I’ve been out sick this week with what I’m calling a “twenty-year” flu–the magnitude of which is to be equaled or exceeded every twenty years on average.
I wasn’t able to muster much work besides laying sideways on a sick bed, watching daytime TV, and telling my family, “I’m not dead yet.”
I was eventually able to scroll through pages of Twitter on my phone, which is both easy and mind numbing at the same time. So I did what spammers do and the corporations who buy your tweets and followed the trends. I’m no sentiment analyst, but the trend on Twitter regarding the SI.com article was not, “So what if he did.” It was, “Saddest deception in sports history.”
I’m guessing the Lance camp realized that being world-champion-winning-cocky to a grand jury wasn’t the best tactic, because the Feds will eventually drag your ass into court like Bonds or have you cry on the steps of the courthouse like Marion Jones. There is a very low threshold for a grand jury indictment and despite what Lance’s team is telling you, if true, there are new allegations in the SI.com article.
Late last year, you may have noticed the tone of the Lance and Livestrong tweets were also tuned down from the marketing at the Tour of the 28 campaign. The grand jury and public opinions aren’t mountains to climb or terrible diseases to beat. In this theater, Lance isn’t the boss commanding respect from fearful rivals. There is no “look” to throw at the Prosecutor.
What I’m concerned with is the effect of Livestrong and Lance in our community and not whether he’s guilty or not of doping. The cycling community has, I think, chosen sides. You probably have. I don’t know if he’s done dope, but do know it’s the topic we’re discussing in the bike shop, on rides, and online.
I respect Livestrong and what they do. I spoke with their CEO last year. Chris Brewer, Sr. Mgr Development Communications for Livestrong spoke with us at Interbike. I hope to hang with them again in Austin during SXSW.
But that respect is tempered with the need for cyclists to discuss the current topics – the SI.com story was hourly news for a day and made the local news.
Whatever the outcome of the Fed’s investigation, I expect we’ll soon seperate Lance the athlete from the philanthropist.
This time, it really isn’t about the bike. But it’s going to affect us all anyhow.