Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A tarnished image, a bleak future

The thing that hits me the hardest with this "doping scandal", and the latest one the most is this.

It's not the drugs or the fact that the riders are using them. It's that Pro cycling is considered a joke because of it to so many people. Whether they understand how truly grueling and difficult professional bike racing is or not (and I certainly can't claim to; I've only just a sliver of a taste from my Cat V sufferings) they won't respect these riders and they won't respect bike racing. It made me so sad to see this break out and now to read the after math of people giving up on pro cycling and losing faith in their heroes. Shoot, I had the utmost respect for Vino, and quite frankly I still due, even if it's a bit diminished after this; he is still an incredible rider and and can do things on the bike that I can never dream of. Doping is the wrong message and a doper is a bad role model, but what about Michael Vick.

While Vino's career and perhaps even his future in the world of cycling is over. It'll be telling to see when Vick is allowed to start playing again and when his endorsements will fall back into line. Playing time this season would certainly not surprise me.

Along another vein, Mike over at GamJams.com had an interesting take on the possible fall out from the latest tour disaster. While it sounds rosey and great I think I'd have to lean towards the ideas of my club that less is better, even if we all wish we could get the same great deals on our gear a lot of the other clubs get.

On the other hand I would think with a drop off in sponsorship of pro racing there will be less money to go around no matter what the marketers want. The following drop off in interest in bike racing, which of course has already started, will only lead to a drop off in sales for the companies that were sponsoring it. Those Lance wanna be "Fred's"

The guy on the Colnago, which probably should be recycled to an owner who will ride the thing hard and fast, like it deserves to be ridden, will have the highest end Campy special edition gear that he could afford, based on the sale of his eldest child’s kidney, or a little bit of creative billing to one of his more unwary clients.

everyone loves to complain about make the sponsorships possible. Not saying these guys don't suck to deal with sometimes, but we should be thankful to them for at least supporting the sport and bike riding in general. I'll cheer for them over Michael Vick or massive gas guzzling SUV's any day. Shoot, I'd rather cheer for them rather then half the doped professional athletes America has to offer. These guys get away with it because the governing bodies believe/know it's good for the sport (or at least it's popularity) to let the power hitters dope and build excitement. I mean what reasonable SUV driving, overly self indulgent, super size eating slob wants to see a game where it's all natural; no home runs? c'mon now that's just boring. Just imagine all the records lost, and shucks, we'd have to be in awe still of Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth. Where's the fun in that?

Apparently the French Media and the and the rest of the drug busters crew don't give a damn about America's (or Germany's for that matter) interest in cycling.

Sorry, the bumbling rant is now finished.


Freewheel said...

I hope all pro sports will raise their standards. Baseball and cycling have lost a lot of credibility. As for Vick, I hope he sees some jail time.

KMAX said...

Yeah, they've got to do one thing or another. This limbo s*&$ is for the birds.

I would love to see Vick banned from football; Pete Rose did very little comparatively and they still won't excuse him.