Corn commentary: Still proud to wear the yellow
Published on -1/20/2013, 8:49 PM
I wore yellow Friday, still loyal to the self-described cheat who dared to be good enough among a sea of cheats to win the most grueling athletic contest in the world seven times over.
Lance Armstrong, however, isn't getting much sympathy even though he came clean, if you will, during a soft interview with Oprah Winfrey.
After considerable anticipation and even more trepidation, I sat down Thursday to watch Oprah's grilling of a self-described bully.
I watched intently, just as I've intently watched the Tour de France during the past years.
After it was over, my immediate reaction was simple: So?
What he said didn't enlighten much, even though he flat-out admitted using drugs and partaking in blood transfusions to boost his performance.
It seems he's getting more credit than he deserves, however, for conducting such an elaborate drug ring over the course of time when virtually everyone was doping.
Sure, there are no excuses for doping because everyone else did it. But the fact of it all is that everyone did. That's why, after he was stripped of his titles, they weren't assigned to anyone else.
There wasn't anyone clean enough to become the winner. Everyone was dirty, so to speak.
Honestly, I applaud Armstrong.
Yes, he doped. Yes, he bullied. All those things that are simply wrong.
And that explains my simple response.
He's no different that anyone else, and, in a conversation with my wife soon after the interview, I compared him to Wall Street, and especially the financial powerhouses that brought this nation to its economic knees.
They were bullies. They were crooks. They ran roughshod over anyone who stood in their way.
And they denied it. They continue to deny it.
That's why in case after case after case, banking regulators have levied billions in fines against them.
And yet they deny any wrongdoing while agreeing to fork over large sums of money to make the problem go away.
That's because they want to get back to the task at hand, whatever scheme it might be at the moment.
To be sure, I've railed against the too-big-to-fail banks, but it's done no good.
I've railed against other athletes who have doped, against the various sports that give lip service to anti-doping regimens. Until, of course, it hits someone popular, and he's given the benefit of the doubt.
In Armstrong's case, he's been treated differently than everyone else.
Travis Tygardt, the pitbull of anti-doping, has made it his mission to bring down Armstrong. Never mind that he used today's technology to backdate a positive test.
I don't condone Armstrong's doping, just as I don't condone Wall Street's shenanigans.
I do applaud Armstrong for finally stepping up, admitting what he did.
He was a great rider, and he wanted to be the best.
He was the best, and ironically, the Livestrong Foundation benefitted from that.
Had Armstrong remained little more than a domestique in the Tour, his cancer foundation would be dealing in petty cash. Today, it's a great help to cancer victims.
Sometimes, something good comes about for all the wrong reasons.
That's why I'm proud to wear yellow.