A long, hard fall from the Wheaties box

January 19, 2013
Breakfast of champions. Just not THAT champion.

How could I pass up the opportunity to blog about Oprah and Lance Armstrong?  There’s just so much to say. So let’s start with Lance.

“I didn’t think I was cheating.” He even looked it up in the dictionary.

Really?  His dictionary is obviously different than the one the rest of us use.

“I’m sick and tired of all these accusations.”

I’ll bet, especially because they’re true. They were always true. And let’s add one more: PERJURY.  Has the statue of limitations run out and is that why he’s talking now?

Ah, Lance. You have thoroughly disgraced yourself by not only taking performance-enhancing drugs and lying about it, but also being a big fat bully: suing accusers, winning, taking the money and in general, being a complete phony. Imagine the nerve to be able to publicly browbeat people who accused him of what he now admits.

It’s a long fall from the Wheaties box to the hard cement of reality. Being branded a liar and a cheat didn’t feel as good as being an American hero, does it, Lance? I’ll bet the rest of your life looked pretty grim.

So what is there to do? How to redeem himself? Get back that golden-boy image?

So. over. her.

Enter the Right Reverend Oprah, or, as some call her, Saint Oprah, who sits at the right hand of God ready to judge errant authors and cheating athletes.  Yesss, sit at the feet of Rev. Oprah and confess. That’s what all disgraced sinners do, right?

Well, you’ll excuse me if I’m just a litttttle bit cynical about this whole image rehabilitation thing. After all, I was in this business for many years working with names some of you may have heard of. Trying to help them manage their damaged reputations.

First, Oprah. I’ve been over Oprah for a very long time. Ever since she started believing her own hype and began acting like the nation’s judge and jury. Our moral conscience. The arbiter of all things moral and spiritual.  Uh-huh, girl, who you think you’re kiddin’? 

But the country seems to have largely bought into it and so sitting in Oprah’s confessional and asking for absolution is now de rigueur for those who have been disgraced.

It looks like Lance didn’t get much from his big confession. Certainly not absolution. I’m thinking he felt forced to come clean because he wanted his old life back, or at least some of his reputation restored. That’s not going to happen. Most people still believe that he deserved to be stripped of his titles because he was a cheat, a liar and a bully. Any one of these would be bad enough, but the combination? He can’t recover from that.

By the way, not too many people have talked about the bigger issue, and there is one. It’s the culture of winning that’s endemic today, so much so that a guy who had testicular cancer would take the risk of doping with carcinogenic substances–just to remain a champion.  Scary stuff. Add that to our nation’s list of problems: providing the environment that made this cheat’s job so easy.

So the interview’s been aired. People are talking. No one is impressed or even sympathetic. The Golden Boy is gone forever and I’m glad no one’s going to look up to him again. I’m glad he was held accountable and that ethics have taken center stage for a bit. (Until the next time.)

It would also be nice to see the end of the Right Rev. Oprah’s confessional.  Hang up your collar, Oprah, I’d like to tell her. Redemption is God’s job, and Oprah’s not God. Although she seems to think she is.

So, bye-bye Lance.  Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

6 comments on “A long, hard fall from the Wheaties box
  1. Eleanor says:

    I have found my soul-sister and it is you. I have felt this way about Oprah for eons. We need to form a support group.

    I blogged about the Manti Te’o thing this morning (from a sympathetic viewpoint), and ended up editing out a whole section about Armstrong/Oprah because it just felt like its own bloggity….. which you have just now done much better than I ever could.

    Brava. Again.

  2. Eleanor! I was a fan once, long ago, and then she got so taken with herself that she turned me off. I’ll go to your blog on Manti today–I am also somewhat sympathetic. Thanks for commenting!

  3. I think anyone can rise from the ashes. I think he has fallen far and am not sure he is contrite. I guess that’s for him to figure out. This is his next marathon. Good luck with that..

  4. Haralee says:

    Where is Larry King when you want him? Lance the big rich liar!

  5. Blonde, good point. Next marathon, indeed!

  6. Grace Hodgin says:

    I really haven’t followed his story other than what I’ve heard on the radio. I’m just watching it play out.

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