Call it what it is

lanceA few people have asked me what I think of Lance Armstrong. When there’s that much money tied up in a public career story, it is hard to not let the money outweigh the truth. And the more often you repeat a lie to the public and to yourself; you can eventually start to believe it… or at least not care as much about the truth.

What bothers me the most? It’s not the cheating. I’m bothered most about Lance’s casual approach to deception on a massive scale. He is following a long line of so-called sports heroes who manufacture an image for the world to worship. Then we learn later that they were not superhuman at all. In fact, they were not even nice humans. Just like Barry Bonds, Lance invited critics to go after him because apparently he was an arrogant jerk.

The saddest casualty in all this is the Livestrong charity, which is highly rated on accountability and transparency (unlike it superhero spokesperson.) It will likely dwindle and disappear, to the detriment of cancer patients who got a little closer to a cure. And I especially feel for the kids who got an extra lift in their spirit from believing in Lance’s story. What are they thinking now?

So let’s do this… look around at all the sports icons we have on a pedestal right now. You can throw in all the Hollywood and TV celebrities our society “follows” as well. These people are people. They are in a business that relies on success stories to sell tickets and sustain itself. Whether it’s an overnight success, a dynasty or a comeback, they are all still stories. Inconvenient details have been altered or omitted to help the story sell.

Let’s call it what it is. It’s show business. If you want to avoid disappointment, adjust your expectations accordingly. And as for you kids, there are plenty of hard-working heroes right in your neighborhood if you look for them. How do you know if they are real? They are usually the quiet ones keeping their stories to themselves.

Explore posts in the same categories: Communication, General

17 Comments on “Call it what it is”

  1. Everyone has skeletons in their closet. The more expensive the closet, the more costly the skeletons.

  2. Amen. Excellent post, David.

    I’ve always been a believer of Walt Disney’s old school philosophy of not basing any attraction on any LIVE human being – because, well…they’re human. Disney only believed in fictional characters or basing an attraction on someone historical who was dead (like Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln).

    I think this is smart thinking on Walt’s part.

    But not everyone thinks this way. Many product brands like cereals and such have always used athletes, Olympians and such to endorse their products. But we’ve seen too many brands have to immediately go into crisis communications mode and dump an endorsement deal once the ‘hero’ falls.

    I also think it’s time to re-evaluate based on character and how people show up in this world.

    It’s not just show business or sports – we’ve seen this same thing in politics or corporate – i.e. Enron and the list goes on.

    It all boils down to:

    * Greed
    * Money
    * Fame
    * Ego
    * Media
    * Accolades

    ——all in a cycle that feeds the internal human behavioral emotional voids which translate on a Psychology 101 level of self-worth, self-esteem vs. insecurities.

    Most of the world focuses on the external vs. the internal – and this is where we have the problem. Internal is about emotional and cerebral confrontation – which most lack the courage, bravery or will to face, examine, confront, fix, repair and return to what matters most – and that is internal and Universal truth. In addition, it also extends to one’s mission, purpose, core value system, principles and integrity.

  3. Tricia Miller Says:

    For me, it goes beyond the lies. I figure they were all doping so they were all essentially lying. What bothers me most is the people he sought to destroy to keep his secrets hidden. The lawsuits charging libel against newspapers and witnesses. It’s one thing to deny an accusation, and another to silence the whistle blowers with bullying.

    • davidgoad Says:

      Good point Tricia. He was exceptionally forceful in perpetuating the story and it hurt a lot of people. Maybe this is what he can write his book about… “How to Silence Critics the Lance Armstrong Way”

  4. Jeff Bagby Says:

    +1 Bravo David, Bravo!

  5. Joe Franklin Says:

    Wow, David, right on! Especially the part about heroes in your own neighborhood. Great insight! And so much the better because they are accessible to you and are usually so willing to help.

    I totally agree with the disappointment about Lance. One thing I keep thinking about is the fact that he still had to do the work to win the race. I’m an avid cycler, and while I am no where near them in capability, I have so much respect for the riders on the Tour. I haven’t seen his “mea culpa” interview with Oprah but it’s likely some if not most of his justification is that doping is so rampant in that sport and he was doing it because everyone else was doing it. Let’s just say that is predominantly the case. Armstrong still had to ride that grueling race. It’s all such a shame (and a sham) because you wonder how he would have done if he did not dope and the playing field was level.

  6. Dave Becker Says:

    David, the obvious part here is the money. Sports is about business, Hollywood is about business. It’s the way of doing business, so let’s include business itself and of course the politicians. It doesn’t even have to be a human. How about McDonalds. Their food like substances spreads obesity, type II diabetes, heart disease, and cancer like all get out, yet people love them and Coca Cola besides. American Heroes are a complete deception. The whole country was founded on a massive deception. America the greatest country in the world, hardly!! We love our heroes, but we love to hate them when they get caught. Sadly, most of them don’t get caught! It’s all about money, power, control, and ego. Let me leave you with an off colored joke. This man approaches this woman and asks her, “Will you sleep with me for a million dollars.” She replies, “Of course.” He then asks, “How about for $15?” She says, “No, what do you think I am?” He says, “We’ve already established that, we’re just negotiating a price.”

    • Yes, Dave Becker! RIGHT ON! You get exactly what I was saying – it’s NOT just sports or show biz! It’s everywhere – thus GREED and the deeper problem!!!

      There is also ANOTHER problem — and it’s THE PUBLIC. If the public would stop tuning in to watch these programs featuring these faux heroes; stop buying magazines which celebrate them or even gossip about them; if people would stop supporting – from the curiosity factor – like watching a train wreck (though it’s human nature to want to see) – then what happens is the $$$ isn’t supported. People don’t boost ratings, don’t buy tickets, don’t raise sales – further making these people stars or heroes!! 🙂

    • Dave Becker Says:

      Yes, Stacy I totally agree with you. I’ve had my TV disconnected now for 6 years. Reduced the indoctrination message a while ago from the idiot box. I’ve heard of reality TV, but have never watched it, not one. Been at this Peace and Love game for most of my life. It comes with a high degree of integrity. In college I was offered to do a work study program at an arsenal, but refused. I’ve been ridiculed, yelled at, laughed at, abused, and down right threatened. Ethnic is my core. Please, I’m no saint, but karma has a way. Look at Steve Jobs, touting eastern philosophy while he exploited Chinese workers. When he died millions cried, while in Somalia milions died and nobody cried. Things are changing though. We are reaching critical mass, not trashing what is, but creating something new. Organic foods biggest growth sector of food industry, energy slowly moving from oil to solar, geothermal, and wind; medical doctors being replaced by naturopaths and homeopaths; pharmaceaticals by herbology and actual food, non-profits local community replacing giant big whatever. It’s coming and ethics, real ethics with it. We are starting to realize that the one big reason and really only reason we came down here is to take care of each other. Blessings to all; welcome to the age of awareness!!

    • Stacey Says:

      Hallelujah – this is music to my ears! We echo the same voice here, Dave. YOU ROCK! Ethics are where it is at and we are on the same page. I’ve turned down lots of projects and cash in the name of aligning with people of like mind, like spirit and above all – like heart. In the end – that is all that matters and that is all you can take with you. It’s the moments you have that matter and the people who you do meaningful life work with, that means more than anything material. At the end of the day, when your head hits the pillow, you have to be true to yourself and know you can sleep honoring your inner core values and being. We are born alone. We die alone. And while we’re living our lives – if we can’t be honest to the truth within us, and who we really are – what is the point?! Congrats to you in honoring your ethics and yeah, it’s karma all the way!

      I am hopeful as I see the same change you are seeing. There is indeed awareness as you have indicated. We are seeing with the same eyes here. Awareness is key. Evolution and change are inevitable. It’s time everyone wakes up and takes responsibility for their actions, their part on this planet and being authentic with every step, every word, every action in their ultimate being.

      That’s the real lesson in life. People keep searching for the meaning of it – but the only thing to really search for is becoming who we all ultmately need to become and that is honest and true to ourselves and who we are and take the mask off and be authentic. And from here, it’s all about the Universal work, community, humanity and honoring the gift of life while we have it!

      Rock on, Dave! You have it right.

  7. Michael Says:

    I have raced yachts since I s.was 12. And that was a long time ago. We are quietly fighting a battle against professionalization of yacht racing in this country right now. if you want to see the difference graphically evident, look at the hyped up, “rockstar hero” – heavy Americas Cup. And then go have a look at the outstanding coverage of Olympic yacht racing in Weymouth. Both on UTube. See which you prefer.

    Amateurs are consistently belittled, marginalized, sneered at if they don’t slavishly buy and re-buy their gear every year. Deep pocketssponsors frantically try to puff up saleable “heroes” to sell their product. Winning rather than maximizing participation is peddled as the ONLY worthwhile goal. The notion that if you don’t win, you shoulda stayed home and watched it on TV is heavily touted. “sports people” undertake increasingly extreme (and frequently dangerous/violent) stunts to get their 15 minutes of fame – and squeal for rescue at public expense if they fail). Cheats are almost equally rewarded with the media attention they were after on the first place, and even a cheat draws attention and can be used by some enterprises to turn a profit.

    And so it goes.

    Only way to deal with it seems to be to ignore the media/corporate hyped greed heads as best one can and just keep quietly turning out and participating in sports oneself….in the company of like minded, corinthian, amateur sports enthusiasts. They’re still out there there. And they tend to make for good company.

  8. Chris Lansdowne Says:

    love what you said…so deep …so true.

  9. Jeff G Says:

    What Lance and Livestrong meant to me!

    One week after I was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, a close friend of mine, Greg Hartlien, told me to go get Lance’s book, “It’s not about the bike”. This was his story about getting cancer and his journey through horrific chemo and radiation therapy. It was my first piece of inspiration and motivation that if he could undergo this with such a singleminded focus on beating cancer, then I could too. His book and his story created the framework that I firmly planted in my mind, and that I frequently referred to as my journey was underway.
    It became my mantra. I would read and re-read chapters and sections that related to my treatments and discover how he handled them and his methodology of mental imagery and focus. While I know that outstanding medical care and prayers played a big role in the success of my treatment and recovery, I also know that his book played a large role in my approach and subsequent success in hiking the Grand canyon and running the Chicago marathon in 2011, just 6 months after my 2nd stem cell transplant and hiking the Tetons and running the 2012 Chicago marathon.

    I wore 2 bands on my wrist during all of my treatments, hospital stays and my marathons, a blue MMRF power team and a yellow livestrong. These 2 symbols reminded me and told others a bit about my beliefs, my passions, and my determination.

    The steps that Lance and 99% of all riders in Tour level cycling events take to get an extra 1%, makes no difference to me or thousands of others who have gained so much through the essence of Livestrong and what it represents. I pray that it survives and thrives just as I have in my fight against Multiple Myeloma. Yes it’s a bump in the road, but let’s remember how much this group has done for so many.

    • davidgoad Says:

      Jeff, thanks so much for sharing that. This is what is so upsetting… the “essence of Livestrong” is probably the most valuable contribution Lance made and now it will probably fade away because it has been tainted by his other actions.

  10. Mike Johns Says:

    Great post, Dave!

    Coming from a competitve family of auto/motorcycle racers, cheating is cheating. If “everyone is doing it” then you have a choice to make – A. protest the competitors, B.become a cheater or C. leave the sport. Cheating is rampant in some many areas of life and gets passed along from the simple “Oh, I can take an extra cookie, what will it hurt?” to “If we can get into the Democrats offices when nobody’s around,we can gain some critical info that will help our cause!”. I’d like to beieve most cheats get caught, but I just don’t know. Like Jeff, I got Cancer (Melonoma) in 2010, and it only made me want to work harder to beat the disease, setting a goal (a big race) to work toward. I don’t buy into cheating because of his disease, as Lance eluded to. Like the many humans who have fallen due to their imperfect nature, Lance will now forever live in infamy, even with the good he created.

  11. I absolutely love your website.. Very nice colors & theme.
    Did you develop this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m attempting to create my own website and would love to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called. Kudos!

    • davidgoad Says:

      Thanks! This is one of the templates provided by WordPress, and I modified the banner at the top with Photoshop to include my picture.

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