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


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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Sports Mirrors Life

July 21, 2009

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Sports sometimes mirrors life. This past week we were given a number of opportunities to look at sports situations that turned back the clock. Allowed us once again to look at some of our heroes of sports and remember a time when they were on top of their respective pillars of greatness in their sports.

Lance Armstrong once again riding in the Tour de France. Armstrong had been in the top two or three spots much of the race. Earlier this week he fell back in the standings during one of the mountain stages, which were one of his strengths in past victorious races. Yes, age has caught up with the cancer surviving iron man of cycling. Armstrong himself has indicated he is likely now relegated to helping his teammate win the race. Our hopes were with him, he might still have a great stage in him somewhere, but for now we have to remember what used to be and what could have been.

Michael Vick was released from house arrest and now will take his appeal to Commissioner Roger Goodel to possibly be reinstated in the NFL. Vick’s story is a tragic one on many levels. A young player with a long career in front of him he became entangled in the underworld realm of dog fighting. Vick has paid for his mistakes by doing prison time, giving up millions of dollars in contacts and endorsement deals, and being tainted for the remainder of his career and life with a label he will never be able to shake. With Vick we have to remember what used to be and what might have been.

Tom Watson played a phenomenal Open Championship this week. He was at or neat the top of the leader board for the entire tournament. Everyone expected TW to be on top of the championship standings this week, and it was TW. Just not the one anyone was expecting. Watson was an 8 foot putt away from becoming the oldest person to ever win a golf major tournament and become only the 2nd player to win 6 Open Championships. The golf ball doesn’t know how old the person is who is hitting it….but it wasn’t to be. Tom reminded us of what used to be, and gave all the golf fans a shot of feeling what could have been.

Earlier this year Randy Johnson won his 300th game. Last year Dara Torres wowed us at the Olympic games winning three silver medals. Brett Favre is likely to come back and play yet again, un-retiring for the third time and playing for the Vikings if his shoulder heals well.

We all have our heroes, and every once in awhile, long after their moment in the sun has set whether for good or for worse, we get reminded and even given a glimpse of that hope, excitement and interest that we as sports fans all have.

As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the United States landing on the moon, we are reminded of the heroes that generation. I am too young to remember the moon landing on that fateful day in 1969. Heck I wasn’t even born for that matter. What an incredible moment that would have been…to see something that had never happened before.

The excitement, the uncertainty, and the ability to root for something better than winning or losing…..

Here is wishing all of you to take a moment to remember what used to be and to dream about things yet to come.

Hots dogs, Tiger, and Larry the cable guy

July 7, 2009

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As covered last week by yours truly, the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Championship lived up to all the hype.  Joey Chestnut became a three time champ downing a new world record 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes.  Amazing.

Tiger Woods outdueled the field and won for the third time this year.  Hunter Mahan threw an impressive final round 62 at Eldrick at Congressional, but it was not enough. Woods had his game face on all day and won for the third time this year.  He heads to the Open Championship in two weeks and if he can play like this should be considered the favorite..then again…when isn’t he?

Tragedy hits the NFL.  Seems like we have been talking too much lately about untimely deaths of popular figures of American culture.  The more details that are coming out the less the local community feels like they really knew Steve McNair.

Roger Federer wins an unprecedented 15 grand slam title.  While last years match was considered “the greatest game ever played” we do not seem to be hearing the same talk this year about this 2009 version of the Mens’ Wimbledon Final.  Roddick and Federer went more games this year than Nadal v. Federer last year.  Nike wasted no time in having a smooth looking velveteen jacket that was gold and white with a nice “F”  on the front and a smooth number 15 on the back…..wonder how long it will be before that is outdated?

Lance Armstong is making a comeback to vie for the Tour de France this year after retiring some years ago.  The seven time winner finds himself in 3rd place behind current leader Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland just 40 seconds behind.  Can  Livestrong continue this feat and win an 8th Tour?  Either way it will be an amazing story and it will be especially with the French Media, who has looked for every possible angle to try an diminish the great cyclists record in this prestigious event.

For you fantasy geeks out there remember that most Fantasy Football drafts are just around the corner.  Many of my co-workers are already buying magazines and laying out the big plans for the boys bachelor party weekend…errrrr…Draft Collaboration.  It is truly amazing how much wasted efficiencies are realized each year by millions of workers surfing the net and trying to figure out who is a better pick, Adrian Peterson or Michael Turner.  Count me among those that love the fantasy leagues and the draft parties.  I am just not a rabid fan as many I know.  Look for some upcoming fantasy football articles from the Goodman file later this year.

In college sports news “of sorts”  The University of Nebraska allowed comedian, Larry the Cable Guy, to perform a 4th of July concert at Memorial Stadium.  This is big news to those of us here in Nebraska as the last time a “non-football” event was held at Memorial Stadium was the Farm Aid concert some time in the 1980’s.  The only reason that year the University allowed the Farm Aid concert was because they were going to tear up and replace all of the Astroturf in the stadium.  Larry who is a native Nebraskan, charged a whopping $4-$6 dollars for tickets depending on seating and where you purchased them.  You can catch the action on Comedy Central likely in a month or two as the event was taped to be shown on TV at a later time.  Nice Job packing the house with over 50,000 who watched the concert this past Saturday.

Until Next week….GIT – R- DONE!