January 18, 2013

"Armstrong did not delve into the details of his doping, and Winfrey never asked."

"He did not explain how it was done, who helped him do it or how, exactly, he perpetuated his myth for so long. He said he was not comfortable talking about other people.... Not once did he look into the camera and say, without qualification, 'I’m sorry.'"

Oprah, too, should have looked into the camera and said "I'm sorry." What a terrible interview! The part I watched, anyway, before deciding it was a big waste of time. Oprah looked and sounded tired and uncomfortable, as if she'd forgotten how to be Oprah. Or they'd had some dispute off camera and she knew this was going to be a robotic exercise in nothingness that wasn't going to save her network. She was going to get zero warmth, zero psychodrama, just a dull little man. Little in every way, including the way that made Oprah look huge.

Oh! If only a second Oprah could have been there interviewing Oprah about what she thought and how she felt about the wee interviewee.

There's still Part 2 — and maybe Lance will look right into the camera and say, without qualification, "I'm sorry" — but will anyone watch? Did anyone, other than journalists covering the "story," stick with Part 1 all the way through? Or did you all snap it off, like we did, after about the third time he prefaced an answer with I know I'm not the most believable guy in the world?

58 comments:

Icepick said...

Haven't watched it yet. Will probably try to do so tonight. It sounds worse than I imagined though. Why go on Oprah if not for the psycho-drama?

Well, at least he didn't go on Springer....

john said...

Lance really needs to look directly at the camera and say "I'm sorry" because that's the only way the millions and millions of us who have followed european bicycle racing for all these years can concentrate on the upcoming Tour de San Luis on Versus. Knowing that cheating on bicycle races is now at an end.

Shouting Thomas said...

Ophra's 59, right?

So, I can imagine she's tired of the PR hustling. Why is she even doing it any more? She certainly doesn't need any money.

I'm 63 and recruiters are calling me, subjecting me to interviews and expecting me to give a shit. I'm having a hard time doing it, and I need the money.

I think that you need a subject who is sympathetic in some way for an interview to be interesting. Armstrong doesn't provoke sympathy in anybody.

Meade said...

Lance kicked Oprah's ass. Big time. Liar podium for Lance. Liar-Doper-Cheater-Manipulator-Denier-False Accuser Podium. Gold medal! Seven Times!

Expat(ish) said...

I've saved thousands of hours of my life not watching Oprah, but considered actually watching this b/c I am a huge Lance fan. Thanks for saving me the effort.

I'll wait for the book.

FWIW, there aren't really that many big men (or women) who are world class in cycling or triathlon. And even the very tall are spookily thin. If you think of them as sports cars where power is enhanced dramatically by low weight it'll be obvious why.

One of the biggest problems coaches face is getting such athletes to do off season non-sport-specific weight training to provide balance and injury proofing - they just don't want muscle mass that isn't specific to their sport.

Thus pylometrics. But I digress.

-XC

Expat(ish) said...

@Meade - Excellent.

-XC

vet66 said...

Armstrong is incapable of saying he is sorry. He believes the ends justify the means. A delusional narcissist he is just like Obama. He is also a failure at the most important part of his profession, a role model. I have no sympathy for any of them including the poor, millionaire Oprah. They deserve each other and Al Gore also. Nothing more or less than grifters, elixir pushing opportunists and snake oil salesmen.

Tank said...

Didn't watch. Why bother?

He cheated.

Everyone else cheated.

He cheated better, or was better that the other cheaters.

What were his options there? He could have been a whistleblower. That would have went over well. The American calling out the French in the European sport. Great. He could be a pariah among all his friends and competitors.

Then there were his legal actions against others who told the truth about him. Oy. Disgusting.

Overall, a true clusterf***.

What difference what he says now. Can he fix the lives of people he ruined with his phony litigation?

Shouting Thomas said...

Everyone else cheated.

Yeah, that's a problem, isn't it?

Just like in baseball. Just about everybody was juicing in the 90s. Wasn't so obvious with the pitchers, but they were doing it too.

A lot of money involved. If you didn't juice, you probably suffered a severe competitive disadvantage.

Carol said...

Searching, searching for a heart of gold...

Guimo said...

Two losers.

Paul said...

Oprah is just a fat and lazy millionare trying to drum up support for her network. Kind of like Al Gore's ex-network (so will Oprah sell hers to Al Ja to?

Lance? She could not care about the scandal and that is why no follow up questions.

And I couldn't care either. Armstrong made his bed and now has to lie down in it. To bad he was crooked to the bone.

Jay said...

Lance Armstrong is an asshole - big time.
I'm much more interested in Manti's composite girlfriend!

rhhardin said...

Peanut M&Ms give a performance boost too.

Bob said...

I was never going to watch this interview but I do hope her network goes away. The whole arc of "go on Oprah, cry, confess, and seek absolution - drama, angst, drama" arc has run its course. In the beginning you may have gotten the truly sorrowful or repentant but now we all know the drill. And we're tired of it.

Curious George said...

"Shouting Thomas said...
Ophra's 59, right?"

If you mean "Size", then maybe.

MadisonMan said...

He cheated.

Everyone else cheated.

He cheated better, or was better that the other cheaters.

Yes. Notice who has been awarded the victory for his vacated wins. No one. They were all doping. Group think.

Chris Rohlfs said...

Are we still supposed to believe that his cancer was not caused by doping?

Franklin said...

The most appalling/galling part is still to come. Mark my words - Lance Armstrong is going to start calling for tougher penalties and stricter testing for doping in sports.

Erika said...

Oh, Lance Armstrong. Had three children, divorced their mother when they were preschoolers in order to take up with Sheryl Crow. Later had two more children with a girlfriend. Also ran his mouth, delusionally, about running for governor of Texas, because that's such an easy job a bicycle rider could do it! As long as it's Lance Armstrong, of course!

I think he has a personality disorder. Or maybe just a character problem.

Maguro said...

Maybe he's just a douchebag.

Darrell said...

It will never be viewed this way again, but if you look up exactly what is required to win--not to mention win it seven times--what he did is still remarkable. And it has more to do with his physical skills, drive, and determination than any drug that he or any one of his competitors was taking.

If you used the exact drugs administered by the same people on anyone else, you would still not produce a rider that could do what he did. Add cancer to the above and the accomplishment is even greater.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

The documentary "Bigger Stronger Faster" that I watched on youtube presents a clear case that if you are not cheating, you are not trying, and it's only cheating if you get caught, at least when it comes to big time competitive events where strength is essential. Jim Rome used to make this point although I can't verify if that is still the situation intermittently.

All the people I grew up with as sports heros or entertainers were fake cheaters.

Hulk Hogan. Carl Lewis. Lyle Alzado, Arnold Schwarzenhager, and the filmaker's brother too.

Pogo said...

When narcissists collide, the interview.

SteveR said...

I've been aware of Lance Armstrong since he was a teen aged phenom in Plano, Texas. Nothing about the way he has acted up to and including this interview is surprising. He just wants control back, hes not looking for approval.

BTW I love how Oprah has to get top billing. Its OPRAH and lance armstrong.

fobw12 said...

When all is said and done, the biggest loser is the man himself. Granted great physical ability and possessing a strong motivation and self-discipline for physical training, given excellent medical care for his cancer and the loving support of close friends and family and indeed of sports fans, he apparently adopted the amoral position of wanting to win at all costs. Lies, deception of self and others, hostility and aggressive action against former friends and colleagues, and eventual loss of all that he had worked for. While we can indeed feel sorrow for anyone who sells his own soul for the likes of money and power, probably the best for Mr. Armstrong and the rest of us is to ignore him and leave him to self-examination and, if he is so led, to his trying to make amends to the many he has offended. How does one start to believe a liar, to know when they have turned the corner and are now speaking truth, after so many years of deception? As always, actions indeed speak more meaningfully than words.

carrie said...

My husband watched it all. I didn't because it is now known that Lance doped so what else of importance was their to learn or say. I'm a big tour de france fan. Lance doped, but so did all of the other contenders so it was a level playing field in my opinion and he still won all of those tours. Why should doping, at least the methods that are not hazardous to your health, be illegal when you are talking about pro athletes?

MayBee said...

At least he didn't apologize if he's not sorry.

Not everyone cheated, although many people who didn't want to cheat were forced to. Others were pushed out of their sport

I really don't get the people who think "everybody cheated" is a reason for what Armstrong did to be ok
No, it just means the honest people were pushed out..

ricpic said...

Never complain, never explain. Well, that's one formula for getting through life.

ricpic said...

Darrell is exactly right. The guy is so head and shoulders above the average shlub American, yours truly included, that he doesn't have to apologize to us, period.

tiger said...

Lance Armstrong:
'I cheated because everyone else was cheating.'


Man is not a rational being; Man is a
rationalizing being.

Fark Lance, his weak character and lame excuse.

Patrick said...

Darrell said


If you used the exact drugs administered by the same people on anyone else, you would still not produce a rider that could do what he did.


There may be some merit to this, he still had to do a ton of work to finish, let alone win the TDF 7 times. It may be, however, that he was just better at doping than everyone else.

tiger said...

Pogo said...
When narcissists collide, the interview.


+1

edutcher said...

This is the same Oprah who ripped that writer a new one for lying, but that for was lying to her.

I guess, after giving us The Zero, any liar has her number.

dbp said...

If Lance Armstrong had followed the rules, we would never have heard of him. Everyone in contention played exactly the same game and the rules of the game are effectively what is enforced through testing.

Pianoman said...

Everyone else was doping, so if you wanted a chance to win, you had to dope too. Armstrong did it better than everyone else. But he had to lie his ass off in order to continue competing, because he was winning so much. Jan Ullrich was doping too, but nobody's talking about taking his 1997 title away from him ... because he only won once.

That's pretty much the story. I'm not interested in seeing the interview because I think Oompah is a bore. What I'm interested in seeing is whether Armstrong attempts to blow up the sport, like Jose Canseco did for baseball. Armstrong has a history of doing battle with those people that tried to bring him down; why would this be any different?

prairie wind said...

I wonder why doping is such an awful thing. If an athlete performs better by injecting HGH, why is that not considered the same as, oh, say the full-body swimsuits that gave some swimmers an edge, or the legs that made Oscar Pistorius a better runner than he was without legs? There is so much hysteria about doping, and yet athletes continue to do it, and doping continues to make them better athletes.

I don't know if doping is good for you in the way that milk does a body good...but I'm not sure I care, when it comes to adults making decisions about what to do with their own bodies. Doping doesn't harm the other athletes in the race, does it? I suppose you might say that some athletes have more money and can afford more/better dope. True, but don't we already have athletes who can or cannot afford better training facilities or shoes or swimsuits or bicycles?

Lance Armstrong seems like someone I wouldn't want to have lunch with but he sure rode a heck of a race. Seven of them.

ErnieG said...

As I said in the "Maybe I'm Naive" thread, I think the Tour ought to have an Unrestricted class, sort of like Top Fuel dragsters. Top Fuel, yeah, that's it

MayBee said...

If doping isn't wrong and shouldn't be a problem and all cyclists want to do it, all cyclists should refuse to race until the governing body makes them legal.

William said...

I am not a Tour de France fan and find it passing strange that people can look upon clumps of sweaty bikers with such interest. If they crashed more often, there might be something to the sport, but, by and large, it looks pretty boring....I had no interest in the sport, but I was aware of Lance Armstrong. He was famous for winning a lot and having one ball. It seemed to me that he garnered a disproportionate amount of fame and adulation for such accomplishments. I can't name any other famous bike rider or testicular cancer survivor except him.....Still, he wore his fame well and seemed like an admirable person. He doesn't handle infamy well, however. I know far more about him since he started his apology tour. Although he perhaps wasn't a worse cheat than other athletes, he covered up his cheating in a far more aggressive and dishonorable way than other cheats. He is definitely not a role model for cheaters. I don't know how to handle such a dramatic change of fortune and reputation, but I suspect shutting up might be the best strategy.

Michael said...

Oprah, many people on this blog, most in the press want emotion. They want the boo too. They want the tears. They want to have the subject grovel and plead and weep some more. How, asked Oprah, did you feel about..... About ten times or more. How did you feel?

Armstrong felt, well, like a winner. What kind of question was that? He has admitted to doping. He has confessed. That, of course, isn't what most are looking for because most want contrition, tears. Emotion. Guilt without emotion isn't cutting it in the new age.


jacksonjay said...

Watched the whole thing, only because Elementary was a rerun! Portrait of a ruthless narcissist in his own words!

The way he treated Betsy Andreu was unbelievable! Hey I didn't call her fat, I just said she was a "crazy bitch" before I sued her for telling the truth!

n.n said...

Legalize dope, but not smack.

Meade said...

... and maybe a little blow. When we can afford it.

CyndiF said...

I wonder why doping is such an awful thing.

Well, the problem is that it can be dangerous to one's health. (See, e.g., the cyclists who have died of heart attacks in their sleep, as did Florence Griffith Joyner. And it may have played a role in Lance's cancer.) The athletes who make it to the top may be willing to pay the price but doping then expands to the point where everyone is doing it, down to high school athletes. The vast majority of these people will never make the big time but risk their health anyway.

The other problem is that it exacerbates the influence of money. People have been saying that Lance "just" doped like everyone else, but the documents and testimony about his case suggest otherwise. He ran a pretty professional doping operation and may have had the complicity of testing agencies to cover his ass when he was caught. It didn't look at all like an even playing field when he was king.

Thorley Winston said...

Armstrong felt, well, like a winner. What kind of question was that? He has admitted to doping. He has confessed. That, of course, isn't what most are looking for because most want contrition, tears. Emotion. Guilt without emotion isn't cutting it in the new age.

I have to disagree with your analysis. I think what people want to see if a very bad man who hurt a lot of innocent people in order to cover up his own wrong-doing get what’s coming to him.


Michael said...

Thorley Winston: I think he has gotten what is coming to him. He has been stripped of his titles and is likely going to sued to his dying days for his winnings, lost earnings of others, etc.

Hey, people have gone to jail for their attitude so its not a big deal to not like his. He may go to jail for that as well.

This is not a guy that is going to give the audience the boo hoo that they want.

Martha said...

Douglas Brinkley was on Imus this morning bragging about his friendship with Lance Armstrong. Imus set him straight --pointed out what a terrible human being Armstrong is and the uselessness of Armstrong's foundation.

jr565 said...

The sad thing with the Lance Armstrong thing is that if the medals go to the person who came in 2nd they'd then have to go to the next person because he too was guilty of juicing.

jr565 said...

This puts the whole scene with Lance Armstrong in a whole new light:
Lance Armstrong: Could I get a bottle of water. - - Hey, aren't you Peter La Fleur?
Peter La Fleur: Lance Armstrong!
Lance Armstrong: Yeah, that's me. But I'm a big fan of yours.
Peter La Fleur: Really?
Lance Armstrong: Yeah, I've been watching the dodgeball tournament on the Ocho. ESPN 8. I just can't get enough of it. But, good luck in the tournament. I'm really pulling for you against those jerks from Globo Gym. I think you better hurry up or you're gonna be late.
Peter La Fleur: Uh, actually I decided to quit... Lance.
Lance Armstrong: Quit? You know, once I was thinking about quitting when I was diagnosed with brain, lung and testicular cancer, all at the same time. But with the love and support of my friends and family, I got back on the bike and I won the Tour de France five times in a row. But I'm sure you have a good reason to quit. So what are you dying from that's keeping you from the finals?
Peter La Fleur: Right now it feels a little bit like... shame.
Lance Armstrong: Well, I guess if a person never quit when the going got tough, they wouldn't have anything to regret for the rest of their life. But good luck to you Peter. I'm sure this decision won't haunt you forever.


Makes that whole scene feel cheap. I wonder if his decisions wont haunt him forever.

Mick Havoc said...

Now that he needs a new gig maybe he can help OJ look for the real killers.

Mick Havoc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
prairie wind said...

...but doping then expands to the point where everyone is doing it, down to high school athletes.

Are you under the impression that high school athletes are NOT doping now? How effective has prohibition been? For anything?

Sam L. said...

I wouldn't watch either.

Crunchy Frog said...

The sad thing with the Lance Armstrong thing is that if the medals go to the person who came in 2nd they'd then have to go to the next person because he too was guilty of juicing.

If everyone whose name has been associated with doping was eliminated, then the trophies would go to the guy who finished in 27th place.

Pianoman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pianoman said...

Something else that I was thinking of regarding doping: It doesn't make you into a world-class cyclist, but it CAN turn a great cyclist into a seven-time champion.

In baseball, juice helps transform a 350-foot out into a home run. It can't give you a great swing, but it can give you more homers. Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were home run hitters anyway, but juice got Sosa out of the 30 HRs per season and into the 60+ HRs per season. Juice got Bobby Bonds to 70+ HRs.

It's like the old saying -- you can't buy a golf swing. And you can't juice your way to a home run swing. But juice adds 50 feet to your hits -- and that's enough to get you over 50 HRs.

Funny how nobody has gone over 60 HR in a season since Bonds, huh? Just a coincidence, I guess.

William said...

I have a suggestion to improve the sport of cycling and to also allow our fallen heroes to regain their place in the pantheon. How about pit bull bike racing. Michael Vick could train a team of pit bulls to attack bikers as they race through the streets of Pamplona. You could have teams of disgraced MLB, NFL, and NBA athletes competing to see who wins or, at least, finishes. There would, of course, be the occasional maulings and, in the more extreme cases, players would get torn to shreds. However, none of the players would suffer from those truly debilitating concussive injuries and who wouldn't want to see Jose Conseco ripped apart by dogs. But I don't want to dwell on the gore. The color and excitement of this sport would allow many of our fallen heroes one further chance at glory and redemption. As long as none of the dogs get hurt, I can see no posible objection to this sport.