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« Smart PR or the Real Deal? | Main | Best In Show »

February 28, 2008

Comments

Camille

I signed it!

CMehl

This movement was started by Trek, a sponsor for Team Astana. The timing of it was perfect with the Tour of CA happening and Levi planning to defend his title. It got lots of press, lots of mentions on both tv and on the internet, the race announcers talked about it all the time. It was perfect timing at the race to jump start the effort since Levi is a prominent American face and he was there to defend his title and show how strong Astana were. (Seriously, where were CSC and Slipstream most of the week??) PLUS he was third on the podium last year and is the current face many Americans associate with the TdF. Fans in Spain have a similar campaign going on Alberto's behalf. Personally I think it is a travesty that ASO does not let the defending champ DEFEND but chances are pretty good that young Alberto will be around for many, many more years to race at the top level. This might not be so for LL. Anyway, here is the link to sign Alberto's petition: http://www.contadoraltour.com/ The words are in Spanish: name, city, country, email address, comments
So of course it's for the entire team, but putting a nationalistic spin on it is so typically American and the alliteration in the Let Levi Ride campaign is too good to pass up! Let Horner ride just doesn't cut it! Although if Levi is let ride, Horner will be also! This way it also had more of a grassroots feel than the team just complaining in the press about being snubbed.

susie b

The way I see it, Levi's name is the American hook into the situation. To get the NON-cycling fan to also take note & see that somebody's trying to keep "one of our boys" out of the big race. "Let Astana Ride" would only appeal to cycling fans. I think it's smart PR. Although, I have to admit, when I 1ST saw it, I immediately wondered how all the other guys felt.

And I was SO happy to see last night that Austin Murphy mentioned the site on his recent SI article. The very thing I wrote here a few days ago that I was hoping for. (Hey Austin ;) Now if we can just get the PTI guys to rant & rave about the audacity of those French AS(S)Os keeping 'our boy' out of the race & put the site's name on the TV. The numbers would go into the hundreds of thousands in an instant.


And can I just say, I am EXTREMELY irritated at the teams for kissing AS(S)O. I have less & less desire to invest my interest let alone time in a sport run by a few old men only concerned with their own damn individual races. The sport will then stay penny-any & pathetic. Both in how it's run AND in the money involved. Almost TWENTY years ago, other big pro sports starting offering over $1 million to the winner for a big event, such as Wimbledon, US Open (tennis & golf). The winner of the TDF still does not get that & it's the hardest damn event in the world. And I do NOT want to hear the teams need to appease their sponsors. Bullshit. If all the Pro-Tour teams said RIGHT NOW they'd refuse to come to Paris-Nice, ASO would be forced to work with the UCI & reinstate Astana. And NO team would be arbitrarily barred from a race. Tell me, does one BECOME self-absorbed or stupid when they are a pro-cyclist or does that type just gravitate to the sport?

I guarantee you sponsors want MORE people caring about & watching a race as that means more potential customers will see THEIR name/product. To achieve that, you need that BEST possible competition. How does keeping the BEST cycling team out of all the big races do that?

And how is it people who LIVE in Europe seem not know or acknowledge the famous Martin Niemoeller poem and the lesson it imparts?

"...Then they came for me,
and by that time NO ONE was LEFT to speak up."

For f*ck sake, cyclists, think beyond today & STAND UP & SPEAK OUT NOW. Or YOU will be next.

susie b

Oh, & Waddy used to work in the music & TV industries. Not to UNFAIRLY hint there might just be a few gays in those occupations, but I think Waddy's probably among the LEAST homophobic here.

And sorry, JoeB, I didn't mean to "eat you up" the other day. I misunderstood your comment a bit & thus was just protecting what I think is the best part of this blog. That not just the goofy commenters write how we feel, but so does the blog host. Otherwise, I would never have read nor since inscribed the following line on my wall -

"The girl barely has enough lean muscle mass to hold up her grande latte."

As Matt would say, SASSSS-SAY! :) Well, he doesn't really say it like that. ;) What do those TV people call that, Waddy? Artistic license. :) :)


And Rae, thanks so much for telling us about your days at the ToC. I lOVE reading 1st hand accounts of events like this as each person's experience is so different & interesting. When you add them to race reports like those of Sara & Cathy, it really helps the poor, benighted souls who were not there in person to almost IMAGINE!


Speaking of "IMAGINE", if that David kid is not in the Final Two on American Idol, there is NO justice or at least no worthiness to that show. Kid gives me chills. I don't have a favorite yet among the girls, but I do love the actual voice of that girl who can do impressions. She just hasn't done any fantastic performances yet. I HOPE she doesn't get kicked off tonight. At least she wasn't as bad as that girl who can't stay on key. Ooooof!

CMehl

Susie, do you mean the motorcycling riding-nurse that looked like Cruella Deville? She needs to stick to Janis Joplin and she can stay around for awhile. I like some of the girls but I like MOST of the guys! The quality of talent this time is far beyond what it's been in the past--really good stuff!

JoeB

susie b - you seem to have a lot of energy!! ...and opinions.... I'm starting to like your posts.

CMehl - hmmm...Michael Ball ("and gay he's not") and now the American Idol guys.... I think you've been looking at too much lean muscle in lycra lately?!!

CMehl

I'm not sure that's possible!

Sara Best

Ooooh, are we going to talk about American Idol this year? I was watching last night and thinking about how big a part of this place it was last year.

No Cathy, the girl who does impressions is blond, she talked about singing opera in her tape last night. Not the rocker-Janis Joplin-nurse.

I too had chills last on Tuesday watching that kid sing Imagine. He's so little and geeky and then he opens his mouth and this amazing gift of a voice comes out - it's weird. He reminds me of Josh Groban.

I agree that the guys are way better than the girls this year so far.

I

Sara Best

And Susie I forgot to thank you for your kind words about me and this place the other day. And that goes for everyone else who chimed in.

Thank you. It means a lot to me and I think it's hilarious that you get such a kick out of my Olsen twins description.

And JoeB I'm very happy that you've joined our little group here but I'm afraid I won't be toning down my biases any time soon. When I'm doing something like writing reports for Cathy's site I do my very best to be totally objective and just relate the events of the day. But this is my home and it's where I get to speak totally freely about things like how much Mark Cavendish bugs me or why I can't stand the name Team High Road or how Dick Pound sucks eggs.

I disagree that a good journalist needs to be free of bias. I think in fact that you'll find that some of the world's most popular and successful jouralists are those who have a pretty strong view point on things and don't hesitate to put it into their writing.

cat

Ah Sara, what susieb and you said is what makes this a wonderful place to come, "where everybody knows your name."

JoeB, long ago there was a group of misfits, who were creative and funny. Who loved to play with words. Who loved to play with the author, and each other. Out of this a community was born. That little community got quite rowdy at times, and if you just went with it, it was fine, but some took exception, and the author was, well, concerned with his readership base, and perhaps his ego (unlike Sara) and the jolly group was banned. Declared "inane." Or in the most forgiving view, encouraged to change which meant well, less fun and freedom. So, Ms Best revived a dormant blog and invited the deviants to immigrate (she is Canadian after all), and the Inane Asylum was born.

After that came a grand career (which was budding prior to the IA) which has since bloomed and flourished. Sara, under the tutelage of Ms Mehl, has blossomed into a confident and accomplished writer. Her talent has always been there, but did you know she actually gave up a day job during our time to write full time? She embraced her muse. Ms Mehl has weathered quite the storm herself, and never bats an eyelash. She does however, give us the "insider's" take on many a pro race. Meanwhile, the readers have been through many a travail themselves, much of which is shared here.

See JoeB, if you stay, you will find this is a place where the artist and the observer participate in the play. Sara gets to write, voice her personal opinions, be free to rant and play, all the while we, austensibly the audience, get to create from "below." Sara has her professional places where she publishes. But here is where she lets her hair down and hangs with the Homies. Her personal opinions are welcomed and expected here. Perhaps if you want the "clean version" go to her link. But you will get the ride of your life here. These guys are smart, sassy, erudite and very loyal. Make them your friends, and you got them for life.

A caveat. Most of us are liberal and believe that Floyd did not cheat. So you got a problem with that and can't abide then maybe this ain't he best place to hang. If however, you can accept an interesting and nuanced perspective, then I think you will enjoy the company.

Besides, Sara gives great race.

cat

PS We are international.

Sara Best

Oh Cat, you literally just brought a tear to my eye with your rendition of the Story of the Inane Asylum. I'm printing that off and pinning it to my bulletin board.

Thank you for just making my day.

nakigrl

"Sara gives great race"

I love that phrase!

janann

Cat, that was quite a dramatic and clever little monologue! So glad to hear from you -- I've been ready to add an "Oh where oh where has our little Cat gone" comment for days! Happy to have you back, too, Camille!

Ooooooh that kid who sang Imagine the other night gave a sweetly haunting performance. To take such a famous song and present it so simply and beautifully is a gift -- he's GOT to be around for awhile!! I can't seem to keep track of all of the names until they get to the final 12 or so, but you're definitely right that the guys have started out with much stronger performances than the ladies.

DZ added a cute new entry to his blog about his now famous "stache".
http://davezabriskie.com/

LET LEVI (*and* his team) RIDE!!

Amy

Cat, that was great. "Sara gives great race" will definitely be front and center on the IA tshirts!

JoeB

Holy shit - did I get put in my place!! First susieb, next Sara and now CAT. CAT please tell me how you really feel! Whoa - I now know that CAT is the bouncer at this blog! I've had some difficulty figuring out the 'theme' of this blog - having originally been pointed this way by TBV. My initial thoughts on Sara's site was somewhere between the 'girls glee club' (no offense to Waddy and Matt) and the 'abused, chip-on-the-shoulder spouse/girl friend club' - I still have a sense that penis's aren't a good 'fit' here....

I have now learned that the 'groupies' are very loyal and have no trouble eating visitors who show the first sign of violating the unwritten code of behavior (don't f*%$ with Sara).

So - now that CAT has thrown me down and slapped me a few times - I understand how to behave here!

First of all, Sara's writing skills don't need to be defended - they stand for themselves. Her journalist race reporting was great - nice detail - like that detail. No one suggested she censor her opinions! If she pays attention to the style and grace of CMehl she will do well.

CMehl is a great reporter. I was initially skeptical on her ability when she took over for CB at The Paceline. I read her 'story' and how she figured out her life needed to change and thus she found a true passion for procycling. She has my utmost respect - she lives in Santa Barbara (I visit SB twice a year - it is heaven) and she has a job that is the ultimate job! Her writing and reporting reflect her passion, insight and her honest personality (at least from my perspective of what she writes and posts). What a gift to us Discovery/Astana fans that her and CB moved on over. I think we need to finance CMehl living in Europe this summer to provide us the coverage of Astana we deserve!!

I'm not sure how liberal fits in with Floyd. The Floyd situation is all about "What is fair is clear!" I have read pretty much all the TBV info,the ruling, Positively False, and contributed to the FFF. I don't think liberal has much bearing on science. Corrupt definitely has a bearing on science. I have been a scientist for 27 years so the science is understandable to me. It is enough to say he is getting F*&^%$# screwed! So CAT, does liberal mean WE vote for Obama or Clinton? Bush should go to jail for war crimes (is that liberal enough for you).

CAT, I don't have a problem with liberal or Floyd - I'm on your side. I'm only looking for procycling news, opinions, and insight. I used to read Cycling Forums - those people have some serious emotional issues - they make most of you look quite laid back! Talk about vicious. The Paceline is a good group.

CAT, I appreciate you laying down the law for me. I always need to be straightened out once in a while. I had emailed Sara a while back and tried to get her to tell the same thing (no response) but I'm sure you did a much better job - and besides it was great entertainment! (even for me).

Now, the only 'issue' I have with the Sara groupies is having to 'listen' to American Idol crap! You can slap me around, kick me, punch me but I won't go down that path! I guess I'm not that liberal!! If I have to participate in the American Idol banter to 'belong' here then I guess I'm out :(

CAT - I await your decision on whether I can still play here.

CMehl

Oh JoeB, this is nothing--wait til we get onto Dancing with the Stars!!!

And for the record, I appreciate that I finally won you over with my writing style but I want to be sure everyone knows Sara is her own gal and as such is free to fly in any direction she so choses and she does! If I've been able to help her with contacts or suggestions or provide a place for her material then we've all benefited but her hard work and sense of responsibility when she commits to a job have paid me back threefold. We all win!

And sure, if you want to sponsor me for a summer in Europe to follow team Astana just let me know. I can be packed in two hours and my passport is up-to-date.

And if you, JoeB, are feeling your inner muse coming out to shout about cycling then I can probably help you share those comments with the world. Just let me know! I am always looking for clever writing. Susie B are you still listening?

Camille, where the hell have you been?

susie b

Oh JoeB, you fit in perfectly here. And Cat didn't slap you around, she just wanted to let you know a little background on how this site came about & the overriding sentiments. And I don't think any of us have chips on our shoulders although we MAY still be a bit touchy about not being appreciated where we USED to congregate (ok, that could just be ME... ;). At our original blog hangout, we were once called INANE. It was meant to be an insult, a hammer to make us "bring our 'A' game". Yeah, well, we brought it alright, just over HERE. And we now proudly call ourselves the INANE ASYLUM.

Also, yes, there is a lot of estrogen flowing in here, but quite a few guys are here too & more are ALWAYS welcome. It's just that many don't speak up all the time (Hey, Greg, Paul, Philip, LARRY!:).

I also used to participate in cycling forums, but besides wearily listening to them hash over the SAME arguments ("Lance cheated, no he didn't, your're blind, you hate America..." ;) over & over & over, they were just too nasty to each other. Here, we can trash certain idiots in the cycling/WADA world, but we don't trash each other.

And we should warn you, a year ago Matt said he would NEVER, absolutely NEVER, hell, PIGS WOULD FLY before HE'D ever watch American Idol.... Let's just say by mid-season, I waited breathlessly for HIS Idol critiques. If I remember correctly, his favorite was Sanjaya. ;) ;) We won't talk about it TOO much, just usually one or two days a week, interspersed with all the cycling talk. In fact, yesterday was the 1st time this season. And you don't HAVE to participate in our IDOL banter. You can just pretend you're out shopping with the wife, holding her purse & sittin' on the lounge sofa... Waiting til you can get to the Food Court. ;)

And yes, Sara was right about the AI girl whose voice I like (she also can sing opera). I don't know her name but she will still be there next week.

And btw, isn't 'Cruella Deville' the best villain name EVER?!! :) She scared the crap out of me as a kid!

susie b

Oh JoeB, you fit in perfectly here. And Cat didn't slap you around, she just wanted to let you know a little background on how this site came about & the overriding sentiments. And I don't think any of us have chips on our shoulders although we MAY still be a bit touchy about not being appreciated where we USED to congregate (ok, that could just be ME... ;). At our original blog hangout, we were once called INANE. It was meant to be an insult, a hammer to make us "bring our 'A' game". Yeah, well, we brought it alright, just over HERE. And we now proudly call ourselves the INANE ASYLUM.

Also, yes, there is a lot of estrogen flowing in here, but quite a few guys are here too & more are ALWAYS welcome. It's just that many don't speak up all the time (Hey, Greg, Paul, Philip, LARRY!:).

I also used to participate in cycling forums, but besides wearily listening to them hash over the SAME arguments ("Lance cheated, no he didn't, your're blind, you hate America..." ;) over & over & over, they were just too nasty to each other. Here, we can trash certain idiots in the cycling/WADA world, but we don't trash each other.

And we should warn you, a year ago Matt said he would NEVER, absolutely NEVER, hell, PIGS WOULD FLY before HE'D ever watch American Idol.... Let's just say by mid-season, I waited breathlessly for HIS Idol critiques. If I remember correctly, his favorite was Sanjaya. ;) ;) We won't talk about it TOO much, just usually one or two days a week, interspersed with all the cycling talk. In fact, yesterday was the 1st time this season. And you don't HAVE to participate in our IDOL banter. You can just pretend you're out shopping with the wife, holding her purse & sittin' on the lounge sofa... Waiting til you can get to the Food Court. ;)

And yes, Sara was right about the AI girl whose voice I like (she also can sing opera). I don't know her name but she will still be there next week.

And btw, isn't 'Cruella Deville' the best villain name EVER?!! :) She scared the crap out of me as a kid!

susie b

Oh JoeB, you fit in perfectly here. And Cat didn't slap you around, she just wanted to let you know a little background on how this site came about & the overriding sentiments. And I don't think any of us have chips on our shoulders although we MAY still be a bit touchy about not being appreciated where we USED to congregate (ok, that could just be ME... ;). At our original blog hangout, we were once called INANE. It was meant to be an insult, a hammer to make us "bring our 'A' game". Yeah, well, we brought it alright, just over HERE. And we now proudly call ourselves the INANE ASYLUM.

Also, yes, there is a lot of estrogen flowing in here, but quite a few guys are here too & more are ALWAYS welcome. It's just that many don't speak up all the time (Hey, Greg, Paul, Philip, LARRY!:).

I also used to participate in cycling forums, but besides wearily listening to them hash over the SAME arguments ("Lance cheated, no he didn't, your're blind, you hate America..." ;) over & over & over, they were just too nasty to each other. Here, we can trash certain idiots in the cycling/WADA world, but we don't trash each other.

And we should warn you, a year ago Matt said he would NEVER, absolutely NEVER, hell, PIGS WOULD FLY before HE'D ever watch American Idol.... Let's just say by mid-season, I waited breathlessly for HIS Idol critiques. If I remember correctly, his favorite was Sanjaya. ;) ;) We won't talk about it TOO much, just usually one or two days a week, interspersed with all the cycling talk. In fact, yesterday was the 1st time this season. And you don't HAVE to participate in our IDOL banter. You can just pretend you're out shopping with the wife, holding her purse & sittin' on the lounge sofa... Waiting til you can get to the Food Court. ;)

And yes, Sara was right about the AI girl whose voice I like (she also can sing opera). I don't know her name but she will still be there next week.

And btw, isn't 'Cruella Deville' the best villain name EVER?!! :) She scared the crap out of me as a kid!

susie b

SORRY! I did NOT mean to post 3 times, it kept saying "Bad Gateway"!

Barbara

Cat, what a great summary of our raison d'etre. And of our little community here. JoeB, you are most welcome to add to our inaneness, our passionate discussion of all things cycling, and our general banter. I don't watch AI or DWTS either, so I just skip those parts (sorry, everyone). It's a lot easier to skip part of a blog conversation than to have to sit through it live.

Happy Leap Day, everyone!

JoeB

from susie b: "You can just pretend you're out shopping with the wife, holding her purse & sittin' on the lounge sofa... Waiting til you can get to the Food Court. ;)"

LMAO. You must be stalking me and my wife!? I love the mall food court! It is such a great reward for obedience.

Theresa

Cycling sure does bring some of us to our A game. LOL

I love you guys! JoeB, you are a perfect fit with us!! Cat and Susie, beautifully written comments! And I didn't even take any offense to Waddy and his "gay" speculation a couple days ago. He's so funny and witty that he can even say I'm gay, and it'll just make me laugh!!

And JoeB, I thought I was liberal, but it never occurred to me that "W" should go to jail for war crimes...let's make him roomies with Cheney!!

janann

LOL - JoeB you're going to fit right in here and you sound like you can hold your own, too! I think I already welcomed you.......but WELCOME again ;)

Yes, we have a lot of vocal ladies here but we love to hear from the men, too. I also couldn't help but be reminded of Matt's emphatic dismissal of all things IDOL last year....until we wore him down and pulled him into the abyss (cue evil laugh).

BTW - my husband has refused to ENTER a mall in the past 7 or 8 years - not even the food court can tempt him. Susie you *always* come through for us with a memorable "quote of the day"!

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