Tag Archives: Lance Armstrong

Good News Friday: A very cool look at the International Space Station. Dogs, teaching other dogs stuff. And little kids tell the difference between boys and girls

With all the craziness in sports the past few days, and serial liar and world class jerk Lance Armstrong finally coming clean, and the Manti Te’o story (which, frankly, I’m a little obsessed with, partly because it keeps changing every freaking hour, though Yahoo!’s Dan Wetzel had the best Tweet of the day: “A positive to the Manti story is it turns out a girl didn’t die of cancer. I credit Lance Armstrong.”), I’m glad it’s time to step away and embrace some good news on Good News Friday.

So here you go, three completely hoax-free, steroid-free things for you to enjoy on this fine Friday:

First, this was a very cool video on Andrew Sullivan’s blog the other day; a guided tour of what it’s like to live on the International Space Station. I was riveted. It’s amazing to think that all of this is possible, when it was less than 50 years ago when we first started our space program.

My favorite quote from Sunny Williams, the astronaut who led the tour: “I haven’t sat down for six months.”

**And now, little kids tell Jimmy Kimmel the difference between boys and girls. These kids speak the truth:

**Finally, here’s one dog teaching another dog how to walk down stairs, a video my fiance swears she showed me two weeks ago but I have no memory of it. So cute, and I’m not even a dog person.

Manti T’eo and the most bizarre sports story of all time. Thoughts on Lance Armstrong, suddenly a “truth-teller.” And Obama gets serious on guns

teo

So much to get to today, but I have to start with what has to be, without equivocation, the most bizarre sports story of my lifetime.
If you have somehow missed it in the last 18 hours, star Notre Dame linebacker Manti T’eo was revealed in a Deadspin.com story to either have been in on and planned (seems very likely), or been the innocent victim of (not likely), an incredible hoax wherein a girlfriend he talked about movingly and in extreme detail in the past, a girlfriend who was said to have died from leukemia last September, in actuality never existed.

Yes, that’s right. He told hundreds of media outlets in stories personal details of a relationship with a woman named Lennay Kekua, about meeting her at Stanford in 2009, seeing her in Hawaii on vacations, and how tragic and difficult her death was.

Except, such a person never existed, Deadspin revealed. Notre Dame came out Wednesday defending T’eo, saying he had nothing to do with it, and T’eo said in a statement he’s completely a victim here.

I know this all sounds nuts, because it is. Read the original Deadspin story here, and a CNN update here (with bizarre details toward the end from a T’eo friend who said he met Kekua many times). I truly can’t wait to see where this story goes next.

lancearmstrong

**OK, now to Lance Armstrong, who I’ve tried really hard to avoid reading about in the past few days, once it was “revealed” that he sat down with Queen Oprah and told her that, yes, regrettably, he did all those terrible things people said he did, all those things that there is incontrovertible proof he did: took performance-enhancing drugs, threatened cycling officials, coaches and his own teammates, and basically bullied an entire sport like he was  Corleone family member.

And I’m sorry, but are we supposed to give this disgrace of a person “credit” for coming clean now? It’s not confessing if everyone already knows you’re guilty, and there are mounds of evidence proving so.

Lance Armstrong is a disgrace not just because he cheated, and not just because he intimidated and threatened and ruined the lives of many, many people.

He’s a disgrace because he held himself up as a model of what can be done in the fight against cancer, a disease that ravages and kills millions every year. And with all the success stories and heroes that emerge from the cancer fight, he was held up as the No. 1 hero, the paramount success story.

And he’s nothing more than a fraud, wrapped in bicycling clothes. Good riddance to him, and I hope he loses every shred of credibility and esteem he ever had.

On the plus side, hey, it’s nice to see Oprah being relevant again, huh?

**Finally, a few words on Barack Obama and guns. Despite my initial skepticism, he does seem to really be serious this time. Wednesday he proposed 23 executive actions as part of a sweeping overhaul of some of the nation’s gun laws, with a major focus on closing loopholes about background checks.

I don’t know how much of Obama’s plan will pass Congress, but with the NRA continued to absolutely shoot itself in the foot (pardon the pun) with idiotic TV ads like the one above, he’s definitely going to have the public on his side.

Good for him for making a good-faith effort. But there’s still a long, long way to go on gun control.

Lance, Lance, Lance: Impossible to defend Armstrong now. Epic NBA collapse. And Kyle gets Buckets, 2.0

Note: For you tennis fans,  I’m once again doing a daily French Open blog for my newspaper. Check it out here. And follow me on Twitter here.

I’ll admit it. I was a Lance Armstrong believer.
Maybe I’m naive. Through all of the whispered accusations from discredited sources, to the French media hounding him for well over a decade, I thought the 7-time Tour de France winner was basically clean.

No positive drug tests in all these years had me thinking he was a miracle, a cancer survivor who worked so hard to reach the top of his profession, and he did it cleanly.
He was an inspiration to so many people, not just cancer survivors, and I’d say he was maybe the most admired athlete in America.
And I just didn’t believe he was a cheat.
But after watching “60 Minutes” Sunday night, well … I give in. I give up. Given what Tyler Hamilton and other former U.S. Cycling teammates have to say, and what they’ve allegedly said to a grand jury,  I can’t possibly defend Armstrong anymore.
The evidence has gotten overwhelming. Former teammates are testifying to grand juries about testosterone injections and EPO drops and all kinds of filthy, dirty practices they engaged in with Armstrong.
The scariest allegation for me was Hamilton’s claim that Armstrong and his protectors basically had a positive drug test he produced in 2001 disappeared, so it would never come out.

And so now, we wait. We wait for Lance Armstrong to finally stop the lies and obfuscations, and do what Marion Jones and Mark McGwire and so many others finally did: they stopped ducking and ignoring and admit what they’ve done.
This admission by Armstrong, when it comes (and it will come eventually) will crush millions. Here was a guy who positively, absolutely represented all that was good about athletes, and how much can be overcome with talent and dedication.
And it looks like he was just as dirty as so many others.
It’s sad, really. Even sadder if Armstrong continues to lie to all of us, the people who believed he was worthy of admiration.
Watch the “60 Minutes” video and tell me how you can come to any other conclusion: Lance Armstrong is a fraud.
LiveStrong? More like CheatStrong.

**A few minutes ago I just finished watching the Oklahoma City-Dallas NBA playoff game.
And I’m having a hard time believing what I just saw. The Thunder were in total control the entire game, and led by 15 with about five minutes to go.
Then, like Donald Trump’s presidential hopes, it all fell apart. Dallas started scoring, Dirk Nowitzki, who is reaching a new level this playoff season, hit some crazy shots, and soon the game was in overtime and the Thunder were stunned and lost the game.
It was shocking and once again reminded me why sports are SO much better than “reality” TV and scripted shows: Because you never know what’s going to happen.
Looks like we’re headed to a Dallas-Miami NBA Finals. Which would put most of America in the unfamiliar position of rooting for Mark Cuban.

**Finally, a few months ago I linked to a crazy-cool Kyle Singler trick-shot video. Well, he’s back with another. Kyle Gets Buckets, 2.0. The shot from the top of Duke Chapel is just nuts.

The despicable Floyd Landis. And a beautiful moment on a Danish bus (seriously)

There are some people in pro sports who make my skin crawl.

Curt Schilling. Terrell Owens. Lane Kiffin (did you see him on HBO’s Real Sports this week, acting all humble and nice? Please.) And in a sport that I hardly ever pay attention to, the cycling world’s Floyd Landis.

He is lower than pond scum. He has to look up to see the dirt on my shoe. He’d need a ladder to look eye to eye with an earthworm.

You get the idea.

If you don’t remember good old Floyd, a quick reminder: He won the Tour de France in 2006, and it was a wonderful story at the time, how he came from far back in the pack to win. Except then he failed a drug test a little while after winning, and he was later stripped of the title.

Since then, Landis has denied, under oath, to interviewers, and to anyone who would listen, that he ever took performance-enhancing drugs. Despite evidence piled as high as Kilimanjaro, our man Floyd swore he was innocent.

Until finally, in an interview with ESPN published Thursday, Landis admitted what we all knew: that he used EPO, testosterone, and other drugs illegally while he was a competitive cyclist. He wanted to clear his conscience, we’re told.

Yet he also took this opportunity to accuse Lance Armstrong of using performance-enhancing drugs, too. With no proof of any kind, and with less credibility than Wilt Chamberlain preaching abstinence, Landis says he had conversations with Armstrong, a true American hero, where Armstrong revealed he used drugs.

Floyd Landis is disgraceful. He’s disgraceful for lying for years, for concocting all kinds of ridiculous excuses, and now for trying to bring Armstrong down with him.

He has no honor, and isn’t worthy of being called an athlete. This is the last pathetic attempt of a truly desperate man to be relevant again.

**And now, for a palatte-cleanser. Chalk this up as one of the small moments that make life wonderful. An African bus driver in Denmark had a birthday. The people on his usual route found out and decided to do something special for him. Just look at Mukhtar’s face throughout this 2-minute video, and you’ll see what true kindness can do for a person (especially at the 0:58 mark): (Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan for this video):