Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
DF

Anybody else fascinated by Lance Armstrong?

Recommended Posts

To answer your other question, yes, I think people who do bad things can be good people. In fact, they can be role model citizens. IMO, everyone makes mistakes. Not everyone does the amount of good that LA did with Livestrong and other charities. Martin Luther King Jr cheated on his wife and plagiarized/stole from other authors. I do not consider him piece of crap like you do with LA. Like DF, I find heros with flaws to be quite interesting, especially the ones who get piled on for having the same flaws that every day average joes also are guilty of.

 

My question was, can people who do good things be bad people? You already made it plain that you thought that people who do bad things can be good.

 

In any event, I think you've mistaken being powerful for being good. Due to his personal story and accomplishments, Armstrong had media attention that allowed him to create an extremely successful charity based on his brand. Spending time on the charity built the brand, and vice versa. Saying that others didn't do this kind of humanitarian work is entirely beside the point. Tyler Hamilton (just as one example) was not in a position to build this kind of charity. He was not good enough as a cyclist, he did not have the personal charisma or backstory to raise the money, etc. Hamilton also did not have the power to accelerate the advancement of drug use in the sport, cover up his own positive tests, destroy other cyclists' careers through rumors and accusations, drag former friends through the courts with false accusations, ruin people's bike shop businesses, etc.

 

Armstrong was powerful -- he can't be judged by the same standards as people who weren't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now we're delving into the world of philosophical uncertainty, but as quanon said, powerful people have the means and ability to do good things, without necessarily being good people. If you have enough money and resources, things can fall into place for you without requiring much additional effort. Lance's efforts were spent beating cancer and then returning to become the best cyclist. With those credentials, corporate sponsors were jumping all over him, and he could easily hire people to run his foundation. I'm not saying Lance didn't have good motivations (nobody can get inside his head), but simply giving money to charity does not make someone a good person. Drug cartel kingpins and mob bosses also funnel money into causes that do good in the world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although skiing and kayaking are my passions I spend more time on my road bike than my skis, or my kayak.

 

What they do at the TDF is an insane level of physical activity. I go on 50-60 mile rides that are both hilly and fast paced with a strong group of local Philly riders mostly on Sat. mornings when it's not raining. It can be exhausting. I watch the TDF on NBCSC every year and am always impressed by the athletes. Not that a wrestler couldn't kick their azzes every day and Sunday, but hey, this is a family program.

 

Anyway, back to doping. My beef has always been with the one group that has never been investigated. The officials have known about doping as it was part of the entire culture and community of cycling. They knew!

 

They are culpable.

 

I liken it to a soccer player playing a soccer match on a wet field wearing bowling shoes instead of soccer cleats. If everyone is wearing cleats, and I decide to switch from bowling shoes to cleats that should be fair. problem is, cleats are illegal.

 

My point is, if I win with the illegal cleats while everyone is wearing the illegal cleats am I really cheating or playing the game? Isn't the authority or the officials at fault for looking the other way and allowing the drug abuse to become so abusive that it ruins the careers of many great athletes.

 

The point is, I'm sick of the scapegoats. More people, other than the cyclists themselves, need to be held accountable. They cultivated a culture of corruption that was the level playing field that everyone played on. Lance won on that playing field. If however noone used PEDs than it would be a different story.

 

Let's hope that Chris Froome does not show any "positive" results from his drug tests. That guy is truly impressive this year!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The point is, I'm sick of the scapegoats. More people, other than the cyclists themselves, need to be held accountable.

 

http://tennishasasteroidproblem.blogspot.com just linked to a recently published game theory on doping.

 

"In our model customers support a sports event as long as there is no doping scandal. After a scandal we assume that customers would withdraw their support (and contrast this case from non-critical customers who always keep supporting). One might conjecture that the behavior of critical customers induces incentives for organizers and athletes to avoid doping since this increases the costs of doping for both athletes and organizers. However, our analysis reveals that the opposite is true: Under mild assumptions the unique outcome of the game is that athletes dope, while organizers make insufficent effort to test them. Because our assumptions are very parsimonious, this result is robust against many changes in the specification of utility. The intuition is simply that customers who can withdraw their support constitute a threat to the organizers such that they avoid uncovering (the full extent of) doping."

 

http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/44627/1/ ... _44627.pdf

 

There you have it. Ultimately, doping and covering it up make too much sense for everybody, as long as the spectators don't really care enough to demand truly strict, transparent, invasive doping protocols. (And even then -- especially then -- whoever figures out how to game the system has a big advantage.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My question was, can people who do good things be bad people? You already made it plain that you thought that people who do bad things can be good.

 

In any event, I think you've mistaken being powerful for being good.

 

I believe all people are inherently good, therefore, to me the only thing you can judge a person by at the end of the day is if they did more good than bad and the motivation behind their acts.

 

I completely understand the difference between power and positivity. In my mind, what he did for the cancer movement dwarfs lying and taking drugs. More importantly, I find it in bad taste for some people to vehemently take shots at someone's character for mistakes that many, if not all people are also guilty of. If there is a person on this board who has never lied or taken a drug outside of its legal label usage, then I tip my hat to that person and I will defer to their judgement of Lance Armstrong. Until then, I will save my own persecutions, as I find the guy inspiring and fascinating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some people really have scope of perspective issues.

 

I'm sorry the boston bombing suspect ruined peoples live, Lance Armstrong, well not so much.

 

Seriously you guys need to get a grip on reality. Lance Armstrong took PED's, so what, in the grand scheme of the Universe and all that is evil does this even move the needle? I argue not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My tolerance for LA's ped use is limited to the fact he he came up through the culture of professionalized ped programs, and spent his entire career competing against the same. I much prefer clean sporting environments and feel more anguish toward sporting authorities for not developing timely tests that keep pace with sophisticated doping methods on the athlete side.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Some people really have scope of perspective issues.

 

I'm sorry the boston bombing suspect ruined peoples live, Lance Armstrong, well not so much.

 

Seriously you guys need to get a grip on reality. Lance Armstrong took PED's, so what, in the grand scheme of the Universe and all that is evil does this even move the needle? I argue not.

 

 

...the guy lied for years about being clean, that's the issue.

 

...he's a liar and a cheat.

 

..get it now?

 

..win at all costs, even if it means that you lie to yourself and the general public.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretending that those two negative acts encapsulate the essence of a guy like LA is as silly as saying he is a great guy and only mentioning cancer survivor/philanthropist. Have you ever lied in your life? Bet you wouldn't want to be described as a liar just because you have lied at some point in your life. We've all lied to people, our friends, family, we're all human.

 

LA allowed himself to be tested constantly using the most advanced testing and never failed. Why would he admit to being dirty and ruin his life if he "proved" he was clean using science?

 

He did not create the situation where athletes must dope in order to compete for TdF's nor did he make the testing so easy to fool. He played by the only rules available to him to win, now it doesn't excuse not telling the truth or doping but the blame is far more on the governing bodies of cycling for creating that situation and encouraging it by its stars.

 

If his only options were to say he was clean or ruin his own life I will always find it hard to condemn him for being human and wanting to preserve the life he *felt* like he earned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My question was, can people who do good things be bad people? You already made it plain that you thought that people who do bad things can be good.

 

In any event, I think you've mistaken being powerful for being good.

 

I believe all people are inherently good, therefore, to me the only thing you can judge a person by at the end of the day is if they did more good than bad and the motivation behind their acts.

 

I completely understand the difference between power and positivity. In my mind, what he did for the cancer movement dwarfs lying and taking drugs. More importantly, I find it in bad taste for some people to vehemently take shots at someone's character for mistakes that many, if not all people are also guilty of. If there is a person on this board who has never lied or taken a drug outside of its legal label usage, then I tip my hat to that person and I will defer to their judgement of Lance Armstrong. Until then, I will save my own persecutions, as I find the guy inspiring and fascinating.

 

So you think that the only issue that anyone has with Armstrong is that he told lies about doping? And you think that "many, if not all people are also guilty" of the kinds of mistakes that Armstrong made?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not have the slightest problem with Armstrong doping. By the early 90's EPO had become epidemic and you could not compete without it. Indurain. Zulle. Pantani. Riis. Ulrich. The Festina affair. And on and on. Look up videos of some of the mountain stages from the 90s. Lemond said that by the early 90s he had trouble keeping up with the main group of riders. You either doped or you could not compete. And what is different today? Contador is still allowed to compete despite the Spanish authorities making a mockery of the anti-doping regime. Valverde also.

 

It just seems that rather than critics and hardcore fans addressing with the doping culture in cycling seriously (before EPO there was blood doping and steroids) Armstrong has become the scapegoat for the whole issue. As a example Contador is still a hero on cycling forums. And Indurain beating confirmed dopers is not seen as proof of his own guilt, but is delusionally seen as a testament to his supposed superhuman ability.

 

As to Armstrong being a bad person, the whole sport was based on a house of cards. The people that attack him participated in doping, benefited from it, and were not looking to clean up the sport, only to get Armstrong. How Landis became a hero in all this is remarkable. There was a lot of hypocrisy and petty resentment. If a sport is based on a doping culture then it is based on the suppression of secrets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes all people tell lies or hide things they did not want others to know. Especially when that information is so damaging to them.

 

Only difference with Lance is that he got asked the same question many more times in far more public ways. I do not believe anyone on this board is free of sin. I know I'm not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Some people really have scope of perspective issues.

 

I'm sorry the boston bombing suspect ruined peoples live, Lance Armstrong, well not so much.

 

Seriously you guys need to get a grip on reality. Lance Armstrong took PED's, so what, in the grand scheme of the Universe and all that is evil does this even move the needle? I argue not.

Since when does someone have to be a mass murderer to qualify as a bad guy?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes all people tell lies or hide things they did not want others to know. Especially when that information is so damaging to them.

 

Only difference with Lance is that he got asked the same question many more times in far more public ways. I do not believe anyone on this board is free of sin. I know I'm not.

What bothers people about Lance is not the lying, which as you say, everyone engages in. What upsets people is that he filed lawsuits against people who were actually telling the truth, and hurt people financially, while he was insulated from financial woes because of the money he had earned from the lying itself. That sort of devious behavior, while certainly not at the level of the Boston bombings, which acadia (and apparently others) seem to think is the standard for bad behavior, is not something that most people have engaged in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What bothers people about Lance is not the lying, which as you say, everyone engages in. What upsets people is that he filed lawsuits against people who were actually telling the truth, and hurt people financially, while he was insulated from financial woes because of the money he had earned from the lying itself. That sort of devious behavior, while certainly not at the level of the Boston bombings, which acadia (and apparently others) seem to think is the standard for bad behavior, is not something that most people have engaged in.

 

Armstrong threw his weight around in a variety of ways, many of which have been brought up in this thread. He was (is) a supreme competitor and a highly effective manipulator. He accomplished greatness in several fields --- athletic achievement, fundraising for charity, self promotion. Many of his tactics weren't nice.

 

Saying that everyone has told a lie and that therefore we should not condemn someone for lying is like saying that someone who robs a convenience store has committed the same crime that Bernie Madoff committed. Not all lies are created equal.

 

Cycling was dirty, so everyone doped and everyone lied about it. But Lance was on his own level -- he doped in a more sophisticated manner, he lied better -- he did everything better than his peers. And he certainly attempted to intimidate everyone around him into silence -- and had the money in his pockets to do so for many years. His lies were not garden variety lies.

 

He affected people's retirements.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, he doped better, he lied better, and he worked harder. He played the game.

 

Which is why he won more than anyone else even when all his competitors were doping themselves up to the gills.

 

And the suing people doesn't surprise me at all, I think it is pretty unseemly and I hate how litigious our society has become but I believe he felt like those people were trying to destroy him, so he felt "justified" in trying to silence them in the only avenue open to him.

 

It's not right since they were telling the truth but that was his motivation, preserving the status quo of his life. Doesn't excuse anything but it also does not make him a monster. It makes him a deeply conflicted and self-centered human being.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lance ruined people's lives. Teamates, friends, enemies. You name it. He cheated and lied so many times. The fact that he is still walking around as a free man with millions of dollars makes me wanna puke. And the fact that people in this wrestling forum still support the guy makes me wanna puke on YOU! Pathetic!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cycling ruined those peoples lives by turning a blind eye to doping, not Lance. Of course he never admitted to doping, just like none of the other TdF champs go around broadcasting that they "cheat".

 

Those teammates of his were doing the same things as Lance and just as guilty. They knew exactly what was going on and got to experience all the benefits from LA's success just like they got the negatives once the truth came out. Lance has to take responsibility for his actions and so should they, they ruined their own lives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I believe he felt like those people were trying to destroy him, so he felt "justified" in trying to silence them in the only avenue open to him.

This sentence could be used throughout human history to describe the justification of heinous crimes against fellow humans. I just find it odd that when we're talking about something less atrocious than murder or torture, that you (and others) are somehow OK with it. Yeah, Lance wasn't Hitler or Stalin. But what he did was not something that I can easily chock up to your run of the mill character flaws that we all have.

 

It's not right since they were telling the truth but that was his motivation, preserving the status quo of his life. Doesn't excuse anything but it also does not make him a monster.

It depends on what you mean by "monster". Hitler? No. Stalin? No. But there are degrees to human horribleness. Somebody can be a mean spirited, bad person and not a mass murderer. I would say that threatening people with financial ruin, and in several cases actually causing financial ruin to others, while sitting on piles and piles of cash raised through fraudulent means all while rubbing everyones faces in what turned out to be 100 percent lies qualifies as being a pretty bad person. Maybe not a monster in your view, but certainly not somebody you'd want to call a friend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about all those piles and piles of cash those cancer victims were "sitting on"? Should they be ashamed for taking money from such a horrible person?

 

Every one of Lances "victims" that I have seen has brought ruin upon themselves. All this ruining others lives sounds like hyperbole to me.

 

Maybe if LA wasn't questioned about doping so many thousands of times it wouldn't have appeared like he was rubbing anyones nose in all of his clean drug tests. Why would he admit to doping when no one else in cycling does? And by doing so it would mean he would be smeared as a cheat/fraud/con man and could never compete again.

 

I wouldn't want LA as a friend no, but I don't need any more friends.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am going to suppress my lol on that last comment because it's just not right. If there were an "involuntary chuckle out loud" emoticon I would send it.

Armstrong's own foundation has distanced itself from him. They fired him. So let's not give him too much credit as it's apparent that a lot of honest and selfless people have both given to and worked for that foundation. At any rate, I don't find the guy fascinating. He is obviously very average. He had his fifteen. I'm happy see him just fade away.

This does bring up a more interesting subject. What is the balance between overlooking the glaring shortcomings of a person and embracing a unique talent that the person may have? For example, if a unique and irreplaceable talent like Einstein or Newton were a murderer or pedophile what do you do? I think their genius has to be accommodated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What about all those piles and piles of cash those cancer victims were "sitting on"? Should they be ashamed for taking money from such a horrible person?

What are you talking about?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...