Muhammad Ali’s Rumble In Jungle Shoes

May 17, 2013

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Today I pick out another boxing item, although this is not a sportscard. These are the shoes that were worn by Muhammad Ali in his historic “Rumble in the Jungle” fight against George Foreman in Zaire in 1974.

It’s gotta be the shoes

Apologies to Marz Blackman – but hey….how could you prove these are actually the shoes that the “Greatest” wore during this fight?

Well it really is that easy.

First off, they have been photo-matched and video-matched by world-renowned boxing expert Craig Hamilton. This is essentially comparing the footage of the fight and markings on the footwear in questions and seeing if all of those stars align. More importantly however, these set of tires have the provenance of originating directly from Drew “Bundini” Brown. Brown was Ali’s longtime assistant trainer and friend. If Drew says they are good, well then ….obviously they are good.

These high toppers are no Chuck Taylors

Written in blue ink along the top interior portion of the right shoe, in what we believe to be the hand of Bundini Brown, is the notation “Ali-George Foreman – Oct 29, 1974.” (The fight took place in Zaire on October 29, 1974, but because of the time difference, it was viewed live in the United States on October 30, 1974.) A similar blue-ink notation, again in what we believe to be the hand of Bundini Brown, appears along the top interior portion of the left shoe and reads “Ali-Foreman – Oct 29, 1974.” Each shoe has been signed by Muhammad Ali in black marker on the outside of the shoe- As expected the shoes displays heavy wear, including numerous scuff marks, which could be from the fight itself, or being thrown around in luggage on the Pan-Am flight back from Africa . It would have been normal for the trainer or manager to get some of the items after the fight because let’s face it, Heavyweight Champion of the World, new fight, all new gear. So the old stuff would be packed away for safe keeping as a memento of a big win.

Goodman’s Epiphany

I guess this item is cool on a different level as I remember watching Ali and Howard Cosell on ABC as a youngster always sharing their friendly banter. I also remember a few of the “prime time” fights for Ali against various opponents in my youth. My would at time when they had Ali on the television repeat the chants of the fight crowd that night which was “Ali Bomaye!” in a very rhythmic fashion.

It is only after reading the REA catalog that I actually now know that that phrase means – Ali Kill Him!

This item started with a $10,000 opening price…pretty hefty actually, and currently has been bid up to $40,000. It is obviously one of the most important and documented items from Ali’s career and one of his most important, historic and popular fights.

Stay tuned for the last installment.

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Robert Edward Auctions: 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth

May 14, 2013

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English: 1933 Goudey baseball card of Babe Rut...

Example of 1933 Goudey #144 – Babe Ruth. The REA card is signed by Ruth.

This card is a BABE!As promised a beautiful card of a great hitter (wink wink)

This would be none other than Babe Ruth.

BUT….

This is not just ANY George Herman Ruth card….

This is an item that I have never seen the likes of…or at least don’t remember seeing. I am sure there are others out there, but this is a 1933 Goudey Gum card of Babe Ruth, bearing a signature of the Bambino himself. It is boldly signed across the front of card #144 in the set, which is also considered one of Ruth’s most iconic cards from any issue.

There is more than one Babe Ruth in this set (there are actually 4 different Ruth cards) but this one is considered one of his most popular, regardless of year of manufacture or issuing company. The card does have some minor wear on the corners and some light creasing. If it was PSA graded on condition alone, it would likely grade a PSA 2-3. It is the signature however that makes this one what it is….valuable.

Here is an excerpt from the REA catalog on this item:

This is one of only a small number of Babe Ruth signed 1933 Goudey cards we have ever seen (robably fewer than 10) and the first we have handled since 1999. Ruth has inscribed the card in black fountain pen across his image. “Sincerely Babe Ruth” with both the salutation and the signature grading a 7/8. The combination of Ruth’s signature and this particular card makes it not only one of the most elusive Ruth-signed items in the hobby, but one of the most prized and ideal-for-display as well

This one started at $2500 with the opening bid, and now stands at $13,000 with about a week to go on the auction. Will this one hit the $20K mark?

Stay tuned for this and other exciting items from the REA auction!

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Robert Edward Auctions – 1948 Leaf Rocky Graziano

May 9, 2013

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REA Auction Spotlight – Day #2 – Lot 1563- Rocky Graziano Leaf Boxing Card.  #50 in the set – Highest Graded.

It may not grab the headlines of say a Mickey Mantle Rookie, or an elusive and million dollar Honus Wagner (which coincidentally a PSA 1 Example is also being offered in the current REA Auction)  – But this card is considered THE CARD for boxing card collecting enthusiasts.

Just a handful of 1948 Leaf Rocky Graziano cards have survived – no one is exactly sure why this is such a rare card.  Was it pulled early from production at Leaf?  Did Graziano have some sort of contract dispute for the use of his likeness on a sportscard?  Was it simply some sort of “sample” used by gum and candy sales reps to give away to local confectionery and sundries owners to show what they product from Leaf would look like?  No one knows…but what it known, is that it is the rarest and one of the most valuable if not THE most valuable boxing card in existence.

The number of Rocky Graziano Leaf cards in existence is up for debate.  Some put the number as low as 10.  Other think more like 20.  One thing is for sure, they are not easy to locate and they rarely come up for auction.

This is graded by SGC who is one of the leading grading companies, particularly of pre-WWII cards.  This is the highest graded example that SGC has ever graded.  PSA has graded one Graziano a graded of PSA 5 ( which would be deemed to be a bit better) and that card sold in the REA 2011 auction for a whopping $41,125.

The bidding started on this one at $5000 and is up to  $19,000 with just a few days of bidding remaining.  This is an interesting card to put a value on.  Boxing collecting is obviously not as wide-spread as collecting baseball cards – or the other “big” sports of basketball, football and even hockey.

When one gets into pricing in this stratosphere, you only get the serious bidders taking place.  I am sure a few of these are already locked up in high end collections that will not come up for sale any time soon, which makes keeping an eye on this one all the more interesting.

Remember to check out the REA auction site and get your free catalog – you can even do this after the end of the auction – if you want to learn more about this and other fantastic sports collectibles.

Stay tuned tomorrow for another article highlighting another fabulous item which is sure to be a beautiful big hitter!

Robert Edward Auctions: 1912 Boston Garter Cards

May 8, 2013

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As promised I will cover 5 items from the Robert Edward Auctions 2013 auction. With the number of unique, rare, expensive and highly collectible items, picking just 5 is near impossible. I am sure if anyone went through the catalog, they would have their own favorites, but here are mine.

Lot #5 – Panel of 4 1912 Boston Garter Cards.

I collected baseball cards when I was a kid, and drifted into golf cards more in my college days. I had never seen nor heard of these sort of cards, as someone growing up in the Midwest, these would have Never been available for sale in Nebraska back in the early 1900’s.

Even a single sample card from the 1912 Boston Garter set would be an extraordinary centerpiece in even advanced collections. These do occasionally hit the large auction houses from time to time, and sell for crazy money.

According to REA auction “. In all our years, we have had the good fortune to offer exactly three examples at auction (Mathewson in 2004, an example of Bescher in 2007, and an Eddie Collins in 2012). Presented is one of the greatest prizes in all of card collecting: the only uncut panel of four H813 1912 Boston Garter cards known to exist, featuring the following four cards: Frank Chance (HOF), Fred Clarke (HOF), Hal Chase, and Bob Bescher.”

The 1912 Boston Garters are quite unique in that each features a player in the dugout, without pants, in the midst of getting dressed, proudly displaying his Boston-brand garters – through an open window you can see scenes of the ballpark in the background. Lastly in case you are not sure who your half- dressed player is, their name is displayed on their suitcase next to them getting dressed. Classic.

These are very colorful oversized cabinet like cards (which are basically 4” by 8” each so the panel would be 16” by 8”) and the lithograph artwork screams turn of the century. This items is ultra-rare in that only 20-30 examples of singles cards are basically known, and never before has an “uncut” panel featuring multiple players shown up in any collecting circles.

Apparently this item was dug out of the attic in a find by iconic dealer of vintage baseball cards – The Mr. Mint, Alan Rosen. Rosen has been the self -proclaimed face of the hobby for many years appearing on numerous television shows, morning news broadcasts, and even has written a book or two. Rosen has had some incredible “finds” in his career, and this would surely rate as one of the most unbelievable in terms of rarity and uniqueness.

According to REA – cards are in an uncut “accordion style” strip (that naturally folds along the lines provided) actually raises some interesting questions. Some of the very few known 1912 Boston Garters cards appear to have very rough edges, as if they were torn apart as opposed to cut. Perhaps those cards were long ago (in 1912) torn along the fold lines from uncut strips exactly like this one?”

The back of each card has an advertisement for Boston Garters but otherwise there are no numbers to the cards, which is common on an issue such as this that is just trade cards.

One of the more unique items I have seen in this or any other catalog…and also very valuable.

The reserve on this lot in the auction was set at $50,000. Currently the bidding has hit $150,000 and we still have 10 days of bidding to go.

Makes you want to head home and start looking through your grandparents boxes of unmentionables and socks…..

Stay tuned tomorrow for one of the rarest boxing cards to hit auction.

Robert Edward Auctions – 2013

May 6, 2013

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The biggest and in my opinion the best sports memorabilia auction is just around the corner. Robert Edward Auctions does one auction a year and it’s the premiere auction in the business in this bloggers opinion. Both Kosmo and I have written about this auction in past years and I will do so again this week, but with a slightly different twist.

Even though I have recently moved into a new house, I was excited to get not one, but TWO REA catalogs sent to my new residence. They had my old address in their system, and that one got forwarded to my new address. Fearing that they did not have my new address, I called REA and their customer service is great. They sent me out another one.

Both the one the USPS forwarded and the new one got there on the same day. Each weighing in at 6 lbs. a piece. One of my co-workers gladly accepted my “extra” to take home to show his kids and dream that their 97 Donruss cards would be worth the likes of Babe Ruth and Joe Jackson someday.

You can view the auction on-line, which might save a tree…but the catalog is really the best…AND you can get one free. Just follow this link and then hit “request a catalog” button.

You have to remember – this is an auction house so the write ups on the items will be flowery as they are trying to maximizing bids, but it is a full color catalog with lots and lots of photos. I have collected each and every one of these, and they take up a prominent space on my bookshelf.

I have made the massive effort of reading the entire thing word for word, and page by page…Honestly I have skipped over a few of the autographed baseballs and World Series Press pins…..but I am currently on about page 600…and still have a long ways to go.

REA takes a 18.5% cut of the action….so this is partially why they have such a great catalog. This is well in line with other large auction houses and frankly no one does it better in terms of presentation, or the build-up hype. They do one auction a year, and they do it well, and many collectors can’t wait for that catalog to hit their porch.

I am not a paid advocate of Robert Edward Auctions, no do I receive any benefit of typing this blog supporting what I see to be their fine efforts in putting together a first class auction. If you want to see some really cool in depth analysis, check back on this blog for the next few days.

This week I will write an article about 5 different items from the catalog that are of interest to me and I will begin this on Tuesday, with a total of 5 items being represented and talked about.

I am a big golf fan but don’t expect it to be all golf cards….and I am sure I will hit on a couple of things that most people have never seen nor heard of in the collecting world….that is because REA seems to always have it all.

But don’t just look for these write ups, be sure to check out the entire auction and catalog.

Until Tomorrow….go and order a catalog!

 

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2013 NFL Draft

April 25, 2013

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Being Force Fed?

The 2013 NFL Draft begins tonight in prime time. The real question is, do we all tune into the draft because we are frenzied fans of NFL teams, or because television (namely ESPN and the NFL Network) have crammed this down our throats and but on a multi-day productions that is more pomp and circumstance then actual business?

Borrrrrring!

I have a hard time getting excited for the auction this year, no big name profile players are looking to go early in the draft. From a fan perspective, Offensive and Defensive Tackles look to be the cream of this class. (yawn) These are vital parts to any football team that is trying to build for the future, but is makes for the same excitement as watching infomercials for the sham-wow.

Geno Smith is slated to perhaps be the first quarterback taken, likely going to the Browns at pick #6. But, Geno Smith to me is not a guy to build a team around. He had glimpses of greatness and looked dynamite in action in some games early in the year, and was even listed near the top of the Heisman list – then he played some teams with good defensive schemes and he looked less than pedestrian.

Tavon Austin – one of Smith’s targets and an electric special team player, is also looking like one of the first “non-lineman” taken off the board. Many mock drafts have him in the top 10, with a few I have looked at having him go to the Bills at #8.

One of the more interesting developments for me (which tells you how unexciting the big name promise is in this draft) is that two Tight Ends might be taken in the first round. As more teams try to find the next Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham,- they will likely look toward Tyler Eifert and Zach Ertz could both come off the board in the first round.

Hook, line and Mantei

Everyone thinks I am wrong in the work place, but I think Mantei Teo is going to be a huge bust in the NFL. He has had too much baggage with the whole fake girlfriend episode. Granted he had to endure the media circus, but it does not change the fact that he is a player that was super over-hyped because of the fact that he played for Notre Dame. He put up nice statistics and highlights playing against the sub-par schedule that the Golden Domers faced most of the year. When it came to the title game, and facing real competition against Alabama. He looked slow, missed on many plays badly, and flat out looked horrible.

One game does not define a career, but I am in the belief this exposes him for who he really is. A good player on a decent team, that was way over-rated and will be very average against better competition. Not sure that warrants a high draft pick in the first round. OR it just means that this draft is really that bad.

End of Another Husker Streak?

Cheerleaders

Not as much to cheer for in Lincoln these days

On the topic of bad draft. Nebraska has had no fewer than 3 players drafted for 44 consecutive years as part of the NFL draft. Read that again…..44 Consecutive years. This is an incredible streak. Many streaks ended for the Huskers under the tutelage of Bill Callahan. But this is a streak that even most ardent Husker fans likely don’t know about.This could be the year that this streak is broken. Husker fans should appreciate the coaching job that Bo Pelini really has pulled off last year….winning 10 games and their division in the B1G 10 with basically little talent that is worthy of the NFL draft.

Until Next Time, Stay Classy Oshkosh, Wisconsin

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The Curse of Goodman

April 2, 2013

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The Curse of Goodman?

In last week’s article, I made a number of predictions about various NCAA Basketball teams on both the Men’s and Women’s side of the tournament.

I did not mention all the teams nor all of the games….but the few teams I did mention did not fare well at all.

Here is a quick recap.

  • Ohio State – LOSS
  • La Salle – LOSS
  • Baylor Women – LOSS

I did mention that Indiana was over-rated in my opinion, and they were shown the door. So far, I have not cursed Louisville…although they did have a player go down with one of the most freakish basketball injuries I have ever seen in my entire lifetime of watching games on the Hardwood. Fortunately Kevin Ware has had successful surgery and appears to be doing quite well.

No more picks for now.

Substantial Cash Reward?

When news of this hit the first thing I thought of was Darth Vader, speaking to the bounty hunters in the Empire Strikes back. It appears that there may be some explaining to do by the head of Pac – 12 Officiating.

The story was reported by Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com. According to “anonymous source” (one can ascertain it is a referee that was part of this meeting that is going officially off the record) Pac-12 coordinator of basketball officials – Ed Rush – who also happens to be a former NBA referee – told a group of referees a few weeks ago on the Thursday of the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas that he would give them $5,000 or a trip to Cancun if they called a technical foul on Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller. The words that are quoted being used are either “rang him up” or “ran him” meaning to charge Coach Miller with a technical foul or toss him out of the game. Rush then reiterated during a Friday morning meeting, according to one referee in attendance, that officials should take similar action against Miller if he did anything on Friday in the Pac-12 semifinals against UCLA.

As it so happened, referee Michael Irving — who sources confirmed was in the room with Rush on Friday — hit Miller with a technical late in Friday’s game…and UCLA ultimately won 66-64.

Did I mention that the technical foul was called exceedingly quick? Did I mention that Miller had not been called for a “T” all year prior to this point? Did I mention that he did not use any profanity? Trust me, if you are a remote lip reader at all and have watched the NCAA tournament, you have seen plenty of profanity and also excessive whining done by a number of so called “prominent coaches”. Tom Izzo, Mike Kryzezewki, most notably come to mind.

Since the Pac 12 Tournament was closely followed by the NCAA tournament, this likely did not get the steam that it should have right out of the gate. But it appears to be picking up more momentum and now more of the general public is wanting answers.

Pac 12 Commissioner Scott told CBSSports.com that a review of the matter concluded that Rush did indeed make these comments, that the comments were “in jest and the officials in the room realized they were not serious offers”, and that steps were taken to ensure that such an occurrence would not happen again.

If these statements are true, this represents collusion against one team and one coach. The Pac-12 should instantly fire Ed Roush, no questions asked. Referees are in place to try their best to uphold the integrity and rules of the game. This would be blatant disregard ethics, and the spirit of basketball or any other game for that matter, and simply cannot be tolerated – period – end of story.

How soon we forget the scandal that hit with NBA with Tim Donaghy just a short time ago. Fans constantly complain of officials deciding games. I am usually in the other side of the argument. My opinion is a foul is a foul, and travel is a travel, and it should not matter at what point in the game you are or how much time is left.

Call the rules of the game the way they are written.

Baseball Starts!

I will not proclaim to be a huge baseball fan, although I am a lifelong fan of the Boston Red Sox and also have once again jumped the shark and entered not one, but two fantasy baseball leagues and also a new-fangled baseball simulation league. Last night I already found myself tuning in to MLB Network to catch highlights. I am hopeful that my fantasy teams, and my Red Sox stay competitive and that I pay closer attention to baseball then I did in the past year.

Until Next Time, Stay Classy Kemmerer, Wyoming

The Big Move: The End Is Near

March 7, 2013

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The End is Near

The countdown is on! I am still cautiously optimistic as we have had some delays with our construction, but the mortgage interest rate is locked in, we have given notice to the apartment complex where we have been living, and the final choices on interior things have been made.

Final Choices

The final choices included carpet colors, and of course interior wall colors. We also had to pick out the bathroom light fixtures, the hardware for all of the doors and windows, and a couple of exterior lights. It is really hard to imagine all of the different things you have the opportunity to select if you are building a home for the first time.

Some of the other choices are not so obvious. Do you want a wall mount for your television here? Where do you want your outlets and light switches? Do they flow and make sense when you go through the house? Where do you want the tile to stop and the carpet to start around your walk out basement door? So many decisions, many of them are not big decisions, but at the same time, once you make them you are never going back.

Great Ideas From Our Builder

AT-4 Spigot anti-tank guided missile system

Extra Spigot near the garage

Our builder is a genuinely nice guy and also has a great eye for aesthetics and for things that make sense. “ You might want to add a gas line to your deck for your grill.” I would have never thought about this. Initially I was opposed. After running this by a few other friends it appeared this was the best thing since the invention of OREO cookies.

“How about an extra water spigot near the garage?” Why didn’t I think of that? – This one makes total sense…Yes Please!

“We can stain the cement on your front entry and porch area, it breaks it up and makes it blend into the environment better. We can also do something similar in your unfinished storage area in the basement” – This one I have to see a little more to buy in, but we do have a lot of concrete from the sidewalk to the front porch, so I am thinking this will be a smart move as well.

Starting to Look Like Home

At this point, every trip to check out the house is entertaining. You can see progress being done literally every day. The house looks like a house now, and the inside is starting to look like a place I will be living for a long time. My son has already gone from one playroom (which is essentially one of the spare bedrooms) to now having three playrooms when he gives tours of the house to friends who are in town or want to check out progress. I hope we get moved in soon, or I will be living in the garage as he will claim a couple more playrooms for his LEGO kingdom.

Calling All Cars

The last big thing we need to do- once things are ready – is move in. I have never been a big fan of moving, I don’t know anyone that is. The one positive is you get rid of a lot of things you don’t need anymore. We look to be moving in the last week of March…right up against Easter. I am hoping I find some friends who don’t have the entire weekend filled with church, family meals, and egg hunts and I can get a few willing and able bodies to help us get the majority of stuff to our new domicile.

My wife and I both agree we will take our time un-packing. This might even give us a good start to another garage sale once the weather gets a bit warmer. I am going to need to have some extra money to pay for all of these house warming parties I have promised to so many people!

Regardless it will be a lot of packing, stacking, unpacking, placing and re-arranging.

I sure hope the Easter Bunny brings me some Tylenol!

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Manti Te’o Got Catfished

January 23, 2013

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English: Photo of Notre Dame linebacker Manti ...

Manti Te’o

Last week I was going to write this, but with the Lance Armstrong story breaking, and being a cancer survivor myself, that story took precedence over the big news story that was simply a made up one.

Oh yes…then there is Manti Te’o.

Teo’s story is already added some phraseology to the ever changing slang dictionary we utilize in American culture. We have arguably the largest hoax in the history of college athletics in what I am and others like to refer to as Te’ogate. This is now better known now as a “catfishing” scheme.

For those who have been hiding under a rock (much like an actual catfish would) the term Catfishing is based on the title of the 2010 documentary Catfish — which is also the name of an MTV show that is based on the movie. The purpose of the show is to expose actual hoaxes that take place on line. Although I have never watched the show personally, I have to believe ratings after this past week are now at an all-time high.

So, the story basically goes like this – Star Football player from close knit family rises to success, leads the team that you either love or hate (Notre Dame) and is mentioned in the Heisman trophy talk. He has the perfect on-line relationship with a girl, life is good, then he loses his beloved grandmother and girlfriend almost simultaneously. He manages to overcome this great tragedy and continue to play out the remainder of the season and lead the Fighting Irish to an undefeated record in the regular season, despite all of these off the field events.

What is most amazing to me about the entire Te’o situation is that you would have figured in South Bend, someone would have done some homework on this a little more once the stories came out.

If this would have occurred in my beloved Lincoln, Nebraska, the home of the Huskers, it would have been the biggest news story of the year. Now mind you there is little to no crime in Lincoln, and it is a college community. So if you have the star football player, lose his beloved grandmother, as well as a girlfriend to a disease such as cancer in the span of a mere few to 48 hours (depends on what report you DO believe) one would think that the newspapers, radio personalities, and local news stations would be asking a lot of questions. They would be asking for comments from the family, ask to speak to the mom and dad of the deceased girlfriend, get reactions from friends and acquaintances.

This is what happens when a non-major news event happens in this sound-byte hungry town, at least when a football player is involved.

The biggest irony in this entire situation is that the media is asking all of the questions now. What did Te’o really know? Was he victim or willing participant? They produce various copies of interviews, stories that we now know were made up including his parents indicating they met the young lady. The timelines seem to crisscross all over the place – which in turn just creates more questions.

So how did this go so unnoticed for so long? Why were NONE of these questions asked earlier, how could so many media faces miss the easy questions that needed to be asked or at least investigated.

Now the journalists pile on and raise all of their questions because this story has turned bizarre, and makes for just as good if not better news than if the original story would have in fact all been true.

Lest we forget it was these same major news and sports broadcasting stations – national journalists that all added and put this tragic tale of woe on a pedestal for all to hear and read.

Shame on all of you…..

Next time check your basic facts. Last time I checked that is something they taught you in Journalism 101…

At the end of the day we were not duped by Manti Te’o or the ‘catfishing scheme. No, instead the American public believes what they were told to believe.

And as a parting shot – – fellow lemmings, remember to do your homework. After all, it is what you tell your kids every night when they come home from school.

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Lance Armstrong Confesses to Oprah

January 15, 2013

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Lance Armstrong finishing 3rd in Sète, taking ...

Sweating now? Wait until the lawsuits come, Lance.

The big news of Monday was Lance Armstrong sitting down, meeting with Oprah, and once and for all admitting that he did in fact use performance enhancing drugs.

Journalists from a variety of types and outlets of media, be it sports talk – writers- columnists – bloggers or reporters all seem to have their opinion. I personally cannot think of another situation where there are so many angles to the story, and so many arguments to make. Depending on your point of view and your opinion of Lance Armstrong, you have a bunch of facts that can support your argument and that can justify your thoughts and feelings.

That is what makes this story so very unique.

Many people will forget that Armstrong was once a relatively unknown cyclist. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer at the age of 25 – being a world-class athlete he ignored the early signs and by the time it was “diagnosed” his cancer had spread to his abdomen his lungs and even his brain.

The extremes of the good and bad of the rise and fall of Lance Armstrong also make this a matchless story.

Everyone is very familiar with the Livestrong Foundation. Armstrong took his fame and popularity and worked to turn it into a juggernaut of fund-raising for cancer research. To date over 470 million dollars have been raised via the Livestrong Foundation.

Aside from the money aspect of the foundation – – There is also the emotional aspect. People purchase bracelets, form prayer chains, do other local activities to raise cancer awareness. Think of how many of the yellow wristbands you have owned or how many you have seen in your daily activities in the last decade.

There is no doubt that what is has done in the field of cancer awareness is truly remarkable.

On the other hand, he had denied all cries of cheating outrage against him. His has defended it vehemently with the very fabric of his being. He has gone on countless talk shows over the years, written books, been deposed numerous times and had no less than 10 lawsuits in various European countries against his naysayers.

But there are two incidents that in particular that stand out to me.

First – Betsy and Frank Andreus. Frank was a former teammate of Lance Armstrong, and he and his wife testified under oath that they had witnessed Armstrong tell medical staff in 1996 that he as using various performance enhancing substances.

Shortly after this testimony Armstrong proclaimed in a television interview that they were simply just “vindictive, bitter, vengeful and jealous.”

Shortly thereafter the Andreus’s received an “anonymous” voicemail from “someone” that is assumed to be associated with Armstrong.

“I hope somebody breaks a baseball bat over your head. I also hope that one day you have adversity in your life and you have some type of tragedy that will … definitely make an impact on you.”

The second incident that makes me cringe involves Emma O’Reily. She was employed by the USPS cycling team to give massages…and apparently smuggle drugs across country boarders to supply the various riders on the team. Roughly 10 years ago she made various statements and told repeated stories of doping and her role in PED drug smuggling.

Armstrong responds by taking her to court in England, suing her for libel and slander for way more money than is even remotely close to her total net worth, and defends himself by saying you can’t trust the statements of a drunken prostitute

Wow.

But these are the stories that are usually forgotten. These are the little people who have been squished along the way in the wake of Armstrong Immortality.

Thursday night he goes in front of the most popular talk show person of our time, Oprah Winfrey, for an “exclusive interview”. I am curious to see how pointed some the questions might be, but I have a suspicion that this will be a lay-up of an interview. Pretty bubble gum…Oprah is Oprah, we aren’t talking about Dan Rather here.

I am sure the TV ratings will be high.

Wonder if somewhere Greg LeMond will be tuning in.

Until next time, Stay Classy Plano Texas.

 

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