26 September, 2006

I Am Sick Of Lance Armstrong.

Cycling used to be one of those sports that only a a few of us cared about. Then came Lance. Never mind that he will never never never be as good a rider as Eddy Merckx.

I realise that cycling's ratings have gone through the roof--well, the cycling-version of a roof--since Lance. But during all the TDF coverage this year, I don't think Phil and Bob and the other guy could go five minutes without reminiscing about Lance. Who has retired. At least poor Axel Merckx has escaped most of the inevitable comparisons to his father. They were too busy comparing Axel to Lance.

Now that Lance let his life get rapidly out of control retired, I was hoping to hear less about him. But no! Now he's running in the New York City Marathon. Why? Get this. To raise awareness of his cancer foundation. My man, please. Have you been anywhere in America and not seen at least 30% of the people wearing those yellow bracelets? You have already achieved what we marketing people call 'saturation of brand awareness'. Livestrong is the Coca-Cola of cancer foundations.

I guess I should be happy that he's made the news for some reason besides his increasingly screwed up love life. But somewhere deep inside me I realise I'm developing an Armstrong allergy. He's becoming cycling's version of Elizabeth Taylor, spiralling out of control while desperately clinging to past accomplishments.


At 9:06 AM, September 26, 2006, Anonymous bekah said...

The Livestrong bracelets were so popular they became a fashion trend... and in that vein - they are so last season.

Maybe Lance realizes that everyone is bored and has moved on to another color rubber bracelet and he needs some good PR to get people to buy his stuff again.

I'm sick of him, too, but at least he's doing it for a good cause. It could be worse - he could be the one making millions off of the little rubber bands.

At 11:31 AM, September 26, 2006, Anonymous Hubby said...

This is the down-side to linking causes to individuals. The LAF is actually a great organization that has done immeasurable good for cancer victims and the research community. As both a cyclist and someone whose father died of cancer, I've been an avid supporter of the LAF and its mission. And yes, I wear one of the little yellow bracelets. Not because I'm a big Lance fan - far from it - but because what it's supposed to represent resonates with me.

Unfortunately, the line between the man and the cause has become so blurred that the three ring circus that Lance's post-racing life has become has soured people on the cause as well. The LiveStrong bracelets are a symptom of that. That most people have come to view them as a fashion statement and "so last season" is a sad indicator that the man has eclipsed the message.


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