Monday, May 23, 2011

Lance Armstrong Has Been Given a Pass Because of Cancer

So following last night's 60 Minutes, in which Lance Armstrong's former teammate Tyler Hamilton claimed the 7 time Tour de France winner was in fact using PEDs while competing, yours truly took to twitter and wrote the following: The only reason Lance Armstrong was given the benefit of the doubt by the general public, is because he had cancer.

There were a few who took exception to these sad but true comments, and I defended what I said, reiterating that I didn't say I felt him to be guilty of these allegations, but simply that the general public wasn't scrutinizing Armstrong as strongly as other athletes, because of the fact that he's a cancer survivor, and he's the face of the "Live Strong" motto.

Fast forward to today both in print and on the telly, The Nation's Dave Zirin on ESPN's Outside the Lines said, "Armstrong needs to be looked at differently, because of the work he's done for cancer."

In his column, Zirin says in part that Armstrong- in his defenders, "has an army (of cancer survivors)." Zirin, who comes off as a Armstrong defender, even goes as far to say that the Federal Government should drop the investigation, and allow the cycling community to police its own with a commissioner and union.

Whether or not Armstrong took drugs and got away with it will remain to be seen. I understand he has an impeccable record when it comes to passing the tests administered to him. I simply think that you are quite the naive one, if you think that (up until this point) he hasn't been given the benefit of the doubt by the general public, because of his survival of cancer, and the hundreds of millions of dollars he's helped raised subsequently.

Its not a knock on Armstrong, and his iconic American Hero image, and I'm not trying to be insensitive to cancer survivors, as I have a mother who is one herself. But if the guy was doping- cancer or no cancer, and there seems to be a lot of chatter that he was, as in "testimony to a grand jury chatter"-then he needs to be held accountable for his actions, just like every other cheat who compromises the integrity of the sport they play.

Follow on twitter @sportsyack @judgepatrick @beav4666

Picture courtesy of Richard Masoner via Flickr

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Joke That Has Become UMD Athletics

In less than 6 months, University of Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson has taken a dump all over himself, when it comes to the handling of a head coach turnover.

First it was Head Football Coach Ralph Friedgen, who quickly became a member of the "What Have You Done For Me Lately?" Club this past December, when the Nutty Professor- Terps AD Kevin Anderson, issued Friedgen his walking papers, just a month after Anderson gave Friedgen his endorsement.

"Based largely on the improved performance of our team and student-athletes this season, Coach Friedgen will be our head football coach next year," Anderson said. (Via SB Nation, November 18, 2010)

Then just a month later, Friedgen was out and UConn's Randy Edsall was hired. This was only after Anderson's first choice, Mike Leach, basically told Anderson, "thanks, but no thanks", or Anderson underestimated Leach's still ongoing legal "issues" with ESPN. It was probably a combination of both.

Fast forward to now, following the drama that was the most over-hyped, overrated, division 1 coach retirement in college basketball history (Gary Williams Court... Are you fucking kidding me?), the Nutty Professor has done it again.

Putting the cart before the horse once again, and convincing hundreds of local media "in the know" on twitter, that Arizona's Sean Miller was going to be the next coach to hopefully lead the Terps to a Final Four, it turns out Sean Miller isn't the guy.

Ladies and gentlemen, Mark Turgeon. Wha-wha-what???...

You remember back in the day, lets say, when you were in college, and you were anticipating a certain party all week, because the hot chick in your English class was going to be there. And she'd been giving you the vibe all week, that you were going to absolutely hammer that thing? And then Friday comes around, you're at the party, but she ends up banging someone on the football team, and you end up with a "5" who gives you possibly the worst hand job in the history of hand jobs, to the point where you're chaffing blood through your underwear?

That "5" who gave you that bad hand job- Mark Turgeon.

So spare me the, "one of the first phone calls I made" bullshit, Kevin. Mark Turgeon was most likely not on your immediate radar. And this marks the second time in less than 6 months, that you've botched a coaching turnover, the first of which, was about as classless as it gets.

You didn't get your guy, Kevin. Twice. And we're not sure if the 'naming the basketball court for Gary Williams' move was a last minute decision or not- you know, to distract the common man from the abortions that you'd performed lately, but we think that's laughable too, because we're not common.

Gary's 461 wins and his early 2000's were impressive, but his last 8 years or so were not. And naming courts and fields for coaches should be reserved for perennial winners and multiple championship holders, you know, for guys like Lombardi, Wooden, and need I say it...Krzyzewski?

So congratulations, Twerp fans. You've gotten the "5" twice now. Maybe if your A.D wasn't such a dick, and maybe if you, as fans, would show more support (in person), instead of boo-hooing a day late and a dollar short, when guys like Friedgen and Williams are deep 6'd, your school and athletic program wouldn't look like some science project that a young Dan Snyder might've done back in high school.

**Update** Tuesday afternoon, May 23rd via Twitter, Eric Bickel of the Sports Junkies tweeted information Lurch had obtained through one of his multiple "sources". According to Lurch/EB:

*Maryland's first choice to replace Gary Williams was Anthony Grant from Alabama. That Grant was indeed offered the job, but turned it down after the tornadoes ripped through that area. (in Alabama)

*When Wally Judge visited Maryland prior to transferring to Rutgers, some of Wally Judge's advisers were trying to tell Gary Williams how to "coach up" Judge to the next level, and that Williams didn't take too kindly to this, having a 'blowup' about it.

Fear the turtle.

Follow on twitter @sportsyack @judgepatrick @beav4666

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