Saturday, August 27, 2005

Lance vs. the Frogs

This week events unfolded in France that have again called into question the legitimacy of Lance Armstrong’s seven Tour de France victories. It took me several days to formulate an opinion on the matter. But fear not dear readers, your opinionated blogger never fails to develop an opinion on any number of issues.

The way I see it, the French are extremely bitter about the fact that a Yankee has come to their back yards for over a half decade and spanked their Bordeaux drinkin’ derrières. The have a national psychosis over hating all things American that they cannot beat. Lance Armstrong should save his breath. He describes his relationship with the French as being of the love/hate variety. I suppose that is true, if by love/hate he means that the French love to hate him. It has nothing to do with his cycling ability. The Frogs certainly didn’t hate Miguel Indurain, a Spaniard, when he won five straight Tours in the 1990s.

Indeed, the French were eventually going to find a way to nail Lance, and in the end the French can go on looking down their noses at all things American. In the absence of “evidence” the French had to grudgingly respect the feat that Armstrong had achieved. Certainly none of their riders have ever been able to achieve such success in their race.

Just as the French have dismissed Lance Armstrong based on the article published in L’Equipe, Americans will completely write off this as an anti-American witch hunt. Because like the French, Americans have a national psychosis about Armstrong also. He is our boy, our king, our champion. He is the conquering hero. He overcame a fatal diagnosis of cancer and went on to not only to return to form in the sport of cycling, but indeed be even better. We refuse to see anything that might disturb this illusory image of Mighty Lance.

So, no, dear anonymous poster, we will not stop wearing the LiveStrong bracelets. We will especially not be persuaded on evidence presented by the liberal French media. Whether Armstrong actual dopes or not is really immaterial. It is my suspicion that he probably did. I would imagine that anyone that finishes in the top 50 in the Tour dopes in one way or another. Even if he does, it does not diminish his accomplishment in my eyes. He was simply the champion in an era of “cheaters”. The Tour is as much about tactics and teamwork, and Lance Armstrong certainly assembled the best team in the history of the Tour and they have executed their tactics better than anyone else ever has.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

arent we getting too old to have heros in spandex pants? onward and upward, peter!