Monday, August 27, 2012

There's Always Room for Yellow


When the news broke Friday morning that Lance Armstrong was giving up his fight against doping allegations, I took off my Livestrong bracelet and tossed it in the yellow trash can in our downstairs bathroom.  I wore the yellow band since it first went on sale more than a decade ago--except in Iraq.  In Iraq we could only wear POW/MIA bracelets.  All the rest of the colored wrist bands for causes had to come off until we left Camp Adder.

I wore that bracelet because I used to travel overseas a lot and ride with racers in other countries--particularly in France where I got to ride in the Alps, the Pyrenees, and in the daily training rides at L'Hippodrome in Paris.  Wearing a Livestrong bracelet said I was proud of the accomplishments of America's greatest cyclist.

So when his titles were stripped from him, I tossed the bracelet.  I wore it as long as there was some doubt that he would be caught cheating.  Which also makes me guilty of having a double standard on cheaters.  After 20 years of watching every stage of the Tour de France, I quit watching after Stage 17 in 2006.  That was the stage in which Floyd Landis cheated so flagrantly that the commentators were talking about it during the stage.  I have tried to watch the Tour de France since, but I knew I was just watching dueling drugs.

After I left for work, my wife took my Livestrong bracelet out of the trash.  She had two reasons:
 1.  I like yellow.  shallow reason.
 2. It seems hypocritical to ditch him for the act of getting caught cheating, when we stood by him while he was getting away with cheating.  

Good points, but when Lance was riding, I still thought there was a chance he was simply training harder than everyone else.  I was wrong.  And my wife is right that I have known he was cheating for several years and kept it on.  Be that as it may, I will not put it on again.

SPQR and America

Senatus Populusque Romanus The Senate and People of Rome Some of the soldiers I served with in Iraq talked about getting an SPQR tat...