The Infant in the Room

Oops! Should I have said “elephant”?

For several weeks now, Pavé has struggled with formulating an appropriate tone with which discuss one Monsieur Armstrong. On Wednesday’s Rapha Continental Centre Ramble, Ben Lieberson and I shared a moment chatting (while I could still talk) about Lance-tiquette and how it seems that in many circles, any remark even slightly throwing criticism in Lance’s direction is the social equivalent of saying “there’s no such thing as Santa Claus” at a Sunday School Christmas party.

As a result, and to not alienate any readers, I’ve made a concerted effort to refrain from any comment or post that could be construed as Lance-bashing. It seems much of the media was doing the same.

But now, things have changed. The Service Course has done a wonderful job documenting the “scandal” surrounding Lance’s recent media silence. In a nutshell, it appears Lance has been offended by the media’s “insensitive” coverage of his role in the protest during the Giro’s stage in downtown Milan last Sunday. He’s apparently resorted to posting his comments via Twitter tweets and videos on his Livestrong webpage. (Even Cyclingnews can’t get to Lance.)

But the media has proven once again that the pen is mightier than the s-word.

A media boycott of Lance’s Twitter has ensued–oh the drama! Whatever will we do to hear Lance’s daily musings, learn about his meals, and share in various other bits of Lance-minutia?

Thank heavens for the New York Times! No boycott from them! (The picture on the web edition is Menchov, but the picture in the print edition was Big Tex.) Unfortunately for them, they’ve been forced to rely on lesser English-speaking stars like Michael Barry, Danny Pate, and Levi Leipheimer for quotes during the Lance-cuum. Here’s my favorite line:

“Levi Leipheimer, a teammate of Lance Armstrong’s on the Astana squad…”

At what point will the world wake to realize that there’s an entire team of riders wearing matching helmets and riding bikes with the same paint job? Levi’s in 3rd-freaking-place and has a chance to win America’s first Grand Tour since–

We hear all the time about how cycling needs to overcome its past in order to truly embrace a cleaner, more media-friendly present. At some point, we’re going to need to realize that yesterday’s champions are from yesterday; today’s need room to breath. What’s going to happen at the Tour? Will Contador ride himself into yellow only to be overshadowed by the scrum of media covering Lance’s latest temper tantrum?

I’m sorry if this offends you. If it does, feel free to boycott my Twitter.

But please keep reading my blog.

We’re still allowed to have opinions on those, right?

(BTW: We’ll be posting a link to buy Brett Favre Minnesota Vikings jerseys as soon as they become available.)

About Whit

My experiences might easily fit many cycling fans' definitions of “living the dream.” Since getting hooked on the sport watching Lance Armstrong win the 1993 U.S. Pro Championship, I've raced as an amateur on Belgian cobbles, traveled Europe to help build a European pro team, and piloted that team from Malaysia to Mont Ventoux. As a former assistant director sportif with Mercury-Viatel, I've also seen the less dreamy side of the sport – the side rife with broken contracts, infighting, and positive dope tests. These days, I live with my lovely wife in Pennsylvania and share my experiences and views on the sport at Bicycling Magazine, the Embrocation Cycling Journal, and at my own site, Pavé.
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