My opinion on Lance Armstrong. Feel free to hate it.

Lance Armstrong.

Oh yeah, I said it, I have an opinion, and it will most likely not be popular. That’s ok, it’s open for debate in the comments. And if you don’t like it, you can suck my dick. I am in no way qualified to write this piece, I follow cycling as closely as I follow Northern Korean politics.

With that said, we all know Lance, the former professional road racing cyclist, who had won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times between 1999 and 2005, but in 2012 was disqualified from all his results since August 1998 for using and distributing performance-enhancing drugs and banned from professional cycling for life.

In 1996, the guy  was diagnosed with testicular cancer that had spread to his brain and lungs. Fuck! His cancer treatments included brain and testicular surgery and extensive chemotherapy. In February 1997, he was declared cancer-free and the same year he founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer support. By January 1998, Armstrong had renewed serious cycling training, having signed a new racing contract with US Postal. He was a member of the US Postal/Discovery team between 1998 and 2005. On July 24, 2005, Armstrong retired from racing at the end of the 2005 Tour de France, but returned to competitive cycling with the Astana team in January 2009 and finished third in the 2009 Tour de France.

If you want his entire life story, you can find it anywhere, but the bottom line is this. He lied. He lied supremely. Not only did he lie, but vehemently denied and defended his innocence while he was doping.

Guess what? So has every other fucking addict of any sort in the world! The guy fucked up royally, and now admits it. HE has to live with that. He has been stripped of all his accolades and awards. He has been banned from ever doing the thing he loves most professionally again. He is in the spotlight, and everyone sits and judges him and his mistakes, all the while feeling entitled to do so. He is not a fucking superhero. He’s a guy, one hell of a talented athlete who took shit to perform better like everyone else around him in that culture. Why do people feel so freaking “let down” like they found out Superman was just a dude in a cape all along. Jesus. No one is qualified to judge him. He is paying his dues, he is being punished accordingly, but give the guy a break.

If you did not watch the fucking Oprah interview (because she is perfect, of course) do so on youtube, or don’t, but there are a few things from it that jumped out and smacked me in the face. He said he went after his Cancer with a win at all costs attitude. It served him well. He then took that same attitude into his sport, and life in general. He said he spent his life with a need to CONTROL everything and every outcome, and that piqued after his battle with cancer. There is so much of what he said that I can relate to. His ego was/is huge, he gets it. He is a control addict, he did anything he had to do to win. He justified it to himself, and rationalized it all away. It caught up with him.

Lance Armstrong is a 41 year old human being. He is flawed like the rest of us. He fucked up royally like we all do, but he is in the public eye so he is extra busted. He is arrogant, he has an enormous ego, so what, that’s his shit and he either will or will not work on it. Does anyone remember that little humanitarian effort of his though, LIVESTRONG? He did some good shit, too. Let’s keep it real. I’m sure every person behind every humanitarian effort is a fucking saint, not.

Oakley-Lance-Armstrong3

All of this talk about how mother’s are so heartbroken that their children’s idol is not a superhero after all, but a liar! Parents, there’s a bigger lesson here for your kids. There’s a bigger lesson for you. It’s about success and failure and truth and lies, and consequence. It’s about the human condition, about our insane desire to control and win at all costs. It’s a lesson in temptation, and dishonesty, and ultimately, hopefully, the most valuable lesson of all – forgiveness.

83 replies

  1. I read one of his biographies. This guy went through some serious hell and came out alive, then went on to win some athletic contests no American had done before. Yeah, he doped some to help him, but still most of it had to be his effort. You could give me all the drugs in the world, and I’m not making it past a few blocks on a bike.

    It’s like judging Pres Clinton purely on the Lewinsky incident. Yeah he lied – who the hell wouldn’t? Does that dismiss whatever else he accomplished during his 8 year presidency? Same with Lance. I consider it Martha Stewart syndrome – people were jealous and wanted to take him down. They did, so they can feel a little better. Maybe instead of worrying about this guy, they should have worked on themselves.

  2. You make a good point. HE’S the one who ultimately has to live with himself and the decisions and consequences. Maybe he does want to compete again. There’s no guarantee that he will ever be allowed to compete if he came clean. He is a control freak who did what a control does. He isn’t a super-human. He’s a human being. Flawed. Who lied. I personally think he misled a lot of people, but that’s just me. People WANTED to believe him. And they are disappointed in him. But he isn’t a Super-hero. He is just a flawed man.

    • Absolutely he misled a lot of people, he defended and denied and painted a picture that was completely untrue. All of that is true. But this is about the aftermath, and all the haters that want to keep on hating. Let it go already.

  3. I’m pretty sure if I ‘doped’ like most ALL the cyclists, I still would not WIN all those races – he’s a freakin’ amazing athlete…and if they were ALL in collusion about doping – then it’s all pretty even for everyone.
    I’m sick of this whole issue of Lance Armstrong – leave the guy alone (not you, but the Oprah types)…and athletes are athletes, they are not super human beings nor did they ask to be your child’s role model… nor are athletes heroes for being good athletes; he’s a hero for setting up a foundation devoted to cancer support…but not for his cycling ability.

    Good post and insight.

  4. H-O-L-Y SHIT. Finally, someone who says something I can agree with about Lance. I was beginning to think I was some kind of social deviant.

    Nobody has the right to judge him or anyone else. People need to worry about themselves, that’s it. And I seriously don’t know that people realize the pressures behind being a world class athlete.

    Do I hate him for what he did? Hell no. I’m too worried about getting through my own life without fucking up. Sure, he may not have made the best decisions, but then like you said, who always does? None of us.

    Thanks for this. Am sharing…

  5. I used this as my post title a few weeks back with my tongue in cheek, but, yes, it’s true: “Let he who is without syringe throw the first stone.”
    Good post. Passionately expressed as always.

  6. I agree with you on all of your points Tracy. He’s just a simple man with flaws like the rest of us. It’s strange that folks set these people up on these fragile pedestals, only to be surprised when they do something wrong or make a mistake. Forgiveness is key. My one point, which isn’t so much for you to address (more for him to address) is that during his insane desire to control and win at all costs, he put certain folks through absolute hell. He has more of an obligation to sit down with them, and bear his soul, than he does f’ing Oprah.

    • Can I get some more breadsticks and tapenade?
      I agree with you wholeheartedly that he has more of an obligation to sit down with the people he hurt and lied to, and bear his soul, than he does fucking Oprah.
      Thanks for stopping by.

      • I for one am interested in what people will do about all the money that went to charities and the like from illegaly won cash. Sure most investors might be cool with it, after all, it went to a good cause right? But you’ll get the occasional stuck-up prick that will sue the charities, organazations, toilet bowls, anything that is fucking sueable when a fuck-up like this occurs.

  7. It was All Sheryl Crow’s fault. I think she dopes up with steroids to be a better performer and singer. You can see how much more muscular she is and how fast she gets to the microphone. It’s blazingly fast human musical ability. I wonder when they will start testing musicians for this and ban them for life. He has probably covered more than 10 million miles on his bike already. If someone told me that I wasn’t allowed to ride anymore after that… I would probably thank them.

  8. Tracy, I agree with you mostly and could really care less if he did or didn’t cheat. It’s wonderful how Livestrong has helped so many with cancer–really, it’s great. When I do pay attention to the story, personallyI find him repulsive. He seems like a smug narcissist who has squashed anyone who has dared to disagree with him, tell the truth about him, etc. Seems to me, while helping millions he has never met, he has also really devastated numerous lives of those who were, at one time or another, very close to him. I don’t give a shit what he does or doesn’t do. Good for him for crying to Oprah. I love how he’s asking forgiveness now…when its basically his only option left. As far as my kids, I’m glad they are seeing that people who think they are above everyone else end up falling eventually. He seems like a giant douchebag to me and in happy to explain to my kids why I feel that way. I also talk about how he beat cancer and helped countless others with the horrible disease that took their grandfather from them. They see him admitting his mistakes and apologizing (sincere or not) and they are free to come to their own conclusions…as long as they agree with me 😉

    • Jackie,
      I 100% agree with you. In no way am I defending or belittling the magnitude of his numerous mistakes, or the level to which he deceived. There’s no denying that he is a smug narcissist. His stockpile of supreme lies attests to that. This is his only option left, this is what we like to call “his bottom”. We all get there by choice or by circumstance. If my life and magnitude of fuck ups were placed under that kind of a microscope, I’d be burned at the fucking stake. Regardless of whether or not he’s a douchebag. I really don’t want to come off like I think his multitude of injustices are anything less than repulsive. I think it is awesome how you dealt with it with your kids. I think what it all boils down to is forgiveness.

      • Totally agree! He’s probably pissed that Manti Te’o is taking attention away from him. Maybe he’ll sue him too.

  9. What pisses me off about this case is the fact that USADA, UCI, and other doping and sport agencies are playing like they didn’t know, they knew all along, of course they knew. Officials were pocketing money, the world of sports makes me sick at times.
    See, I’ve been doing sports since I was a kid, Track and Field put me through college, I made good money running, when are up there you receive many offers from people to help you get better, sooner and faster. The Lance guy was a cheat, yes he was, but how could he possible have won all the tours he won without an extra help? Cycling the way those guys do is not easy, the great majority take enhancers, happens that Lance was really good, made a lot of money, bothered a lot of people and wasn’t smart enough to manage his situation. I feel sorry for the guy, yes he sets a bad example for fair play, but he’s only human
    I’m sorry my comment makes little sense.
    Oprah looks more like Sophia (from the color purple) as time goes by doesn’t she?
    Nice post Tracy.

  10. Life is messy, for the best of us. The question isn’t whether you will screw up at some point or for some very long series of points. I wish him the best in straightening out the tangled web. There are so much better things to do with my life energy than getting all holier-than-thou about some guy I don’t even know. I should probably be paying attention to NOT getting all holier-than-thou about anyone.

  11. Agreed. Thanks Tracy. Haters are gonna hate. The man still did some good shit. He came clean. It takes a shit ton of courage to do that. Who are you to judge?

  12. I personally don’t care about his “cheating” as that whole sport (in fact many others too) is a disaster where most of the competitors were doing something “wrong” but where the sport and every sponsor GREATLY benefited from what the wrong things the athletes were doing.

    Just like in baseball, the sport and the sponsors greatly benefited from the steroids era then later act all high and mighty.

    That said, his suits against others who were telling the truth and the lives he destroyed that’s the part I really can’t brush away.

    • I agree with you on both counts, but his suits against others and the lives he destroyed is his burden…it caught up with him. It will all keep catching up with him until he really gets it and makes his amends to those people and institutions personally, not through fucking Oprah. But I feel it’s our duty as human beings to forgive, for the simple fact that we are ALL flawed and not entitled to judge him forever. Letting it go does not mean disregarding the facts that what he did was about 5,632 miles past wrong, it just means accepting his humanity. Just my opinion though.

  13. Tracy,
    First of all, I totally agree with your fresh take on this very predictable human event. If we don’t learn from everything we experience we’re just wasting time. I love the lessons-to-be-learned approach to life you have.
    Second, you have such a great way of lining up words. Your writing is so precise and full of impact. It’s like that slap on the ass that feels surprisingly good. This post should make the front page and shared with everyone.
    Red

    • Red,
      You are my ego’s best friend. It’s totally cool for folks to completely disagree with me, I mean, the guy was a compulsive liar. The doping is the least of it for sure. My point is that there are varying degrees of this human condition. There’s a massive sliding scale to our personal flaws and fuck-ups. The guy fucked up huge, unarguably. He did some really shitty and treated people horribly. But it caught up with him, and really, who the fuck are we to judge?? I choose to forgive, some of us have to learn our lessons much harder than others. But in the end, we are human.
      Tracy

  14. I couldn’t care less about the doping or the cheating. I would guess it’s pretty rampant, and if it hadn’t been Lance, it would have been someone else. I also think that he did a lot of good with his charity and stuff, so it’s not like his life has been a total waste of time.
    What bothers me is that he went out of his way to ruin other people’s lives when they tried to expose his lie. That makes him a dud of a human being, in my humble opinion.

    • I agree 100%, the doping part is the least of it, who gives a fuck really? It’s the way he horribly mistreated people that we all have a problem with. They weren’t mistakes, they were calculated choices, ones that he are going to pay for for the rest of his life. Action, reaction. Life will kick his ass, but it’s not my job to judge him, because I’m a fuck up too. I’m imperfect as hell, not on that scale, and not in the spotlight…but really, I choose to forgive, because he ultimately has to carry that burden and learn how to do the right thing. As always, just my humble opinion as well.

      • Also true: I just hope that the consequences of his behaviour are satisfactory to those that he hurt. It seems that all too often a celebrity issues an apology and some fancy PR team leverages it into them making even more money. I don’t think he helped himself by appearing so insincere, but even the Chris Browns of the world get a second chance.

  15. A few thoughts… You don’t have a dick. Floyd Landis. BETSY ANDREU.
    Lance Armstrong is like likely a sociopath who intimidated, threatened, sued, verbally abused and slandered in order to perpetuate his lies. He is remorseless. There is a strong likelihood that the use of certain drugs caused his cancer. And please. let’s not forget BETSY ANDREU because after the hell that bastard put her through he had the nerve to joke ” well at least I didn’t call you fat.” What an ass. NO Sympathy here.
    KC

    • I do have a dick, but it is introverted.
      It’s totally cool for folks to completely disagree with me, I mean, the guy was a compulsive liar narcissistic shitbag. The doping is the least of it for sure. My point is that there are varying degrees of this human condition. There’s a massive sliding scale to our personal flaws and fuck-ups. The guy fucked up huge, unarguably. He did some really shitty and treated people horribly. But it caught up with him, and really, who the fuck are we to judge?? I choose to forgive, some of us have to learn our lessons much harder than others. But in the end, we are human.

    • Here is an excerpt from an interview with Betsy last Thursday:

      One of Armstrong’s biggest problems, it turned out, was that he’d picked a fight with a woman who was just as stubborn as he was; just as headstrong, no less relentless in the pursuit of her goal.

      The difference, of course, being that only one of them was telling the truth.

      Here is a transcript from a conversation I had with Andreu earlier this week:

      SI: You told me Lance called you last Sunday to apologize. You said you talked for close to a half hour, but would rather not share the specifics of the conversation. What can you tell us about the call?

      Andreu: Let’s just say he acknowledged the hurt that he caused us. I prefer to keep the rest of it private.

      SI: Aside from smearing you and assassinating your character, how else did he hurt you?

      Andreu: Frankie was one of the best friends Lance could’ve had. I, in turn, became his friend. And he tried to destroy us, and threw us away.

      SI: Could you ever forgive him?

      Andreu: Healing and forgiveness is a process, it’s not a switch that you flip. It takes a long time.

      SI: And yet it sounds like you don’t totally wish him complete ill.

      Andreu: Well, I don’t wish Bernie Madoff complete ill. I hope he finds inner peace … as he rots in prison.

      I have a range of emotions. You think of the friend that you had, and how he screwed you; you think of how maybe he’s sorry he screwed you so badly, but maybe he’s not sorry enough. If Lance is going to be completely contrite and honest, than he’s on the road to forgiveness the road to healing, I’m open to that possibility.

      Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/more/news/20130117/betsy-andreu-lance-armstrong/#ixzz2IWcXhURk

      So again, to reiterate my point, is that if Betsy herself can open up to the process of forgiveness, why can’t we?

      PS
      It’s your fault I’ve become so forgiving ❤

  16. I follow less than you because I didn’t even know about this until I read psychobabble’s post just the day before yesterday. Boo-yah!

    Yes, people do look up to athletes and anyone in the limelight as deities. Yes humans are made to be imperfect.

    I get your point. I don’t believe in calling it “making a mistake” though. He knew full well what he was doing; he knew the laws and regulations and he knew it was wrong. A fuck up, I can agree on. A mistake, no.

    I can be a hard-ass, I know this. I don’t think Vick should have ever been let back to play professionally and I think Armstrong is facing the correct consequences for his actions and I do believe that people need to communicate and hate how they want because if we lived in a completely “cut some slack” society, we’d live in more of a fucked up world than we do. I also think addicts need to hear really how much they disappoint so maybe they can relearn empathy and choose better for themselves and their families.

    Sorry, a little rant was born. I meant to end this after the second break. 🙂

    • I agree 100%, the doping part is the least of it, who gives a fuck really? It’s the way he horribly mistreated people that we all have a problem with. They weren’t mistakes, they were calculated choices, ones that he are going to pay for for the rest of his life. Action, reaction. Life will kick his ass, but it’s not my job to judge him, because I’m a fuck up too. I’m imperfect as hell, not on that scale, and not in the spotlight…but really, I choose to forgive, because he ultimately has to carry that burden and learn how to do the right thing. As always, just my humble opinion as well.

  17. I haven’t read through all the comments so if I say something that all ready has been said. I’m sorry. From a cancer survivor viewpoint. The man did indeed go through hell. There was several times he thought he wasn’t going to live. And with as much cancer as he had, he shouldn’t have. When one survives something like that something happens inside. For me it was, ok I survived. Now I am going to try to make every second count. I do try too. So did he. Did he take things too far. Yes! But who’s to say given the exact same circumstances we wouldn’t either? No one and I mean no one knows what they will do in any given situation unless they are in it. They can talk all they want. But when it comes right down to it. NO they cannot know for sure what they would do. Also, the doping went on for quite a few years. Why is it just now coming out?

    So maybe public figures should be more careful of what they do. But to put them on pedestals is beyond my grasp. They are human, so they might have better physical abilities. But they are still human. As humans they make wrong decisions. They do wrong sometimes. Fine. Call them out on it, but my goddess don’t keep harping on it forever!! Boo Hoo, the man made some fucking poor choices. I’d like to find someone who hasn’t! Let it go people. Geez, just let it go.

  18. Tracy,
    We have unreal expectations with our athletes, and celebrities. They can’t be great, they have to be godlike. We give them roles, responsibilities, we build altars and shrines, we expect miracles, cause that’s what celebrities should do. Don’t be fast… Win a Tour de France, and I might even like you better if you win six more. We are entertained by the extreme. We will love them when they will reach God-like status-and shut down our common sense as to how they got there-and crucify them as if they were cancer-aids when they fail to meet our expectations. I really do not care about Lance, I appreciate his awareness campaigns, and I am indifferent to his doping, and lies…

    We’re hypocrites. We all had serious doubts about his doping, and we all were comfortable with the Big Lie before it became too big to keep silent anymore.

    Chomsky was one to quote sport as being the new opiate of the masses, as it distracts us from more important matters… Like Lance… And O.J. Simpson. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a HABS game to watch, and cheer or curse my team depending on the outcome of the game.
    Eric

  19. Yeah, he lied about it just like everyone does. Sure, he did it like most athletes do. And yes, he got busted and had everything stripped away from him.

    Just because everyone was doing it, doesn’t make it okay. I’m not judging him one way or the other. He’s not the first professional athlete to get busted for cheating and he certainly won’t be the last. I’m kind of numb to this sort of news any more.

    What I really wanted to comment on are all of the heartbroken moms out there that are all freaked out because their child’s hero is now a liar and cheater. As a parent, I discourage my children from idolizing sports figures for just this reason. They are not noble people. They are just regular people who won the genetic lottery. There’s nothing worth worshiping in that.

    So to those heartbroken mothers I say, “Stop failing at parenting.”

  20. Every judgemental quack who is on the hate train should read this, hopefully it provides a little bit of balance to their narrowed, uninformed opinion.

    Great write up, he is suffering immensly for his actions, and it just sucks that every man and dog is judging him as if they’ve never lied, misled, or cheated out on something themselves. You are so right – he is a perfect example of the human condition. Something that was initially so powerful (his cancer fight) became so overwhelming, that it consumed him. He certainly isn’t the first person to suffer that fate.

    I wish there were more people like you.

  21. you said it.
    Honestly, we need to stop putting these athletes and famous people up on pedestals. After all, they are just humans too. No one is perfect, NO ONE.

  22. I watched the interview and just plain felt bad for the guy. I get they whys of it. I think that if he had come clean when he was first accused that he had the pull to clean up the sport – hopefully his honestly now will help in that. It’s funny – I grew up with an addictive parent, and I was thinking in those terms when I watched the interview – how could he have not doped, how could he have not been in denial until he got to that place where he was ready to see it for what it was. Your insights are profound. As someone who followed his races, I feel bad for him, I don’t think I have the right to feel like my faith in humanity is destroyed by him though, I think the public’s reaction is a bit out of proportion as to how this actually impacts their lives.

  23. Interesting post. I am about as un-celebrity conscious as it gets and I really don’t give a stuff. Not sure why anyone is interested. The guy had a tough time, gave people a tough time, lied through his teeth – loads of people do all that, not so unusual.
    However, there was a systematic process going on here: this was not a mistake. He sued newspapers and so on for saying he was on drugs, knowing that what they wrote was true. He could have come clean at any point.
    If I feel anything it’s pity for the man.
    But should he be let back into sport? Probably not.
    Family saying of ours which seems to work here: if you can’t be a good example, then you’d better be a terrible warning.

  24. I’m not sure I even have an opinion on him at all. I always thought he treated his women rather poorly and that pissed me off so I stopped caring about him one way or the other. But I don’t pity him like I didn’t pity stupid Tiger Woods. Men are stupid. That’s the lesson for me! (well, most men I should say)

  25. So another sports figure screwed up. Big whoop. There’s not a week that goes by that there isn’t *Some* kinda of “scandal” in sports. Lying, cheating, domestic violence, drunk driving, animal abuse, molesting, raping. Give me a break. Everyone is always so “shocked” that so-and-so could do *that*!

    I think it’s actually come to the point where many of us are deadened to this type of stuff. Which would be why the Lance Armstrong’s and Lebron Jame’s of the world have to make big spectacles out of whatever decision they make.

    And people forget or ignore the important stuff. For example, Today is MLK Jr. Day. An important day in and of it’s self. It is also the day chosen for our FIRST black president to publicly take the oath for his SECOND term! Regardless of your own politics, this is a monumentous day for our nation. How many people over the age of 30 (and I’m 31) EVER thought we would see this? It was unheard of even 20 years ago!

    So rather than focusing on one pissant little athlete, let’s reflect on just how far our country has come in the last 60 years!

    *steps off soap box and reaches for her Iced Tea*

  26. I was already nodding along to the post but that last paragraph really reached out to me. It’s true. We cannot look up to these celebrities and expect them to be perfect. Parents and people in general should learn from their role models’ mistakes and forgiveness is key.

    • I had posted it on his FB page, got a few comments. He’s a narcissistic douche but get over it already, we reap what we so. The universe will take care of him, it’s not our job for fucks sake.

    • I get it. Lance Armstrong is:
      A sociopath
      A compulsive liar
      A narcissist
      A douche
      A smug asshole
      I am not trying to argue any of those points. I also get what kind of a person he is, and that his interview on Oprah was nothing other than a PR move. I’ve read the facts, I’m not attempting to gloss any of it over, I really don’t want to come off like I think his multitude of injustices are anything less than repulsive. What I am driving at, is that he’s been exposed, and that he is a human being. I believe in karma, I believe we get paid back for what we put out. I believe the universe is going to fuck him up plenty and that he will get what he deserves. I admit I like playing devils advocate, I see both sides of this, but at the end of the day I choose to forgive. That’s just me, this piece is just my opinion. I’m not losing sleep over it, it’s simply food for thought.

  27. I agree with you on this one…no one is perfect, not even Oprah,
    (judging the Indian from how they eat….)…Your point is quite true.
    Nicely written…
    p.s. you are so pretty

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