Friday, January 18, 2013

What's Next?

So I've been watching Lance Armstrong on Oprah, listening to him talk about how all those times he said he didn't cheat that he was cheating and I'm thinking about how this makes me feel. I mean I am not the person hurt by his actions, but I did get caught up in the Tour excitement. I did invest my time and my attention in following and cheering for Lance Armstrong.

I feel bad. I won't say I feel betrayed. I don't feel it personally. I don't think Lance Armstrong did anything to me. But I do feel bad, and I do feel bad for myself. I guess I should feel bad for the people he hurt directly and substantively, people he badmouthed and belittled and sued and, well, beat while racing clean.

And I am thinking culturally what is the other shoe? Next week will Bill Clinton be on Oprah saying "well, actually, I did have sexual relations with that woman"? WIll the guys that ran Enron go on Oprah and explain that they did rig electricity markets? Are Kobe Bryant and Ben Rothlesberger coming up on her schedule?

Is there anything to be gained from any of those people do any of that? Is there really anything to be gained by Armstrong? I don't really think so.

Maybe there are people out there that are really floored by this admission. I think the only person I would be actually floored by would be if something were to come out about Michael Jordan.

Please, please Michael don't shatter my faith.

The first half of the Armstrong/Oprah interview - there wasn't much there that was shattering. It does seem like even in the midst of coming clean Lance still feels like he won those races. I guess there is kind of a level of "everyone was doing it" although he specifically wouldn't say that.

If you look back a few days to the earlier post, he doesn't take the tack I thought was available. He doesn't say they were just really good at coming right up to the edge. He says they cheated. He doesn't say that it's a "no harm no foul" thing where if you don't get caught you didn't really cheat. I think a little bit he might believe that though. He does say they knew they weren't going to get caught so why not cheat.

There is something depressingly American about that impulse.

And this week we get to see why it is depressing.

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