by Bill Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lance Armstrong is Pete Rose.
For over a decade, Armstrong has been accused of doping. For over a decade Armstrong has proclaimed his innocence. For over a decade, Armstrong has knowingly misled his millions of supporters, many of whom donated to his Livestrong charity.
I'm still working out how I feel about Armstrong.
I can't stand the dope cops. I don't think there is any reason to have dope cops, to empower this group of bitter little weasels that can't walk and chew gum at the same time.
The major sports should just accept the fact that a vast majority of the participants have dabbled with some sort of supplement. Most of those supplements are legal. Some are not. Some the dope cops aren't sure about.
The banning of Lance Armstrong and the punishment of the other dopers has accomplished one thing: It has rewarded the dopers that haven't gotten caught yet. The current champions will have some time to enjoy their reign until the little geeks with the specimen cups get them too.
It's going to be very hard to make anyone in the U.S. care about big time Euro cycling anymore. It's not like most Americans cared anyway. Other than the beautiful scenery, Euro cycling is a tough sport to telecast. In a culture that watches NASCAR and Indy Racing for the crashes, cycling is painfully slow. We don't get it.
Armstrong changed that for a time. Every summer, he made Americans care about that mysterious sporting event in the Alps. People started understanding what the peloton and the yellow jersey were.
They also immediately found out what an entitled, bitter group of d-bags the fans, administrators, and participants of big time Euro cycling are. Their snoots perpetually pointed toward the sky, these wannabe aristocrats strut around with their man purses, their banana hammocks, and that constant look on their faces as if someone has left the brie out in the sun. The idea of stripping a seven time champion in any sport should horrify anyone involved, but the celebrations on the Champs-Elysees after the stripping of Armstrong rival the day DeGaulle returned in 1944.
Any sport that commits to catching the dopers has to commit to catch all the dopers, not just cherry pick among the participants from countries that aren't "traditionally dominant."
My biggest problem with Armstrong is that he gave up. Why? What made it different now? Was the posse that close?
I had looked forward to thumbing my nose at the French forever. My guy won your event, he cheated his skin tight padded shorts off, and you can't catch him. It was probably similar to the same glee we all felt during the "Run Bambi Run" thing with Lawrencia Bembenek. We knew what she was doing was wrong, but it was great watching her stick it to the man for awhile.
No one likes being lied to. In the end, Armstrong lied to all of us. No one likes feeling like a sucker. Like it or not, Armstrong made suckers out of all of us with the yellow bracelets, even if it was for a great cause.
I have no idea what the future holds for Armstrong. He has the money to seclude himself if he chooses. If not, this country loves a tale of redemption. We'll see what he decides.
As for big time cycling, farewell!!! We never really cared anyway. Go persecute the Australians now. We here, in the world's most important country, will concern ourselves with Major League Baseball and the coming NFL season. Take your yellow jersey, your green jersey, your checked jersey, and your mayonnaise covered French Fries and shove them straight up your Lichtenstein.
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