Sunday, December 21, 2008

Holiday Wishes (and Champagne Dreams)

So now that I'm emerging from my post-Giro-route-announcement rage that the organizers of this gorgeous race have designed its centennial corsa rosa, thanks to the bull!@#$ inclusion of an endless time trial, around a freakin' American who never cared enough to ride it anyway--or maybe for Ivan Basso as well, if one generously assumes that his disconcertingly Schumacherish improvement in the discipline in 2006 was a natural result of his evolution as an athlete instead of, say, an unnatural evolution prompted by whatever he solely "attempted" to imbibe 'til the narcs caught up with him in Op Puerto--it seems to me that some of these boys could use a plea to Santa Claus, or a jolly gift-giver of any appropriate persuasion, for presents this year. Ergo, on behalf of those in the biz too humble and selfless to ask for anything themselves, and in the spirit of charity and kindness that defines the season, I gently beg whomever's in charge for the following:

1. Not to be a massive geek, but remember in "The Matrix" how Neo's mouth fused together in a creepy amorphous blob the second he claimed his right to a lawyer when he was being interrogated? Right, so the next time some chump tests poz and the cameras and mics start rolling on irrelevant cyclist commentary, David Millar could really, really use the same thing. Thanks, Santa!

2. So the virtuous anti-dopers over at UCI and WADA swear on all that's holy that if doping-implicated cyclists pony up and spill some names, mercy, and a warm embrace back into the peloton where their repented souls deserve to be, shall be theirs. And what does obedient cheating sap Jorg Jaksche get (besides my undying enmity for implicating Andreas "Haven't I Been Hosed *Enough* This Year?" Kloden) for buying this crap? Right, a major ban, permanent exile from the simultaneously pissed and terrified ProTour squads, and a rockin' reward of one dollar a year from Team Obscure'n'Powerless. So for Pat "Dick" McQuaid and Dick "Dick" Pound, a charitable donation of one year of their salaries to the guilty-and-so-very-truly-sorry-about-it boys they suckered. Heck, it won't compare to what, say, Liquigas can shell out, but sure beats selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door, right?

3. Okay, he's clearly got a brain. A heart? Aw, I'm sure he does. Courage? Well, if chutzpah counts, the guy's an embarrassment of riches. But humility? Oh, *that* he could really use a dose of from the Wonderful Wizard. And he's gonna need it, if he really means this !@#$%*& about being a happy little domestique for Alberto Contador at the Tour. Try it, Lance--you'll like it!

4. So close, but yet so far; so clearly capable, yet year-after-year, so ruthlessly yanked out of the end-game blitz of flowers, statuary, podium babes, screaming crowds and champagne. For Klodi and Levi, just *one* of 'em, *any* of 'em--haven't they *earned* their Giro or Vuelta or Grand Boucle already?

5. I don't care if you think he ought to be roasted like chestnuts over an open fire at Christmastime. In fact, I don't even particularly care if you think he's actually innocent (okay, I do, it's not your fault I'm still too heartbroken over Iban to hope). But what I do think is that considering who's still left in the international peloton, Floyd Landis--gifted as he is this upcoming season with one of the best US squads out there--more than deserves his crack at a serious European road race after two years' disgrace. Come on--like *no* scrawny little big-mouthed weasel from somewhere else is gonna test positive at next year's Tour?

6. If you can read and write, accurate sample labeling--even following the instructions for the A and B tests themselves--is a snap. "Hooked on Phonics" for everyone at Chatenay-Malabry Labs!

7. He's big. He's pretty. He's certainly likable. And when he's not being banned for being a party-boy Paris Hilton idiot, he's one of the most smashing sprinters of his, or anyone's, generation. Common sense for Tom Boonen's stocking, pronto!

8. Sure, there's nothing better than finding a Ken-doll ripoff of some Disney-musical he-starlet or, far better in my view, Rock-em-Sock-em Robots under the tree, but some years, we just need cold, hard cash. How *else* is our dear Euskaltel-Euskadi going to keep its deathgrip on Grand-Tour-winning talent just as it reaches its peak? Samu' in '09! And '10! And...

9. The dough these ProTour twits spent on just the whining weaseling likes of Ricco' and Kohl could sustain the entire women's peloton for 10 years. Raises, raises all 'round--ya can't buy a Ferrari with accolades, you cheapskates!

10. Finally, not to be selfish, but we pay out the nose for cycling coverage our own countries are too lame to air, freeze our works off on mountaintops waiting for a road race to pass in a sport that no-one else on our continent even knows exists, and, perhaps worst of all, invest otherwise handy brain cells in useless garbage like this. Please, please, can't we have *one* season without some shameful disgusting dope scandal smacking us upside the head?

Well, I'm sure I'm missing plenty of wheelborne wisenheimers who ought to get just coal in their stockings, but being that I'm supposed to be all chipper and magnanimous this time of year, I'll just wish upon a star they don't do anything to embarrass themselves, or the sport, or us faithful if pathetic tifosi, again. Merry Everything, everyone!


daniel m (a/k/a Rant) said...

Them's some great wishes, RJ. Wouldn't it be great if they came true?

Merry Festivus (or whatever you celebrate).

- Rant

randie said...

number 10 is pretty much what i've been wishing since the 2007 season started. but i remain faithful.
very elegant, well done. and merry christmas

Anonymous said...

Great blog. And my vote is for #3--I would love to see Armstrong domestique for Contador. Even a little humilty on his part would be welcome.