But when my dad came upstairs this evening – entranced with the unfolding saga around Lance Armstrong, I knew there would be no disagreement.
Tonight, on 60 Minutes, Lance’s close teammate and good friend, Tyler Hamilton, unloaded about professional cyclists taking illegal drugs to enhance their performance and in particular, the use of illegal drugs by Armstrong, calling into question all of his seven Tour de France wins. He was also very clear that he took the same kinds of banned substances to succeed in cycling.
It sounds like after years of denying the use of drugs, the noose is tightening around Lance. And damn it, that ticks me off. I want to believe that he won those yellow jerseys fair and square. We all wanted to think that he did it the right way – he claimed to be clean so often…
We are both amazed at the level of deception, the complexity of the scheme and ultimately, we both commented that Hamilton’s admission, that but for the subpoena of a grand jury, he would not be telling us all about Lance’s drug use.
That is the part that got my dad and me – but for the pending noose tightening around his own neck, Hamilton would not be coming clean, excuse the pun…
What the hell is wrong with him? And though this is beyond cliché, what the hell is wrong with the athletes who lie, cheat and then lie some more?
Don’t get me wrong, I love my sports, college football, tennis, cycling, rowing and others. I am not naïve to think that every athlete is worthy of the adulation they receive. Or that they compete for the love of the game.
But how did it get this bad? Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Floyd Landis, Ben Johnson, Marion Jones, Alex Rodriguez to name a few. Is it simply a matter of ego, or desire to win, or more money?
The answer is they do it for all of the above. On this, my dad and I agreed. He is 79 and though we are 35 years apart, we were totally on the same page.