Oprah and Lance Dance
Like some of you, I tuned in to the first night of Oprah Winfrey‘s two-part interview with disgraced cycling champion Lance Armstrong. Thanks to the breaking-news-before-it-breaks media, I already knew he had confessed to doping during his celebrated career and seven Tour de France victories, all of which had already been stripped by the sport’s governing body.
I just wanted to hear him say it after a decade of straight-faced lying. And he did, but it was even more anticlimactic than I originally expected.
And honestly, that’s when I should have changed the channel.
For the next hour and a half, Oprah struggled to open up the shamed athlete as he danced around topics, spoke in vague generalities and basically pushed an “everyone was doing it” agenda on her, his accusers and his millions of disappointed fans.
Sure, Lance fessed up to things and tried not to implicate others, but to me it seemed like nothing more than a sad attempt to convince us all that he now accepted full responsibility for his actions. We’re talking about someone who not only lied to his family, friends and fans, but also misled investigators, lawyers and all sorts of other officials. For years!
Lance even called his accusers liars and took them to court, all the while knowing that they were being truthful and he was not. I don’t know all the facts, but I can only assume some of his “targets” ended up paying for this privilege while Lance continued to rake in the cash.
It’s all pretty nauseating when you think about it.
Of course, I know a little about what Lance is going through and even wrote it about it recently in “Armstrong Finally Mans Up.” After you lie repeatedly, it continues to work and no one calls you on it, you start to really believe it. And believing it makes it even easier to lie the next time and the next time. It just snowballs until you either sustain it for life or finally come clean.
I give Lance credit for finally admitting to everything (sort of), but had this new evidence never been released, would he have been as quick to do so? In other words, if no one out there could prove that he doped and his reputation, popularity and bank account continued to grow, do you really think Lance would have said one word about all this?
Me, neither. And I think that’s what bothers me the most.
The second part of Oprah’s interview airs tonight on her OWN network… nice little play on words there… and against my better judgment, I will probably tune in. I’m expecting Lance to give more detail about his cheating and the process his team used all those years. And I’m sure he’ll continue to accept the blame for everything that happened, doing his best to seem emotional, repentant and honest.
But Lance said it for himself last night: there are people out there who won’t believe another word he says despite whether it’s true or not. And to be perfectly honest, I’m starting to feel like I’m one of them.
Posted on January 19, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged celebrities, commentary, current-events, Lance Armstrong, news, Oprah Winfrey, perspectives, sports, Use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.