By Frankie O
One of the occupational requirements of standing behind a bar is that people are going to unload everything thats on their mind to you. Im not an alcoholic counselor so much as a counselor whose patients have been affected by the amount of alcohol, or sometimes not, in their system. One of my favorite comments meant to uplift, or at least to make someone feel a little better, is that no matter what they did, in the scheme of things, it just didnt matter. And if they wait just a little bit, someone would do something worse to make what they did yesterdays news. How cool is that? Really, its as old as time and as short as the next news cycle. For the most part were a world of observers and its fascinating to watch what people will do next.
This week, obviously, depending on your perspective, has not disappointed. Hall of Fame voting controversy? What Hall of Fame? Somewhere, Bud is saying thank you.
Now while Lance nor Manti have stopped in to pull up a chair, that doesnt mean that there hasnt been a lot of advice imparted on their behalf, or judgements being made in the court of public opinion.
As far as Armstrongs revelation, now that was..stunning!!! That he used PEDs? No! Who didnt suspect that? He was the most dominant and successful rider ever in the dirtiest sport ever. The smoke has been raging around him for as long as we can remember. That he finally admitted it, now that is something. Roger Clemens he aint. So the simple reaction isnt surprise, its why? I mean even with all of the findings against him he always remained obstinate, to the point of being delusional. But in this world we live in, even in spite of any mounting evidence, if you remain steadfast and win the press conference (Chicago term) there will be those who remain with you. The thinking then, as always, was that he was doing it for the cash. By admitting his transgressions, he would be on the hook for all kinds of civil litigations, so the admission stands to lose him millions. So again, why?
Well your guess is as good as mine. I think he is as defiant as ever.
(Side note: Does anyone, even your partner, do the look of righteous indignation better than Oprah? I mean really?)
I dont feel an ounce of contrition by Armstrong in any clip of the interview that Ive watched. He seems devoid of any human emotion. The irony here being how emotional so many people are by the seeming virtues he espoused in the face of the ultimate battle. To fight disease in a life and death battle and win is as inspirational as anything well witness. Defiance in that battle is a tremendous asset. But from my small sample size, that hard edge is usually softened on the other side. Staring ones mortality in the face, you would think, tends to do that. Armstrong just got more adamant in his stance. It seemed like almost every guy that raced with him was admitting abuse, in courts of law-this is no small matter- and it just seemed to make him angry. That those guys, broke the code.
I guess admission is the first step on the road to recovery, but if its not sincere
Its hard to imagine a larger fall from grace. Sad.
And now for something completely different, the Manti Teo hoax.
Another example that real life is stranger than anything someone can make up. Um, wait a minute, maybe a bad choice of words. Lets just say that Ive been so desensitized that nothing can surprise me anymore. Well almost anything. When I heard about the Deadspin article on the way to work on Wednesday night, I was like, wait,what?
In this age of the internet I guess we better get used to stuff like this. I thought this kind of thing was done with the Tom Hanks movie, Youve Got Mail. Call me old fashioned.
I just found the article amazing. The reaction being: How could this happen? The next question: Whos lying? Its hard to refute the timeline of the story since just about every part of it is documented in print or on videotape. Crazy.
I was reminded of a scene in one of my all-time favorite movies, North Dallas Forty. In the scene Mac Davis, as Seth, (Why he never got more acting gigs off that role is beyond me.) is describing to Nick Nolte, as Phil, about the previous nights debauchery in great detail. At one point Phil is like whoa and Seth says, Wait, I didnt get to the weird part yet. And Phil responds, The weird part? The weird part?!! To which, Seth replies, Yeah, it got weird. Classic. And prescient.
The thing that gets you is that even with all of the information put right in front of your face, it makes your head spin. (A Deadspin head spin?) Even better yet, there is a term for what allegedly happened to Teo: Catfishing. Thats based on the alleged documentary Catfish. I tried reading the plotline to the movie and it gave me a headache. But it must have struck a nerve since there is now a TV show by the same, MTV, but still. This is definitely not Kansas anymore.
What it has taught us is that on-line romance trickery is pretty complicated. That is, if thats what truly happened here.
But its so hard to connect the dots without looking first at Teo.
Again with the larger-than-life hero not being who we think he is, or should I say who we want him to be.
I know that Notre Dame came out last night with a statement and press conference, but who knows? What do they really know?
There are so many unanswered questions from beginning to end, its hard to give anyone the benefit of the doubt, no matter how admired.
All I know is that this story is going to be the topic of the bar for the foreseeable future.
And in another weird part, my inner cynic is not ready to pounce, yet.
Maybe Im just too confused, or its just my logical side telling me it might be a little early to drop the hammer.
For most of us to decide, Teo is going to have to come clean and explain a lot of things.
For all of our sakes, lets hope its not with Oprah. As weve seen before, and again now, that usually doesnt have a fairy-tale ending.