Wednesday, July 25, 2007


“And at the Tour de Festivus dinner, you gather your family around, and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year!”

“I got a lot of problems with you people! And now, you're gonna hear about it. You, Professional Cycling, the newspapers tell me your sport STINKS!

“Sinkewitz, Vinokourov, Moreni and Rasmussen. You guys may have really blown it for everyone. Or maybe not. Maybe it was the terrifying possibility that increased tests performed under increased external stress would likely increase the likelihood of errors generated by an under-paid, over-worked group of poorly-trained lab technicians. I don’t know and it doesn’t matter because you were done-for the moment those results were leaked. Or whatever the standard process is. Go get lawyers because that ‘contract’ is likely not worth the paper it was written on.”

“ASO and UCI. You guys are like two spoiled kids, so quick to blame and overreact. You both cry about the scourge of doping in cycling and yet you fail to understand that a unified front, without ulterior motives and rash judgment, is the best way to affect change. Or maybe you just care about the sponsors and the cash to run your empires…er…businesses…um…organizations?”

-- If Frank Costanza was a cycling fan.

I could never get as riled up as Frank Costanza but I have to tell you…this has been a pretty frustrating few days as a bike racing enthusiast.

Oh, you think so Doctor?

There are a lot of thoughts and theories that I simply don't have the time to articulate right now however, I think most people are just kind of shaking their heads at this point. But those with a more intimate knowledge of or connection to professional cycling could use a healthy dose of Serenity Now in the wake of this 3-week French Soap Opera.

But instead of seeking refuge elsewhere (Seinfeld DVD's), I’m sitting here watching a replay of the most important stage of the Tour de France which was won by the overall leader and yellow jersey wearer. Who was subsequently fired from his team and removed from the race later that evening.

Because he was in Italy when his “papers” said he should have been in Mexico.

I can’t say what he did or didn’t do except that he didn’t test positive for anything. But…I guess that is not really important when the governing bodies decide they don’t want you to win a particular race. Sorry Chicken…I guess it wasn’t meant to be. If you got kicked out of the Tour because of an “administrative error” only, it will be one of the greatest shames in the history of this sport.

And I am watching this stage the day after watching replays of a race won by the most dynamic personality in the Tour. Who was then kicked out of the race for alleged blood doping.

It’s become a pretty depressing evening and then…

I see the clip of the naked guy running alongside Levi after his attack on the Col d’Aubique and start laughing hysterically. That guy was hauling ass. Bare white ass. And he's like the fifth or sixth naked guy I've seen running alongside riders this year. Not to mention the Borat slingshot sightings. The Devil is going to have to start wearing butt-less tights just to keep up. Or maybe not.

And then it hit me like a dog into a carbon fiber rim. The Tour is RIDICULOUS.

How can anything surprise us when naked people are allowed to run along the playing field and stray dogs can be a legitimate hazard?

I mean seriously, what other event has the WORLD’S BEST ATHLETES in the most important part of the most important race actually have a completely naked spectator run alongside them for like 100 meters? Within inches…ridiculous.

This is why I love the Tour and hate the Tour.

I hate how crazy and dangerous and scandalous it is. I hate that it has become bigger than all of the other fantastic races combined in the eyes of the public and the sponsors. I hate that it dominates the understanding (or lack thereof) of all the stale LA-leftover psuedofans and the U.S. news sources, who all consistently portray my favorite sport like a joke.

But I love bike racing. And I love getting completely absorbed by the Tour every summer. I love the competition and the suffering. The scenery and the spectacle. It is truly the greatest sporting event in the world.

But again, that’s part of why I hate it. It’s a vicious cycle…and we still have a few days left.

Dr. J's Puzzler o' the Day -- Below is a little word game I just came up with. See if you can fill in the blanks for these general definitions and locate any similarities to the current situation in professional cycling. Maybe, maybe not. Just wanted to do a little research…

As a result of ___________, suspicions were often given credence despite inconclusive or questionable evidence, and the level of threat posed by a person's real or supposed associations or beliefs was often greatly exaggerated. Many people suffered loss of employment, destruction of their careers, and even imprisonment. Many of these punishments came about through trial verdicts later overturned, laws that would be declared unconstitutional, dismissals for reasons later declared illegal or actionable, or extra-legal procedures that would come into general disrepute.

In modern terminology _____ ____ also has a metaphorical usage, referring to the act of seeking and persecuting any perceived enemy, particularly when the search is conducted using extreme measures and with little regard to actual guilt or innocence.

The practice of involuntary commitment has been described as a _____ ____, with systematic bias in the standards for involuntary commitment, the search for people to involuntarily commit, and the judicial procedures that may result in their commitment.

The term _________ describes a situation, idea, or condition that is identified as being inimical to the welfare of a free-society. An attitude and a policy of control by propaganda, misinformation, denial of truth, and manipulation of the past (including the "unperson"--a person whose past existence is expunged) practiced by modern repressive governments…or governing bodies.

And finally…________ is an annual holiday invented in 1966 by Reader's Digest writer and editor Dan O'Keefe and introduced to popular culture by O’Keefe’s son Daniel, a scriptwriter for Seinfeld.

Okay that last one was just for fun. I'm not saying...I'm just saying.



Jeremy T. Arnold said...

Recent Quotes:

Tour director Christian Prudhomme, speaking at a specially convened press conference before the start of Thursday's stage, said: "Rasmussen's exit is the best thing that can happen to the Tour.

Prudhomme, asked why Rabobank had not been forced to pull out like Cofidis and Astana, replied: "Rabobank are starting the race. In other teams there have been positive doping tests but not for Rasmussen's team.

"We believe the general classification is much better now than it was."

UCI chief Pat McQuaid has applauded the Rabobank team's decision to pull race leader Michael Rasmussen out of the Tour de France on Wednesday.

McQuaid had said earlier this week that since Rasmussen had "not committed any doping offenses" he was free to continue on the race.

Chris said...

McCarthyism, Witch Trial, witch hunt, totalitarianism, festivus

not sure about the totalitarianism one

Jeremy T. Arnold said...

Not quite all of them there Chris. Good effort but not quite.

And props for being the first person in class to raise your hand.

So...did Rasmussen admit to being in Italy or not?

I have heard both now.

cyclema said...

McCarthyism, Patriot Act, Witch Hunt, Tyrany, Festivus

CK said...

McCarthyism, Witch Trial, Witch hunt, Orwellian, Festivus.

I'm thinkin, In a perfect world Michael Boogerd would have taken today's stage.

CK said...

Sorry, it's:
McCarthyism, Witch Hunt, Witch hunt, Orwellian, Festivus.

And if Rasmussen was in Mexico? It's easy to prove, he would have a stamp on the passport.

My gut, not gonna happen.

Jeremy T. Arnold said...

Ding ding ding. We have a winner.

I don't have any parting gifts but thanks for playing.

Those are some pretty scary words though.

Yeah...still waiting for that passport. A chicken probably couldn't fly from Mexico to Italy by himself.

CK said...

No parting gifts. WTF...

I would have tested positive for synthetic neurons anyway.

cyclema said...

Good job CK!