I watched Oprah’s interview with Lance Armstrong last night. Well, I watched it until Scandal came on and then dissed his ass for my current television addiction. I have no shame and I prefer fictional drama to real world bullshit.
Lance Armstrong confessed to doping…and lying…and bullying folk who tried to come clean about all that shit.
But I’m not all that interested in Lance Armstrong’s admission.
I’m far more interested in the reaction of regular folk.
As a sports fan, I’m disturbed by the use of banned substances. Armstrong explained that he didn’t think he was cheating because he didn’t feel that he was gaining an unfair advantage on his opponents since (in his opinion) they all used banned substances too. But what Armstrong conveniently overlooks it that the sport of cycling existed before him…and his “wins” are measured against those of athletes who sure as shit didn’t cheat.
That truth is felt most strongly in the sport of baseball. Doped up assholes have “broken” records set before performance enhancing drugs where even a rumor. And baseball is a sport of statistic and records. I find it particularly weak that baseball players celebrated breaking a record set by athletes who didn’t have personal trainers or medically enhanced diets…people who accomplished amazing things on the field with guts, skill, and determination. It says a lot about a person…it really does…if they can knowingly hit a mark through enhancement that [insert baseball legend here] set despite the lack of modern technology.
As I said, I’m far more interested in the reaction of regular folk.
I’ve heard far too many people say that this shit isn’t a big deal.
And then those dismissive people follow that up with the same excuse Armstrong gives…that everyone does it.
Lance Armstrong and all the other doped up cyclist took the sport of cycling and turned it into WWF on a bike.
Baseball has also changed from a fascinating sport of strategery and fielding prowess into a never-ending and somewhat predictable muscle-bound homerun derby.
And what was once an opportunity to cheer personal achievement…to witness athletes battle their limitations and insecurities to achieve victory or concede in defeat…has been exposed to be an inside joke.
Fans have been punked and it seems that sits just fine with many of them.
Fuck the rules.
Pre-doped achievements and records be damned.
We’re in the “but every body does it” era now.
Mayhap they’ll start including a list of each athletes favorite performance enhancing drugs on their collectable cards!