Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The Whole !@#$ing Sport Makes Me Sick Right Now

Yankee Doodle Dope or Die: fine, I've read the entire Floyd Landis/Paul Kimmage interview, and all I can think is (1) bull!@#$ and (2) why, why, why? Great, you couldn't ride competitively if you *didn't* dope, so you had no choice. Yeah, I'm sure--we get it. Which means damn near everyone who's ever won a stage, much less a Grand Tour then or now, is a cheating, drug-sucking scum-weasel. Fair enough. But here's the problem--you *still* weren't competing on a level playing field, because if you think that the enormous money at the high end of the sport doesn't give those dopers an advantage over equally-talented, hard-training, broke-!@# domestiques from !@#$ squads in the form of better drugs, better doctors, more certainty, and less likelihood of being caught, you're !@#$in' nuts. It's the simple market-value difference between a $3 bottle of Thunderbird and a $3,000 bottle of Champagne. You benefited, unfairly, and while I highly sympathize with having to put up with Armstrong as the price for your magnificent success, suck it up. And you're just certain that the fans who believed in you and put hard-earned dough into your "Fairness Fund"--to which, for the record, I didn't contribute--would completely understand your thieving them personally if you had but ten hours to sit down and explain to them how right you were to ask them for money. Should they've known better, understood the real rules better? Sure. But the punishment for naivete is *not* to be screwed over for their faithfulness, whether they feel ripped off or not, so how the hell does that make it right?

Look, I'm happy Floyd's experienced some catharsis, and opened the lid on the ugly aspects of the sport, if only because it'd be a damned shame if some desperate kid dropped dead over the next fashionable drug cocktail before s/he ever had a chance to think it through, and if reading this interview fends it off, that's quite something. And I sincerely hope Landis, who clearly isn't much worse than a whole lot of folks but *is* !@#damn disastrous at PR, leads a long, happy, wonderful life and that whatever comes next is entirely better than the last five years've been. But let's cut the King Arthur crap, all right?

And while we're at it, I'm going to continue assume there's someone, someone in that entire !@#$ing peloton who isn't on the juice. And if I'm going down a fool, I'm going down a fool who believes that a sport this demanding, this grueling, and this paradoxically beautiful can still, in *someone* as flawed and tempted and conflicted as Landis and every other doper ever was, live up to its ideals. I sure hope it's Cadel, or Carlos, or Tyler, or Cav. But if it's not, it's gotta be someone. Otherwise, it's just one big WWF match in even gaudier clothing, and everyone who's ever known or been a serious cyclist who's suffered for the sheer love of it, has got to think it's more than that. Lanterne Rouge 2011--I'm rooting for you in July!


Tom said...

What she said.

Shit, I'm gonna go delete my whole article.

Anonymous said...

That last paragraph is a keeper. Ditto

Rosemary said...

I love Oscar's response to Floyd's allegation that Pereiro doped too:

"I believe that during my entire cycling career that I never had any sort of problem with doping. I am not going to respond to something like from someone like Floyd Landis, who did test positive."