January 15, 2013

Cycling, doping and jackassery: Lance Confesses

Let me start out with an apology for my language here.  I'm going to be using some "language" in this post.  I understand not everyone appreciates a potty mouth so I think its fair to put a warning up front.  That said, in my opinion, certain words are just the best words to use when describing things.  Now lets get started, shall we?

I'll just come out and say it.  I think Lance Armstrong is a jackass.

So Lance finally admitted to doping.  Good job Lance.  Seriously.  It's better than never admitting it I suppose. But don't you think you could have done it prior to posting twitpics like this?


You may remember I've written about Lance before.  And, although I don't feel like I was backing him in one way or another, I still think he had some good points at the time he decided he would no longer challenge the USADA.  I also still stick to my original notion that the USADA needs to change their processes in charging and pursuing athletes for doping.

But since then, a whole bunch other stuff has been made public and a whole bunch of other things have happened.  And, although I purposely failed to state my position the last time I wrote about Lance, I'll admit now that I always leaned toward the notion that he probably was doping....and so it seems he was.

The thing is, as a PR brained person (fun fact: my degree is actually in PR), it surprises me that Lance actually continued to lie after all of the other things came out and did stuff as dumb as tweeting that picture.  From a PR perspective, up until the release of the USADA's release of "overwhelming evidence" against Lance and then his ultimate confession, the dude was a PR dream come true.  He's good looking, well spoken (even on the fly and in the face of negativity), successful and doing major charity work, among many other things.  It was easy to believe him and sometimes even root for him.

And then the evidence surfaced.

Now at this point, if Lance wanted to keep up his PR cred, he should have done one of two things:
  1. Take a big dose of shut the hell up.  Sit back, be quiet and only be seen doing damn good things.  Then later in life, after the dust has settled, re-emerge as a good dude; OR, 
  2. Admit it.  Just freaking admit it.  Say you're sorry, and then later in life, after the dust has settled, re-emerge as a good dude.
But instead, something else happened....the jackass Lance emerged.  Don't get me wrong, it has been present in the past, but now it just seems to be inevitably clear.  Lance is just a jackass.  To me, the most damage he's done to his career has happened in the last six months.  It's not the actual doping that will ultimately hurt Lance, it is his overwhelming efforts to continuously lie about it, even after the evidence surfaced.  People don't like liars.

Now, I highly doubt his PR people were directing him to keep lying and tweet pictures like the one above.  If they were, Mr. Armstrong, you should fire them.  What's more likely I think, is that Lance the jackass still felt like he was untouchable even after the evidence surfaced.  So he just kept lying.

In cycling, just like the NFL, MLB and NBA there are athletes that dope.  It is the shameful non-secret of (what now seems like) all sports.  Lance, pretty much like everyone else, got caught up.  But then it seems, old Lance just got too big for his britches.  He thought nobody could bring him down.  I think he may have even believed himself.  In the process of this, he became the ultimate jackass.  Maybe it was the glow of all those yellow jersey's that blinded Lance.  Who knows?

But.  While I sit calling Lance a jackass, there is a twinge that says I also feel sorry for him.  I mean, this really could have happened to any cyclist.....or maybe not.  Because at the same time that I feel that twinge, I remember who we're talking about and I go back to thinking that Lance is just a jackass.

Either way, I think Lance waited too long to eat his piece of humble pie.  His apology and admittance definitely should have come before that tweet and picture.  It certainly should have come sooner than yesterday. So where does this leave Lance?  Time will tell.  But I think later in life, after the dust has settled, Lance could re-emerge as a good dude.  As long as he stops being a jackass.




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4 comments:

  1. Good post ! No doubt you have seen my comment on Fatcyclist !

    As i told Fatty and his readers , people will get over their anger , certainly like you they will still think of him as a Jackass .

    No doubt i will bump into him somewhere and like others have a ride for " Auld Lang Syne "!

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    1. Parrabuddy, thanks for stopping by. I agree, people (we) will get over it. I think we're all just annoyed right now. Lance could have just done a bit better of a job helping us do that.

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  2. The Jackass is also known as the Bully. He has made it rough for some of the mechanics that worked for him. So, I guess he is a "Bully-Jackass" and nobody likes either.

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    1. I agree. I have a pro-mechanic friend, I will have to ask him if he's heard of the Bully. (Unless you, anonymous, are him). :)

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