Monday, July 9

See, This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

BARRY Petchesky:

The revived case against Lance Armstrong hinges on more than just blood samples from 2009 and 2010 that reportedly show evidence of doping. USADA, still humping this case years after most of us stopped caring about it, allege "a massive doping conspiracy from 1998 to 2007," involving Armstrong, his teammates, his team manager and an Italian doctor. To back up these claims, USADA claims it has testimony from "at least 10" former teammates.

So go cover a game or something, sonny, and leave the adults to worry about things that have more than twelve hours worth of consequences. You'll understand when you're older.

Barry Petchesky, in comments to his piece:

I'm pretty sure Armstrong doped, but my main objection his continued persecution is NO ONE GIVES A SHIT. Especially not years and years after the fact. Cycling's dirty, we all think it's dirty, even as they catch dopers, we just think it means it's completely dirty, rather than being cleaned up. Meanwhile, a guy like Contador gets cleared on his "tainted beef" defense, and it's hard not to wonder about the integrity of specific investigations.

Well, NO ONE (defined, of course, as the American teevee viewer) ever gave a SHIT about professional cycling, either, not that that stopped professional sportswriters from pretending they did once a one-balled, blood-doping egomaniac American started winning.

But yeah, modern life has been so very much improved by the concept of giving a shit, as explained by over-ripe frat boys who extrapolate the public's attitude from the responses of three of their bros after four beers each.

By the way, in case you don't live eat and breathe the Grand Tour, Alberto Contador has been stripped of two titles, missed the 2008 Tour de France along with the rest of his Astana team, and is missing the current one while on a suspension that lasts until September. Compare Lance Armstrong, who was sentenced to make millions from product endorsements.

Oh, look, Barry Petchesky is commenting on his own piece again:

Not that they shouldn't police it, but my problem is all the retroactive prosecution. Can you imagine if MLB tried to strip the Yankeess or Red Sox's WS titles because Clemens/Pettitte/Ramirez/Ortiz got caught? Wouldn't they be laughed out of the building?
And remember, USADA is funded in large part by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Is there a single person happy their tax dollars are going toward USADA's repeated attempts to nail Armstrong?

So there should be consequences, but only according to the attention span of the average YouTube enthusiast? Always nice to see young people defending the foundations of English Common Law.

But militating against my tax-payin' outrage is the fact that Armstrong's Tour prominence began with funding from…The United States Postal Service, whose multi-million dollar sponsorship of Armstrong came with a lot of checks and zero balances.

Yeah, anyone trying to strip the Yankees or the Bosox of World Series titles would be laughed out of the building--if they were lucky--in part because sports fans are rabid homers, and in part because there's no mechanism in baseball to do anything but suspend an individual player after due process. The Commissioner theoretically has such power, I suppose, but the last Commissioner of baseball, Fay Vincent, was forced out in 1992 for un-toadying behavior.

On the other hand, there are a number of guys who won't be making it into the Hall of Fame or who, if they do, will get laughed right out again. The record book for track and field isn't shit-stained; it's shit. It's not just Marion Jones or Barry Bonds. The people who were responsible for keeping this stuff pure, and fair, and honest, were themselves for sale. There can't be any reasonable question that that was the case. Lance Armstrong may have enough money to be as litigious as Disney. Fine. But the statute of limitations should run until the stench is dispersed from all this stuff, something much, much longer than the attention span of your average sportswriter.


Both Sides Do It said...

I didn't know Woody Harrelson bulked up so much for his acting roles.

Anonymous said...

another great post. even if I don't care about most sports. This week's Wimbledon reminds me about the open-air cowardice of officials to default McEnroe for his inexscusable tantrums, back when, or suspend Her Serena Highness for at least a year for obscenities against a linesperson. It's all showbiz, or, when televised, "product delivery systems."

notacynic said...

It seems to me that most athletes prefer doping themselves to cooperating in any way with 'the authorities.' So maybe just let them.

If the point of banning substances and testing is to create a 'level playing field' then admit that current policies are failing/have failed. (Think 'War On Drugs'.) 'Anything goes' also creates a level playing field.

When and if the athletes themselves decide they really want a drug-free environment they will organize and begin the process.

prairie curmudgeon said...

"over-ripe frat boys who extrapolate the public's attitude from the responses of three of their bros after four beers each."

sounds a lot like Boehner, McConnell, GOP arguments about doing what the "people" want which largely reflects the propaganda from Boehner, McConnell and the GOP, you know the "fuck you loop"

Anonymous said...

This is nothing compared to the scandal that's going on in Tiddlywinks, which NO ONE is talking about.

Anonymous said...

Youch!. That punk Petchesky is going to think twice before he takes another step on the Riley lawn! Get some!