Thursday, October 18

It's not just about Lance Armstrong

So Lance is left with pretty much nothing now.  He's been stripped of his Tour de France titles, his Nike deal, his chairmanship with the organization built on his will to survive.  He's been abandoned by scores of people no doubt, who see that he is no longer their path to any kind of vicarious glory.

I agree with Dan Wetzel that both Nike and Livestrong have misstepped here.  Here's an alert to Nike and every other sports organization supporting anyone in cycling for the past decade: drop them all.  Drop them all.  Everyone who has biked with any of the teams implicated through this doping scandal.  Anyone looking at Miguel Indurain yet?  After all, he won five Tour de France titles in a row.  Maybe he's a little worried he might get stripped of his titles, too.

And while we're sniffing out drugs, what's happening in those baseball clubhouses?  Or in those football training rooms?  Seriously.  Does anyone really believe that no athlete is still cheating?  Still using drugs?

I don't condone drugs, but I'm not sure I blame them.  After all, have you listened to the media?  Have you heard and read how commentators rip into players for not playing to the level of their talent?  How did we even know what an individual's actual level of talent actually looks like any more?

We can't ignore the fans.  Fans have such a ridiculously high expectation for wins, they have no patience for the player who has a bad.  Like fans have never had a bad day at work.  It's just lucky for the fans, that they don't make mistakes on national TV in front of thousands (maybe only hundreds) of paying spectators.

So if self-righteous organizations like Nike are going to abandon Lance Armstrong, they'd better sever relationships with every single athlete with which they have an endorsement agreement; otherwise, they're just being hypocritical and grandstanding.

American sports arenas have become versions of the Roman Colosseum.  And we know what happened to the gladiators who lost.

Shame on them, yes.  But shame on us, too.

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