Monday, September 11, 2006

I'm actually thinking for once!!!!

So Anna Nicole Smith's 20 yr old son was found dead. Weird. Of an apparent heart attack. Very odd. However, lest we get too giddy that this genetic strain be stopped, she has another child. So close... Seriously, though it is a tragedy. But it's almost like a Greek melodrama with her. At least with a Greek tragedy the show actually ends.

Let's see, Ohio beat UT this weekend. Personally, I can care less about football. But it sounds like everyone behaved, and enjoyed the game, so that's a good thing. Besides, now that UT is #8, if they can win a national championship it really would be something special. A bit of the underdog complex there. I like seeing the champion in any sport have to struggle a bit. It humanizes them, makes it more believable. Truth be told, I'm a huge fan of Lance Armstrong, but his last Tour performance was so dominating, it was kind of boring. He never really had to rally when the chips were down, because they never were.

So, with that segue, let me address some things baout the current state of cycling. I have found myself somewhat accepting that many top cyclists cheat with banned substances. Surprisingly, I almost don't care. This year the Tour was the most exciting in years, definitely the most exciting since 1989. Who's to blame? Us, the public. Like 10,000 Maniacs song Candy Everybody Wants, the athletes give us what we want. Drama, excitement, records being broken. Look what happened to baseball when the home run craze was going on. Same with football. Winning isn't enough for the public anymore. Winning with a superhuman performance is. Then we look away and say how shameful the behavior is, but we are the ones who brought the behavior to begin with. More drama is more money.

Even in a poor sport as cycling, where the season is 10 long months from early February through November, the drugs make more exciting racing. That means more fans, more sponsor money. Odd that cycling is the only truly free sport in the world. No one has to pay to see a race. More odd is the fact that in the ProTour, the top level of the sport, the major leagues, if you will, has a base salary for a cyclist of $38,000 for 2007. You read it right. A little over three grand a month to travel all over the world, live from a duffel bag, and spend an average of 30 hours a week on a bike in all weather. In a sport where a 2 year contract is still rare, it's all about what have you done for me lately. And the drugs ensure that something is done for many racers.

Last topic for tonight. It's 5 years since 9/11. We all know and remember. I'm ok with it, but last night we watched the documentary on CBS. I've seen quite a bit, and not much compares to my tours in the Army. But what gets to me is the fear in the eyes of those firefighters and police, and when the radio traffic got crazy, I could feel it. When things are quiet on the freqs, the situation is under control. When everyone's jamming the waves trying to get through, it's not good. For me, hearing the chatter and seeing the looks on the faces choked me up, for I could empathize. The men were scared, the officers were worried, and the anguish they felt will never go away. Part of me died all over again when I saw that, and I know those guys would give anything to get rid of that anguish.

1 comment:

kj said...

hey mike, i saw your comments on lisa's blog and wanted to commend you for helping her out with your suggestions. i was impressed.

i also read your comments about 9-11 and feel the same way. i was in new orleans with the red cross last oct. and saw and felt that same kind of stunned fear and sadness.

congratulations on finding the love of your life! me too!