and endorsing Buicks. While Lance was tearing it up, he was overcoming cancer, inspiring people to overcome obstacles in THEIR miserable, and starting a charitable foundation. It doesn’t matter in the least that both of them are prize #1 twats.
Then again, so are the USADA people and Lance’s accusers. The high and the mighty and the damned. As I said, they have more authority than the federal government. And regardless of whether they are correct or not, or actually have the evidence they claim to have or not, they came across as self-righteous little turds. Bicycle fascists if you will. Lance has a LIFETIME ban from all competitions. So I guess he can’t race anyone around the block anymore. Hmmm. That’s like stripping Tiger of his Majors and telling him he’ can’t play a round of golf anymore, not even for $5 a hole. ((Here Tiger, my man, I’ll give you the $80 right now, but YOU buy the beers)).
Well, I hope they’re happy as little girls now that cycling’s been all cleaned up. Now on to the next.
Like…how DOES Usain Bolt run so fast…keep yer eyes on the prize lads, and don’t blink.
That Mario Balotelli….HE’S gotta be on the juice….we’re gonna strip Manchester City of their 2012 EPL Title
I respect Sir Alex Ferguson too much to even remotely suggest that this is now a dream he is having. And as for Mario Balotelli, he is NOT on the juice ((he might out on the piss at times, but that’s as far as it goes)), but I wouldn’t put this sort of witch-hunt passed the hubris of the USADA and it’s little witch hunter Travis Tygart. As I’ve said, I’m not all that convinced that their motives are as pure as they make them out to be either.
But as for Man City, they’ve begun their title defense on not quite the note I would have expected. They opened their 2012-2013 campaign by squeaking out a 3-2 win over Southhampton last week. That was a bit of shocker to be honest. And they had to come from behind to do it.
And today, they slogged to a come from behind 2-2 draw against Liverpool up at Anfield. What concerns me is their evident lack of defense. I know that Micah Richard is out with an ankle iknjury, and that Zabeleta is no Micah Richards. And though Lescott was on the bench today, he wasn’t on the bench against Southampton. Kolo Toure ((who was suspended for juicing last season….for taking a dietary supplement with a little extra supplement in it)) is no slouch, But geez….2 more goals squeezed past the D. Good thing I kept Joe Hart on MY Premier League Fantasy Football Bench today. And Vincent Kompany?? Come on dog, get your guys in shape, and don’t let them slack until my Blues and my Canaries come calling. Gaffer Roberto Mancini is with me on this one.
Fernando Torres proved beyond a shadow doubt last season that he only human. Crouched and cowed in the shadows of Chelsea’s super-human hero Didier Drogba, the superhuman Fernando Torres, brought in from Liverpool for £50million, showed a human frailty that was as compelling as it was confounding. There were flashes of his superhuman brilliance last season, but for the most part, through circumstances and coaching decisions, that brilliance was ofttimes a dim and distant memory.
This season, the lights have come on and the music has begun to play. Drogba is off to China to play out his sunset years with old Chelsea pal Nicolas Anelka. Carlo Ancelotti and Andre Villas-Boas have both been hung, drawn and quartered by Roman Abromovich. And now the interim gaffer, Roberto DeMatteo, has the full-time gig. New signings have enlivened the club, and the old guard are being handled more effectively, and the the difference for Torres has become extraordinary.
The best of new boys is midfielder Eden Hazard, signed from Lille for £32 million, and he’s become the creative spark that Chelsea has needed. Hazard and Torres have accounted for pretty much every goal Chelsea has scored so far this season, either as provider or by actually smacking that round ball into the net. Torres and Hazard were brilliant this Sunday against the mighty Toon Army. Torres won the penalty on 22 minutes that Hazard smacked home. Then at the 45+3 mark, Hazard fed Torres for a sweet straight on shot that had Krul flailing at his left post. Torres kicked that bad boy straight into the net much like Minnesota Vikings’ place-kicker Fred Cox used to kick field goals in the days on old. It was fun to watch and, hey, maybe with new signings like Hazard, and Oscar, Marin, Azpuliqueta and Moses, Chelsea can go undefeated this season like a certain London rival of theirs did back 2003-04.
That would a great and human accomplishment. And I can hardly wait.