Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Is it snowing in Hell?


Tomorrow we finally hear something I thought I'd never ever hear. Or at least I think we will. Right this very moment only Oprah and her crew and probably a few dozen others REALLY know what Lance had to say during her 2-1/2 hour interview. She supposedly asked nearly all of her pre-written 112 questions. That is a lot of questions. I have to assume they won't all be soft-ball lobs. There must be some serious hard-ball zingers in there.

As of this moment I could still pretend to believe that he never doped...that he was persecuted, it was all a fix, and he was the only one not doping and he was the scapegoat. Because he hasn't confessed yet. It's like when Floyd was contesting his innocence, and I totally believed it. I MET him for crying out loud....granted, it was a very short meet. I drove about 120 miles one evening to be at a bookstore down in Thousand Oaks where he was doing a talk/book-signing. I even brought my "Free Floyd" T-shirt I had bought for him to sign, along with a copy of his book "Totally Positive". I turn around and there, in the upper left corner of my office bookcase is his autographed book, and the T-shirt still in a zip-lock bag in mint condition. I'm not sure what to do with them. I remember how devastated I was when he confessed...after that long drawn out arbitration down in Pepperdine. How I was following along on Trust But Verify day by day, minute by minute...sucked into the black-hole of his defense.

Quite honestly, I STILL think they proved at least a reasonable doubt (about the specific charge of his use of Testesterone). They proved the lab (LNDD) was about as sad in professionalism as a high school chemistry class. The girl who processed his sample did run after run on her machine, NOT saving each run as a different file name as required (claiming she didn't know that)...only saving the ONE run after the machine had been taken out of automatic mode and the points manipulated, showing the desired results: guilty. Or when the Dr. (can't remember his name) who wrote the procedures for running the machine testified that the results of that test were worthless. And how after everything that came out, that the CAS not only didn't buy it, but they INCREASED his sentence and penalty. That he still claims he did NOT use T during that Tour, well...I'm not sure what to believe. He was lying about doping. He apparently was telling the truth (at least some of it, there is still a lot that we are taking on faith IMO)about others who were doping. do you know when a liar is telling the truth? I think that question is the very crux of the matter currently at hand.

What all will Lance have to say? Will there be earth-shattering revelations? Will he implicate people in high places? Will it go all the way to the Oval Office? (ok, that one is just kidding...been watching too many movies). Actually by Oval Office I really mean the top of the UCI. Jeff brought up a really good point over at Rants, and I posted a comment on the subject....that Lance, however big and powerful he was in cycling, was still a "low hanging fruit" in the doping tree. He was a user.

I know his USADA lifetime ban included things like trafficking, distribution, etc etc...making it sound like he and he alone not only manufactured the drugs, but transported them across states and country borders, went out in the dark alleys with huge briefcases of cold hard taxpayer cash to make clandestine drug deals throughout his career, then all by himself went around like the tooth fairy distributing all this dope to the "chosen ones" who were also doping. He then instructed them in it's use, and in some cases actually held a gun to their heads FORCING them to dope if they were hesitant. Yes...that's what the reasoned decision pretty much said in a nutshell.

But let's face it...Lance was a star. He has (had) people. LOTS of people. I just don't believe that he was doing all these things. But somebody was (well, except for the gun to the far as we know anyway). Lots of somebody's. There is no way Lance was anywhere near all this dope....didn't they raid the team bus back in the Festina affair? I vaguely recall they did...and hotel rooms. So...SOMEBODY was transporting all this dope and the syringes, and alcohol swabs, etc. SOMEBODY was making the actual transaction, however it happened. I don't believe it was thru the mail, but you never know...THAT would be pretty risky. And the team traveled a lot. So there must have been sources all over the place, all over the world. And then all the evidence had to be disposed off, so that it would NEVER see the light of day. There were many people watching closely, and the fact that they never got caught tells me they were good. Because over all those years, that's a lot of medical waste disposed of covertly all over the world.

So. What will this confession hold? Will he name names? Give total details of the wheres/whens/whys/hows? Was Johan actually EVER involved? DID he even know what was going on? I can't fathom he'd throw Johan under the bus, but then I've certainly been wrong before. But I must say that it would totally blow my mind if he does. If Lance comes out and says "of course Johan knew" or anything even remotely like that. At this moment I don't believe that will happen. I think even if Johan did know, Lance will protect him. And I'm willing to back that up with cold hard cash. Yep. I've got a shiny new quarter here that says so. Any takers? (and I do mean "a", as in singular....I'm not taking like 7000 25-cent bets here). That's how confident I am. I'm willing to part with two-bits.

As I sit here, I can't help but feeling like the world as I know it will be different by tomorrow night. But I also can't help but wonder if he didn't get a copy of those 112 questions ahead of time. I DO believe that he went over and over and over his 'confession' with lots of smart people on his payroll, and there will be limits to what he confesses to. Specifically, I don't believe he'll confess to anything that could result in prison time. But that's where this gets into a sticky-wicket. This thing has been out of his control since the beginning. And I don't see that changing. There are LOTS of people and organizations that are lining up waiting to take a legal bite out of him....some getting their money and more back that they paid in lawsuits that he won.

One thing is pretty much certain though: the people who want to see him drawn and quartered won't be satisfied. They've been clamoring for a confession for years, and now that he is it won't satisfy them. I don't think there is anything he could say that would. The haters will still hate, possibly even MORE because this will show they were right. And it will be coming from HIS Mouth now...not a stack of papers, or 2nd or 3rd party testimony. There will then be people who will see the human side of him..the man who made mistakes. Forgiving people. And somewhere in the middle of all those people will be those who either don't care, or truly have no idea what to think.

I will be watching though....turns out we DO have OWN (I can only assume that stands for Oprah Winfrey Network) on our Dish subscription (Jeannie found it, I had no idea...she has already set up the DVR to record the Thurs evening broadcast..9pm Eastern time, 6pm Pacific. Supposedly OWN will also web-cast the show for those who don't get that network.

Where do I sit in the crowd of people? I think I'm still somewhere in the independent voter. I agree with points from both sides, and disagree with points from both sides (very much like my political beliefs). Yep...I'm a middle-of-the-road-er. My vote is not for sale, but it is as of yet undecided. I don't believe he is the devil. I still believe that what he did is one of the greatest athletic achievements ever...winning SEVEN TDF's in a row...never crashed out, no horrific days, and never tested positive for a doping test in all those years (maybe/maybe-not...we might find out about that too). Just watching these last few Tours, it's a genuine miracle that he was always in the right place at the right time for 7 consecutive years...avoiding the carnage. The fact that he was doped...well, from everything I've heard and read, so was most of the other top contenders (which is most likely why they were top contenders). So yes...he was still the best in a tainted field. I still believe his name should be there for those wins, and if an asterisk is by them (along with MANY OTHER years winners) then so be it. I watched those races and I know who won. He was the best in a very flawed period of time. But that doesn't change it IMO.

But he has well and truly fallen from grace, about as far as a man can fall. And for Lance Armstong, that was a LONG ways. Farther than any athlete in history. Which also gives me something else to ponder. As to why he never confessed. For one thing, he is human (we think). He had more to lose than any athlete in history, and ANY confession would have resulted in pretty much the same thing he has now: stripped of all his wins, dropped by all his sponsors....about the ONLY thing that MIGHT be different is he might still have a shot at triathlon before he's old and gray. But otherwise, there truly was zero upside for him to confess. That is the part the haters don't get (or don't care). But put yourself into his shoes for just a you have ANYTHING hidden in your closet? Any little dark secrets you plan on taking to the grave? If so, why haven't you confessed it already? Told the truth and taken your beating? Maybe it's because you don't want it known? I'll buy that...welcome to the human race. Anybody who doesn't have any skeletons in their closet, just haven't tried hard enough. Live a little.

In some ways, I'm actually looking forward to getting this out in the open. It's been a slow motion train-wreck for some time now...and I hope that maybe when it's over I can quit wringing my hands and feeling horrible. Like a cancer will have been removed. I sure hope so anyway. I am concerned about how this will affect LIVESTRONG....and yes, I'm still going to be fundraising for them (I'll be joining the 2013 Team Fatty Davis team probably by the weekend). No matter what happens tomorrow and Friday, I don't see my support for LS changing. 

And just 20 hours or so from now this cold front we've had here on the West Coast will have moved down into Hell...because I've always assumed Hell would freeze over before Lance ever confesses to doping.

I hope the devil has mittens.


  1. Have you heard about Manti Te'o? WOW. Just WOW.

    And just FYI - despite rumours to the contrary AND a certain serial internet commenter who HATES him & is chomping at the bit to 'testify' yet again, Lance Armstrong is NOT behind Manti's "faux" girlfriend. Nope, he did NOT hatch some diabolical Machiavellian plan 10 months ago as a POSSIBLE way to divert attention from the POSSIBLE demise of his career & reputation. Even if he IS a control freak. ;)

    And Matt - I will not go back to Rant's as long as that bitch is there, so if you responded to my comment where I mentioned our long ago sport doping 'discussion', can you tell me here? Thanks! :)

    Oh, & good to know that Velonews & cyclingnews are getting their chance ONCE AGAIN to "profit" from Lance Armstrong - "LIVE COMMENTARY & ANALYSIS of Lance's interview with Oprah!". Makes me PUKE.

    And yes, my opinion of Neal Rogers has CHANGED...

    Anyway, I actually think the admittance & any apology, at least at THIS time, is a mistake. The pseudo &/or misanthropic cycling fans will NEVER be satisfied with ANYthing he says. Nothing. The vile "cycling media" who were either completely duped (& thus revealed to be "journalists" in NAME ONLY) or were COMPLICIT in cycling's true culture are so desperate to get everyone to forget THEIR part in the "drama" that they are now the LOUDEST accusers & the most unwilling to accept any "apology". Which, if you know any history, is PAR FOR THE COURSE in these kind of things.

    The only thing I'm interested in is if he attempts to blame Johan. I would be shocked but with the level of HYSTERIA & absolute HATRED being thrown at Lance, it almost seems possible.

  2. And I'm still waiting for the LIST OF JOBS that were so cruelly witheld from Frankie Andreu, all due to some action of Lance's.

    Of course, as I've said - being FORCED to work for OLN/Versus all those years surely is living a life of RUIN.

    Tell me - if some person has "RUINED YOUR LIFE", would YOU stand next to him/her, interviewing him/her ON CAMERA day after day about the day's competition? For 3 weeks? I'M SERIOUS! WOULD YOU?! How much is Frankie's INTEGRITY WORTH? $5,000? $10,000? $20,000? What do you think he got paid for the TDF gig?

    And BTW, over the last 12 years, I read & reread Frankie Andreu's OWN BLOGS he wrote during his last 2-3 Tours as a rider & then when he began his post-riding career. BY HIS OWN WORDS, he barely made it through the last Tour he rode with Lance. His wife now tells everyone that Evil Lance got "rid" of Frankie from the team because virtuous Frankie "wouldn't dope any more". Yeah, well, from his OWN WORDS, he COULDN'T KEEP THE F*CK UP!


    And I realize (oooooohhh believe me, I REALIZE) that to defend Lance Armstrong in ANY way at this time is akin to setting yourSELF aflame, where are the teammates that Lance HELPED (Horner did speak up a few weeks back) & gave opportunities? Where are all the "JOURNALISTS" & other writers who PROFITTED from Lance? Only Sally Jenkins has the god damn balls to NOT denounce Lance as the devil?! They ALL MAKE ME SICK.

    DO you know that it's now become ACCEPTED as FACT that Lance ONLY started the LAF as a means to bring MORE GLORY to himself & "establish his brand". This is what the HATERS have done. The "MEDIA" is also now stating as FACT that the LAF/Livestrong organization never did much for anyone really. I mean, GOD DAMN IT!

    Seriously, I feel like I've flashbacked to the early 50s & knew one of the "Hollywood 10".

  3. Thank you Monsieur Matt - truly well said. I love how you detailed his record in the saddle. I love how you detailed (a good reminder, I had forgotten some of those things!) about Floyds case.

    When Oprah inevitably asks him, "what do you want to get out of this, now at this time". I hope he says he doesn't want to be the poster child for anti-doping in the sport but rather how, as you said above Matt, that it couldn't be entirely him, by himself, w/ suitcase, with money, disseminating and administering PED's but that it is pervasive and requires a larger, all encompassing discussion by the entire community. I hope he talks about the impossibility of the so-called-legal process when a rider is accused.

    "As I sit here, I can't help but feeling like the world as I know it will be different by tomorrow night."



  4. Hey Susie

    I'm a little hesitant to do this because I can feel the angst-ridden passion in your writing. But its been on my mind since you declared that you might/will break from cycling. That you're done w/ it!

    You can't. Really. You are a walking encyclopedia of all that is good AND bad in the sport.

    You realize that if you and others like you, w/ a passionate want for change in the sport and for good to prevail, decide to leave––then the ship will be taken over by the rats.

    I know you know this.

    So vent your spleen, let it all out. And know that what I'm saying comes from a place of respect.

    Because I have my history w/ Livestrong. Aunt Millie was the strongest, most hilarious, lovely Aunt you could ask for. Raised a large family in the home over their neighborhood restaurant w/ my Uncle Dom. Going there to eat meant running a gamut of hugs, from the bar at the front to the kitchen at the back, where she'd appear from the stove. When her cancer persisted, it was Livestrong that connected her with a trial med, found ways to have it paid for, and kept her with us years longer.

    Years. We all got extra years with her because of them. Her many Dr's didn't do this.

    There is no way I'm letting the rats of the world reframe this story.

  5. Oh, so much that I want to say, but don't think that I will be too coherent or organized about it!

    First, re Landis : I also was- am - convinced that the lab procedures were fatally flawed. No hospital lab (here in the USA) could get away with the sloppy recordkeeping, equipment calibration etc. and keep their certification.

    STill, I really dislike how the media is somehow turning him into a sort of hero. Didn't he blow the whistle only because LA and JB wouldn't let him make a comeback with them? Up to that point, he was willing to maintain the omerta and deny, deny, deny. I've no respect for him.

    Re Bruyneel: I don't think it would be LA alone throwing him under the bus. After all, (as so many have forgotten or ignored) I believe that either Floyd or Tyler stated that he decided that he wanted to dope and went to the team management (Bruyneel?) to ask to be started. So that implicates more people than Lance, right there! He wasn't strong armed into it, just saw that that was the way he would get the results that he wanted.

    I haven't read the whole dossier, so I don't know if anyone else really said that they were told "our way or the highway". I guess someone must have.

    And that leads into Lance. You know that I have said it before, that I think there was no deep consideration of using these things as "cheating" by any of the dopers. Just taking advantage of the wonders of modern medicine, and avoiding (in their mind)a silly rule. They still had to go out and put in the physical effort of training and competing.
    Some would call that making excuses for Lance (and Ulrich, Basso, contador, etc etc), but I don't think so. It just explain how I can still have admiration for and enjoy these athletes. I would rather there was no doping -- I think it can be more dangerous than they think, as we have seen, and really isn't quite what I hope for in Olympic sports (yes, more of a 1920's British sporting attitude -- the noble amateur -- silly me). Which just means pushing yourself without chemical means. I'm not blind to the fact that cycling is such a hard sport, and the grand tours ridiculously so (as are the century runs and such); and the history of the TdF is a history of using whatever to just get through if not get an advantage.

    And, as I've said before, I wish that he'd confessed long ago. I could do a deep psychological assessment of his motivations and all, but just let me sum it up by saying that it is not necessarily out of evil, greed, or narcissism (as so many have blathered on about). I really think it is only just that "winning cyclist" is his entire identity, the foundation for everything he knows about himself. So of course he did EVERYTHING to defend that persona, not just to fool the public.

    So I will be very interested in how LA explains (if he explains) the how and why he made his decisions, to see if what I still want to believe is correct.

    RE LIVESTRONG: all the assumptions that it too needs to be investigated, doesn't do anything, etc etc. REALLY REALLY wish that there was a good way to combat this. But, frankly, those who like to utterly despise LA don't want to hear that, in fact, this is a good organisation, and he didn't get rich off of it. He doesn't run it, but perhaps he has gotten remuneration for being on the board, as is so common with charities. Maybe we need a letter campaign to 60 minutes or some such to "investigate" Livestrong, so they can unearth stories like Jessica's that won't get any play otherwise. At the very least I will be telling others what I know to be true about it.

    Lastly, I am frankly disgusted with the play in the American media and commentary from people who barely know what the TdF is, if they even do! and have never ever heard of Greg Lemond, 7-11 team or any team other than USPostal. I just wish they would go away!


  6. So, for the past 3 years, you couldn't turn on a financial TV network or open a financial mag without some Cassandra screeching about the "NEW NORMAL!". Slow economic growth! High unemployment! Government debt! We're screwed now kids! Read it & weep! One of the loudest & most visible (he put the "C" in CNBC as in "CEE ME AGAIN!") was El-Erian. Know him? Good.

    Well, guess what kiddies?! El Capitan now says the "NEW NORMAL" could be OVER SOON! I dunno. Nooooobody was screeching about a TEMPORARY NORMAL. Nope, it was a NEW NORMAL, as in get used to it, this is life here on out. And NOW, it's.... OVER?!

    Why, NEW NORMAL, I was jes "gettin to know you! Getting to know ALL about you! Getting to not really like you but hoping that you still liked me!"

  7. If Lance Armstrong was AIG, Countrywide Mortgage or a host of other economic cesspits that almost brought our ENTIRE COUNTRY TO ECONOMIC RUIN, why, he would be given bailout money (or an opportunity to be forcibly merged with a bank that didn't really want him & are now being penalized for 'crimes' their undesired stepchild did, but that's another story).


    I've got it! The feds insist Lance must be indentured to NBCSports. Forced to share camera time with Al Trautwig. Forced to do commercials intoning to the camera "Doping is bad! Just say No!" And then, NBC gets sued by the federal goverment for Lance calling Betsy Andreu "fat" back in 2005. What a "wicked, wicked world! I'm melllllting!"

  8. Rae - you undersell yourself. You're not just coherent but thoughtful & explanatory without letting your, er, emotions run away with you, which SOME people here can't seem to do. Cough, cough.

    And Jessica - thank you very much. I appreciate your words & your telling about Aunt Millie made me cry. For Millie, for you & your family, & for the help that LIVESTRONG gave & that not one single media outlet seems to acknowledge such work & inestimable aid by this organization at all.

    And you know something that drives me over a freakin cliff?! When IDIOT commentors on other blogs, websites & worse, when actual so-called "journalists" rail that Livestrong...."SHOCK" does not do nor contribute to "CANCER RESEARCH!" My faves are the ones who have actually contributed & now wail they've been defrauded! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Is it Lance's fault that they're too damn LAZY to actually investigate what they're sending their money to?!

    As for Landis, if I had more money, I'd wait til his disgusting lawsuit came to conclusion & he makes a DIME, I would SUE HIS ASS & all his co-conspirators that KNEW he had doped & supported his FRAUD to get our money for his LIE of a defense. (Yes, I agree that lab's work was far from faultless, but Landis repeated over & over that he NEVER doped, not with Testosterone, not with NUTHIN. Not then, not ever.)

    1. Sue Landis--so would I!

      I keep seeing people refer to his Mennonite upbringing (sometimes mistakenly calling him Amish) and imputing him with the morals and conscience of someone who remains in that faith. How blind can they be? When he rebelled and left, (it appears to me) that he left ALL of it.

      Oh, yeah, I see that bit about Livestrong not funding research all the time. So what? they never claimed to, and neither does Breakaway from Cancer, and probably others. It is the same level of ignorance that we see reporters repeat daily on all kinds of topics.

      AND from fans -- jumping all over P&P for being such Lance fanboys (aside from the fact that Phil and Bobke have been his friends) and not occurring to them for one second that Versus, then NBC, very likely have thought that the average USA viewer of the TdF was in fact only interested in Lance and the TDF only because of Lance and so, P&P were under orders to mention him as much as possible, as favorably as possible? I've no doubt that they knew, but they also knew where their paychecks were coming from.

      Well is this show on at 8pm? I will be watching! SusieB, come back and post your thoughts after the show, ok? Matt, I'm with you, I never thought he would come close to confessing. When I saw that he was going to be on Oprah, I figured that it would totally be about promoting Livestrong.


  9. ok - I'm a little bit of a nut, already checking But some of the comments, purportedly from Europeans, show a decidedly different attitude than the Americans commenting. They all seem to recognize the misdeed but keep applauding Lance as a competitor, a true cyclist and one even went so far, in broken english, to list the other riders guilty of the same crime. And they weren't listing the usual names Americans would know; they listed folks only true, longtime fans and those who follow teams from other countries would recognize.

    In a day that I've felt more than a little befuddled (also because I'm thinking of changing jobs and thats enough to make the stomach turn!!) but these European comments made me feel like I'd found my clan.

  10. Watching it now... I'm numb. I never thought I'd see this day, and despite all I've read, it breaks my heart. But I cannot UN-ENJOY all those Tours I watched. And one thing non-cyclists will never appreciate is that doping or no, this guy is one hell of an athlete. EPO won't get you over the Alpe d'Huez.

    I wonder if it's OWN or if it's intentional that the production values are so bad, both Lance and Oprah look sick. Lance seemed nervous at the start, now he just looks sad and broken.


  11. First things first...WELCOME BACK JESSICA!! LOOOONNNGGG Time, no hear! Glad you are still alive and kicking and checking in!

    And now on to the train wreck. Great Googly-Moogly! Just finished watching THE show...I have to admit I truly didn't expect it to be this brutally honest...I had it figured that there would be some patty-cake and lots of Lance thinking and hedging his answers. They are for the most part pretty point blank.

    One thing that totally surprised me though (other than his brutal honesty)...when asked about the USADA report over his bio-passport blood testing from his comeback years 2009 and 2010...the report that said something to the like of "the values in his samples are so unlikely to be natural that they are only one in a million odds that he wasn't blood doping"...and he said that report made him quite upset because he totally denies ANY ped use in his comeback. THAT is quite interesting, as it was the comback years that pretty much opened him up to this entire thing...had he not made his comeback they wouldn't' have been able to touch him.

    I'd say I was mesmerized, and kudo's to Oprah for her questions...she is certainly NOT giving him lob's...they are major league fast balls, curve balls and knuckle balls. And he's not dodging them either....though he did stop short of saying Betsy wasn't lying about her saying he told the Dr's of all his PED use in that Indiana hospital room.

    I looked and looked and can't find the next episode on the guide just shows this one over and over. THAT has me worried...I MUST see this next episode!

    I'll be anxious to hear everybody else's take on things so far. I'm still processing. My mind is blown, that is for sure.

    1. I watched it online, Matt, livestreaming from, so you can too @ 2100 est and repeated at 2100 pst


  12. If you went to CNN afterwards, you would have been SUBJECTED to 2.5 hours of straight Lance trashing. And GUESS who was one of the 4 guests on Anderson Cooper. Guess! Oh come on, you'll "NEVER" guess! Oh, you beat it out of me. Hold on to your shorts - Besty Andreu! Yep, I'm SO shocked too! Anyway, my thoughts -

    I watched 'The Worldwide Exclusive" twice last night, back to back. Then clicked over to ESPN & listened to them rehash/trash for a bit & then went to CNN where the viewer was subjected to a 2.5 hour skewering/trashing. As I've said for the past week, Lance would NOT satisfy the haters no matter WHAT he said or how he acted. And the RALF has done the job of convincing the country that Lance Armstrong is unredeemable. These people make me SICK. Rick Reilly cares more that Lance lied to HIM & to his "FACE" more than any supposed cheating. Dana Jacobson (who's claim to journalism is "hosting" First Take?! LOL) & Christine Brennan just shit all over him. My memory must be failing, but I don't remember EITHER one of these women ever attending an entire Tour de France let alone cover cycling for years. Who the hell are THEY to be calling Lance "souless"? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

    Anyway - my take on Lance's mea culpa so far. For the 1st time since 1999, thought he looked uncomfortable & unsure in front of a camera. NOT "cold', NOT "heartless", NOT "souless". (Give me a freakin break). I've not been surprised at anything. My only criticsm so far was I think he was being disingenuous when he tried to intimate he was NOT the sole decision maker for his Tour teams. Do I think Lance encouraged the rest of the guys to use the PEDs? Why not? It was accepted by most of the sport at that time that it was part of your "preparation", so of course. And why is ANYone shocked that he didn't think of it as "cheating"? I don't think of it as cheating NOW! They were almost all using! I also winced when he said he "probably" sued that soeigneur as he sued so many back then. The latter was true, but it was still a cop-out & even worse, I could hear the gnashing of teeth & screaming by the RALF thru the night air.


  13. And finally - how can ANYone wonder why Lance would "attack" his attackers? Legally & verbally. These people were attacking not just his achievement but his very identity. Of course he would defend his self by counter attacking. Do these people know nothing of WAR? And it was a war.

    And BTW, did Lance call E.O'Reilly a "prostitute" or a "whore"? BIG difference. But it means the same thing you wail. NOT ONLINE it doesn't. And not in a playground fight. Let me explain - if a female comments online in various forums, message boards, blogs, etc, & she uses a FEMALE posting name, there is a 100% chance that if she writes ANY kind of strong opinion, especially critical of the Alphas ruling the space, she will be called one of the following - whore, slut, bitch, lesbian. Not every day & not in every online area but it's more common than not. These words are THE slam-downs of choice for a female. If every woman called any of these names online can say their lives are "ruined", you're looking at almost every single female poster. My LIFE is RUUIIIIIIINNNNNNED!

    Bottom line - if Lance had shown up in sackcoth & ashes & sang the following -

    "I only want to say
    If there is a way
    Take this cup away from me
    For I don't want to taste its poison
    Feel it burn me,
    I have changed
    I'm not as sure
    As when we started
    Then I was inspired
    Now I'm sad and tired
    Listen, surely I've exceeded
    Tried for 7 years
    Seems like thirty
    Could you ask as much
    From any other man?"

    He would have been CRUCIFIED for not being "genuine". As I said - he could not win.

  14. Oh, another thing that bothers me & has for the past several YEARS - when "journalists" or anyone else states emphatically what Lance's "MOTIVES" were for any action or at any time. HOW THE HELL DO THEY KNOW?! They do NOT. I don't. You don't. And yet, there they are, spouting off repeatedly, day after day, month after month, not saying they THINK 'x" must be his motive, they state it as FACT.

    My OPINION as to why Lance may be admitting his PED use now? For his family. His mother & kids & maybe for Liverstrong to not totally implode. As I keep, er, screeching (getting to sound like you know who! ;) - the level of hatred & vitriol being thrown at this man is unlike anything I have EVER seen for someone who did not mow down people with an assault weapon. It's unbelievable! He's a BIKE RIDER! He used performance enhancing drugs like 90% (at least) of all the other cyclists at the time! He defended himself against attacks & he denied the doping. Just like EVERY OTHER rider who ACTUALLY tested positive.

    And have you ever heard of this DeCanio guy? This guy is trying to convince everyone that Lance affected his "career opportunities" because he spoke out against doping. Who the hell was he? Did he ride in the pro-Tour in Europe or the minor league domestic level? These people are ascribing EVERYthing to Lance & the public is accepting it as "truth" because NO one will now defend Lance. I know Lance has always been a control freak but why the hell would he care what some nobody talked about in 2004?

    I KNOW Lance Armstrong was an SOB to several people. But he is NOT responsible for all the doping in cycling, let alone all sport & do I wish he didn't defend/attack/sue as forcefully as he did back in 2001-2007? Yes. But for him not to defend his very identity at all means he would NEVER have been the kind of guy who could win 7 Tours in a row.

    I also hope he does not even try to "apologize" to certain people like Mike Anderson or, argggggh, Landis. The Anderson guy HATES Lance, thinks he should go to prison. For what?! Seriously. Did he murder? Rape? Sexually abuse a kid? Run someone off a road? Steal their identity? Key their car?! If Lance really ruined this guy's business or whatever, I hope the most LA does is pay him some money & then never has to hear from/of him again.

    1. All there is to the Mike Anderson story is, he thought LA promised to front him the money to start a bike shop, but after he questioned LA (or something) about the PEDs in his medicine cabinet, LA cut him off then fired him. Totally understandable, why keep on the payroll someone who is expressing suspicions about your darkest secret--who isn't someone you think you can trust with the secret? Anderson's life wasn't "ruined" by a long shot. You can't lose a bike shop that you don't have, and he isn't the first person to lose a cushy job.

      And I do have little sympathy for Betsy A. If her life was ruined, that was a choice that SHE made, instead of shaking the dust off her shoes and moving on. I was accused of dishonesty and falsification of records (VERY VERY serious in my line of work at the time, a drug research coordinator) once, but have I built my identity around revenge or getting an apology etc? NO. I knew it would never happen, and I moved on. Why couldn't she?

      I was shocked really, at how totally unprepared Anderson Cooper was to address the story. He didn't even know who Hincapie is, clearly knew little to nothing about the sport, or even the scandal itself, didnt seem to really care, accepted everything said at face value... very disappointing. Was he just following the producer's directive in taking on the topic?

      Yes, LA looked very tense and uncomfortable. Yes, Oprah started out strong, but later let him avoid a few tough questions, get away with several non-answer answers. Overall, I was left with pretty much the impression that I had going in of him, and I do think that he espressed some insight into himself (that surprised me). The question is, how deep does it run, or does he really want to deal with his "flaws". I've known people, who got very good at "frankly" admitting and apologising for their "mistakes" -- like doing one of the 12 steps of AA -- but inside, it really wasn't touching them, they had no intention of trying to be different! It was either just another form of manipulation, or just trying to meet expectations. I wonder which it is for LA.

      He hinted at the effect on his kids, esp. mentioned his oldest son -- I wonder if THAT really is the motivator for the public confession. I guess we will find out tonight!


  15. On the other hand. You know - since I found out Floyd Landis actually DID dope in the 2006 Tour de France & throughout his career & thus STOLE MY MONEY that I gave to him to help his defense, why, I can't sleep, can barely work as my emotional trauma continues to affect me, can't trust people, why, it's RUINED MY LIFE!

    How many times do you think I have to say & write this before it becomes accepted as "FACT"? Better get busy. ;) Think B.A. does "consulting"?

  16. Learn from my mistake - typed for 20 mins and then POOF, it disappeared! Copy before hitting 'publish'. =)

    hi ya Matt! I'm w/ you Barbara, numb.

    Lucky to still have a tv, as I too went to CNN afterwards and found the Survivor tribunal going on there (and on Public Radio/BBC) to be full of horribly arch, self-important nattering nabobs. Horrid. Listening to Piers Morgan talk about cheaters and does he live w/ himself?

    I expected Lance to do one of two things: either name all names and say "good luck defending yourselves" OR be vague on names to protect himself and them and focus only on his deeds. He seemed to do #2.

    I appreciated when he said he didn't think it was cheating because he viewed other riders as having the same opportunity. Not because I enjoy listening to someone I've lauded for years to now be reduced to splitting hairs but because it seemed OBVIOUS to me that he was really saying "go look around, it was the norm".

    Maybe I'm hearing what I want to hear. In the same way David Epstein of SI was incensed on CNN last night that he didn't hear Lance unequivocally admit to suing the masseuse. I heard Lance dance around it. And I *assume* that is related to on-going or potential lawsuits.

    It seems completely believable that an ambitious member of the team, asking how to get to the head of the pack would be told "you have to do the work to get there". Even I know what choice that implies in professional circles.

  17. My mom asked today what I thought of the interview. And I told her it felt like watching an addict, fresh out of rehab, trying to make amends. But even while trying, it's clear they don't fully understand yet why they went so far into the addiction.

    Not saying he was addicted to meds, rather addicted to his type of denial.

    Listened to Tyler being interviewed on the radio today and I used to be such a fan of his. I'd LOVE someone to ask him, now that he's removed a number of years--what exactly compels you, as rider w/ a tainted blood sample, to tell people you had a "missing twin"?! Tell me, how does one reconcile w/ your own deceit?

  18. T minus 30 minutes to liftoff...(I mean letdown). Thanks everybody for stopping by and chatting...just like old times...and I love to hear everybody's take on things. I'm pretty sure our little band of inmates is all of roughly the same mind on current's nice to have a 'safe zone' where no-one is going to come and trash us for our thoughts (and know that I have no problem issuing lifetime bans from the asylum is someone shows up and gets nasty).

    I just joined the 2013 LIVESTRONG Davis Team Fat Cyclist once again (it's my FIFTH YEAR, can you believe it?) I thought it was important to make a statement to LIVESTRONG that I've still got their back...and now seemed to be a really good time to say that.

    Anyway, my bro Greg and were chatting yesterday (via email) and he sent this, which I really I'm posting his comment for him (because he never comments).

    "I still maintain that lance wasn’t the first professional athlete to dope, the practice was organized on a team wide basis and thriving when he arrived on the scene (think Festina). Did lance “bully” his team-mates into taking part- maybe/ likely so. Why is that different than many other professional teams before/ during/ after the lance era? Lance was very successful at his craft, and raised the tide for popularity of cycling immensely worldwide. Is it that hard to accept that a manically driven and fierce athlete and competitor looked to exploit every single aspect at his disposal to gain any advantage over his competitors to be successful/ (think equipment- recall greg lemond and the controversy of the aero bars and helmet). Did sponsors such as US postal get their money’s worth in advertising from the team? I would expect likely in multiples or even orders of magnitude. Did professional cycling reap a huge benefit in popularity in cycling- gauged by the numbers of individuals taking part in races? Absolutely.

    There are many lance haters that see this like religion- either your with me or against me. Lance being the most success cyclist ever (one could argue that, if he is not the top, he certainly is the top 2 or 3), he is a scapegoat for everything that is perceived to be evil in professional sport. I suggest the bottom line is money- across the board. Oh gee- a professional athlete and his sponsors trying to make money- who would have thought!"

    Thanks for posting Greg! (GRIN!!!)

  19. Yes, Greg nailed it!
    You too, Jessica, that is a very apt comparison.

    Further thoughts after last night:

    It was personally very painful to me to watch him talk about his conversation with his kids. I really wished that he hadn't gone there in so much detail. I wonder at his willingness to expose them, this private moment with him, and yet he still wants to protect those who knew, aided, abetted, or even probably instigated the doping and coverup. Well, I guess that I can see that this really wasn't the proper venue to point the finger at anyone else, so I am just hoping that he is not going to maintain the omerta.

    I think that he explained pretty clearly why he maintained his innocence for so long, even after all his rivals and predecessors were either caught or confessed. "The story was just so perfect" (-- and his life before then was just so NOT perfect--)

    I think that anyone who has seen him over the years and who was looking closely could see that he WAS emotional at times, very tightly bottled, but visible; sometimes his ears were flaming red! I don't get those who wanted to see more. Tears or something I suppose. What I saw was congruent with what I think I know about his personality.

    But I also think that he was not being truthful at a few other points. Again, those body language tells, although he is much better at hiding it than Floyd was! Oddly, it seemed that he was more comfortable at those moments though, like he was back on familiar ground.

    I soooo agree with you Matt, it is nice to be able to come here and express my sometimes mixed feelings. You know that I have been convinced of the doping for years, and was not at all surprised by ANY of the recent confessions -- or upset either, except at the way the don't-know-much media have covered the issue, and people who should know better have piled on.

    But I still admire him, and feel that he DID win, that that WAS the pro culture of the time, and he is NOT solely responsible for it, and the cries of SOME of the victims are overblown (however, in the case of Lemond and Trek, sounds like Lemond's case is strong even if he isn't a paragon of virtue himself) Last night Christophe Bassons was mentioned. So, LA's team was the ONLY team in the universe, that his career was ruined because he wouldn't dope for them? Really? I am so tired of that.

    But that point of view was getting knocked down at the other blog I visit (as much as I like it), moderation was not the theme of the night!


  20. Wonder if the 'Les Miserables' soundtrack played in the background while Oprah interviewed Lance? Hmmmmm, Lance singing as Jean Valjean -

    "One day more,
    Another day, another destiny,
    This never ending road to Calvary;
    These men who seem to know my crime
    Will surely come a second time,
    One day more... "

    OR as Fantine!

    "I had a dream my life would be
    So different from this hell I'm living
    So different NOW from what it seemed
    Now life has killed the dream I dreamed"

    Back in Oct, I bet Rant that Hollywood would be dying to make a movie now of Lance's rise & fall, but HOW COULD I BE SO BLIND - the REAL venue for his story is the BROADWAY MUSICAL! Lance just has to work on his "3rd Act" & we'll be all set. Think I'm kidding? Do you KNOW the plots of musicals? This is golden!

  21. I totally agree with you Rae about Anderson. I have admired Anderson Cooper for years, thought he was the most prepared, professional, passionate newspeaker on TV of the last 10-15 years. Very, very disappointed in his Lance Trash shows, part 1 & 2. Not only was his knowledge of the sport almost nonexistent (would have been a shock if the opposite) but he had no idea of ANY of the "players" in the drama. No idea of the history, the 'stories', the motivations of ALL involved. For god sake, couldn't his staff have given him a 10 page Cliff Notes before the show? He also took what everything his "guests" said as "THE" truth. And he set up clips from the Lance interview completely emphasizing the wrong things. And WHY were there no ex-teammates on the CNN shows? Why was Betsy Andreu on there & not Frankie?

    But one of the worst things was last night. This time Betsy Andreu only called in on the phone, was not on set. AND she HAD NOT SEEN THAT NIGHT'S INTERVIEW, the Part 2 of the Lance-Oprah sit-down. So, Anderson then proceeds to play highly edited clips & B.A. responds. ARE YOU KIDDIN ME? Really, THIS is the best Anderson could do? Betsy Andreu should have kept her mouth SHUT last night until she WATCHED the entire Part 2. Disgusting.

    And Daniel Coyle? Smug, insufferable prick? No, not Lance, THIS GUY. I have a book by this guy!

    Only Bill Strickland gave a respectable critique. Even though he & I will never totally agree on Lance, his "analysis" is the ONLY critique by ANYone in sports "journalism" (ESPECIALLY the vile cycling media) that is even remotely trying to be unbiased.

    And can someone, ANYONE sit Betsy Andreu the hell down & tell her that Lance Armstrong did NOT "ruin" the sport of cycling! Why does no one call her on this?! Pantani. Ris. Ulrich. Fignon. Festina. Telecom. Rabobank. Operation Puerto, on & on. & on. And please, please someone PROVE to me how Indurain got his ass over those moutains WITHOUT using EPO. Betsy Andreu has been pissed about ONE thing - that Frankie was let go from the Postal team. She tries to convince everyone that it was solely because virtuous Frankie would NO LONGER dope. That he could NOT CUT IT ANYMORE is brushed aside. And, how did Lance keep Frankie off other teams? You don't think other team managers wanted to BEAT Lance?!

  22. This country is a nation of HYPOCRITES. We wail about the "evilness" of Lance Armstrong & how he supposedly treated so many people so badly. Well, GEE, he should get his own TV show! What has a been a THEME on TV the past 20 years? J.R. Ewing. Dr House. Oh, those are just fictional pricks you say. Alright, Chef Gordon Ramsey, Donald Trump, almost every winner of SURVIVOR, etc, etc. We applaud the ruthless when they are "winners", but lo, they begin to show weakness or worse, actually fail & we are like those little creatures in Galaxy Quest - turn on & devour in frenzied minute. Bullshit.

    The more I think about this, the more ENRAGED I become. What other society & in what age, does a nation demand anyone NOT indicted of an actual vicious crime to bare himself on national TV for an inquest into not just his career, but EVERYthing he may or may not have ever said or done & into his character as a whole? And then the nation gets to pick every utterance, facial expression, leg postion change apart & assign motives as fact? It's a public Star Chamber as contradictory as that sounds. And that this was just an interview & NOT a legal deposition let alone testimony in a court of law seems LOST on not just the RALF but the hypocritic, assinine media.

    Personally, I salivate at the thought of Betsy Andreu being CROSS-EXAMINED. "So, when did you discover your husband had doped? So, you are testifying that HE was a doper? Just like Lance? Did he dope the years Lance Armstrong could not ride as he was fighting cancer? How did he ride the 2000 TDF? Any troubles or weakness? Read aloud in court the following excerpts from evidence #150, Frankie Andreu's TDF 2000 BLOG, please. Has your husband ever lied to you about ANYthing? Next witness - Frankie Andreu.

  23. Oooh, oooh, back to the Lance-Les Miz mashup : Betsy Andreu as Javert! And Lemond as Thenardier & his wife Kathy as Madame Thenardier (love that lyric when she sings "not much there".... ;)!

  24. You GO Sooz! THIS is why you CAN NOT leave cycling...we NEED your rants on things!

    I'm surely torn by the whole thing, but there is a lot that bothers me about the reaction. You'd think he killed people, a BUNCH of people. Little kids. Babies. There is that much hate for him. I just don't understand it....unless you were married to him, or were personally bullied (steamrollered) by him, then any huge moral outrage is just WAY over the top. It's a guy who was riding a bike for crying out loud!

    A PRO athlete doing whatever it takes to win. And it turns out that he's not the most moral person in the world. HOLD THE PRESSES! GOOD GOD! Isn't THAT a FIRST! A public figure (Hollywood, Sports, Politics) being really good at his job but not being a good person. OMFG! What a shock! OFF TO THE GALLOWS WITH HIM! BURN THE WITCHES! He TURNED ME INTO A NEWT! (I got better).

    And to think Floyd is now the hero here...who stands to get MONEY (Taxpayer Dollars!) if the whistle-blower suit goes thru and wins. Isn't THAT a kick in the pants. Lets see...Floyd, who was also doping and lying about it, takes OUR money as he looks us in the eye, shakes our hand, signs our books, and says he didn't dope. THEN, when no team will take him because he is radioactive, he blackmails Lance to get on the team, and when Lance doesn't bow down to the blackmailing, only THEN does he come clean and admit he doped, and then tells the dirt on Lance. And he's a hero.

    I'm no lawyer here, but I just don't see how the whistle-blower suit has merit. Maybe there's language in there I don't know, but I would think for the Gov to win that one, they would have to prove they were damaged and suffered loss. Had this happened DURING the USPS years of active sponsorship, then yes I could see a case. But as Greg said in his comment yesterday, their sponsor dollars were returned many times over. In fact, during the years of the Reign of Lance there wasn't a better investment out there. But hey...that's just my take, it will be interesting to see how it comes out.

  25. I have to correct myself re: Christophe Bassons. He never rode for USPS, he was riding for FdJ! He had written in a column during the TdF about how remarkable/suspicious LA's performance was, and was shunned by the ENTIRE PELOTON from that day on, including his own team. And, yes, Lance did ride up to him to say that if he didn't like the way things were, he should quit. Which he did! He himself states that he was never threatened, he couldn't take the ostracising. He says that Madiot was furious with him, his OWN TEAM didn't want to share their winnings with him. THAT IS HOW STRONG the omerta and the doping culture was then -- NOT ALL LANCE"S DOING, yet now Lance is being cast as the one who "ruined" his career.

    This is what I object to. Lance was, indeed, WAY over the line with his behavior in some cases (suing people who were telling the truth) but this doesn't seem to me to be one of them.

    OH, and I SO totally agree about Floyd. Really, I don't get how he can have standing to file a whistle-blower suit. In Ohio, there is a law against profiting from your crime. Since Floyd took part happily and eagerly, by his own admission, in the doping and secrecy, wasn't he part of the conspiracy? He shouldn't be rewarded for getting caught!

  26. "I will certainly not follow Armstrong's example and speak before an audience of millions". (Jan Ullrich).

    Ok, show of hands, who thought Ullrich would ever be smarter than Lance in anything? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? ;)

  27. Did anyone else get a letter from the Victims' unit of the FBI starting out "As a victim specialist for the FBI-San Diego, I am contacting you because you have been identified as a possible victim of a crime as a Floyd Fairness Fund donor." What's the chance we get our money back? (and as you said much earlier, Matt, Floyd has still maintained his innocence of the T he got busted for...)


    1. Hey, didn't get any email...but I didn't really donate that much...I'd assume they will work their way down from those who paid the most...I'd think Susie should be in line (hopefully). I wonder where they think he got some money from....

  28. I'm currently back up in Sunnyvale for the next 2 weeks...drove up yesterday (Monday). I hadn't planned on traveling right now, as we're dealing with our little furry bundle of joy, but this one I didn't have a choice (well, I guess I ALWAYS have a choice...but being unemployed isn't really that much of a choice).

    Jeannie took PG down to an oncologist down in Santa Barbara today (I was supposed to be there too)...we have lots to think about and digest from that appt...we chatted for some time tonight on the phone discussing everything. At the moment all is well...however he reciprocated the surgeons belief that the tumor WILL return if we do nothing. We just need to try to balance quality of life and cost. More to follow when I have time...right now I'm beat and it's bed time...(travel wears me out).

    I brought my MTB with me on this trip and managed to slip in a ride last night. I wass hoping to ride again tonight, but was late getting out of work...darkess is my mortal enemy right now...and traffic...especially traffic. And's decent temp (deep in the trees mostly) when I start around 3:30pm...but by 5 it's getting DARK down in the trees, and cooling off by the moment.

    ANYWAY...have a great week!

  29. "Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane
    I ain't got time to take a fast train
    Sad days are gone, FINALLY feels like I'm HOME
    'Cause the US Dept of Justice-San Diego just

    Hot damn. Just another 5 years & maybe, MAYBE we'll get our STOLEN MONEY BACK!

    The funny thing is 2 emails showed up the last few weeks about "Being a Crime Victim" & I deleted them without even opening as I thought they were SPAM. LOL!

    Doesn't say anything about getting any money back but does say I will "likely not receive additional correspondence regarding the status of this case". But they did give a website to go to (I'm assigned a VICTIM IDENTIFICATION NUMBER & a PIN" (WHOO-HOOO! About freakin TIME they acknowledged we VICTIMS of POS Landis!

    And we got 2 pamphlets : HELP FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME & The Dept of Justice VICTIM NOTIFICATION SYSTEM (which states it is a service provided by several Fed depts & (GET THIS!) "in cooperation with the UNITED STATES POSTAL Inspection Service". I laughed for 15 freakin minutes last night!

    I hope to log into the website some time this week (can't right now because of work) & I'll fill ya'll in what I see.

  30. Hey Susie, can you put the website info on here? I changed my email address in 2010 so they won't have the right one and I want to file a claim. If I get money back, I'm donating it to Livestrong.

  31. www.Notify.USDOJ.GOV. But it says you need your VIN & PIN# & have to enter your last name.

    There is also a phone# : 1-866-365-4968, but they also need the VIN# & PIN. Maybe if you get ahold of someone & give them your old email address?

    The letter was autosigned by Becky Moreno (Victim Specialist) in the San Diego office of the DOJ. That ph# is 855-499-7555.

    Since it's taken 3-5 (?) months since Landis testifed that he HAD committed fraud & the judgement was handed down to even get this letter, I'm not excecting to see a dime for years. And all Landis has to do is not work or get a low paying job & he doesn't have to pay ANYthing! The FEDS will just say "BYGONES!". Our tax dollars at work!

    Still, I at least had the fun of humming The Boxtops all night ("The Letter") & this at least RECOGNIZES us a CRIME VICTIMS. May come in handy when I sue Landis if he gets a nickel in that whistleblower suit. The PAIN & SUFFERING has been immense... Hey, if Betsy Andreu can convince the stupid media that her "LIFE IS RUINED" because she was called a "crazy bitch" on cycling websites, I can wail about 'pain & suffering' when MY money was actually stolen!

  32. Thanks, I will call them and see if I can get anywhere!