Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Endgame Pt.II...

The cynical, Machiavellian charade that has been Lance Armstrong's joke of a cycling career is finally coming to a close, barring anymore jurisdictional pirouettes by Pat McQuaid, the current head of the UCI. All that would do is delay the inevitable, because there is no way he would get a favorable ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). All the intimidation, all the unbridled and unaccounted for fits of goonery, all the bullying, has come to naught.

The battle over the public perception of Armstrong has disintegrated to the point where it's impossible to respect anyone who has anything positive to say about this lantern-jawed, HgH-torsoed uber-goon. It is an unfortunate aspect of life that leadership is usually bestowed upon those who have a clear and distinct advantage over others, not because of any innate leadership qualities. They must also be willing to intimidate all non-hackers and marginalize any and all dissent. This is Armstrong in a nutshell.

His ascendance up the ladder of pro cycling was the result of a Faustian pact only an asshole of such gargantuan proportions could have pulled off . He decided he was going to take his doping to insane heights, and because he got close enough to the literal and figurative edge (the same edge cats like Ricardo Ricco, Frank Vandenbrouke, José Maria Jimenez and Marco Pantani fell over) Armstrong became a hero.

Her accomplished this not by merely engaging in the same doping practices as the others (he was already an experienced  doper before he got cancer and  had never placed better than 36th at the Tour) but by procuring products like HemAssist from his hospital bed while he was being treated for cancer. Armstrong had already been working with disgraced doping doctor Michele Ferrari before he got sick.

When he recovered (a Festivus Miracle, I tell ya) he personally recruited Johan Bruyneel, a then-recently retired aging veteran cyclist who, despite the copious amounts of dope he consumed during his anonymous career (hence the nickname "The Hog") never won shit. What Bruyneel had going for him was years of experience in team-organized doping, having studied under the tutelage of Spaniard Manolo Saiz, then director sportif of the ONCE team.

Really, that's what this is about. Armstrong took his cheating to unprecedented levels, and this is what allowed him to win all those Tours. He not only cheated, he made sure his rivals had the UCI up their collective asses so he could maintain his advantage. He ratted out his opponents, had someone drive around France with refrigerated panniers full of blood bags and steroids so the team wouldn't get caught with anything in their hotel rooms, microdosed EPO on top of that, and challenged anyone to prove it.

This is why he's a hero. All that cancer advocacy crap was nothing but a self-aggrandizing ruse to promote HIMSELF so he could continue to derive an income from the sweaty balls of his unquestioning legion of fanboys, filling auditoriums and charging enormous speaking engagements so he could tell fellow cult members how absolutely awesome he is.

He's a hero because he took on the French, who were supposedly soooo jealous that a brash American was wining their race, and made a complete mockery of the Tour win record by blasting off seven in a row, a feat guaranteed never to be duplicated, steroids or not. The only rider with any chance of equaling this record was Alberto Contador, but after one DQ  for testing positive, another when his Astana team wasn't allowed to participate, and the continuation of his two-year ban which ended in August of this year, there's no way he'll ever get close. But it's Armstrong who won't get close, because his illegitimate titles will soonno longer count.

Armstrong also had advanced warnings of doping tests, took time to dilute his blood while keeping the testers waiting (a clearly illegal act), and dared anyone to call him on it. He had a doctor who, according to Tyler Hamilton in his book "The Secret Race", found a way to circumvent the new test for EPO the second it was announced. Imagine a test that took scientists years to perfect being compromised by a quack like Dr. Ferrari in about five minutes. That's what Armstrong had at his disposal. But he had more.

He had a delusional fanbase, a growing cesspool of psychotic flunkies who bent over backwards to make excuses for him and to take on all doubters on every cycling internet page. Anyone daring to question "The Myth" was duly pounced on without mercy. He made fun of Tyler Hamilton getting stripped of his Olympic road race medal via his Twitter account, congratulating then-teammate and fellow steroid abuser Viatcheslav Ekimov for moving up one place and getting the gold by default. And it continues.

But those shrill, hackneyed voices are slowly but surely being drowned out by the truth, one USADA press release at a time. Despite all of the attacks against their very existence, Travis Tygart and his team at the USADA have plowed on with the same remorselessness for the truth that Armstrong and his teabag brigade have for trying to cover it up. For those who are nitpicking about what the record books will look like during the Tours Armstrong rode, fret not. Here's the solution-

You know it, I know it, the American people know it. Now it's time for you to tell the world-

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