Like many folks,I watched Lance Armstrong “confess” to Oprah. For about 20 minutes. It was all the self-serving crapola from both Armstrong and Oprah I could take.
Some months ago,I wrote that Armstrong was being persecuted by the United States Government with $10 million dollars a year of our money.
I was right then,and I’m right now.
Do I care a whit that he used some fancy concoctions to help his endurance?
I also don’t care if Roger Clemons,Mark McGuire,or Sammy Sosa used steroids or if Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb were belligerent drunks. And I still think that Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame.
Frankly,we are way too concerned with what an athlete is willing to do to win. To put it in perspective,remember that the average life span of an NFL linebacker is 57 years,and nobody complains about that.
And,don’t you find it just a little bit upsetting that the arbiters of what is right and wrong are largely people who never played the game? Take the Hall of Fame election for baseball. The election is from members of the Baseball Writer’s Association. These are largely people who drink their lunch,mostly see life from the left lane,and,again,never played the game.
I saw Jim Gray on the Fox News Channel pontificating about a college football player who said that he was duped into thinking he had an internet girlfriend who died. Now why this is a story is beyond my comprehension since nobody suffered any damages,but let’s get back to Jim Gray.
This was the clown who in game two of the 1999 World Series had the following colloquy with Pete Rose after Rose was named to the Major League Baseball All Century team,an honor which most people with more than 3,000 hits get.
Jim Gray: Pete,let me ask you now. It seems as though there is an opening,the American public is very forgiving. Are you willing to show contrition,admit that you bet on baseball and make some sort of apology to that effect?
Pete Rose: Not at all,Jim. I’m not going to admit to something that didn’t happen. I know you’re getting tired of hearing me say that. But I appreciate the ovation. I appreciate the American fans voting me on the All-Century Team. I’m just a small part of a big deal tonight.
Gray: With the overwhelming evidence in that report,why not make that step. . .
There’s an example of the kind of ‘expert’ who is passing judgment on people who actually played the game. (By the way,Gray also thinks that Bob Costas’ anti gun rant was acceptable,to put him in perspective.)
I’m not a big fan of professional cycling. I could care less if someone needs an edge to win a race of more than 2,000 miles. Unless Armstrong had an engine on that bike,my viewpoint is that he won the Tour De France seven times in a row;and nothing,including $10 million a year of our tax dollars going to a private doping police force,is going to change that.
As far as his “defrauding” the Post Office because of their sponsorship,what a load of crap.
His team won;that’s what sponsors pay for in professional sports,end of story. Except that I don’t believe that any government entity should be spending advertising money on professional sports or subsidizing stadiums. That includes the NFL,Major League Baseball,and the National Guard’s sponsorship of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s number 88 Sprint Cup car.
The same media that is having a slobbering love affair with our President is way too focused on everything but the game.
As big an animal lover as I am (and a Pit Bull owner at that),I didn’t think it was the NFL’s job to ban Michael Vick back when he got caught running a dog fighting ring. I think it is the prosecutor’s job to put him in prison so he couldn’t play football.
I didn’t think the NCAA had any business sanctioning Penn State in the very sick Jerry Sandusky affair. That is the job of the Governor,the courts,and the so-called adult supervision.
I never said Lance Armstrong wasn’t a jerk. Or that Pete Rose is a prince.
But just as I don’t hold Barbara Streisand’s ludicrous political viewpoints against her skills as a singer,I refuse to judge Lance Armstrong’s athletic career (or Roger Clemons’or Barry Bonds’) by what he may have ingested before he played the game.
And,frankly,as a sports fan (and recovering sportswriter),I think that the only votes for halls of fame should come from the same fans who make and break the careers of the players.
Now,can we get back to talking about real news?
Photo credit:lwpkommunikacio (Creative Commons)