Sunday, March 04, 2007

Paul, Who Should I Vote For?

Pacifist No More: Y'know, I generally think of myself as a gentle, peaceable person, and indeed I've never laid a hand on anyone in anger in my life, but I'm starting to think that someone ought to thwap Al Trautwig upside the head with a stick. I'm very sure he means well. I can even stomach him covering a sport like, say, gymnastics, in part because it's barely crossed my radar screen since the '76 Olympics. But this guy's already subjected us to his coverage of this gorgeous sport for a whole year now, and nonetheless, this week's edition of Cyclysm Sundays shows that his idiot quotient remains beyond the pale. Bad enough that he can't think of a single rider besides Basso or Vinokorouv who might be interesting to watch in the Tour de France this year, after a solid hour of coverage on the subject by people with actual knowledge of the sport. More irritating yet is his declaration that CSC is "rudderless" for the Grand Tours two seconds after Bjarne Riis reaffirms multiple 2006 podium finisher we love Carlos Sastre's leadership in '07, dissing the man who saved CSC's @#$ from the Basso debacle with both humility and grace by his ignorance. But he honest to God could not get through 60 consecutive seconds without saying something beyond moronic. I mean, you've got cue cards to help you! You're sitting next to Paul Sherwen and the deceptively knowledgeable Bob Roll for heck's sake, I'm sure they can give you some tips at commercial! Americans by and large have enough to learn about this sport as it is--give it to someone who cares, why dontcha?

The Floyd Landis Propaganda Hour: on the plus side, it was really interesting and sort of heartening to see Cyclysm's shameless bias in favor of Floyd Landis, particularly in the face of we love Phil Liggett's recent declaration that Landis is being shafted--Paul's understanding being that the process is grossly flawed, and Bob outright asserting that Landis wouldn't dope, though I suppose with Landis' personal coach right there the whole time to give his input one really mightn't want to say otherwise out of sheer kindness if nothing else. In that context, it was particularly gag-inducing to see Pat "Dick" McQuaid weighing in on the importance of due process and fair play to the sport, pretty impressive from someone who spent the last 8 months destroying the careers some of the best riders of the current and coming generations on crap unsupported speculation and the last 2 months trying to get the Classics to either bow to his petty whining will or shut down and decimate cycling entirely to serve his ego.

Gripe of the Day: Speaking of Op Puerto, and with all due respect to Ivan Basso, for whom I cheered wildly in the Giro I must confess, seeing him riding in Discovery team kit and being butt-kissed by every swooning cameraman lighting his lovely cheekbones with unending care while Jan Ullrich is sitting somewhere scarfing beer and schnitzel as his bike gathers dust is setting me into an absolute rage. Whether they're both innocent, both guilty, or one and the other, Ullrich is getting positively !@#$%^ relative to Prince Charming, and someone from Jan's legal team ought to be making someone pay. You suck, UCI!

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