VIDEO: Mark Wiebe reminds us golf is a four-letter word

Golf is a great game.  It’s also a tremendously frustrating one.

Golf can take the coolest, calmest guy in the lot and turn him into a bumbling, raving, profanity-laced lunatic.  It happens to me all the time.  That’s also what happened to Mark Wiebe this weekend, just with millions of people watching.

Wiebe, 55, is a professional golfer who now plays on the Seniors Tour but that doesn’t mean he’s exempt from the occasional F-Bomb.

As you’ll see (and hear) below, Wiebe misses what most pros consider a gimme putt but as we all know, there is no such thing in golf.  After finally sinking the putt on the second go-round, you can hear Wiebe tell us all how he really feels about his play, stringing together a beautiful symphony of words you can’t say on television.  Thanks to the Golf Channel, however, he did.

Be warned!  Before you click on the video, Wiebe’s language might be considered offensive to some, just not to anyone who’s ever played the game. See the video here…

Fantasy Racing: Martinsville and the Chase for the Sprint Cup

As I sit at my in-laws this weekend, I definitely wish that I was about 45 minute’s north in Martinsville. Well at least I can participate in fantasy racing from the comfort of their couch. The race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup continues this weekend and we get closer to crowning a champion. Being from the south, right in the middle of NASCAR land, I am a huge Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan. After his victory at Michigan this year and his lead in the point standings I was sure this was his year. Unfortunately Dale Jr. had something working against him; I am one of his fans. Every team or person that I cheer for is inevitably going to lose (case in point: Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Bobcats, and the Baltimore Orioles.) The Chase is shaping up to have a great finish. With Jimmie Johnson on Brad Keselowski’s heels, it gets very interesting during the last couple of races.

One great thing about NASCAR is that it offers multiple chances for fantasy play. The guy’s at Fantazzle have put together some great games to satisfy any NASCAR fans craving for fantasy play. I love the salary and pick-em games that they offer weekly. With qualifying shaping up in a weird way NASCAR fans should look forward to awesome race.

The two Chase leaders qualified in two extremely different ways. Brad Keselowski qualified 32nd, but due to his terrible qualifying throughout the Chase it hasn’t seemed to faze him. I look for Brad to finish top 10 this week and continue his pursuit of the Cup. Johnson qualified 1st, this is an exceptional qualifying spot and will provide him a top 5 finish. Read more…

SportsChump talks golf etiquette, Vol. 1: Playing Through

Let’s take a brief pause for the cause to talk about golf etiquette, shall we?

Like anything else, golf has its rules. Don’t drive on the greens, repair your ball marks and divots and by all means, let faster people play through.  These rules might seem obvious for those who play the game on a regular basis but for those who don’t, problems arise, play slows down and the golf course could get ruined.

Even though I started playing golf in my mid-20s, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by friends, Brotha E, Big Guy, G Mony and the Kosher Bazooka, who all taught me how to properly play the game, not only with bourbon in your cup and a cigar in your mouth, but with respect for the rules of the course.  Unfortunately, not every golfer boasts such a keen background.

One glorious Florida afternoon, I decided to hit the links by my lonesome in my never-ending attempt to score in the 80s which, once again, I failed to do.

After a shaky front nine, with no golfers in front of me and none behind – the glories of mid-week golf in Florida – I finally happened upon a foursome on the 12th green.

From afar, I could tell they were hackers, even more so than me, although my recent string of rounds in the 90s might exclude me from that underwhelming group. Read more…

Replacement refs calling a WNBA Finals game?

Lindsay WhalenIn the second game of the best of five, Indiana Fever and Minnesota Lynx were locked in a tie game in the final minutes of the 3rd quarter at 48 apiece when #13 Lindsay Whalen of the Minnesota Lynx clearly gets hacked by an Indiana defender as she was in the act of shooting and miraculously the refs failed to make a call on the blatant foul!  Whalen was then hit with a technical to make matters worse! It was as if the NFL Replacement Refs were asked to do this game instead of the usual officials…

Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve had a few words with one of the refs and was promptly teed up as well. She took off her jacket in a rage and flung it at one of her assistant coaches and then had to be restrained. Unfortunately for coach Reeve and Minnesota, she pulled her shoulder out from the force of throwing her jacket and then Indiana, just to pour even more salt on the wound, made their free throw attempts. I mean c’mon man,  how does a ref miss that call?? The only good news on the night was that the Minnesota Lynx went on to beat the Indiana Fever 83-71 to even the series at one. See the video here.

Lance Armstrong and PEDs

Lance Armstrong

Patrick Kovarik /AFP/Getty Images

In case you’ve been living under a rock the last few days, 11 cyclists that were members of Lance Armstrong’s team confirmed that Lance Armstrong was doping during his seven Tour De France wins. I’ve seen some people comment the past couple of days that who cares if he used Performance Enhancing Drugs? Why does it matter? It’s his body, he should be able to do what he wants to it.

In general, I agree Lance Armstrong is free to do whatever he wants to his body. However, once he starts competing against other people, what he puts into his body is an issue. Every cyclist in the world shouldn’t be forced to take the same performance enhancing drugs Lance Armstrong took just to keep up with him; the possible long-term side effects are at best unknown and at worst very very dangerous. To expect others to keep up with a “cheater” isn’t realistic, and it’s the same reason MLB finally cracked down on Steroid use.

Now, Congress getting involved in the discussion was ridiculous. John McCain and company didn’t ask the right questions when they had the MLB players in front of them, and they shouldn’t have spent any of their time trying to get steroids out of professional baseball. It just shows how congressman are far more interested in getting a little publicity from the American Public rather than actually doing something useful for said public.

The issue with trying to stop performance enhancing drugs completely is that the science is always ahead of the testing. The people that can develop the kinds of undetectable steroids, such as BALCO about 15 years ago, are specifically trying to create drugs that can bypass the drug tests. The reason steroid use was so rampant in MLB for a decade was because BALCO was completely undetectable. Once the federal government raided the BALCO lab, they were able to see how it was made and, obviously create a new drug test that could show if someone was taking this new steroid.  Read more…

Lance Armstrong cheated, that’s not what’s upsetting

Lance Armstrong

In case you’ve been living under a rock the last few days, 11 cyclists that were members of Lance Armstrong’s team confirmed that Lance Armstrong was doping during his seven Tour De France wins. I’ve seen some people comment the past couple of days that who cares if he used Performance Enhancing Drugs? Why does it matter? It’s his body, he should be able to do what he wants to it.

In general, I agree Lance Armstrong is free to do whatever he wants to his body. However, once he starts competing against other people, what he puts into his body is an issue. Every cyclist in the world shouldn’t be forced to take the same performance enhancing drugs Lance Armstrong took just to keep up with him; the possible long-term side effects are at best unknown and at worst very very dangerous. To expect others to keep up with a “cheater” isn’t realistic, and it’s the same reason MLB finally cracked down on Steroid use.

Now, Congress getting involved in the discussion was ridiculous. John McCain and company didn’t ask the right questions when they had the MLB players in front of them, and they shouldn’t have spent any of their time trying to get steroids out of professional baseball. It just shows how congressman are far more interested in getting a little publicity from the American Public rather than actually doing something useful for said public.

The issue with trying to stop performance enhancing drugs completely is that the science is always ahead of the testing. The people that can develop the kinds of undetectable steroids, such as BALCO about 15 years ago, are specifically trying to create drugs that can bypass the drug tests. The reason steroid use was so rampant in MLB for a decade was because BALCO was completely undetectable. Once the federal government raided the BALCO lab, they were able to see how it was made and, obviously create a new drug test that could show if someone was taking this new steroid. Read more…

UFC 153: Anderson Silva vs. Stephan Bonnar

When UFC President Dana White put this fight together, he is giving the folks a fight that could have epic proportions. In Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva, the reigning Middleweight Champion and the best pound for pound fighter in the world today, you have an unparalleled fighter.  Stephan ‘American Psycho’ Bonnar you have a true warrior who can fight with anyone. He does not retreat, he can take a punch and not afraid to get hit to win his objective.

Silva is actually stepping into Bonnar’s world by coming up to fight in the Light Heavyweight category at 205lbs. Bonnar is always in great shape. In his 11 year career he has fought in some wars. The fight that he had with Former champion Forrest Griffin is considered the best fight in UFC history. Both fighters trying to win a six figure contract with the UFC. They fought so hard and were so bloodied and worn out at the end of the fight which was awarded to Griffin. UFC President Dana White was so impressed with Bonnar also, that he extended him a six figure contract also.

What can be said about Silva, he has not lost a fight in six years, and he has defended his title 10 times in the past six years.  He has been the consummate champion by being an ambassador to the sport of MMA and he carries himself in a manner that screams Champion.

Bonnar, the warrior who has lost fights in his career, but he has never been knocked out or submitted.  He is a strong willed competitor who would be carried off on a stretcher before he quit.  He leaves it all in the cage every time that he fights.

Silva is a great stand up fighter and will trade punches with you.  He has an arsenal of punches and kicks. He will also take the fight to the ground where he has a good ground game.  He sometimes has problems with grapplers, shown in his first fight with Chael Sonnen.  Bonnar is a good grappler so Silva will have to be on his guard and not slip up.

Bonnar will stand and throw punches, but he has litany of kicks to his credit. Standing 6”4, he has a slight height and reach advantage over Silva who stands 6”2.  Bonnar will press the action with Silva and make him work for everything that he gets.

The longer that the fight goes on, the more it favors Bonnar who is in his natural element. Silva fights rarely go into later rounds.  Both fighters have their work cut out for them and it is a hard one to predict. Conventional wisdom would say to go with Silva, but not being a conventional kind of guy, I think that Bonnar stands a very good chance to win this fight.

The folks in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and fans around the world will get everything that they asked for tonight.  Brazil is going to be off the chain tonight and I know this journalist would love to be there to partake in the action close up and personal.

Mike Samuels is a Featured Journalist for The Sports Blitz. He can be reached at msamuels@thepenaltyflagblog.com on Twitter @Steeler_Mike and at http://www.facebook.com/TheSportsDude

 

‘Rowdy’ Ronda Rousey: Fighter Profile

Rousey ArmbarDo not let the model good looks and the high heels fool you. This young lady is as tough as they come in the world of Mixed Martial Arts.  She is an accomplished athlete who has no fear when she steps into the octagon.

Ronda Rousey won 7 Senior National titles in Judo and was a Bronze medalist at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. She is the first American medalist in women’s Judo. Women’s Judo became an Olympic sport in 1992. She also qualified for the 2004 Olympics in Athens Greece, and at age 17 made her the youngest Judo competitor at the Games.

She is the current Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion at 135 pounds.  Ronda started her professional MMA career in 2010. She fought her first fight against Hayden Munoz which she made quick and painful. Rousey submitted her by armbar in :23 seconds of the 1st round.  She won all of her amateur fights by submission in the 1st round and they were all by Armbar submission. Rousey fought 3 amateur fights for a total of time of 1:43 all ended in first round.

Ronda has fought 6 professional MMA fights, all have ended in the first round by submission and on former Bantam weight title holder Miesha Tate has gone past the first minute. Tate lasted 4:27 seconds. Rousey took the title from Tate.

Rousey defended title against former champion Sarah Kaufman on August 18, 2012 the fight only lasted 0:54 seconds. Once again Ronda wins by armbar submission.

Rousey at just age 25 has a long career ahead her as long as she chooses to fight. Her armbar is one of the best that I have seen. The only other fighter that I can think of with kind of power is Frank Mir. Both have broken bones using that submission.  Along with the name ‘Rowdy’, I have heard her referred to as ‘The Armbar Assassin’, a name that truly befits her skills and ability. Both Rousey and Mir use the armbar submission with devastating results.

I believe that if she trains and continues to fight at such a high level, she is going to be a force to be reckoned with. I do not see anyone beating her at this point. I am ready to watch her defend her title in her next bout. Ronda is in a class all by herself.

Mike Samuels is a Featured Journalist for The Sports Blitz. He can be reached at msamuels@thepenaltyflagblog.com , Twitter @Steeler_Mike and at http://www.facebook.com/TheSportsDude

Mickelson out to “Get One” to close PGA Season

2012 Phil Mickelson

Among the league of mercurial athletes Phil Mickelson has long been the commissioner, the prominent representative of players who can make fans gush over their unworldly abilities one moment yet look every bit the weekend warrior the next.  After a 14-under par fourth place finish at last week’s Deutsche Bank Championship, his best result in nearly five months, Mickelson spoke with the optimism of a player who was in the midst of a career year, not the “former great” that he is inevitably tagged as each time his game goes on hiatus.  “My game feels like it’s back, and I’m ready to start competing….I’m going to see if I can get one of the next two,” he stated, referring to this week’s BMW Championship and next week’s TOUR Championship, the final two events in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Contrast that outlook with a mere month and a half ago, when Mickelson missed the cut at the British Open, his second in a row and first in a major since 2007, and was at a loss for words to describe his play, stating “I don’t know what to say right now; I’ve got a way to go. The last two months have been pretty poor play so I’m a little frustrated.” Read more…

This week in sports: What you missed

If you were out doing something important with your life, here’s what you missed this week in sports:

  • The Los Angeles Lakers announced that they are constructing a statue outside of Staples Center for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.  No word yet on when the statue of Kobe Bryant yelling at Smush Parker and the jersey retirement of Cedric Ceballos will be made, but Mark Madsen, Slava Medvedenko (I spelled that right the first time! I’m a nerd.) and Luke Walton did get permission to re-enter Staples Center after a ban of terrible white players was instituted by Jeannie Buss.
  • The NFL resumed contract negotiations with the locked out referees on Friday.  As the NFL and the Ref’s were walking to the negotiation table, the replacement refs called pass interference, holding, traveling, dropped third strike, and made up a rule of ‘Illegal Biceps” when referee Ed Hochuli made an appearance.
  • The Boston Red Sox agreed to a trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford to the Los Angeles Dodgers that saved the Sox a quarter of a billion dollars.  Beckett celebrated by sprinting (yes, this is the first time he’s sprinted since 2007) to the nearest Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles and chugged a 40 oz of Mickey’s.  Carl Crawford celebrated by getting Tommy John Surgery (no punch line there), and Adrian Gonzalez celebrated by being allowed to speak Spanish for the first time since he was a San Diego Padre.
  • At the tender age of 30, Andy Roddick is retiring from competitive tennis after the U.S. Open.  Roddick, now old and decrepit, leaves the game a beaten man with only 20 million dollars in career earnings, and he must go home to this.  Retirement is tough for everyone, and I, for one, feel absolutely terrible for him. Read more…

‘Suga’ Rashad Evans Fighter Profile

evans_ortizWinning the second season of the Ultimate Fighter competition is one hell of a way to start a career as a professional MMA fighter. Rashad Evans defeated the much larger 6”7 inch 260lb Brad Imes to win the six figure contract from UFC President Dana White.

Rashad is primarily a wrestler, but he has great hand speed and is developing his skill as a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu stylist as well.  He is quick, so he can take down most opponents at will.  His boxing is very good and he has knockout power evidenced by his KO of Chuck Liddell at UFC 88 in 2008.

He started seriously training as a fighter in 2003 after graduating from the Michigan State University where he was a standout wrestler. He earned a degree in Psychology. Rashad was also a Junior College National Champion Niagara Community College and also an All-American.

Evans got a title shot at UFC 92 against  Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin. Rashad took full advantage of the opportunity with a third round KO of Griffin to become the  new champion.

In his first defense of the Light Heavyweight title Rashad faced Karate stylist Lyoto Machida at UFC 98 on May 23, 2009.  Evans was KO’ed in the second round. This was defeat of Rashad’s career.

After the crushing defeat at the hands of Machida, he rededicated himself and goes on a four fight win streak beating Thiago Silva, Rampage Jackson, Tito Ortiz, and Phil Davis respectively

Reeling off those four wins would get Evans another shout at the title against his former training partner and friend and current Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones.  In the time leading up to the fight, there was bad blood between the former partners. They would face each other at UFC 145.  Jones did pretty much whatever he wanted to do in the fight and it would go the complete five rounds and Jones would retain his title.  Rashad could not penetrate the defense of the champ. This would give Rashad his second defeat.

At the age of 32 Rashad is still relatively young and has not taken a lot of punishment so he is always in great shape. I think he can still fight and has a bright future ahead of him.  Will he fight against Jones again?  The fans will want to see this fight again.

Rashad is a quality fighter and has a lot to offer the sport and I see him being in the UFC for a long to come.

Mike Samuels is a Featured Journalist for The Sports Blitz Network and you can email him at msamuels@thepenaltyflagblog.com and reach him on Twitter @Steeler_Mike.

Brad Keselowski’s drive towards a Chase Championship

brad keselowski

If 2011 was the year that put Brad Keselowski in the championship driver discussion, 2012 has only cemented that status going forward.

Sports fans and NASCAR buffs – not to mention professional gamblers – trying to handicap the competition for the 2012 Sprint Cup Championship will probably make a pair of multi-time champions the betting favorites as we head into the Chase for the Cup, the NASCAR equivalent to a postseason which starts in September.

Five-time champion Jimmie Johnson and defending champ Tony Stewart are going to be the odds maker’s top picks for obvious reasons – they have demonstrated the ability to endure the mental and physical strain associated with racing automobiles at the pinnacle of the sport’s competition.

Nevertheless, a lot of the smart money is going towards a brash young upstart, who – despite not having the championship pedigree of a Johnson or a Stewart – has been turning heads with his iconoclastic blend of charisma and audacity.

Brad Keselowski has come a long way in the two years since he began piloting Penske’s Racing’s #2 Miller Lite Dodge in 2011.  First known to NASCAR buffs for his aggressive – often brazen – racing tactics and the cheeky demeanor that he flashed during post-race interviews, he now has firmly established the Blue Deuce as a race car to be reckoned with on a week-in week-out basis. Read more…

Ok Augusta now how about a Senior Masters?

Fred Couples

Phil Inglis/Getty Images

With this week’s long overdue announcement of the admission of two female members, what’s next for Augusta National? Will it be hamburgers instead of the highly overrated pimiento sandwiches? Or full 18 hole coverage on Thursday and Friday? Or chopping down a few trees near the 18th tee, widening the hitting tunnel beyond the current six to eight yards?

Let’s try something really unique. How about a Senior Masters Tournament for the over 50 set on the Champions Tour? Why not? It could be run in October, not stealing any attention from the April classic date. Greens would still be lightning fast. I’ll bet Billy Payne could get UGA, Tech and the Falcons to either play on the road that week or at night. Anyway, what better doubleheader could there be but to walk the hallowed grounds of Augusta on a Saturday afternoon, then drive an hour to Athens for a night game between the hedges, then drinks and dinner at The Last Resort?

Who wouldn’t want to see Freddy Couples against Mark O’Meara against Tom Watson against Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam and Larry Mize and Fuzzy Zoeller and Bernhard Langer and Craig Stadler.

I’ll bet Gary Player would show up and play, maybe even Arnold and Jack. Faldo could come out of the booth. So could Lanny Wadkins and Greg Norman and Curtis Strange and Tom Lehman and Mark Calcavecchia trying to win their elusive Masters.

Past ‘dignitaries’ could get special invitations. Ed Sneed. Roberto DiVincenzo. Isao Aoki. Jumbo Ozaki.

This is too good of an idea not to happen. Ratings would be enormous! I’d stick with the same green jacket, maybe with a different patch denoting Seniors. Maybe with bigger font so they can read it.

But I doubt the current leadership will do something this bold. Like admitting minorities and women, it will take nearly a century.

So remember in this Internet age where all things in print live forever, when Augusta National Chairman Herschel Walker IV announces in conjunction with their global sponsor CBM, that they will host the first ever Senior Masters Tournament in October, 2108. You heard it here first!

Simon Trapp is a writer for The Sports Blitz Network and can be contacted at STrapp@TheSportsBlitz.com.

Lance Armstrong: Give the man a break

Lance Armstrong

Lance ArmstrongAugust 23rd,2012, Lance Armstrong released his formal statement making it clear that he was through fighting to keep his good name. The cheating allegations are nothing new and date back since his first Tour De France win in 1999. Americans took the initial allegations with stride stating the French were just upset that Armstrong took title on their turf, not once, but seven times. During that time however, steroid use was making headlines and was what it seemed, almost mainstream. There is much speculation on the debate over steroid use. Some say it gives an unfair advantage to those taking it over their competition, others say it’s all fair in love and war. Would legalizing steroid use, and it being allowed for all to use be the best alternative? Steroid use, if not used in massive quantities can actually help the athlete heal faster from injuries. It increases vascularity, causes rapid muscle growth and increases stamina. Perhaps if legalized it could help the majority of athletes who so easily get injured and then find themselves struggling to get back into the game. Many athletes never get back to their full potential after an injury.

What troubles many over the Armstrong  fiasco is the fact that not only are they stripping his titles 17 years later when they have a limitation of eight years after the fact, they are also banning him from cycling, again, ever.

Now I understand that there have been investigations going on the last two years and were allegations from the start. But if it took 17 years to come up with a good enough case against the man, can’t you just let bygones be bygones? Are people so dead set on stripping him of his titles somehow implying that if he took steroids limits the amount of hard work and dedication he put into those wins? All steroid use does is increase recovering after injury and improve vascular circulation as well as muscle growth. Steroids are nothing more than testosterone shots. You still have to dedicate yourself and work your ass off. Stating that this man used steroids is somehow erasing all the effort he put forth. Some may agree and say well he cheated, he got what he deserved, but 17 years later? Really?

Lance Armstrong’s Statement of August 23, 2012 AUSTIN, Texas – August 23rd, 2012 – There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, “Enough is enough.” For me, that time is now. I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart’s unconstitutional witch hunt. The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today – finished with this nonsense. I had hoped that a federal court would stop USADA’s charade. Although the court was sympathetic to my concerns and recognized the many improprieties and deficiencies in USADA’s motives, its conduct, and its process, the court ultimately decided that it could not intervene. If I thought for one moment that by participating in USADA’s process, I could confront these allegations in a fair setting and – once and for all – put these charges to rest, I would jump at the chance. But I refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sided and unfair. Regardless of what Travis Tygart says, there is zero physical evidence to support his outlandish and heinous claims. The only physical evidence here is the hundreds of controls I have passed with flying colors. I made myself available around the clock and around the world. Incompetition. Out of competition. Blood. Urine. Whatever they asked for I provided. What is the point of all this testing if, in the end, USADA will not stand by it? From the beginning, however, this investigation has not been about learning the truth or cleaning up cycling, but about punishing me at all costs. I am a retired cyclist, yet USADA has lodged charges over 17 years old despite its own 8-year limitation. As respected organizations such as UCI and USA Cycling have made clear, USADA lacks jurisdiction even to bring these charges. The international bodies governing cycling have ordered USADA to stop, have given notice that no one should participate in USADA’s improper proceedings, and have made it clear the pronouncements by USADA that it has banned people for life or stripped them of their accomplishments are made without authority. And as many others, including USADA’s own arbitrators, have found, there is nothing even remotely fair about its process. USADA has broken the law, turned its back on its own rules, and stiff-armed those who have tried to persuade USADA to honor its obligations. At every turn, USADA has played the role of a bully, threatening everyone in its way and challenging the good faith of anyone who questions its motives or its methods, all at U.S. taxpayers’ expense. For the last two months, USADA has endlessly repeated the mantra that there should be a single set of rules, applicable to all, but they have arrogantly refused to practice what they preach. On top of all that, USADA has allegedly made deals with other riders that circumvent their own rules as long as they said I cheated. Many of those riders continue to race today. The bottom line is I played by the rules that were put in place by the UCI, WADA and USADA when I raced. The idea that athletes can be convicted today without positive A and B samples, under the same rules and procedures that apply to athletes with positive tests, perverts the system and creates a process where any begrudged exteammate can open a USADA case out of spite or for personal gain or a cheating cyclist can cut a sweetheart deal for themselves. It’s an unfair approach, applied selectively, in opposition to all the rules. It’s just not right. USADA cannot assert control of a professional international sport and attempt to strip my seven Tour de France titles. I know who won those seven Tours, my teammates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours. We all raced together. For three weeks over the same roads, the same mountains, and against all the weather and elements that we had to confront. There were no shortcuts, there was no special treatment. The same courses, the same rules. The toughest event in the world where the strongest man wins. Nobody can ever change that. Especially not Travis Tygart. Today I turn the page. I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the circumstances. I will commit myself to the work I began before ever winning a single Tour de France title: serving people and families affected by cancer, especially those in underserved communities. This October, my Foundation will celebrate 15 years of service to cancer survivors and the milestone of raising nearly $500 million. We have a lot of work to do and I’m looking forward to an end to this pointless distraction. I have a responsibility to all those who have stepped forward to devote their time and energy to the cancer cause. I will not stop fighting for that mission. Going forward, I am going to devote myself to raising my five beautiful (and energetic) kids, fighting cancer, and attempting to be the fittest 40-year old on the planet.

Source:  http://lancearmstrong.com/news-events/lance-armstrongs-statement-of-august-23-2012


												

Armstrong strong-armed, banned from cycling for life

As the old philosophical question goes, if a tree falls down in the woods and nobody’s around to hear it, does it make a sound?  Common sense tells us it’s a tree.  It fell down.  Of course it made a sound.

Similarly, if Lance Armstrong won seven, consecutive Tours de France between 1999 and 2005, yet is suddenly stripped of those titles, did those races actually happen?

This latest news, shocking to some, inevitable to others, and draining to all, came across the wire late Thursday evening.  The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) will strip Armstrong of his titles after the man, once considered the most dominant cyclist to ever slip on spandex,decided to no longer fight the charges.  As a result, Sports Illustrated’s 2002 Man of the Year will be banned from cycling for life.  Don’t feel bad, Lance.  Joe Paterno, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa also won that award.  Besides, nobody reads that magazine anymore anyway.

So where does this leave us?  For the longest time, Lance got a hall pass.  His case is unique in that, unlike Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens whose careers were also marred by drug use, Armstrong eventually got tired of the legal battles.  Also unlike Bonds and Clemens, people actually like him.  Even though none of us gave a damn about cycling, we revered Armstrong as a national hero and cancer survivor. We always presumed his innocence, or at least we wanted to. Read more…