Free Associating on a Monday Morning

Why has the nature of my fandom changed?

UNC lost to Duke in a football game Saturday night and I feel fine.

I am not the same kind of fan I was 10 years ago.  Not that I do not still love the sports and teams I follow, but I do not have the same emotional reactions to the games.

Like many fans, when my beloved alma mater lost it used to affect me emotionally for at least a couple of days.  Saturday the game ended with Duke scoring a last second touchdown and I was not fine with it, but I moved on pretty quickly.

Before you say, “It’s UNC football.  Of course you don’t really care,” I will say I had the same reaction to some of last year’s basketball games.

Is it that I’ve gotten older and more mature?  Have the years of accumulated scandals finally worn me down?

Speaking of which, here is an interesting article about Lance Armstrong.

I may have said this before, but I am not as aggrieved about Lance Armstrong as others.  I agree that the UCI has the right to hand out what ever punishment it deems fit because he broke their rules egregiously and was caught.  He is just another athlete to be caught using illegal performance enhancement measures.

Where Armstrong is different however, is that he started to believe his own bullshit.  If all he conman/heist movies from the last 15 years have taught us anything it is this:  everyone has to know their role.  Armstrong forgot his.

Instead of being the great athlete who not only survived cancer, but used his survival as a spring board to become the best in his sport, he started thinking of himself as some kind if messianic figure.

He started to believe that the UCI and the Tour de France looking the other way was some kind of divine approval of his actions that would allow him to do whatever he wanted.  That delusional arrogance led him to keep screwing over people who thought they were his friends.  In the end Frankie Andreu, Tyler Hamilton, Floyd Landis, and finally George Hincapie all turned on Lance. He was betrayed by those who felt betrayed.  You always take care of your people.

As Mike Ehrmantraut tried to explain to Walt and Lydia in this season’s Breaking Bad, you always take care of your people because when things go sideways, they are the ones how will bury you.  Of course, Walt killed Mike and all of Mike’s guys.  So there is that.

Lance built his reputation on being a holier than thou cancer survivor and athlete.  When he was found to have betrayed that reputation by using performance enhancers he was faced with two choices:  1) Admit it and fall on the mercy of public opinion, 2) Obstinately fight it and accuse anyone questioning his purity as a heretic.  He chose to fight the heretics.  Now, he has no reputation, fewer friends, and a dwindling number of believers.

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One Response to “Free Associating on a Monday Morning”

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