Sunday, September 30, 2012


Imagine yourself standing at the fence of any grade school playground in America. You see a game of kickball between the third grade boys and girls in progress. In this game, the girls are beating the boys. And I mean beating! Let's say it's 15-2 in favor of the girls. Now the bell rings and the kids have to go back inside. The boys are stunned in disbelief. How did they get beat by girls? Then one boy comes up with a solution to their embarrassment: the girls must have cheated! No one saw or caught them cheating, but it's really the only logical explanation for girls beating boys, isn't it? Now for the purposes of this story, the role of the girls will be played by Lance Armstrong and the boys will be the ridiculous USADA, the French, the UCI, and the scorned cyclists that Lance humbled Tour after Tour. Apparently the unwillingness to continue fighting sensationalized claims of cheating, is synonymous with admitting guilt. The USADA in a likely alliance with cycling's UCI is dragging Lance through the mud, stripping him of all seven of his legitimately in never caught cheating during...Tour de France titles (and all the prize money that went with them), and banning him from the arena of competition for life. All, essentially, because he's decided it's not worth the energy to continue to fight the charges. Lance Armstrong is a brash, possibly arrogant elite athlete who may in fact be a poor tipper at restaurants. This may come from the fact that he is an elite athlete celebrity.  Not the elite type of athlete that makes a spectacular one handed catch and ends up on Sportscenter's Plays of the Day and then is gone. No, Lance's 'moment' lasted nearly a decade. Lance Armstrong is the greatest cyclist ever. And those are the types of characters that become lightning rods for the media. The fact is Lance Armstrong may have cheated. But he was never caught. For the seven years that he ruled the tour, he was the most tested athlete in sports. Not once did he fail a test. Now it's seven years after his final victory and the whiners are still trying to prove he cheated? The fact this is still going on should be an embarrassment to everyone involved. He won, you lost. Get over it and get on with your lives. What's next? Should we review and demerit every long shot victory in sports history? "Hello, is this the 1980 US Olympic hockey team? Yeah, we're going to need those Gold Medals back. There's no way you could have really beat the Soviets." And if trying to take away the past isn't enough, the rule makers are going after his future as well. Lance wasn't allowed to run in the Chicago marathon this year and Ironman has barred him from all of their events as well.
You know, if this was just another ass-hole hedonistic self-involved jock I'd probably just shrug it off and not give it another thought. But it's not just another athlete. It's Lance Armstrong. He's an inspiration. He's a role model I want my kids to look up to. He's his own six million dollar man. But instead of crashing and having the government rebuild him into a half man--half machine that can do thing others can't; his own body turned on him and left him for dead. By his own will, he rebuilt himself from a triathlon prodigy into a honed cycling machine who could do things no one else could. If cancer can't beat him, do you really think he's going to be afraid of Travis Tygart (the USADA tool in charge of the witch hunt)? In accomplishing these layers of unimaginable feats, Lance inspired millions to an international call to arms against cancer. LIVESTRONG is everywhere. If you don't know about it, then you don't know anyone who's lives were touched by cancer (and if that is the probably don't know many people).  Perhaps on the outside chance that there is a case against Armstrong in lieu of a positive drug test. Ban him from cycling competitively again. Send the message: 'We didn't catch you, but we don't trust you. So you can't race with us again.' But banning from every other sport is ridiculous. Hey, I have an idea. Let him race whenever and wherever he wants and give him drug tests. If he fails -- then kick him out of your event. Come on, who wouldn't want a celebrity of Armstrong's caliber in their event? It's just a poor business decision not to allow him to compete. Lance Armstrong is probably an arrogant jerk, but he has more socially redeeming qualities than most people sworn to public office. Leave him alone.  These stories of suits bringing forth allegations of cheating in races seven, eight, or even ten years ago just make me irate. Isn't there something better to do with your time? Maybe get out there and raise funds and awareness in the fight against a deadly disease? Oh wait, the accused is taking care of that already. Recess is over.

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