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« He "Almost" Doped... | Main | Quick Hi »

May 09, 2007



Sara, GREAT entry today... you said it. Perspective is important and we have to keep in mind that heroism is all around us, but not necessarily embodied by all the public figures we hear about daily. And I can't help mentioning this... I have always held firemen up on a pedestal myself. A couple of years ago I got to hear from the wife of one that he was cheating on her and always had. I didn't need that! But it just reminded me that all people are fallible. ALL people.

My daughter voted for the entire voting period last night! For Blake, naturally. And she was watching the phone line polls -- the sites that claim to know who wins in which state. By the time she quit voting, Blake had just edged out Jordin for 1st place nationally. Surprising, huh? Lakisha was in last place. I thought she did fine last night but just not well enough to nose out anyone else. Too bad. I liked what Paula said last night, that it would be nice if Melinda could try to surprise us somehow. That's a fun prospect -- don't know if it will happen though!


Uh oh, my coffee is talking for me again, so brace yourselves. I was just thinking about the relativity of "things that are considered ***SHOCKING***" and DEEPLY disappointing, if you find out someone did them. Or else they're the norm. And often it all depends on the time frame and locale, whether the action is legal, or just socially acceptable or not. Here are some examples.

1. 1680, in Europe. You have sex with your brother or sister or father, no biggie. Your country needs a "pureblood" heir, so get on that mattress and make it squeak loud! You're doing your patriotic duty for gosh sakes.

2. Okay, I don't know the exact date of the introduction of the Waltz. (you can google it for me) But when it came out, it was considered to be SCANdalous! Simply NASTY and VULgar!

3. Prohibition era America. Carrie Nation says people who drink are SLIME, because it's ILLEGAL!! I would be DEEPLY DISAPPOINTED if I knew someone I knew was a DRINKER!!!! String up the varmints!!!

4. 1950s --- MIDRIFFS EXPOSED by TWO PIECE BATHING SUITS!!!! The WHORES who wear these will BURN in HELL!!!

5. Up until all the testing started, blood tampering was part of the cycling bargain. Now it's against the rules.

My point is, what is illegal/shocking.... changes.

PS... do I know how to beat a dead horse or WHAT?

susie b

I'm sick of Basso. I'm sick of Ullrich. I'm sick of the cycling powers to profess shock & horror at the extent of doping in their sport. ("I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!"). I'm sick of EXCUSES. If you're going to confess, then DO IT. And don't expect a gdamn slap on the back for doing what you SHOULD have done 10 months ago. And no, these athletes are not major criminals & they are not the only "sinners" among us. But I will NOT applaud them for doing the wrong thing nor will I cry along with them when all the evidence (openly & thoroughly tested) reveals their guilt. Actually, what upsets me MORE than what Basso SAYS he did, is all the people ready to shower him with accolades NOW. Are we SO desperate for heroes that we view THIS as brave, courageous, heroic?! Every time I saw those words tossed around yesterday (multiple blog & websites), I got angrier & angrier. As Sara wrote in her 4th paragraph above, THOSE people are heroes. To use the same term for a man just desperate to save his career & who's only speaking out now because his back is against the wall is blasphemy.

Basso, Ullrich, all of OP is just sad. It is disappointing. MUCH more worrisome to me is what it reveals about cycling & sport in general in these times of "enhancements" & the apparent growing lack of concern for "breaking the rules", which BTW, are there to ensure a LEVEL PLAYING FIELD. I despise half-ass anything. Either cycling/sport should just throw the rules out or get SERIOUS & stop playing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"!

One more thing. I do NOT feel bad about dumping on Basso. I find his non-confession pathetic at this late date & I'd need a LOT more of the evidence to PROVE he wasn't blood-doping in the Giro to believe a word he says. But really, I don't care anymore about him. When he starts riding again, I WON'T be cheering him on, no big deal. And who am *I* to criticze Basso or Ullrich or anyone else? I'm just a person trying to do the right thing day after day. I don't always succeed but I can guarantee you that I'm NOT FREAKIN BRAVE when I fail.

Ok, so already you've caught me in a lie, there's more. Blood-tampering SEVERELY enhances one's performance, either with or without EPO. Whenever I think 'what's the big deal about a little doping', I remember the Olympics in the 70s. The East German "Enhanced" women swimmers won medal after medal in the days when about the only test was to see if you were 'really' female. When one of America's best-ever swimmers, Shirley Babishoff, however, had the audacity to actually state that something seemed fishy about these women (who looked like weightlifters, had super-low voices, chin whiskers & severe acne) she was CASTIGATED by the world's media as a "poor sport". They hounded her, eventually out of the sport entirely. I never forgot. I have also never forgotten my CRYING during those Olypmics when I realized our hard-working athletes were losing their DREAMS to a bunch of cheats. And that is what I remember today when I think it may be a good idea to throw open competition to "winner TAKES all, literally".


Well, this is not relevant to what we talk about here, but this morning all three of my boys came in and snuggled, in the quiet of early morning, and I emphasize QUIET because that is a rarity in our house (as I'm sure all houses with kids). It was a perfect moment.

Props to your daughter, Camille, for keeping the Blake vote going, since I missed it last night!

Oh, and your last post reminded me of my husband, the historian (Greek & Roman) who goes into all the "debauchery" (read: norm) of those times whenever anyone is scandalized by something, as if it's new. Nothing is new under the sun.

And now, with all this "hero" talk, I can't get that freaking song out of my head...."I need a hero! I'm holding out for a hero blah blah..."


The "image" of those female German swimmers is less-than-pleasant. It reminds me that whatever we think about doping/performance enhancing, what it boils down to is that it's dangerous (and potentially gross!).


Yvette, your husband and mine are very similar on that!

I'm procrastinating my run...


Ok, off topic alert! We need something fun (and not another Brad story!!). Debby did the 5-boro ride in NYC, and her post with pics is up at her site!! My God, you guys have to ride this!! I was quite relieved I wasn't there!! Click on She cycles by the Seashore on the left; it'll take you right there! Good laugh and great pictures and Debby's story is great!!


Yes, there are bigger fish to fry and we've done fried this one to bits, but just one note in terms of lives being at stake. Let's not forget all the strapping young men who've died in their 20s and 30s from EPO use. Phil Liggett put the number at 100 a few years ago. I'm just saying, it ain't nothing.


Hi guys,

Just caught up on your posts the last few days. Sara, thanks for saying what I often think: the real heroes are the firefighters, police, EMT folks, and teachers who do what they do day after day, and don't get paid nearly as much for it. It stinks that our sports figures (not usually cycling!) get paid millions of dollars to essentially play, while these people put their lives at risk. I know teachers aren't emergency personnel, but lately, with all the school shootings...I think the risk factor is just getting worse. susieb, a loud AMEN to your first paragraph. I think people are desperate for heroes and want to create them wherever they can find them. And they're so used to being disappointed that then it's no big deal when they are dethroned...they just move on to the next person.

A lot of this junk comes down to politics. The person trying to do the right thing against the machine. While not heroic, it does take courage to stand up for what you believe in, because so many people in these big businesses sell their souls. There was a letter on TBV that I read last night from someone named Fanini, to Basso. I don't know what to make of it; I don't know who Fanini is or what if anything the letter means, but it looks like he was urging Basso to help stand up against the machine. I guess it's easier now for him, when you no longer have anything to lose. But I suspect there are others who have tried to turn down the drugs, etc...I wonder if they were refused contracts or asked to leave the team because they wouldn't play along? And then there is Floyd, who dares not to take the garbage sitting down. No , he's not heroic. But I have to admire a man who is willing to go bankrupt in order to stand up for what is right, and to try to save his reputation. There aren't many who would do that. It's easier to take the ban so you can get back to work and not lose your entire life savings and livelihood.

Thanks Theresa for the mention in your post. The Five Boro ride was definitely an experience. :)


Excellent post today Sara! I too loved to hear everyone's opinions -- and there are some strong ones. You have a ROCKIN blog here :) I never see other blogs with this many daily comments. You inspire us!

Yvette!!!!! Darn it! Now that song has been in MY head all day LOL! GRRRRRRRR

Your Brad Huff stories always make me smile, Theresa!

We have some BEAUTIFUL weather here and I'm hoping to get OUTSIDE today and enjoy it. I hope you all have the same opportunity. As a teacher, I still get that 'end of the school year' anticipation of the approaching summer this time of year -- woo hoo!

susie b

"Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the Gods?
Where's the STREET-WISE Hercules
Isn't there a white KNIGHT upon a fiery STEED?
Late at night I toss & turn & dream of what I need.

I need a HERO!
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night.
He's gotta be FAST
And he's gotta be FRESH FROM THE FIGHT.
I need a HERO!
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light.
He's gotta be sure
And he's gotta be larger than life."

Sounds like FLOYD LANDIS to me!

Yo, Yvette! Sing it Bonnie!I think Versus should use THIS as their Cyclysm Sundays/TDF lead-in music! :)

And I'm TRYING to get myself in a better mood, but the crappy cycling/Floyd news every other day is NOT helping! And then, AI was SUCH a let-down! WHY didn't they do general DISCO?! I love the Bee Gees (have several albums), but my god, that music is almost all falsetto & the best thing was the harmony of the brothers! I was VERY disappointed! Sorry Blake fans, but I thought he was terrible! Melinda was the worst she has ever been. Jordin had the best song selection (although the entire time she sang 'To Love Somebody', all *I* kept thinking was why the hell wasn't Lakisha singing that?!) but I now just HATE her voice. All I hear is her vibrato. And Lakisha, Lakisha! WHAT were ya doing?! Although I thought parts were good/great, why oh why did you pick 'Stayin Alive'? 'Cause honey, you ain't tonight! Although I DID vote about 25 times for my girl; had to at least go down swinging with her!

Oh, & on DWTS, what a shocker that Joey was in the bottom two! I was glad though because he's been SO cocky the past few weeks as if he's got the thing sewn up! His goofing around has really started to irritate me. I decided 3 weeks ago, that Apollo was no longer just 1 of my faves, but my pic for the winner & I starting voting for him. You can't vote as many times as on AI though! :)


SUSIE!!! You are NOT helping me out here!!! this song is making me crazy!

I was SHOCKED that Joey was in the bottom two last night on DWTS! I LOVE Apolo and he's my pick also. I'm hoping that Laila makes the finals though, too, because she is excellent!


I watched last week's episode of DWTS, where Meatloaf was on. UGH!!!!!!! I had to turn it off, couldn't watch another second of that ogre!!!! YYYYYUUUUUCCKKKKK!!!!!!!! Theresa, pardon the comparison but he sounded like someone was strangling a cat... just like he always did... and looks worse. So that was quite the buzzkill for me on the show. I wish they could have gotten more interesting/talented people this time. I'm DEEPLY... okay, I guess that dead horse is now not only beaten but cold and stiff...


DWTS? Dancing With the Stars?? Sorry, I'm clueless and out of the loop here.


Hey Camille, I don't know what DWTs is, but we took our son to see Meatloaf about about 5 or 6 years ago at the Riviera Theater in Chicago and it was a GAS. He puts on such a good show and is FUNNY! We had the additional entertainment of the 50 sumthin' group in front of us who decided they needed the full concert experience and smoked cigars, cigarettes and those other kinds right in front of my kid! The nerve! We sued of course...not.

Sean commented on the smell and said (hear a know-it-all tone when reading this), "I know what it is Mom, I'm not an idiot." Ah, yes. A good time was had by all.


On another note, it's only three days until the Giro starts on Saturday--live coverage on if you buy the feed---three weeks of cycling fun. I'll be up every morning writing the race reports. Saturday is the team time trial--perfect start and none of that limited losses crap the TdF came up with a couple years ago. Straight up TTT!

Edit: Apollo rocks and so does Laila--would be thrilled for either of them, and think it's cool that they are both elite athletes going at it. You can just feel their competitve spirit. But Apollo is my most fave, and he and Julianne are quite adorable, don't you think?!


Yes girls, that's Dancing With The Stars. Catherine, Meatloaf must be an acquired taste... one which I PRAY I will never acquire! I'm glad to hear he's funny and therefore has some redeeming value ;) Also glad to hear you had fun :)

The *nerve* of MD not posting today, huh?!!! I actually had to stoop to getting some things accomplished --- something I resent greatly!


Cathy, a few weeks back I caught just a quick glimpse of the show and Julianne had on a white dress with a big bow on the bootie -- she looked STUNNING in it -- like a 20's movie star. It took my breath away actually. If I had to choose a couple (and if I watch again which I'm sure I will -- those two would be my favorites)-- I love speedskaters and Apolo seems to have a sweet personality, doesn't he? I'll try again next week.


Wow..quite the discussion I've been missing out on...stupid WORK! Always interferring w/ my fun!

Not really sure how we (as a society) eliminate 'cheating' in sports. The 'evil-do'ers will always be at least one step ahead of the good guys...coming up w/ new ways to cheat and also to avoid being caught. More than likely, there aren't too many athletic endeavours in the last few decades that haven't been won by cheaters of some sort. There's LOTS of ways to cheat...and what was OK yesterday might be considered cheating today, and vice versa. Cheating w/ equipment, drugs, tactics/techniques. It boggles the mind...and as Susie mentioned, it would almost be easier to just say 'go for it'...OPEN class sports. Whatever you do to win is OK. Now THAT is a level playing field! Being as it seems the 'ends justifies the means' in our world, it makes sense. People have been willing to cut years/decades off their lives just for the chance to 'make it big' for a long time now! Ask a grade school/high school athlete-wanna-be if he would give up 20 years at the far end of his life to MAKE IT in the NFL/NBA/etc. To a teenager, whats a few years that far down the road...they are invincible anyway...and to tell them they will die by 50 or 60 but can be a multimillionaire sports superstar in the'd have a pretty long line for that! So, how does this all get fixed? I'm personally getting pretty sick of the whole 'sports star' (and movie star/etc) thing...they are all turning into a bunch of Prima-Donnas! They make WAY too much $$ too! Sure..go hit a ball with a stick, make MILLIONS! But the salary of a Fireman, Policeman, and even worse: the MILITARY is downright sad! MANY military families are (or qualify to be) on foodstamps! Yet they VOLUNTARILY put on the uniforms and do the job. Compare that to a pro sports athlete, with the zillion dollar houses, cars, etc etc. Same w/ the movie stars. Guess I should move to Costa Rica or something...get away from it it's getting pretty sickening.

OK..enough on MY rant..time to RIDE!

susie b


Carrie Nation was dead almost 10 years before Prohibition. She was a religious zealot in the Temperance Movement & became famous because she went around smashing saloons with a hatchet. This of course was a time with no health or life insurance, no social security, no AA, & limited legal rights for women. Consequently, many women were at the mercy of their drunkard husbands & if he drank everything away, became unfit to work & thus threw the family into poverty (no welfare at the time), &/or beat them senseless, that was just too bad. Many women then got involved as a way to help PROTECT WOMEN & CHILDREN.

I don't know a whole lot about Carrie except she was one of the ones who felt "directed by God" & was just one of thousands in the movement. Was prohibition a great idea? Maybe not, but with limited options & virtually no understanding of alcoholism, it was an attempt to improve the lives of millions.

Don't mean to jump on you Camille, just had to clear that up. It's one of my pet peeves that people today think prohibition was ALL due to a bunch of prudish, 'God-fearing', humorless, nutso women trying to take the FUN OUT of life & nothing more.

Thus ends our History class today boys & girls! Go out & play!


LOL ... Susie, as I was typing away on all that, I was hoping it wasn't necessary to include the warning that my "history" comments are almost always way off-date, with many details altered to suit my purposes. LOL Even as I was typing away happily I knew that Carrie wouldn't need to be so upset if it were already illegal! And yes, a tiny corner of my brain knew that she came before Prohibition... I remember hearing a touristy discussion of her in Chicago once -- some Al Capone haunt maybe? See, Susie, I have TOLD you repeatedly that your brain works way too well for me... and now you have to go and state the obvious that I have my history all mixed up. But it's okay, I forgive you. Kudos for catching me in my botched history lesson. Trust me, it won't be the last one!


Matt -- one thing that worries me about opening sports to any/all forms of cheating is that it would open up a market for these drugs. Can you imagine? It's bad enough with the diet pills that are fake at best and make people fatally ill at worst...but give evil scientists license to create performance-enhancement drugs, and the demand would be through the roof. And it would trickle down to the high school kids who would need to buy these to compete with their peers in order to have the edge into college scholarships...where would it end? At least right now we force the drug suppliers to stay underground and not advertise, and there is always a risk for them that they will get caught and go to jail. Perhaps that risk prices their drugs high enough to keep them only available for the most elite of athletes who can afford them (and are presumably adults who should know better)? I live near a wealthy community where kids have more money than sense or supervision by their parents, and I can only imagine the athletic drugs they could afford if given opportunity to buy them openly.

I agree absolutely on the military. By contrast, I saw a news story on the yahoo news last night about Paris Hilton writing to Gov. Schwarzenneger (sp?) asking for a pardon for her DUI because "she brings glamor to our otherwise mundane lives." I find it absolutely the height of arrogance and stupidity for her to assume that crashing Hollywood parties and putting her name on perfume and cheap jewelry gives her enough value in society that she thinks she is worthy of a pardon. I mean, she doesn't even play a sport or sweat out 14 hours of rehearsal in a film! She's just obnoxious and the press reports on it, and there's no effort involved! Why should she have millions, when our veterans come home missing limbs and can't even get a desk job? If only we could take her money from her and put it into things like cancer research for kids with leukemia, what a much better world it would be.

I'd better get off the soap box now. Sorry all for getting way off the topic. (backs away blushing).


Debby, you make a lot of very good points (as did Owlie and really, everyone) about the drug issue. I'll be the first to agree with you that it's a STUPID choice to decide to use them. I'm just going to try not to be surprised about who would be so stupid. And all we do here is get off topic so please don't worry about that! We kid each other about who is off-topic because it's such a joke -- as if we ever ARE on topic!

I just want to announce that my daughter Claire just met her fundraising goal of $4,000 for Texas 4000 for Cancer today!!! Thanks to several of our wonderful people here for supporting her just recently and helping her get that minimum met! We are sooooo happy and relieved that now she can study for her final exams without having to worry about raising money -- since they leave in just over 3 weeks. So... you know who you are... THANK YOU!!!! (and we have her thank you notes right here and they'll go out in the mail starting in about a week -- fear not!)


Sometimes I think it's a good thing that my sister has to struggle to raise her kids. They don't get alot of stuff just because she can't afford it, so they don't expect it. We've got a bunch a kids that are going to be responsible for this nation and ecomomy when we are pedaling our bikes in our old age. God help us!


ALL RIGHT CLAIRE!!!! Good job! Camille, let us know when she leaves so we can keep track of her ride!!

Is this the daughter who voted all night for Blake???

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