Re: Lance and the "Everyone Else Was Doing it" Argument...

Where ever I turn, what ever I read, even now, after all this time, I continue to choke on the "everyone else was doing it" argument as a means of easing Armstrong off the hook. I read one, just yesterday - a comment in a post about the upcoming coming out party. Everyone else was taking drugs, so the only way to compete was to make things equal, to do it himself, was the point this commenter wanted to make. I have to admit, I briefly bought into the idea of that argument, believing the mentality was so entrenched in the sport, that in order to play the game you had to, you know, "play the game." But when you apply that same way of thinking to other areas of life, you begin to realize just how utterly ridiculous it really is. Wall Street guy: "well, everyone else steals and commits fraud; if I want my piece of the pie, I have to as well." Or how about the politician: "well, if I don't out-lie my opponent, I will never get elected." And it goes on and on like that in a sad, circular fashion; each attempting to out-lie, out-cheat the next guy in order to reach the top. The top of what though? Well, the heap of course. And what a stinking mass it turns out to be. Cloak them in whatever justification you want, but lying, stealing, cheating, are the same no matter who they apply to.

You know, I think the saddest part of this entire affair (and if you are completely disgusted with Lance you may not agree) is the way he cheated himself. I am sure this sounds like someones mom but, he will never have the satisfaction of knowing what he would have done, what he could have accomplished by racing clean. My twenty and four year list of palmares is pretty sparse, but it is what I could manage competing fair and square. Armstrong will live out his life without knowing.

On the other hand, it was his choice. His mind, if troubled by doubts and second guessing, the unresolvable "what if" questions are his doing. So maybe it is everyone else who have lost the most - those who wanted to believe in him. What do you think? I am not talking about the many companies that profited by promoting the Armstrong the Conqueror image; they made their money and that is their bottom line. Sure, it didn't last forever, nor probably for as long as they would have liked, but nothing does. I am talking about all the others, those who invested with no expectation of returns. They just wanted to share, in whatever small way, in Armstrong's victories, believe in his accomplishments.

I guess tonight is the night when all will supposedly be revealed. Like many, I will not be watching; it all reeks of showmanship, not sincere confession. I will read the salient points somewhere else, some place where the flowing sympathy tears won't be a distraction. The two things I will be looking for - will Armstrong really admit to the use of PED's, will he admit fault in his choice; and second, will he provide evidence of a cover-up within the international cycling organization, a point that has been speculated upon for some time? Just how many "everyone else's" were doing it behind the scenes?