If you know me very well then you already know about my love affair with sports. I love watching them and love rooting for them, especially a good underdog story. I faithfully watch the Super Bowl even if I don't care about any of the teams in the game, I love college football and one of my favorite times of the year is from March Madness to the Masters. The first 2 days of March Madness are my favorite. When else can you watch games non stop from noon to midnight? And they always are very exciting games. I am also a sucker for the good vs. evil story that is sometimes spun into a sporting event. Or the little man vs. the giant. I love for the human interest story that makes some professional athletes seem more like every day people. The obstacles and challenges that they have had to overcome. I love it all.
But, one of the things I struggle with is the inappropriate moral values that some of the athletes of today occasionally have. I don't like it when young people choose to idolize people who have made some really bad choices in their lives but they choose to ignore or not be aware of every day heroes that are in their lives.
That brings me to someone like Lance Armstrong. I am not a follower of cycling. I don't even understand why the Tour de France is days and days long and how the switching of the yellow jersey means something. But, I know who Lance Armstrong is. And, I know what he started his own foundation called Livestrong. And, I know that it is backed by Nike. Cha-ching. Allegedly Lance Armstrong has confessed to Oprah Winfrey that he used performance enhancing drugs while competing in cycling. This allegation has been going on for years and I'm not sure why Lance decided know to fess up. I also know that the foundation Livestrong has raised millions, maybe even billions of dollars for cancer research. I heard on the radio yesterday that even without Lance being the face of Livestrong that their sales only dropped 7%.
The question I have is simple.
Do we overlook the misconduct that Lance Armstrong did to his body, the sport of cycling, and all the followers of his sport for the huge contribution he has made in the world of cancer research? Are these two different issues or will eventually American's look past his moral flaws in support of his humanitarian contributions? Is his name ruined forever or will Lance be able to one day restore it?
I don't know the answers to any of these questions, but I do know one thing.
Lance Armstrong needs to give Mantei Ta'io a big shout out for being the ultimate diversion in the news. We may have already forgot about Lance Armstrong's poor choices.