C.A.N.R.S Commentary on you-know-who:by Hunter Pronovost
What does a physical trophy signify anymore? What do the contents of a “record book” really matter to anyone. Is there really even a record book in someone's possession? I think we collectively turned that responsibility over to the internet a long time ago.
The race goes on and Lance will still be Lance....
These are the facts gathered after months of watching this unfold:
Fact #1: Lance was a very good bike racer. The public knows it, and appreciates it.
Most people ( and when I say most it is truly the vast majority I've talked to ) say that Lance was the best doper among dopers and that he won the race among cheats.
Fact #2: You don't have to think he was clean to say he was a champion.
The public is so jaded by professional sports now that whenever anyone does something remarkable, there will be a lot of spectators on the sidelines saying that cheating was involved. What Lance did was impressive in the context of his competition and that's what sports is about.
Fact #3: No amount of official punishment or sanctioning will take away the general consensus.
Maybe if he only won a single year like Floyd, he would be mostly forgotten. But he reigned over one of the largest events on the planet for nearly a decade. People will be always impressed by what Lance did. And they should. Because it was truly impressive. It may sad, it might not be right, but it is fact.
Fact #4: The desire to be heard is what drives the small group that is very vocal against Lance.
Whether it is the small-time blogger, the ex-pro who got caught, the current pro who wants to save face, or Travis Tygart looking to make his career well known, selfish motives are partly at work, paddling against the current of popular belief explained in Facts #1-3
Fact #5: Lance did a lot for cycling and cyclists in general benefited from his career.
Even if the world never gave him super-stardom fame for winning 7 in a row, he still would’ve done what was needed to accomplish it. So we ( as cyclists ) benefited indirectly from his success. There is no arguing this point. Whole articles can be ( and have been ) written about the ways he elevated cycling in general. Anyone who says otherwise is blinded by self importance. Does that make a cyclist who is outspoken against Lance a hypocrite? I think by definition the answer has to be yes.
Fact #6: Lance's cheating are being explained and exaggerated by cheaters themselves.
I believe Lance doped! But you cannot accept the face value of opinions from cheaters themselves. There is a known flaw in their interpretation of reality that flavors their opinion. So when they say he was the worst kind of bully, when they say he forced team mates to dope under the constant threat of recourse if they stepped out of line, they are stating opinion that probably doesn’t represent reality.
To sum up:
Lance did things in the way he thought he needed to do them to win. It's no secret that he doesn’t like to lose. He saw an opportunity to be great within the system, to stay within the rules of the system while getting ahead of the ones out to beat him. It's human nature and it is played out in offices, schoolrooms and in every election year.
To all those that woke up shocked or impressed by the headlines of “Disgrace”, rest assured that any disgrace came a long time ago for Lance. Most people think he doped and most do not care. There is no clear winner or loser here. Lance will be revered by most people long after his non-confession confession. Want proof? 2 words, one name: Bill Clinton.
So yes, Lance Armstrong will always be the cyclist. And he will always be a Rockstar.