Wednesday, July 27, 2005

FinishSTRONG: The Responses

I got a lot of good responses to my recent post on Lance Armstrong, most of which appeared to be first timers who got the link through the Austin Bloggers meta-blog. (I'll try to make it down to a Austin blogger get-together when time and budget permit, I promise.)

Anway, I just want to thank all of you who took the time to read and or comment.

That said, in the future, please comment using the link that says "Sound Off Here", and not the link that says "Comments" on the individual post page. The "Sound Off Here" link goes to my Haloscan comments, which keeps me from being flooded with "comment spam". I read those comments regularly and occasionally reply with a comment of my own. If you comment via the "Comments" link on the post page, it goes to my e-mail, and unless you know me personally, it goes into the junk e-mail folder. There's no guarantee I will read it because I don't check each individual page and I don't always pick through the junk e-mail to see if someone I know accidentally gets filtered out.

If the Haloscan comment window causes a problem for your pop-up blocker, set your blocker to accept pop-ups from "www.haloscan.com" or turn it off.

Now that we got that straight, here's a few of your responses.

"Monty B.", I'm guessing from somewhere in Central Texas since I recieved it after the post went up on Austin Bloggers, emailed to say that there is a "Triple Crown" in cycling which is the Tour De France, the Giro D'Italia (Tour of Italy), and the World Road Cycling Championships, which he's right about and I forgot. However, it's not a "Grand Slam" which is four established major events.

"TexasTommy", one of our link partners, responded with the following:
I'd give Armstrong the same props you do....his achievements defy explanation. I heard that he has some type of freakish heart and lung capacity that gives him an edge, but he's certainly done a lot of disciplined training to get where he is.

It still looks bad, tho', that he left his wife who stood by his side when he had cancer, after he hit the big time so he could take up with Cheryl[sic] Crow.
I can see where Armstrong's personal life would probably get in the way of someone looking up to him as a role model. In fact, I think what happened between Armstrong, Crow, and his wife will probably keep him from any political aspirations. After all, he can't run as a Republican because hints of infidelity are Republican career-killers, and he can't run as a Democrat, even though Democrats tolerate that sort of thing, because the best he can do in the State of Texas is "State Senator from Austin." Which, if you don't live here, means while you may be high-profile in the blogging community and in the Austin media, you can forget about anyone in a position of power in Texas taking you seriously.

(Ugh, political takes, I feel like I need to take a shower after that.)

In any case, the skeletons ain't affecting his cycling game.

"CherubofCA77" stated:
I believe that cycling over 2000 miles over hills and thru valleys is much harder than anything that was done in the Olympics and he deserves due credit for that great accomplishment. Even if he had not beat cancer, it would be something that maybe 1% of the people would even try. Good for him!
A bunch of people, including regular commenter "Marquette Hoops", pointed out to me that cycling is a team sport. Well, yes and no. True, there are cycling teams where one or two feature riders are surrounded by sprinters, climbers, the cyclist who goes back to the team car for energy bars and water, and other specialists, but ultimately, a race like the Tour de France is determined by who is the best feature rider, and that's what makes it an individual sport, in my opinion.

I compare it to auto racing, which is individual as well. There's a whole pit crew behind a driver, but in the end, the race goes to the better driver.

If that's not your view of cycling, we can agree to disagree.

Then there was this nasty note sent by "adamrice", who didn't have the guts to leave a return e-mail address.
Apart from the individual time-trial stages (and solo events), cycling is not an individual sport, and it shows you haven't spent much time in the saddle if you think it is.
Adam, you don't have to play football, baseball or basketball to understand those sports, explain to me why I have to ride a bike competitively to talk about cycling? Do I also have to be Michaelangelo to comment on art? That's exactly the kind of fraternity initiation-style fan attitude that has hurt hockey in the United States. If you want cycling to grow after Lance Armstrong, y'all need to re-think that attitude.

Finally, Corey, who's a regular commenter, was the only one to actually suggest athletes, and he named one that could give Armstrong a run for the money: Former Iowa State freestyle wrestler Cael Sanderson, who was undefeated in 4 years of NCAA competition (159-0 when it was all said and done), and is the reigining Olympic gold medalist at 185 lbs.

Let's wait to compare until we see how Sanderson does at the World Championships in Budapest later this year. If he wins, it will give him roughly the same time frame of dominance as Lance.

Thanks for your comments.

Michaels to stay on Monday Night Football.

When it was announced that Monday Night Football was moving to ESPN, I was a bit worried that this would leave MNF in the hands of the worst football announce team in sports: Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann, and Paul McGwire.

The good news is that Al Michaels, "Mr. Monday Night", is replacing Patrick and McGwire will be gone. The bad news is that the self-absorbed, self-important Theismann is staying on.

Rounding out the team will be Suzy Kolber and Michelle Tafoya. Tafoya is a great journalist who can fill in the booth if necessary, but Kolber seems to be there for eye candy. I would have preferred that they get someone like Pam Oliver from Fox or Armen Keteyan from CBS, or even stayed in house and got Dr. Jerry Punch (a medical doctor who can explain injuries in layman's terms).

While we're on the subject of broadcasters, I wish CBS golf commentator David Feherty would learn to talk football:
(Click play to view. WARNING: some language may be NSFW)

(Broadway Video/NBC)

Wouldn't it be cool to hear his wit and comedic timing during a football game?

Tomorrow: T.O. be or not T.O. be.
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