Saturday, July 29, 2006

Adventures in Press Coverage

Since there's no point in speculating whether Floyd slapped on a testosterone patch--except to note that the ratio acceptable to the hall monitors has dived repeatedly over the last several years with no apparent nonarbitrary reason so in a way it may not even matter--to badly paraphrase the bards, in the summer, a young tifosi's thoughts lightly turn to complete disgust at the most incompetent (noncycling) press coverage I've ever seen on any topic anytime anywhere ever. The day that I'm begging for the return of Al Trautwig for insight, you know things are flat %^&** up. First, Larry King is an idiot. (Not only for this reason, of course, but I didn't mind it at all until now.) Whatever the scientific studies on buckets o' alcohol consumption on near-term testosterone levels say, Landis by all accounts had not been on the Hemingwayeque bender that Larry's dense choice of words suggested, and one beer and a shot of Jack Daniels is not going to propel your #$% 8 minutes ahead of the rest of the perfectly clean and saintly field over 800 cat 1 climbs unless it's also packed with enough amphetamines to fell an ox. To add to the confusion, the only other cyclist anyone in the US has ever heard of (and I don't count Greg LeMond, given that only Today had apparently remembered him), in a total freakshow, was on the line with Larry to weigh in so very kindly about the presumption of innocence and how terrible it is to be treated badly by the suspicious (bitter, socialist, apple-pie hating, hero-less French) press, and how wonderful Landis is and what a treasured member of Postal he was and how dearly Lance recalls his many happy hours of training with the young god before his mentee's much-admired triumph was so cruelly ripped apart by this trumped-up scandal. Clearly, I've missed something here, but this must have been before Landis, in his egregious act of fratricidal betrayal, pulled an et tu, Brute on his brother cyclist, whored himself to fellow Borgia Tyler and to Phonak for the pathetic and hollow rewards of continued athletic growth and ultimate team leadership, and obliged Lance with great regret and no personal motives of his own whatsoever to utterly justifiably behave like a complete throat-ripping werewolf to quiet class act Landis whenever he had the misfortune to pass by in the peloton.

Second, is any else slightly irked by the fact the press, which did to be fair slobber over Lance's genuinely moving story but otherwise completely ignores cycling and doesn't know a peloton from a Pop-Tart, has jumped on this with the tooth-baring frenzy (and thoughtful analysis) of sharks on chum? It's very nice that they're trying I guess (and I'm really, really pushing myself here for something kind to say), but a little context for cycling newbies other than "HELLBOUND FALLEN MENNONITE CHEATS SNOW-PURE FIELD OF TRUE SPORTSMEN" would be both appropriate and appreciated.

Well, I guess while this is going on no-one else will care that a couple of the Astana fallen are back in action in the coming few weeks, and that Gert Steegmans who really did a pretty decent job under the circumstances for Robbie McEwen as his inadvertent lead-out man after Fast Freddy's nasty crash-out is leaving Davitamon to go help back-on-form Tom Boonen over at Quick Step, but I think it's all very lovely. And would someone kindly enlighten those of us who care who exactly is going to be left to ride in the Vuelta besides hopefully at least Valverde and Mayo?

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