2012-10-11 - 8:13 a.m.
Warning: If you still believe in Santa Claus and Lance Armstrong, stop reading now, because you are not going to be happy about what I'm going to say. But we haven't had a good old-fashioned Peachfront Speaks rant that offends people right, left, and center for quite awhile, so here goes. If you continue reading, you have been warned.
OK, so this Lance Armstrong crap. Of course he doped. Are people so stupid that we have to pretend that this information is the great, late-breaking news of the day? We are supposed to believe that the greatest athlete in a sport, in all of human history, is a guy with cancer? Everybody knew he doped. Everybody. But we're all supposed to pretend we didn't know it because he was, ugh, popular. I hate that garbage. Sport is not supposed to be about popular, and Armstrong found a way to poison it by dragging popularity into the contest.
If people won just by being determined, who wouldn't win? The truth is, to win, you need something extra. For most people, I would hope that the something extra is early training, a great genetic heritage, dedicated practice, and terrific coaching. However, in addition to all of these things, Armstrong clearly found an extra something extra -- the fact that he could play on public sympathy to get away with breaking the rules for a long, long, long time because nobody wanted to be the bad guy who spoke out and called a halt to the nonsense.
Sure, they all did it, but once they started stripping titles from the other guys, and he tried to pretend he was the one pure athlete, then it becomes hateful and ugly. Once they started chasing down the other guys who did exactly what he did, only for far less publicity, pity points, and profit, he had the option to come forward and be real about what it really takes to compete at a high level in a world of 7 billion people. And if he didn't have the gonads to do that, at least he had the option to Shut the Fuck Up -- an option he went for way too little and too late as far as I'm concerned.
Don't give me the saintly cancer fund-raiser crap. He had an opportunity to stand by and help real people in a real way, instead of putting stupid-ass rubber bracelets on people's arms.
My takeaway: Armstrong was happy to sit back and let other guys in his sport get slammed, because they weren't natural political animals (didn't we used to call them sociopaths?) who could be huge winners in life's popularity contest because of their skill at horseshit. Sorry. Sport should be the one avenue of life where who's popular and who's good at bullshit slinging should be completely irrelevant to the final score. It ain't supposed to be about who's popular. But Armstrong was happy to win on pity points, knowing that no one wanted to look too close at how he did the impossible. I got no use for him.
There's nothing wrong with selling cheesy plastic bracelets to naive people with no taste to raise money. We all have to make a living. But don't stand there and make yourself out to be a hero for it. Especially when you're a cheating, lying douchebag who throws everybody else around you right under the bus. One day, it's gonna have to be acknowledged that we have advanced medical technology and, with millions of dollars at stake, sometimes billions of dollars at stake, people are going to do what it takes to compete at a high level and get their share. I don't blame folks for wanting to make use of modern tech to improve their performance. If it's what you have to do, it's what you have to do.
How many decades did actors go lying about their natural beauty? They get to live in fear of being found out, and the fans get to think the actors think they're idiots. Everybody knows that there's no such thing as natural beauty after about age 35 or so. A few brave women like Dolly Parton finally came forward and said, Hey, don't be a child. It takes medical technology to look like this. You don't get it from a jar!
And guess what. The world kept on turning, and the fans still enjoyed the movies. Give people some credit for intelligence. Sport is going to have to grow up and accept the invention of medical technology one day. But it's still at the place where nobody has the courage to say, Look, we have all these fine techniques and medicines to improve performance, and we're supposed to just sit on our hands when we KNOW we can play better?
As it stands, the rules encourage lies and sociopathy. And then people stand amazed when a sociopathic liar floats to the top?
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