Saturday, August 05, 2006

Just Say It's So, Landis!

Late last night (early this morning?) I was having trouble sleeping. I was flipping channels and came across CNN-International and they were covering the "Live" announcement that Landis' B sample test came back as positive for the presence of synthetic testosterone.

He has resolutely continued his denial of the allegations (increasing in bizarreness as the story developed) claiming the source as: cortisone shots, beer and whiskey consumed the night before, thyroid meds....and wait for it....his natural metabolism (that produces synthetic testosterone?). What is he? Some kind of android?

His team (Phonak) immediately fired him and the USA Cycling has been asked to discipline.

And what word from the august Tour de France body? Director Christian Prudhomme said, "It goes without saying that for us Floyd Landis is no longer the winner of the 2006 Tour de France." Tour runner-up Oscar Pereiro of Spain would be the likely new winner.

I didn't really watch the Tour de France this year as diligently as I had in the past; thanks in large part to Lance Armstrong's departure from Tour. However we shared a bit of pride as Landis took the Tour win.

Here is what really bothers me about this sad event:

OK, so we have all these "juicing" problems reported in Baseball. Sadly, I won't ever be able to look at any records set by Bonds without a flicker of doubt. For now, The Game has a tarnish over it--only time and internal house-cleaning will restore it to The Greatest Game Ever Played status. But I'm OK with that. That's our own house that we need to clean up.

No. This event with Landis and the Tour de France really makes me sad because it feels like just another example of an American who kicked in our gracious neighbor's door, drank all the beer in the house, pissed on the kitchen table, and barfed on the rug before finally falling asleep on the couch watching porn on the cable adult-channel. Harsh? Yep. And upon being caught by the neighbor and the local bobbies, offers up a lame excuse about everyone mistaking the situation.

Like a bad Goldilocks and the Three French Bears story. On steroids.

For better or for worse, fairly or unfairly the "American people" are not looking real good on the world stages we have been standing on as of late. We seem to be our own worst enemies.

Maybe it's because of the International melting pot Houston, Texas is; or maybe I was just raised to respect and value other cultures--whatever the reason, I strongly feel we need to wise up to the fact that just because we are Americans doesn't mean we can act like cowboys when we visit our neighbors homes and join with them in their competitions.

Let's play fair, let's win fair, and let's show the World we really can loose fair with grace and class.

OK. Maybe you are misunderstood, framed, or simply innocent, Landis. Please show the World that we Americans do have a sense of honor and fair-play. Offer to step-down until this has taken its full course. If you did take (or were knowingly or unknowingly given) steroids, fess up. Fall on the mercy of the public. Beg for forgiveness from the French people first and your countrymen and teammates second.

One day you will feel good you did. It might hurt bad now, but you will live. And the World will thank you and maybe respect Americans (just a little bit) more.

Besides, I'm sure Oprah would love to have you on her show, if you did.

I hear she's great about helping tarnished hero's come clean...after a good ass-kicking and tongue lashing.


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