Cheating liars and a couple of KO moments
I cannot for the life of me think of something that I care less about than what Lance Armstrong told Oprah about the decades he spent cheating and lying about drug use in his pursuit of cycling excellence.
Trust me, whatever he says will have been so spun by some of the great media relations crisis management people that it will be milquetoast and cliché, I’m sure. There will be key phrases and talking points and it will be all rehearsed to the point of being theatre.
But that’s not even the biggest point, although it’s one everyone should remember.
What irks me is the phoniness of the whole process and how this smacks of some plea for forgiveness or understanding that comes about five years too late and after Armstrong was almost diabolical in his determination to ruin those who dared speak against while he was perpetuating the fraud that he won those races on the strength of his own abilities and not after blood doping or HGH taking or whatever he did.
Look, that a cyclist cheated ranks right up there on the news scale with Sun Rises In East. Heck, Armstrong cheated to win; I would think there are those who cheated as much in order to finish in the top 10 of some races. It was, and probably still is, part and parcel of the upper echelon of the sport and even casual had to realize it back then.
No, it’s the way he’s handled himself when accused up until this time that people need to remember. He was a bitter, vindictive liar and a cheat and you cannot justify those actions in the light of the original transgression.
Yes, he helped raise a lot of money for cancer research and that is admirable. He also raised a lot of money for himself, don’t forget that. And he took a lot of money out of the pockets of people he tried to ruin.
Armstrong was, and is, a liar and cheat who did some good because he was a liar and a cheat.
Not entirely sure this is a reassuring, or a good thing.
We’re at our gate for the flight to LaGuardia, which went entirely smoothly in a stunning turn of events, and at the next gate over, there’s a flight supposed to leave about the same time as us to Newark.
Dude comes on the microphone about 45 minutes to departure time and he says, and I’m paraphrasing:
“We’re going to have a mechanical delay, two of the tires on the plane need replacing. It’ll be about half an hour.”
Not 10 minutes later, same guy on the mic again and he says, and I’m paraphrasing:
“Well, folks, turns out the mechanical issue wasn’t an issue, we’re going to start boarding now.”
Don’t know why I know this but I’m in Brooklyn and I remember Norah Jones is from Brooklyn and I could listen to that woman sing every day for the rest of my life.
Am I right?
Well, they have a bit of regrouping to do after the defensive failings of the other day against Milwaukee and it’s tough week with a road game here, back-to-back at home, at Philly and then the Lakers.
But there are going to be tough weeks and they have to hope some of the habits – the good habits – they picked up in the last 14 games (10-4) will stick around. I imagine they will but the effort is going to have to be even greater now that the level of competition is turned up a bit.
Oh, and the only news out of yesterday was that Amir Johnson took part in most of practice, Jose Calderon went through it all and Kyle Lowry was excused to attend a funeral.
Full expect they’ll all be available this evening; and yes, we’ll be here at 7:30 p.m. or so for the traditional IGBT.
The things you rarely see.
We round this corner in the cab about a block from the hotel and what do my eyes spy?
A woman using a payphone.
I don’t (a) believe payphones work any more; and (b) how much money would you have to put in anyway? They’re not still a dime, are they?
Now, this is utterly ridiculous.
Did you see the story that the latest suggested name for a new CFL team up in Ottawa is the Red Blacks?
Yeah, Ottawa Red Blacks.
I cannot fathom what that means and whoever dreamed it up should consider another line of work.
Me? I’d go with Pelicans.
I see KO’s out as coach at USC, fired mid-season and read this LA Time story and you can figure out why.
This might be the best quote of the piece, from one of his players, J.T. Terrell.
“KO, any day of the week, is just priceless. You never know what you're going to get.”
I’m trying to think of the best KO story from his tumultuous season in Toronto and I’ve got two.
First, it’s Halloween and they are opening the season at home. One of the TV guys – I honestly don’t recall who it was – is doing one of those cute stories where he tries to capture memories of youth. He asks KO: “What’s your favourite Halloween memory” or something weak like that.
KO swears – probably not even under his breath – and as he walks away, he says:
“Will the ridiculousness never end?”
And, this one’s not bad.
The story gets out about him breaking the lamp in Phoenix (“If you found out Jalen Rose broke his hand, you’d break a lamp, too,” he said) and how his life is maybe out of control a bit and that his bosses might not appreciate his lifestyle.
(Think Brian Burke squared, or trebled, or quadrupled; KO wouldn’t have last 10 days under this regime).
Anyway, we’re in New York the day the story comes out and me and Stumpy have to drag our sorry butts to shootaround to get his reaction and it’s New York so there are about a billion people in the Garden.
He goes through the lamp stuff and finally someone says something like: “Hey, Kevin. There’s a suggestion that perhaps your lifestyle and drinking are a bit of an issue, too. Do you have anything to say to that?”
KO, who absolutely enjoyed a cocktail after every game but I never saw him do anything untoward on a game day or before a practice, bristles. Really bristles.
The words may not be exact but he says:
“Look. I go out. The only time I was ever drunk on the road was in Seattle. A night before a game. With you, Doug!”
You can’t imagine how small I felt; and, yes, we did have a Metropolitan Grill dinner that dragged on and on.