What a fool I was to believe in Lance


Share
Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2013, 9:06 pm
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
Related stories
By John Marx, jmarx@qconline.com
I bought in, silly me. Hook, line and Livestrong.

Next, someone is going to tell me John Wayne was Canadian.

I wore yellow Livestrong wristbands from the day they reached store shelves until they stripped the last of Lane Armstrong's Tour de France titles from him.

I laid one in the casket of a buddy who passed away from cancer. If yellow was slimming, I would have had a closet full of yellow Livestrong shirts.

For years, I naively believed Lance Armstrong legitimately won seven Tour de France titles. And I defended him every chance I got.

Lance -- in my sad and misguided eyes -- was an American hero.

That, though, is no longer my belief. Armstrong reportedly came clean -- kind of -- in taped interviews with Oprah Winfrey (I have no idea why she was picked), which were scheduled to air Thursday night and tonight on her TV network.

Since I'm writing this before the interviews have aired, I don't know details of his confession, but advance word is he tells Oprah he cheated, that he used performance-enhancing drugs to be the best bike dude in the history of all bike dudes. Apparently, the only thing missing from their interview, was Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens throwing themselves at the feet of public opinion.

For years, in my world, Armstrong was different. I believed in addition to being the best bike rider in the world, Armstrong had a special mission.

Silly me, again.

Lance was different because he beat cancer. Lance kicked cancer's bee-hind, trounced it, dragged it behind the back tire of his bike. Then he hopped on his bike and peddled -- like the wind -- his post-cancer self through the mountains of France. Along the way, he dusted every bike dude who challenged him. Seven straight times. Not once or three times, but seven.

He did movies poking fun at kicking cancer's butt. He organized rides for cancer patients and cancer survivors, and was an inspiration for thousands. His story and message were so inspirational Nike gave him a foundation.

He also became famous and rich.

Talk that Armstrong had "help'' winning the Tour de France always came up. I took it as jealousy, because he always passed post-race drug tests, however pedestrian they might have been. Lance was clean; he was a cancer survivor; and the world outside the United States couldn't deal with that.

The fact Armstrong defended himself -- suing and winning claims against those who said he cheated -- made me believe in him even more.

Lance, to me, was legit.

What a fool I was.

Truth is, he was the cheating ringleader. He made millions off the belief his greatness was achieved through hard work, grit and an unmatched determination. I always wondered, but refused to believe, he cheated, but now I know. You know. We know.

At least I have the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy left.



Columnist John Marx can be reached at (309) 757-8388 or jmarx@qconline.com.



Related Stories














 



Local events heading








  Today is Wednesday, July 30, the 211th day of 2014. There are 154 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: After Sept. 1, every small box of matches will be required to have a 3 cent duty Lincoln stamp on it, and every large box will be one cent for every 100 matches.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Rock Island residents had contributed a total of $1,293 to the American Red Cross for the Johnstown flood relief fund.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Capt. Clark Means, new darkhorse twirler for the ARGUS staff, was in great form in his initial contest as a mound laborer. The result was that THE ARGUS trimmed the Union 6-5.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Hunter and Humprey Moody, young Decatur, Ill, brothers, lack only a few hours of establishing a new world light plane endurance record.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Gates of the 110th annual Mercer County Fair swing open tonight at Aledo for a full week of day and night activity. More that $36,000 will be paid in premiums and race purses.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The baseball field carved out of the cornfield near Dyersville, Iowa, continues to keep dreams alive for hundreds of visitors. Tourists from 26 state and France have visited Dan Lansing's farm to see the baseball diamond seen in the hit movie "Field of Dreams."






(More History)