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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Q: How to Catch A Liar? The Lance Armstrong Story (Previously posted on ESPN Las Vegas blog.)

(Previously posted on January 15, 2013, as my part of the ESPN Las Vegas blog.)

A:...have Lance Armstrong for dinner.

Always tell the truth: it's a lot easier to remember when people come asking," my Grandpa Bailey always said.

I sure wish Lance Armstrong had listened to my old grandpa.

Just a few minutes ago, Twitter went nuts with word that Lance Armstrong had apologized to his staff after having taped an Oprah Winfrey show. Rumor is he's finally 'fessed up to having put junk in his trunk to help him win repeatedly. First word out of the camp is that his supporters are still just that - his supporters. They are rallying around him - yet again - in spite of the fact that he's lied to them, officials, the public, his family, and his own grandpa repeatedly. It's ridiculous.

Firstly, let me say I don't much care about the whole steroids thing. I don't. We don't put astrixes besides the names of Hall of Famers who benefited from new workout techniques not available to Jackie Robinson or Babe Ruth. We don't force teams to throw out fresh coaching or pretend players didn't learn anything by watching tapes of their predecessors. We don't hem and haw about adding new records of athletes that used technology to study how better to turn or squat on the slopes. We accept these advances for what they are, moves towards even better athletes.

Prescribed medicines are used repeatedly and without any notice. Steroids, used properly, can have phenomenal restorative properties. Those are just facts. Sure, some medicines make it so you have side effects that give a player an advantage. However, without and training, steroids just make you fat and make it easier to stay up for the Late Late Show. Just ask my cousin Carter.

Like anything good, in the wrong hands, it can turn to something awful. Even something as benign as glue can turn a brain to mush and an art project into a pillow. That's not what bothers me. No, for me, it's the lying.

Mr. Armstrong seems to be pretty darn comfortable making other people uncomfortable. There are thousands of people who have supported him and stood up for him. He's shook a finger and said it wasn't him and tried to make others feel bad for even putting the question to him. How dare they, he says. Well, here's how they dare. You lied. You keep on lying. You only admit to lying when put in the most excruciating of spots (let me be clear, it wasn't when his staff or his family were put in a bad way. No, no.... The lies kept flowing out of his mouth like pudding. No, it was only when he reached what has seemingly been the very last problem for himself. That's just selfish served on a platter.)

I don't fancy liars, if you haven't guessed. Honestly, if Mr. Armstrong got up in front of the lot and said, "Yes, I did this. I did this because I think it's wrong that we're not allowed to do this," then likely I would think he was brave. He'd have recognized his mistakes and focused the attention back to the real issue of allowing performance enhancing drugs to be used in sports without the currently required burning stake. Not to mention, he'd probably be in a heap less trouble and his foundation and the people running it wouldn't have contributors falling off like dandruff from a teenage boy's scalp.

Now, I haven't seen Mr. Armstrong's interview with Ms. Winfrey. I could be wrong. He could be getting up in front of the whole world to yet again say he hadn't done anything wrong. But then, why would you have to apologize to your staff for something like that? Why would you even need to?

By now, Mr. Armstrong, maybe you've realized it might have been easier to stick with the truth. it would have been easier to remember. That and your family and staff wouldn't feel like you've hooked them to your hitch and went for a backroads ride. I'm just saying...

(originally posted:

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