It takes work, dude
July 6, 2017 § 25 Comments
That’s what I want to tell Lance Armstrong after listening to his podcast covering Stage 3 of the Turdy France.
Several people told me I should “check it out” because “it was really insightful” and they admonished me “to listen with an open mind.”
Obviously, these were people who didn’t know me at all. The day I listen to anything with an open mind it will be due to a gunshot wound to the head.
That said, I did tune in and I was impressed. Impressed with what an impossibly lazy person Lance Armstrong is. Here is a guy with nothing to do. No job. No cancer to cure. No bike to race. Not even any poopy diapers left to change. At least he could put some effort into the podcast because, you know, if there’s one guy who knows how to race and win a Turdy France, IT’S LANCE FUGGIN’ ARMSTRONG.
Hello, ex-seven times consecutive Tour champion!! This is your turf!!
Here’s what I expected: A beginning-to-end breakdown of how the race unfolded, why it was significant (or not), in-depth looks at the protagonists and wankers alike, detailed analysis of the course, and detailed analysis of what was going on and why.
Why did I expect that? Because Lance knows this stuff. He is a bike racing computer. I don’t care about his drugscapades in that regard, he still had to know how to race and he had to understand what to do when. He was a savvy, smart guy on the bike.
But no. What Lance delivered was fluff, puff, and one particularly awful piece of near-slanderous misinformation. The fluff was about “why the yellow jersey was yellow.” Yawning, stream-of-unconsciousness observations about Tour history and stuff. Yo, Lance! We already have one babbling idiot in the commentator’s seat, and his name is Phil Liggett. You will never be as stupid or boring as Phil, so please quit trying.
The near-slander was egregious. At one point he talked about “trading favors” and insinuated that, for example, Team Sky gets on the horn and advises another team that it will “let” them win the stage, with the implication being that a favor will be returned later down the road … you know, “politics,” wink wink nudge nudge, otherwise known as collusion and sporting fraud.
Somewhat astounded, the other guy in the trailer pressed Lance for the physical mechanics of how that works. Phone call? Face to face? And Lance backpedaled like crazy. Doesn’t really know anymore, isn’t in the mix these days, can’t say, etc. etc. And then he finished off this rather explosive allegation by saying that it probably doesn’t really even happen much anymore.
Jeez, what a load of crap. Of course racers remember the outcome of one day, or who did what in a prior break, and of course they sometimes use it to trade horses during a subsequent race if and when advantageous. But the idea that Brailsford is on the phone with Madiot saying, “Okay, today you get the win, but in the mountains you owe me the GC,” is absurd. Even Lance recognized how dumb his premise sounded because he maladroitly transitioned into the history of the yellow jersey, thank you Wikipedia.
Armstrong could be a fantastic commentator. He knows a bunch. He’s done a bunch. He sees things we don’t. He has a very good commentating voice. He understands dynamics that are not immediately apparent.
But he doesn’t have a crystal ball, and in order to commentate he would have to do what first-class commentators like Craig Hummer do: Watch, re-watch, re-watch, and re-watch again. He would have to study, analyze, compare, interview, and bust his ass — all in a very short time frame because he’s doing same-day coverage. Instead of doing those things, which require hard work, dedication to a craft, and tons of practice, he picked up a mic and blabbered for forty minutes because hey, he’s Lance. Compare his shoddy, make-it-up-as-he-goes along podcast with Sean Kelly or Perico, and you’ll understand my rating for this horribly lazy fellow:
Ten thumbs down.
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