July 20, 2003
I read the whole thing looking for a trace of irony or a trace of humor -- no luck on either score.
Denver Post columnist Jim Armstrong provides his expert sportswriter's view of the Tour:
I'm sure the P.C. cops will make me Jose Canseco's cellmate for saying it, but I've had it up to here with the Tour de Lance.
That's what it is, you know. No Lance, no Tour. At least if Tiger doesn't show up for a tournament, we can still laugh at Jesper Parnevik's outfit and hold out hope that John Daly will go Tin Cup. Not so in bicycling, where Lance is the show, the whole show, and nothing but the show.
After all, Lance is the only bicyclist Armstrong (hereinafter JA to distinguish him from the multi-maillot jaune) can name, therefore he must be the only bicyclist that matters, right?
This column is particularly ill-timed, considering that its thesis (if it can be said to have one) is that Armstrong has become so dominant that the Tour has lost meaning. Oops, looks like some of the other riders don't read ESPN!
When exactly was it that bicycling transcended recreation and became a sport, anyway? For crying out loud, we're already passing off ballroom dancing, skateboarding, chainsaw-wielding, street luge and synchronized swimming as legitimate sports. Where do we draw the line? It's getting so life's a beach volleyball game, then you die.
Of course, if you're reading my site, you know that the Tour is 100 years old, same as baseball's World Series. It's not like this is an X-Games phenomenon (created by, hmmm, ESPN).
Anyway, if you want to read the standard Ugly American view of bike racing, feel free.