Tangential Reality: The Wonderful World of Lance Armstrong

By Keith Filling

So I was watching the Tour of California bicycle race last night on the Versus Network . Really. All of five minutes of it actually, since immediately following it was the 2nd game of the Eastern Conference Finals. Promptly at 7 PM ET, Versus switched the coverage to the hockey broadcast, apparently with a mile to go to the finish.

Later that evening, the twitter community (at least the people who follow Mr Armstrong) received the following tweet:

Who’s the dumbass @versustv that cut off @AmgenTourofCali coverage w/ a mile to go for pregame hockey?? #pathetic

Well, Lance, probably the same dumbass who made the decision to extend the Sunday’s race coverage so that everyone could watch the donning of the yellow jersey to the leader after the first day. This delayed the broadcast of the ECF first game, and hockey fans surely let Versus know about it (I know I did, and I read many other tweets sent to @VersusNHL that voiced similar displeasure).

In a Sports Illustrated article posted today, columnist Ann Killion opened with this: “One of the most egregious televised sports interruptions since the Jets and Raiders gave way to a pigtailed Swiss girl four decades ago, occurred on Tuesday.” Click the link and read the article. Seriously. I’m not going anywhere.

*whistles “Sweet Georgia Brown” while he waits*

Okay, so now we know that Versus is really The Lance Network since he and bike racing got it pedaling along. And the biking world seems to have been rocked by this insane turn of events. Maybe the fans of this sport are just as wound up about not being on a ‘real’ network as we hockey fans are. Wonder who would get signed with ESPN first. Hmmm…..

We’ll see, of course, what happens Thursday night, when the playoffs again follow race coverage. I may actually watch the race for 10 minutes or so and see if they can come up with any dramatic buildup.. I wonder…if we all watch a few minutes of this glorious event, will we drive up the ratings?

Maybe Mr Armstrong can affix a “No Hockey” patch to his team jersey in protest.

** Tangent Man — Keith Filling… a fantasy and NHL hockey junkie who has a lot to say about the reality of life experiences, Scotch, hockey, music and the bane of being addicted to a fantasy game. Read more of his work over at his “Off on a Tangent” blog. You can also follow him on Twitter here.

7 thoughts on “Tangential Reality: The Wonderful World of Lance Armstrong

  1. Lance has always annoyed me, particularly since the Livestrong bracelets started showing up EVERYWHERE. What a tool.

  2. Perhaps Lance should live a little stronger when it comes to patience. Seriously, bike racing? shoot me in the groin. great post keith!

  3. Lance nobody cares about biking which has the most PED cheating known in all of sports.

    Quite frankly Lance, you are a cheater as well. I hated when he was winning those races and getting the AP male athlete of the year awards for riding a bike. There were so many other deserving athletes during that time period.

  4. Apparently that Landis guy admitted to doping for his entire career and decided to rat out a bunch of other guys who were doing the same. Armstrong was one of the guys he accused (among many others). I’m not a fan of watching bike racing or marathon running or any other endurance sport where there’s nothing really to see except for the final times. It’s not a short race with skillfull passing and difficult turns to manage. To me anyways it’s just a contest of who’s body can hold out the longest. Not exactly compelling TV to me. And when there’s a high probability that anyone near the lead of the race is cheating that just makes me want to watch even less. At least with steroids in baseball you get the excitment of a home run every once in a while.

    I don’t mean to crap all over biking for anyone who does it legitimately. I know I would last about a quarter mile going up a hill on a bike. It’s not easy by any means. But it’s also something that isn’t terribly exciting to watch on TV outside of the last 5 minutes. Unfortunately that’s the part that’s going to be cutoff by a hockey game starting. I would suggest just making all the PEDs legal so they can use them even more and likely shave 10-15 minutes off the total event time. Then there’s plenty of time to finish before hockey comes on.

  5. Anybody who leaves Cal Ripken off of the ballot for the Hall of Fame should lose their vote. This guy is a clown and anything he writes should be ignored.

    Nice writeup exposing his terrible article Brian, Im not a Pittsburgh native nor do I live there but it still makes me sick that there are people like him that get paid to do what he does.

    I am an Orioles fan and just like the Pirates, my team is going nowhere with the current ownership.

  6. I thought you might find this comment by a guy I talk cycling with on twitter amusing (he pretty much lives and breathes cycling; TOC=Tour of California):

    @lambsimon OK so I’ve watched all 5 TOC stages my feelings are this. However much you polish a turd you aint gona make a diamond. What a rubbish race.

    So, considering that comment from a die-hard cycling fan, the choice facing Versus that day would have been: (a) showing a game in one of the world’s greatest sporting tournaments OR (b) showing the end of a stage in a ‘rubbish’ cycling race. Yes, I’m sure they had to think long and hard about that one.


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