Two Strong

Neil Armstrong died Saturday.

Lance Armstrong, in a sense, did too.

I’m still trying to sort out my feelings on performance enhancing drugs (“PEDs”) and why we might convict certain individuals in the court of public opinion over them and not others.

That aside, both Armstrongs refused to be ordinary or aim too low. In that sense, even Lance is still to be admired. Sometimes we drive too fast or too close to the sun, for sure. But, I think I’d rather be at the ethical limits of life chasing something extraordinary than self-righteously sitting on my couch at home.

So if the trapezoids of this site look too wide or its neck to thick, you won’t have to guess. I’m blood doping the blong. Live strong.

Performed by ipoetlaureate. Music produced by djclutch.

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6 thoughts on “Two Strong

  1. Lance’s response is so hard to read. Is it a subtle admission of guilt that he gave up the legal case, thereby also implying that the 7 Tour titles don’t mean as much to him like most professional sports championships mean to the winners? Or is he more like “eh, I have nothing to hide, I’m not wasting any more time or money, I have a clear conscience about my innocence whether anyone believes me or not”?

    But then, if it’s about legacy, I mean, yeah, his Livestrong work will be remembered and public opinion (on CNN but not as much on ESPN) will favor that over him being a “cheater.”
    We remember Jim Valvano for cancer research and his personality and his miracle 1983 title, not so much for the fact that NC State went on probation for stuff that happened under his watch.
    And then there’s someone like Chuck Colson who accomplished a significant amount in in ministry such that it is not overshadowed by his involvement in Watergate.
    I think what I’m trying to say is……if Ben Johnson suddenly does major humanitarian work for the rest of his life, we’ll forget about his disqualification in 1988. Or something like that.

  2. I don’t know man.

    I think it’s pretty clear he doped. A lot of witnesses lined up against him. The whole cycling industry does it and yet somehow he blew away the whole field? 7 times. It’s just asking a lot.

    But, that still leaves the question as to how we view him, as you and others have raised. I think the main reason he gets a pass is that Americans don’t care about cycling. We didn’t care about it before LA and we don’t care now. So his assault on the records of that sport, through nefarious means, wasn’t as personal for Americans as say McGwire or Bonds pursuit of Maris and Aaron. And, in fact, our self righteousness is almost exclusively limited to baseball. There is so much personal investment in the statistical numbers of baseball that you just don’t find anywhere else. I don’t care what sort of progressive testing the NFL has had, we don’t think most of those guys aren’t on this synthetic stuff too? But, nobody really cares. The bigger these guys are the better. We couldn’t even identify the statistical superlatives for most touchdowns or passing yards. Steroids doesn’t threaten anything sacred in football or basketball.

    Couple that with the apparent rampantness of PEDs in cycling, and I think most people are like, “Ehhh.”

    But, I think I’m slowly moving into another place altogether. The line between legal and illegal PEDs is so weird. And, in fact, a lot of drug testing in these sports doesn’t absolutely proscribe certain enhancers, it just sets limits. Like a blood alcohol level. So like in MMA you can manage boosted testosterone. It’s legal. You just have to come in under a certain number.

    Anyway, I’m starting to think this is like our war on recreational drugs. When this stuff is illegal, it creates more problems than it solves. Let’s regulate the stuff, ensure open and transparent processes that can improve the R&D on the product’s safety and stop pretending like there is a real and rational difference between a GNC cocktail and heavier BALCO stuff that justifies the demonization of some athletes and not others. They are nearly all trying to find that competitive edge.

    It’s called being a world class athlete.

    Thanks, homie.

  3. Lance lost half his manhood to the big C, all he was doing was making up for the testosterone that he lost. Besides, who among the accussors can really say that they could have pushed through the obsticles and achieved the same with no complaining and actual aspiring those who are struggling with the same kind of problems he faced?

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