“Oh boy! Now I’ve heard it all… Because Soames muscled his way into authority, he’s a good guy, huh? Pal, Hitler was the “boss” of Germany, remember? And there was Genghis Khan, Nero… Throughout history, cheap punks have made themselves leaders! Regardless of their titles, they were still cheap punks!”â€” Green Arrow, Green Arrow / Green Lantern #77
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Lance Armstrong built this previouslyÂ impenetrable wall around himself which stymied any attempt to burst his bubble. He was after all a cancer survivor and raised millions for this worthy cause. This guy would tell anybody who would listen that he never cheated on his chosen sport. He made millions in endorsements and was lovedÂ by millions, even Sheryl Crow. His philanthropicÂ work affordedÂ him a legion ofÂ defenders. The sentiment more or lessÂ being “Don’t pick on Lance, he has helped so many with cancer fund raising.” Make a long story short, Lance wanted everybody to believe for years that he was consistently winning in a sport fairly even though his competitors were all cheating. On that premise alone he looked like a fool. Still, the world in general does not really care about competitive cycling. Not the way they care about World Cup or Formula One racing. Many people can not name annual cycling events beyond the Tour De France.
Let’s say for argument’s sakeÂ that Armstrong’s cheating is justified if you consider the boost cancer research got. What many people do not take into account including myself before this week was Armstrong’s blatant abuse of his stature to get what he wants and to squash his rivals in very petty yet very significant life altering ways.Â All because they dared poke holes in the Lance Empire.Â People whoÂ poked Â holes by way of telling the truth.
Incidents as listed by Dan Wetzel in his opinion piece Lance Armstrong’s doping admission: Questions Oprah should have askedÂ Â include:
1) Frankie & Betsy Andreu. Frankie was a teammate of Armstrong and Betsy is Frankie’s wife. Betsy swore under oath that in 1996 Armstrong admitted to a doctor that he used drugs not approved by the governing body of his sport. Armstrong respondedÂ by calling the couple “vindictive, bitter, vengeful and jealous.” . Betsy also stated that she was left a voicemail by one of Armstrong’s entourage expressing a wish of permanent bodily harm.
2) Emma O’Reilly was hiredÂ by Armstrong’s cycling team to massageÂ it’sÂ members after events. She previously told investigators what she knew about drug use among the team and for her efforts was slandered by the powerful Armstrong. Lance took advantage of his expensive lawyers to sue her (it would have costÂ Â Â Ms. O’Reilly many times her annual salaryÂ to muster any kind of Â defense) Â as well as spread stories that she was an alcoholic professional sex provider.
3) Armstrong cut off the earning power of his predecessor Greg Lemond. Another American who won the Tour De France several times. He did it by again throwing his weight around and throwing mud at Lemond’sÂ reputation. When you are making a career as a spokesperson reputation is everything. Lemond’sÂ crime? He once asked the following hypothetical question: “If Lance’s story (surviving cancer and still winning races) is true, it’s the greatest comeback in the history of sport. If it’s not, it’s the greatest fraud.” He did not even make an accusation but gave an either/or scenario.
Armstrong did not take his tale of “contrition and revelation” to the New York Times, 60 Minutes, ESPN, Sports Illustrated or any other host of investigative journalists. He took it to Oprah. Sorry Oprah fans but I was never one of you. As Wetzel says in his piece, he wished that Oprah would ask Lance ” Why are you doing this with me, Oprah Winfrey? I’m not known for my cycling knowledge or for pointed follow-up questions or my investigative journalistic skills. In fact, it’s the opposite. “. You may hear Dan Wetzel himself voice these concerns on the SVP & Russillo podcast dated Jan 15 2013. Guaranteed you will get a different perspective than what Oprah’s audience got.
I can see some parallels to everybody’s favorite yellow president. Armstrong got to where he is by competingÂ . He was already very good in cycling but it seems like he was even better at cheating in cycling. Among a sport known for cheating, he cheated the best. His appeal was further boosted by a chance timing. He was able to survive cancer and then resume winning at cycling. NoynoyÂ Aquino on the other hand was boosted to where he is because of chance timing of his mom’s death.
A true sign of one’s strength is how good they feel about themselves. People like this know where their strength comes from andÂ are not threatened by others opinions. Of course this only works if the person is truly self-made and has a solid foundation propping them up. Armstrong’s career as a cyclist and personality was a house of cards made possible by illegal drugs. Anybody that threatened to expose him, he dealt with. Since he is the one with the power, fame and wealth he won until now. For someone who has a public image of helping a lot of people he sure allegedly comes across as a cheap punk.
NoynoyÂ Aquino does not even have a history of winning to back him up. Take away his last name and what do you have? He won the election in 2010 and that is a fact. What I will suggest is that NoynoyÂ did not win the election out of respect but he won it out of pity.Â Nobody marvelled at Noynoy’s body of work. The nation was grieving his mother. He played the Mommy card for all it was worth. In this country that was good enough to get more votes than anybody else. Once in power just like Lance Armstrong declared people as ” vindictive, bitter, vengeful, prostitutes and jealous”.Â NoynoyÂ believed he had the gift to declare the outcome of guilt and innocence before the conclusion ofÂ any due process. He flexed his power since he is the big fish and thereby removing any sort of objectivity from the system. As shownÂ withÂ Grace PadacaÂ Â , Renato CoronaÂ , Rico PunoÂ , Gloria ArroyoÂ and others. He wants us to believe that their guilt or innocence in relation to their political opposition/ political alignment to him is merely a coincidence. Lance Armstrong wanted us to believe in a dirty sport he beat everybody by staying clean. Is it just me or did both resort to bullying to keep their weak foundations built on by chance from collapsing?
There is a notion that power does not cause corruption but reveals it. Lance Armstrong and NoynoyÂ Aquino. Two prominent men that both acquired immense power through serendipity. Based on what they both did with that immense power, the similarities do not stop there.
Putting a very sharp needle into the balloon known as Pinoy Pride since 2012.