Lance Armstrong was once viewed as a hero.
But now we know he was a cheating liar … and still is.
Armstrong should have been smart enough to watch his peers — as in other cheating liars — go through their own scandals and realize there’s a right and wrong way to handle your transgressions.
Barry Bonds, Pete Rose and Roger Clemens, each in his own way has demonstrated perfectly how not to handle crisis situations brought on by errors in judgment (polite way of saying they made stupid mistakes).
Armstrong could have handled his better than all three. As soon as the allegations came out, he could have admitted he cheated, pleading for sympathy because apparently almost every other cyclist was cheating too (and maybe past tense is the wrong tense to use here).
He could have admitted it was wrong and that he knew it, but the only way he could compete with the rest of the field was to “partake” in the same enhancements they did. He could have offered to surrender his seven Tour de France titles and every yellow jersey won during them. In fact, better yet, he could have insisted on doing so.
He could have used his humble admission of guilt as more firepower for why people should support his undeniably successful and important foundation. People still would have given generously, maybe even more. My guess is the bids would have been pretty high for those trophies.
After all, if there’s one thing we Americans are famous for, it’s forgiving individuals who admit their mistakes and actually appear to be truly sorry. It’s why television ratings soared when Tiger Woods returned and why Michael Vick is still a fan favorite. At least by non-dog lovers in Philadelphia.
But for Armstrong it’s now too late no matter how he handles this scandal going forward. To this day, Armstrong continues his denial despite all the evidence piled up against him like Pete Rose’s gambling sheets were him.
He could have been a hero twice, once on his bike and now off it. Instead, he’s just a cheating liar. (There’s no polite way to say that.)
He always has been … time will tell if he always will be.
-- Ozzie Guillen is the happiest man alive. He has the next three years off and will be paid $7.5 million to shoot off his mouth to anyone who will listen. His first call should be to Bobby Valentine. After all, without Valentine destroying the Red Sox, Guillen would go down as one of the worst hires ever.
A nice gesture for Guillen would be to send Valentine a year’s supply of sushi, or maybe fried chicken and beer.
The two ex-managers do have one thing in common – slinging insults. Valentine at his players; Guillen at entire cultures.
-- I bet Hunter Pence wishes he was still in Philadelphia listening to boos. If he was, he’d be able to play golf every day instead of having to prepare for World Series games. Poor guy.
-- Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma wants the rims lowered, claiming women would have more success when shooting, which would speed up the game up and ultimately make it more exciting. I guess it can’t hurt.
-- Ice hockey in Brooklyn would be like bobsledding in Jamaica. Oh, wait.
-- David Stern announced he is retiring as commissioner in 2014. The NBA fans will see him as the best thing to happen to their game. The college fans will accuse him of ruining theirs.
OVERTIME: The center position has been removed from the NBA All-Star ballot and instead fans can vote for three frontcourt players. That brings up a great question: If Wilt Chamberlain was “just” a frontcourt player and not a center, would he have scored as often as he did? The term “center” sounds much more impressive to the ladies.
Reach Jon Buzby at JonBuzby@hotmail.com and follow him @JonBuzby on Twitter.755187