Saturday, January 19, 2013

Exiled to France: An open letter to Lance Armstrong


Dear Lance,
It’s not the doping that pisses us off. Cycling is a sport that’s rife with performance enhancing drugs of some sort or another. I also realize that this is going to sound like a tween movie cliché if I say, “everybody does it”, but it’s true in this case. It’s become sort of an unspoken understanding that a huge chunk of those competing in the sport are doping. Cheating is so rampant in the Tour De France that when blood doping isn’t found, they blame the bike.

It’s the lying that pisses us off. Wait. It goes beyond lying. It’s adamant lying. Then when people accuse you of doing it, you sue them. Wait. It goes beyond suing, you annihilate them. Lance, you’ve ruined lives, over and over again. I’ve never met you, but I know plenty who have and everyone says the same thing. “He’s a prick.” In fact, you’re a self-identifying prick. I understand that it takes a special soul to reach the level of achievement you have.  You’ve beaten everything that’s come across your path and you’re invulnerable. Perhaps that’s why you expose yourself to women you work with. What are they going to do? You’re Lance Armstrong. Everyone not on “team Lance” is treated like cancer, to be dominated, defeated and annihilated. It’s a shame. I feel sorry for you.

You say you came clean because of your family. You did it for your kids.  I don’t buy it. That is the most selfish thing I believe I’ve ever heard. If you really had your family and children in mind, you would have denied it and taken your secret to the grave. Instead, you have placed your indisputable shame on the shoulders of your children to carry for the rest of their lives. It’s impossible to outshine you. You’ve worked hard to make it that way. Because of that fact, your handiwork will smudge every achievement your children will ever make in some way. Thanks, dad!

I’m pissed that you’re a Texan. It’s bad enough that GW Claims to be from here (he’s not. He was born in Maine. Sorry Maine, but hey, you got Stephen King.). You have taken the Texan counter argument away from us when we travel abroad.  When I would go to Europe and tell people I am from Texas and they’d wrinkle their noses like they’ve just smelled a fart and say “George Bush” and then I’d drop your name and everything would be okay. I can’t do that now. Thanks, Lance!

So what now? I’m sure all your proverbial chickens are coming home to roost and the lawsuits are about to beat down your door. As far as the endorsements are concerned, you have sold more merchandise for these companies than they could have ever sold without you. You have made many people a great deal of money. That money should remain to be yours; that said, it’s time you fix what you broke. Now you pay for all the lives you’ve destroyed and careers you’ve ruined, some of which can’t be fixed.  Next, leave the state. You have furthered the already sullied reputation of what it means to be a Texan with your behavior. You are no longer Texan. Don’t claim it. You should be banished to France. I’m sure they will be licking their chops to hear that you’re coming…and take Rick Perry with you, we’re done with that nut-sack too.

You were the best thing to ever happen to cancer. For cancer survivors, you were the living symbol of perseverance and triumph over a creeping death sentence, living proof that the odds can be beaten, Austin’s favorite son. 

A huge disappointment.


John Padgett

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