I never did get caught up in the Lance Armstrong story. I guess competitive biking really didn't turn me on. The fact that he has "come clean" on doping is really no surprise-how could it be at this point in our history? 2013 is one of those anniversary years, but this one is big. This year marks the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination. I bring that up because it's a good time to see where America has been and gone to over this very historic period of time. Speaking of lies and deceit, it's been a busy 50 years. Another key event this year was the fact that no baseball players were elected to the Hall of Fame. That's because potential nominees were all busted or at least, seriously accused of doping. The one-time spotless record of athletes we remember as kids, is all but gone. Armstrong had long been accused of doping by his peers, but he seemed to fly above it all, until recently. Now he's done his obligatory confessional to Oprah (another superstar I was never really impressed with) and he's doing that interview over two nights! How much can you testify? Did you take enhancing drugs? Yes? Okay-interview finished. I guess Oprah wants or needs to drain every last molecule out of this to gain some traction for her struggling network. I saw some of the key clips from the interview and it more than satisfied what little curiosity I had for this overly promoted story.
After Clemons, McGuire, Sosa, and whoever else has confessed over the past few years, I'm growing bored with it all. I guess I'm a bit jaded, but have come to realize we humans are all potential liars or dope addicts. We generally either begin that trip in denial and at some point confess as Armstrong has. Maybe it's better like this than wallow in the absurd hero worship we all did as kids back in the innocent days of the early 1960s. Even for many of us baby boomers, John F. Kennedy was a true hero. Later of course, we found out he did his share of drugs (although he did have his share of infirmities) and he messed around with plenty of women, including a mobster's gal pal. JFK was killed so his day of atonement never came, but his popularity remains. His early and violent death may have sealed his popular place in history. We should all learn or teach the young people of today about human frailty and that not too many humans are worthy of worship. It may be a better idea to wait for a time after an athlete or politician's career is over before we go naming streets or buildings, or anything else after them. I'm from Cincinnati, Ohio, home of Pete Rose. Rose was banned from baseball for gambling and may never get into the Hall of Fame. I think what he did doesn't rate as high as doping, but he refused to admit what he did for so long. He's not the greatest human being either, but the Hall is not meant for saints-just great ball players. Cincinnati did name a street after Pete, and did so before his downfall.
Lance Armstrong will continue his public rehabilitation project and most likely get a book and movie deal out of his scandal. Richard Nixon made a deal with David Frost, and made a quick million from his confessional interviews. He wrote plenty of books, and there were a couple of movies made about this habitual liar. He too was not a very nice man, to put it mildly. Teach your kids about hero worship before the next idol gets exposed for less than ideal behavior. Nobody's perfect is the life lesson here, and if we baby boomers haven't learned that after witnessing the past 50 years, then we're just plain ignorant. I still like and admire JFK and the possibilities he brought to America. There are still some lessons learned from my long ago childhood that I still hold on to, but hero worship isn't really one of them.