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Steve
July 26th 03, 04:51 PM
Excerpts from King Kaufman's column in Salon -

I think the Tour de France leaves Americans cold because it is almost
perfectly antithetical to the American character.

It's all very sporting and civilized and everything, and while I find
that sort of cooperation heartwarming and admirable, it's also as
foreign to me as a Martian soil sample.

If I'm Ullrich, and I'm 67 seconds behind with four days to make up
that time, I'm not giving up two of those days. I don't know anyone
who would. Especially since Armstrong has never lost that final
Saturday time trial since he started winning this thing.

It sounds nice, riding together, agreeing not to bust out of the pack
to try to gain an advantage, but dude, if I can make up even 10
seconds today and 10 tomorrow, I'm only 47 seconds down going into
that all-important time trial. I'll take my chances. Maybe without a
truce Armstrong would blow me away, but at least I'd go down fighting.

And when my closest rival hits the deck and has to spend a minute
getting untangled from that spectator who got in his way, well, sorry
pal, but I'm turning on the jets.

I don't think I'm a bad guy. I think I'm in the absolute dead-center
mainstream of American thought here. This is the national character
speaking. I think that down in our bones, most of us can't fathom this
business of gentlemanliness and sportsmanship. For better or worse,
here's the American way to compete: Try to knock the other guy down,
and if you succeed, put your boot on his neck and keep it there until
he cries uncle.

And if you see his wallet while he's down there, take it.

Sportsmanship means helping him up after you've cleaned his clock.
Before then, it can be summed up in these three words: Don't cheat
blatantly.

Americans care about Lance Armstrong because he's a celebrity. He's a
great story, a cancer survivor who's a magnificent champion. But we
don't care about him as an athlete. When his run ends, the Tour de
France will lose most of what little interest it holds in this country
until or unless another American rises up to dominate it. I think
that's neither a good or bad thing, but just the way things are.

It just doesn't speak to us.

The Causey Way
July 26th 03, 06:40 PM
"Steve" > wrote in message
...
>
> Excerpts from King Kaufman's column in Salon -
>
> I don't think I'm a bad guy. I think I'm in the absolute dead-center
> mainstream of American thought here. This is the national character
> speaking. I think that down in our bones, most of us can't fathom this
> business of gentlemanliness and sportsmanship. For better or worse,
> here's the American way to compete: Try to knock the other guy down,
> and if you succeed, put your boot on his neck and keep it there until
> he cries uncle.

Something this knucle-dragger doesn't get is that waiting for your fallen
rival isn't just kissy-poo nice guy crap - it makes a better race. These are
tough guys that have ridden a long race and they want to win in a tough
competition with other tough guys, not by having their win handed to them on
a silver platter. So Mr. "I'll knock you down and take your wallet" is
another red-neck jerk who pretends he knows what being tough is all about,
but is really just a wimp talking trash.
I swear to god, I used to be a white American, but I gave it up for the sake
of humanity.

Rivermist
July 26th 03, 07:03 PM
troll

"Steve" > wrote in message
...
>
> Excerpts from King Kaufman's column in Salon -
>
> I think the Tour de France leaves Americans cold because it is almost
> perfectly antithetical to the American character.
>
> It's all very sporting and civilized and everything, and while I find
> that sort of cooperation heartwarming and admirable, it's also as
> foreign to me as a Martian soil sample.
>
> If I'm Ullrich, and I'm 67 seconds behind with four days to make up
> that time, I'm not giving up two of those days. I don't know anyone
> who would. Especially since Armstrong has never lost that final
> Saturday time trial since he started winning this thing.
>
> It sounds nice, riding together, agreeing not to bust out of the pack
> to try to gain an advantage, but dude, if I can make up even 10
> seconds today and 10 tomorrow, I'm only 47 seconds down going into
> that all-important time trial. I'll take my chances. Maybe without a
> truce Armstrong would blow me away, but at least I'd go down fighting.
>
> And when my closest rival hits the deck and has to spend a minute
> getting untangled from that spectator who got in his way, well, sorry
> pal, but I'm turning on the jets.
>
> I don't think I'm a bad guy. I think I'm in the absolute dead-center
> mainstream of American thought here. This is the national character
> speaking. I think that down in our bones, most of us can't fathom this
> business of gentlemanliness and sportsmanship. For better or worse,
> here's the American way to compete: Try to knock the other guy down,
> and if you succeed, put your boot on his neck and keep it there until
> he cries uncle.
>
> And if you see his wallet while he's down there, take it.
>
> Sportsmanship means helping him up after you've cleaned his clock.
> Before then, it can be summed up in these three words: Don't cheat
> blatantly.
>
> Americans care about Lance Armstrong because he's a celebrity. He's a
> great story, a cancer survivor who's a magnificent champion. But we
> don't care about him as an athlete. When his run ends, the Tour de
> France will lose most of what little interest it holds in this country
> until or unless another American rises up to dominate it. I think
> that's neither a good or bad thing, but just the way things are.
>
> It just doesn't speak to us.
>

Ruger9
July 26th 03, 08:13 PM
On Sat, 26 Jul 2003 15:51:39 GMT, Steve > wrote:

>Excerpts from King Kaufman's column in Salon -


Well, there's your whole problem right there.

Ruger9

Joe Potter
July 26th 03, 08:25 PM
Steve wrote:

>
> Excerpts from King Kaufman's column in Salon -
>
> I think the Tour de France leaves Americans cold because it is almost
> perfectly antithetical to the American character.
> ...
>

He has a point. No women or children died of "collateral damage" in the
whole damn race. So, what good is it?

All this wasted energy, when they could be off killing poor little brown
kids in far-away lands on the theory that someday in the far future they
*might* find a way to hurt "real Americans".



--
Regards, Joe

Michael
July 26th 03, 08:37 PM
"Joe Potter" > wrote in message
om...
> Steve wrote:
>
> >
> > Excerpts from King Kaufman's column in Salon -
> >
> > I think the Tour de France leaves Americans cold because it is almost
> > perfectly antithetical to the American character.
> > ...
> >
>
> He has a point. No women or children died of "collateral damage" in the
> whole damn race. So, what good is it?
>
> All this wasted energy, when they could be off killing poor little brown
> kids in far-away lands on the theory that someday in the far future they
> *might* find a way to hurt "real Americans".
>

He does have a point. I can't think of another American sport where
you help your opponent when he or she is down so it will be a fair
competition.

M.

M. Barbee
July 26th 03, 08:49 PM
"Steve" > wrote in message
...
>
> And when my closest rival hits the deck and has to spend a minute
> getting untangled from that spectator who got in his way, well, sorry
> pal, but I'm turning on the jets.
<snipped a lot>

There was a live online chat with Sally Jenkins on the Washingtonpost.com on
Friday 7/25. Here's the link:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A41917-2003Jul24.html

There were some good questions and several innocent questions displaying the
general ignorance about cycling here in the US. One kind of mirrored the
attitude displayed above and I think she answered it nicely. Here's the
question and the answer.


" Arlington, Va.: Lance is a great story but I don't get the sport. What is
the point of having a team when the winners of stages and the tour are
individuals? If someone crashes, fairly or unfairly, why on earth would his
competitors stop to let him recover?

Sally Jenkins: They stop to let the leader recover because in a race of two
thousand miles and three weeks and all that suffering, it's unthinkable to
the competitors that the stupidity of a spectator who won't get out of the
road should determine the outcome of the race. The cyclists want the
strongest man to win. Not the luckiest. They HATE luck. "

It's not sportsman like to beat up on your opponent when they are down.
Even boxing has rules for this. I don't know the rules for real wrestling,
but I know there's certain parts of each other's body they avoid. Of
course, if you opponent is out for good, you go ahead and take your win, but
winning by default can't be as satisfying as beating a healthy and worthy
opponent. I think it is sad if it has become American to do whatever
possible to make the contest unfair.

Zoot Katz
July 26th 03, 10:57 PM
Sat, 26 Jul 2003 17:21:57 -0400,
>, David Kerber
> wrote:

>> He does have a point. I can't think of another American sport where
>> you help your opponent when he or she is down so it will be a fair
>> competition.
>
>Soccer has this tradition, including in the MLS and WUSA.

AFAIK, Soccer isn't really considered an "American" sport until you
get into South America.

I've seen basketball players help their opponents back to their feet
after they've inadvertently knocked them down. But, then again,
basketball was a Canadian invention.

Polo, another un-American sport, is based on mutual respect.

Motorsport has its yellow flag that, when held stationary, indicates
no overtaking. Yankees are big on motorsport but they didn't invent it
either. It's French.
--
zk

Zoot Katz
July 26th 03, 11:00 PM
Sat, 26 Jul 2003 19:49:21 GMT,
>, "M. Barbee"
> wrote:

> I think it is sad if it has become American to do whatever
>possible to make the contest unfair.

I think it's morally repugnant.

http://www.news24.com/News24/Sport/More_Sport/0,,2-9-32_1350219,00.html

<quoted>
Sports Illustrated and the Orange County Register newspaper named him
(Carl Lewis) as one of more than 100 United States athletes allowed to
enter international competitions after allegedly failing doping tests.

The allegations came in documents released by former US Olympic
Committee anti-doping official, Dr Wade Exum.

According to Exum's documents, Lewis was one of three eventual gold
medallists who tested positive for banned stimulants at the 1988
Olympic trials in Indianapolis. It was claimed Lewis gave three urine
samples containing pseudoephedrine, ephedrine and phenylpropanolamine.

Joe DeLoach, who won the 200m, and Andre Phillips, who won the 400m
hurdles, in the Seoul Olympics also tested positive for a banned
stimulant in 1988.

None was prevented from competing after the US Olympic Committee
determined they had ingested the substances inadvertently.
</quoted>

Thereby quashing an inquiry.
--
zk

Eric S. Sande
July 26th 03, 11:05 PM
>It's French.

Sportsmanship is universal. It's just hard to see in American
contact sports, the action is too fast.

--

_______________________ALL AMIGA IN MY MIND_______________________
------------------"Buddy Holly, the Texas Elvis"------------------

Zoot Katz
July 26th 03, 11:17 PM
Sat, 26 Jul 2003 18:05:47 -0400, >, "Eric
S. Sande" > wrote:

>>It's French.
>
>Sportsmanship is universal. It's just hard to see in American
>contact sports, the action is too fast.
>
Motor racing, while fast, is ideally a non-contact sport.
--
zk

Joe Potter
July 26th 03, 11:48 PM
Zoot Katz wrote:

> Sat, 26 Jul 2003 18:05:47 -0400, >, "Eric
> S. Sande" > wrote:
>
>>>It's French.
>>
>>Sportsmanship is universal. It's just hard to see in American
>>contact sports, the action is too fast.
>>
> Motor racing, while fast, is ideally a non-contact sport.


NASCAR would die if the fans did not see plenty of "contact" !!


--
Regards, Joe

Zoot Katz
July 27th 03, 12:48 AM
Sat, 26 Jul 2003 17:38:10 -0500,
>, Kevan Smith
/\/\> wrote:

>On Sat, 26 Jul 2003 19:37:31 GMT, "Michael" > from
>wrote:
>
>>He does have a point. I can't think of another American sport where
>>you help your opponent when he or she is down so it will be a fair
>>competition.
>
>Ultimate. Not that many people have heard of it, but there ya go.

"There are only 3 real sports: bull-fighting, car racing and mountain
climbing. All the others are mere games." Hemingway
--
zk

Brian Huntley
July 27th 03, 01:18 AM
Zoot Katz wrote:
> Sat, 26 Jul 2003 18:05:47 -0400, >, "Eric
> S. Sande" > wrote:
>
>
>>>It's French.
>>
>>Sportsmanship is universal. It's just hard to see in American
>>contact sports, the action is too fast.
>>
>
> Motor racing, while fast, is ideally a non-contact sport.

Did you hear what Robin Williams said on OLN today about the crashes
inthe tour? Somehting like "It's NASCAR without the explosions!"

Slider2699
July 27th 03, 02:24 AM
"Steve" > wrote in message
...
>
> Excerpts from King Kaufman's column in Salon -
>
> I think the Tour de France leaves Americans cold because it is almost
> perfectly antithetical to the American character.
>

This guy is totally wrong. Athletes in American sports used to exhibit the
same spirit of fair play and sportsmanship. There was a time when a
linebacker helped the QB up after a sack. Now the linebacker celebrates
while the QB is down. Basketball players used to score without the "in your
face" actions of today's players. I find the TdF to be uplifting, a reminder
of the beauty of sport. It's a shame that American sports have been reduced
to the unpleasant spectacle the author admires.

Robert Hampton
July 27th 03, 03:13 AM
Slider2699 wrote:
> "Steve" > wrote in message
> ...
>
>>Excerpts from King Kaufman's column in Salon -
>>
>>I think the Tour de France leaves Americans cold because it is almost
>>perfectly antithetical to the American character.
>
> This guy is totally wrong. Athletes in American sports used to exhibit the
> same spirit of fair play and sportsmanship. There was a time when a
> linebacker helped the QB up after a sack. Now the linebacker celebrates
> while the QB is down. Basketball players used to score without the "in your
> face" actions of today's players. I find the TdF to be uplifting, a reminder
> of the beauty of sport. It's a shame that American sports have been reduced
> to the unpleasant spectacle the author admires.

Helping your opponent up after a sack is one thing and many still do it.
The tight end slowing down when his pursuer trips and falls will never
happen. There's a big difference.

--
Robert Hampton
Genesis POS
http://www.genesispos.com
(866) 942-8813 Voice
(325) 942-8872 Fax

David L. Johnson
July 27th 03, 04:01 AM
On Sat, 26 Jul 2003 15:51:39 +0000, Steve wrote:

> I don't think I'm a bad guy. I think I'm in the absolute dead-center
> mainstream of American thought here. This is the national character
> speaking.

Bull****. Don't try to speak for me.

>*I think that down in our bones, most of us can't fathom this
> business of gentlemanliness and sportsmanship.

That would be your problem.

> It just doesn't speak to us.

And you do not speak for us.

--

David L. Johnson

__o | "What am I on? I'm on my bike, six hours a day, busting my ass.
_`\(,_ | What are you on?" --Lance Armstrong
(_)/ (_) |

David L. Johnson
July 27th 03, 04:04 AM
On Sat, 26 Jul 2003 14:27:32 +0000, Pat wrote:

> Henry, it's just his opinion: he is only saying how HE personally would
> react.

No, he's not. He is saying that his kick-'em-in-the-nuts-when-they're-down
attitude is "American", which I find repugnant.

--

David L. Johnson

__o | Deserves death! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve
_`\(,_ | death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to
(_)/ (_) | them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.
-- J. R. R. Tolkein

Terry Morse
July 27th 03, 02:36 PM
Steve wrote:

> And when my closest rival hits the deck and has to spend a minute
> getting untangled from that spectator who got in his way, well, sorry
> pal, but I'm turning on the jets.

You wouldn't last long in the peloton before you were eating chip
and seal, mister Salon Writer Guy. The pack has its own way of
dealing with those who break the code.
--
terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://www.terrymorse.com/bike/

Fred
July 27th 03, 03:48 PM
I'd consider moving, if I were you. I really despise Americans who fail to
appreciate what they have. Go live under a dictatorial regime or a third
world economy. I have. It will teach you a renewed appreciation for what
you have. It is not only a great country we have here but the absolute
best. Love it or leave it or change it but don't complain about it.

Fred

"Preston Crawford" > wrote in message
news:[email protected] prestoncrawford.com...
> On Sat, 26 Jul 2003 15:51:39 +0000, Steve wrote:
>
> > And if you see his wallet while he's down there, take it.
> >
> > Sportsmanship means helping him up after you've cleaned his clock.
> > Before then, it can be summed up in these three words: Don't cheat
> > blatantly.
>
> This is why I hate the culture of this country I live in. If it's not this
> it's yell at the cyclist because he's in your way and you're more
> important. Yell at the cashier because they're not fast enough and you're
> in a hurry. Step on anyone you can to get ahead.
>
> Great country we have here.
>
> Preston

Pat
July 27th 03, 04:00 PM
x-no-archive:yes

> > Henry, it's just his opinion: he is only saying how HE personally would
> > react.

>
> No, he's not. He is saying that his
kick-'em-in-the-nuts-when-they're-down
> attitude is "American", which I find repugnant.
>
> --
>
> David L. Johnson
>

And what from that article makes you think that those aren't his personal
beliefs? He is trying and convicting an entire nation based on an opinion
that he doesn't share? That's not logical. And, yes, not only is it
repugnant, but it is false.

Pat in TX

Pat
July 27th 03, 04:04 PM
x-no-archive:yes

>
> It's not sportsman like to beat up on your opponent when they are down.
> Even boxing has rules for this. I don't know the rules for real
wrestling,
> but I know there's certain parts of each other's body they avoid. Of
> course, if you opponent is out for good, you go ahead and take your win,
but
> winning by default can't be as satisfying as beating a healthy and worthy
> opponent. I think it is sad if it has become American to do whatever
> possible to make the contest unfair.

Well, you can rest easy, because it has NOT "become American to do whatever
possible to make the contest unfair." Sheesh! One hack writes such a thing
and that makes it fact? Get real!

Pat in TX
>
>
>

Pat
July 27th 03, 04:06 PM
x-no-archive:yes

>
> This is why I hate the culture of this country I live in. If it's not this
> it's yell at the cyclist because he's in your way and you're more
> important. Yell at the cashier because they're not fast enough and you're
> in a hurry. Step on anyone you can to get ahead.
>
> Great country we have here.
>
> Preston

Preston, you are making the same mistake that the Salon writer did: don't
generalize for the entire country, the entire culture. I don't know where
you live, but it is NOT representative of the entire country. Get a grip,
man!

Pat in TX.

Mark Hickey
July 27th 03, 04:27 PM
"Preston Crawford" > wrote:

>This is why I hate the culture of this country I live in. If it's not this
>it's yell at the cyclist because he's in your way and you're more
>important. Yell at the cashier because they're not fast enough and you're
>in a hurry. Step on anyone you can to get ahead.
>
>Great country we have here.

Sounds awful. I'm glad I don't live there.

Mark Hickey
Habanero Cycles
http://www.habcycles.com
Home of the $695 ti frame

Mark Jones
July 27th 03, 04:52 PM
"Pat" > wrote in message
...
> Preston, you are making the same mistake that the Salon writer did: don't
> generalize for the entire country, the entire culture. I don't know where
> you live, but it is NOT representative of the entire country. Get a grip,
> man!
Well said this is not the general situation for most parts of
the country. Just because some hack sports writer says
something does not make it true.

Luigi de Guzman
July 27th 03, 07:05 PM
"Fred" > wrote in message >...
> I'd consider moving, if I were you. I really despise Americans who fail to
> appreciate what they have. Go live under a dictatorial regime or a third
> world economy. I have. It will teach you a renewed appreciation for what
> you have. It is not only a great country we have here but the absolute
> best. Love it or leave it or change it but don't complain about it.
>
> Fred

Queries:

1) Is top-posting American?

2) If you don't complain, how do you change?

3) If going somewhere else doesn't cause you to question where you've
been, even a little bit, have you wasted your time?

-Luigi

homo sum; nil humanorum a me alienum puto

Hunrobe
July 27th 03, 10:41 PM
>"Preston Crawford"

wrote:

>This is why I hate the culture of this country I live in. If it's not this
>it's yell at the cyclist because he's in your way and you're more
>important. Yell at the cashier because they're not fast enough and you're
>in a hurry. Step on anyone you can to get ahead.

---snip---

Which "American culture" are you referring to? There is no single "American
culture", the country is just too darned big to allow that. Compare the
"culture" of Upper East Side New York with the "culture" of rural Mississippi,
the "culture" of the Upper Midwest, or the "culture" of the Mountain States.

---snip---

>Great country we have here.

>Preston

Lots of people all over the world seem to think so or we wouldn't have so many
immigrants.

Regards,
Bob Hunt

Dan Cosley
July 28th 03, 02:23 AM
In article >, Kevan Smith wrote:
> On Sun, 27 Jul 2003 16:10:04 -0700, Zoot Katz > from
> Balsa Pacific Aero Ltd. Engineering & Bicycle Mongery wrote:
>
>>Then other ones that later got invented, like Disc Golf, I'd also
>>consider American "sports"... thpttt!
>
> WE have some nice disc courses here. It's a nice pastime, but the
> athleticism is on a par with walking.

Play with time -- how fast can you finish the course? Just doing
that is pretty amusing. Then, if you're wanting to emphasize disc
golf skill, add on a certain number of seconds per throw.

Works better on courses with few people, but it doesn't take very
long to play through. :)

-- Dan

--
Dan Cosley * http://www.cs.umn.edu/~cosley/)
GroupLens Research Lab, Univ of MN (http://movielens.umn.edu/ * 612.624.8372)
*** Just a foot soldier in the Army of Truth ***

Zoot Katz
July 28th 03, 06:10 AM
Sun, 27 Jul 2003 19:39:17 -0400, >,
"Eric S. Sande" > wrote:

>>AFAIK, baggataway, called lacrosse by settlers, is the sport
>>indigenous to this continent. "Baggataway" translates as, "little
>>brother of war".
>
>I don't know what they called it but the Aztecs had something like
>arena handball. If you lost, well, you didn't get a comeback year.

Tlachtli.

The Maya played two main kinds of game: handball and "big ball". Their
"big ball" game had two main variations, that played by dynastic
rulers and that played by other members of the elite. Each variant
could be played using either stone yugos low around their waist or
wooden ball deflectors high on their chest. There seem to have been
three classes of "goals".
--
zk

R15757
July 28th 03, 06:47 AM
<< Something this knucle-dragger doesn't get is that waiting for your fallen
rival isn't just kissy-poo nice guy crap - it makes a better race. These are
tough guys that have ridden a long race and they want to win in a tough
competition with other tough guys, not by having their win handed to them on
a silver platter. So Mr. "I'll knock you down and take your wallet" is
another red-neck jerk who pretends he knows what being tough is all about,
but is really just a wimp talking trash. >>

Have to agree with this. In any case....

I don't think Ullrich was in a position to really punish Armstrong on the
climb, he already knew it, was relieved when Armstrong crashed simply because
it stopped the attack for a moment, not because Ullrich thought it might allow
him to escape. I dont think Ullrich would have attacked at that point even if
he felt good, but he seemed to be pretty cooked after an unsuccessful attack on
the previous climb and seemed resigned to follow. After LA wrecked the group's
pace hit a wall. Whether they were waiting or not until Hambone waved them
back is debatable. Jan's and the little group's subsequent performance to lose
less than a minute to LA was supremely bad-ass.

Columnist guy should have focused on another incident: the yellow jersey as
water-carrier. Strikingly un-American was the reaction to this controversy,
that having VHPena carry bottles was a disgrace to Tour tradition. Most of my
American friends thought this it was great that a guy would keep performing his
job like a freakin machine even when wearing the yellow. They didn't see
anything demeaning or disgraceful in it at all. But the Europeans seem quite
offended that Pena didnt prance around like a queen.

Robert

Art Winterbauer
July 28th 03, 05:58 PM
> Absolutely correct! And there is no way in hell that the "culture" of any
> other state is like that of Texas. Texas is different---and one reason is
> because it straddles between the "old South" and the "new West" areas of the
> country, a transition area as it were.


And as I vaguely recall from a linguistics course, that's even reflected in the dialects. East Texas dialects were more
"Southern" as in Mississippi and Alabama. West Texas dialects were from border states like Tennessee and Kentucky.

Just some more trivia....Art

Brent Hugh
July 29th 03, 03:29 AM
Steve > wrote in message >...
> Excerpts from King Kaufman's column in Salon -
>
> I think the Tour de France leaves Americans cold because it is almost
> perfectly antithetical to the American character.

A couple other published bits exploring this vein of "thought":

Lance Armstrong is a tremendous athlete, but not one of the all-time
greatest. Bo Jackson could smack a baseball 450 feet and treat Brian
Bosworth like a bug in the path of a H2 Hummer. Conversely, Armstrong
can climb a hill on a bike. The Texan is nearly superhuman when it
comes to riding a bike, but he doesn't belong in the pantheon of great
all-around sportsmen.

If the Tour de France took place during Week 6 of the NFL season
instead of in July, would anyone care about Lance Armstrong?

(Cecil County, MD, Whig,
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=9911741&BRD=1973&PAG=461&dept_id=177149&rfi=6
)

-------

Forget the fact that the riders in the Tour de France put in the
equivalent of a marathon every day for three weeks.

Forget the 12 million roadside revelers.

Forget the scenes of riders finishing above the clouds or rolling
through vineyards or the miles of fields of sunflowers.

The Tour rises above other sports spectacles because of its
sportsmanship. Perhaps that's one of the reasons its seems so hard for
the general American sports fan to open up and embrace.

(St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/sports/columnists.nsf/Kathleen+Nelson/0C2D418DC7B4874F86256D6F000B73C1?OpenDocument&highlight=2%2Cbike&headline=Good+sportsmanship+makes+Tour+unique
)

-------

--Brent
bhugh [at] mwsc.edu

Robin Hubert
July 29th 03, 04:16 AM
"Brent Hugh" > wrote in message
om...
> Steve > wrote in message
>...
> > Excerpts from King Kaufman's column in Salon -
> >
> > I think the Tour de France leaves Americans cold because it is almost
> > perfectly antithetical to the American character.
>
> A couple other published bits exploring this vein of "thought":
>
> Lance Armstrong is a tremendous athlete, but not one of the all-time
> greatest. Bo Jackson could smack a baseball 450 feet and treat Brian
> Bosworth like a bug in the path of a H2 Hummer. Conversely, Armstrong
> can climb a hill on a bike. The Texan is nearly superhuman when it
> comes to riding a bike, but he doesn't belong in the pantheon of great
> all-around sportsmen.
>
> If the Tour de France took place during Week 6 of the NFL season
> instead of in July, would anyone care about Lance Armstrong?
>
> (Cecil County, MD, Whig,
>
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=9911741&BRD=1973&PAG=461&dept_id=1
77149&rfi=6
> )
>
> -------
>
> Forget the fact that the riders in the Tour de France put in the
> equivalent of a marathon every day for three weeks.
>
> Forget the 12 million roadside revelers.
>
> Forget the scenes of riders finishing above the clouds or rolling
> through vineyards or the miles of fields of sunflowers.
>
> The Tour rises above other sports spectacles because of its
> sportsmanship. Perhaps that's one of the reasons its seems so hard for
> the general American sports fan to open up and embrace.

I would, but that's because I care squat about organized team sports such as
baseball, football, basketball, and hockey. Individualist sports such as
track and field and Bicycling get my attention, but then I don't care too
much for the complex "team" approach of professional bicycling either. I'd
like to see the TdF raced by individuals. Then we'd see the "real stuff".

>
> (St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
>
http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/sports/columnists.nsf/Kathleen+Nelson/0C2D4
18DC7B4874F86256D6F000B73C1?OpenDocument&highlight=2%2Cbike&headline=Good+sp
ortsmanship+makes+Tour+unique
> )
>

--
Robin Hubert >

Peter Gardner
July 29th 03, 04:27 AM
> I'd
> like to see the TdF raced by individuals. Then we'd see the "real stuff".

Even better: make them carry all their own gear, and camp out at night,
and cook their own food. That would be more fun anyway.

Peter

archer
July 29th 03, 01:28 PM
In article k.net>,
says...
>
> "Brent Hugh" > wrote in message
> om...
> > Steve > wrote in message
> >...
> > > Excerpts from King Kaufman's column in Salon -
> > >
> > > I think the Tour de France leaves Americans cold because it is almost
> > > perfectly antithetical to the American character.
> >
> > A couple other published bits exploring this vein of "thought":
> >
> > Lance Armstrong is a tremendous athlete, but not one of the all-time
> > greatest. Bo Jackson could smack a baseball 450 feet and treat Brian
> > Bosworth like a bug in the path of a H2 Hummer. Conversely, Armstrong
> > can climb a hill on a bike. The Texan is nearly superhuman when it
> > comes to riding a bike, but he doesn't belong in the pantheon of great
> > all-around sportsmen.
> >
> > If the Tour de France took place during Week 6 of the NFL season
> > instead of in July, would anyone care about Lance Armstrong?
> >
> > (Cecil County, MD, Whig,
> >
> http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=9911741&BRD=1973&PAG=461&dept_id=1
> 77149&rfi=6
> > )
> >
> > -------
> >
> > Forget the fact that the riders in the Tour de France put in the
> > equivalent of a marathon every day for three weeks.
> >
> > Forget the 12 million roadside revelers.
> >
> > Forget the scenes of riders finishing above the clouds or rolling
> > through vineyards or the miles of fields of sunflowers.
> >
> > The Tour rises above other sports spectacles because of its
> > sportsmanship. Perhaps that's one of the reasons its seems so hard for
> > the general American sports fan to open up and embrace.
>
> I would, but that's because I care squat about organized team sports such as
> baseball, football, basketball, and hockey. Individualist sports such as
> track and field and Bicycling get my attention, but then I don't care too
> much for the complex "team" approach of professional bicycling either. I'd
> like to see the TdF raced by individuals. Then we'd see the "real stuff".

Do every stage as a time-trial? That'd be interesting.


--
David Kerber
An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good
Lord, it's morning".

Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.

archer
July 29th 03, 01:31 PM
In article >,
says...
>
> "Brent Hugh" > wrote
> >
> > A couple other published bits exploring this vein of "thought":
> >
> > Lance Armstrong is a tremendous athlete, but not one of the all-time
> > greatest. Bo Jackson could smack a baseball 450 feet and treat Brian
> > Bosworth like a bug in the path of a H2 Hummer. Conversely, Armstrong
> > can climb a hill on a bike. The Texan is nearly superhuman when it
> > comes to riding a bike, but he doesn't belong in the pantheon of great
> > all-around sportsmen.
>
> Haha. Could Lance luck out and get a hit or two, and get on base during a
> whole baseball season? Probably. Could Bo Jackson or Brian Bosworth get
> better than last place overall on the TdF? Probably not.

I'll bet with a bit of training, Bo could. He would likely do rather
well in the sprints, since that's where he excelled. Brian Bosworth was
nowhere near the natural athlete Bo was.

.....

--
David Kerber
An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good
Lord, it's morning".

Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.

Pat
July 29th 03, 03:20 PM
x-no-archive:yes

> >
> > Haha. Could Lance luck out and get a hit or two, and get on base during
a
> > whole baseball season? Probably. Could Bo Jackson or Brian Bosworth get
> > better than last place overall on the TdF? Probably not.
>
> I'll bet with a bit of training, Bo could. He would likely do rather
> well in the sprints, since that's where he excelled. Brian Bosworth was
> nowhere near the natural athlete Bo was.
>
> ....
>
> --
> David Kerber

I am skeptical that Bo, with his tremendous bulk, could be a success at
riding a bike for a long distance--and even in the TdF the sprints are not
short events. For one thing, he'd probably chafe like crazy.

Pat in TX

Terry Morse
July 29th 03, 04:34 PM
> > Could Bo Jackson or Brian Bosworth get
> > better than last place overall on the TdF? Probably not.
>
> I'll bet with a bit of training, Bo could. He would likely do rather
> well in the sprints, since that's where he excelled. Brian Bosworth was
> nowhere near the natural athlete Bo was.

Even with a lot of training, Bo Jackson would never make it over the
hills in the Tour. He wouldn't make the time cut, unless he lost a
lot of weight. There is a reason why no pro cyclist weighs 225 lbs.
--
terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://www.terrymorse.com/bike/

archer
July 29th 03, 07:54 PM
In article >,
says...
> archer > wrote:
>
> says...
>
> >> Even with a lot of training, Bo Jackson would never make it over the
> >> hills in the Tour. He wouldn't make the time cut, unless he lost a
> >> lot of weight. There is a reason why no pro cyclist weighs 225 lbs.
> >
> >No way of proving it, of course, but I'll bet in his playing days he
> >could have finished the course with no problem (at least if there was a
> >bike strong enough for him). He had tremendous power in his legs, and is
> >one of the greatest natural athletes in the last 50 years.
>
> Which is a bit like saying that a dragster could finish the Daytona
> 500 because it has more horsepower. I can't see Bo surviving the
> mountains inside the cutoff time, unless he's hiding huge reserves of
> endurance, and that would be very rare for those who are the fastest
> sprinters in the world.

It takes a significant amount of endurance to play an entire NFL game at
running back, which he did at the very highest levels. He would need to
train for it of course, but I think he would have done ok.


--
David Kerber
An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good
Lord, it's morning".

Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.

archer
July 29th 03, 09:33 PM
In article >,
says...
> In article >, archer
> > wrote:
>
>
> >
> > It takes a significant amount of endurance to play an entire NFL game at
> > running back, which he did at the very highest levels. He would need to
> > train for it of course, but I think he would have done ok.
>
>
> oh please,
>
>
> dood you sure you don't want to re-consider the word "endurance." A
> running back plays only when the offense is on the field so thats one
> half of an hour. More than half of that time is spent in huddles. So,
> a running back spreads 10 minutes of exertion into 10 second blocks
> spread over two and one half hours with a 20 minute break in the
> middle.

So I exaggerated a bit <GGG>. But consider that that 10 minutes is spent
at maximum exertion level, wearing 20 lbs or more of padding, and that on
nearly every play, he is either being tackled, is running as a decoy for
another ball carrier, or is trying to knock down someone.


> It may be athletic but it AIN'T endurance.

You've obviously never played the game at an organized level. I have,
and I know how hard the players work in a game. If you think there's no
significant endurance requirement for playing football at a high level,
then there's probably nothing more I can say to convince you.


> At our Grand Tour ride this year 29 cyclists rode 300 miles in 24 hours
> (or less). THAT'S endurance.

Yes it is. That's pretty impressive.

--
David Kerber
An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good
Lord, it's morning".

Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.

Terry Morse
July 30th 03, 12:05 AM
archer wrote:

> > Even with a lot of training, Bo Jackson would never make it over the
> > hills in the Tour. He wouldn't make the time cut, unless he lost a
> > lot of weight. There is a reason why no pro cyclist weighs 225 lbs.
>
> No way of proving it, of course, but I'll bet in his playing days he
> could have finished the course with no problem (at least if there was a
> bike strong enough for him). He had tremendous power in his legs, and is
> one of the greatest natural athletes in the last 50 years.

But did Bo Jackson ever demonstrate any aerobic talent? Leg power
means nothing in cycling, at least not in a stage race. It's aerobic
power-to-weight ratio that gets those riders over multiple passes
per day within the cut-off time. Note the physiques of the pro
riders, lean to the extreme. That's no accident.
--
terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://www.terrymorse.com/bike/

Terry Morse
July 30th 03, 12:11 AM
archer wrote:

> It takes a significant amount of endurance to play an entire NFL game at
> running back, which he did at the very highest levels.

No, it doesn't. At least not the type of aerobic endurance required
for a stage race with huge mountain passes. Running back effort: 10
second sprint, 1 minute rest, repeat a few times, sit on a bench for
several minutes. He could have held his breath while the ball was in
play.

Now, had he been an elite soccer player, that would be a different
story. Those guys are aerobically strong.
--
terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://www.terrymorse.com/bike/

Stephen Harding
July 30th 03, 02:29 AM
archer wrote:

> In article >,
> says...
> > archer > wrote:
> >
> > says...
> > >> archer > wrote:
> >
> > >> >No way of proving it, of course, but I'll bet in his playing days he
> > >> >could have finished the course with no problem (at least if there was a
> > >> >bike strong enough for him). He had tremendous power in his legs, and is
> > >> >one of the greatest natural athletes in the last 50 years.
> > >>
> > >> Which is a bit like saying that a dragster could finish the Daytona
> > >> 500 because it has more horsepower. I can't see Bo surviving the
> > >> mountains inside the cutoff time, unless he's hiding huge reserves of
> > >> endurance, and that would be very rare for those who are the fastest
> > >> sprinters in the world.
> > >
> > >It takes a significant amount of endurance to play an entire NFL game at
> > >running back, which he did at the very highest levels. He would need to
> > >train for it of course, but I think he would have done ok.
> >
> > I dunno - how far does a running back run in the course of a game?
> > 300-400 yards? Double that? In the NFL, being able to do that
> > without popping a cork may be considered "endurance", but in the Tour,
> > it'll get you about halfway through the prologue.
>
> LOL! No, it's about 3 hrs of short sprints at 100% effort with 20 second
> rests between them, and a couple 80 yard runs thrown in there for good
> measure.

And then a full week to recover for the next installment of doing it again.

The TdF is just about every day. I think that can make a huge difference
in going the distance. Furthermore, the psychology of the event might be
more a factor than with other, shorter duration, sporting events.

I've come to think the TdF is one of the toughest tests of human sporting
activity to be found anywhere in the world, and for endurance type events,
usually the big "beefcake" types don't fare so well.


SMH

Michael
July 30th 03, 03:25 AM
"Stephen Harding" > wrote in message
...

> And then a full week to recover for the next installment of doing it
again.
>
> The TdF is just about every day. I think that can make a huge difference
> in going the distance. Furthermore, the psychology of the event might be
> more a factor than with other, shorter duration, sporting events.
>
> I've come to think the TdF is one of the toughest tests of human sporting
> activity to be found anywhere in the world, and for endurance type events,
> usually the big "beefcake" types don't fare so well.
>
>
> SMH

Yes, and what about other sports that require a different body
types. Could Bo Jackson, for instance, ever have seriously
competed in the Olympic Marathon? I doubt it.

The concept is that any great athlete can win at cycling. But just like
distance running, it just isn't so.

M.

Pat
July 30th 03, 03:48 PM
x-no-archive:yes


>
> I've always been sort of simultaneously revulsed and intrigued with
> the close-ups of the quarterbacks, who seem to spend half their time
> with their hand in the center's sweaty crotch, and the other half
> licking the palm of the same hand.
>
> Yecccchhhhh....

"Zippy the Pinhead"

Zippy, the quarterback is actually moistening the tips of his fingers to get
a better feel for the football. Maybe that's why Canadian football isn't as
good as US Football---they're licking their palms!

Pat in TX

Terry Morse
July 30th 03, 04:21 PM
archer wrote:

> > Bo Jackson, or anyone else with his bulk, wouldn't finish the Tour.
> > They'd miss the time cut in the first mountain stage. This is simple
> > physics. Strap 65 lbs. on Armstrong's back, and he would also be
> > eliminated.
>
> Possible, but I doubt it: the extra 65 lbs on Bo's bike would be muscle,
> not dead weight.

You need to study up a tad on power-to-weight ratio, because you're
missing the point entirely. Muscle, fat, bone, water, they all
reduce one's power-to-weight ratio. If your ratio is below a certain
amount, you can give up any hopes of making the time cut on a
mountain stage.

The best cyclists in the world can produce over 400 watts
indefinitely, giving them a power-to-weight ratio over 5 watts/kg.
For the sake of argument, say that Bo Jackson could produce as much
power as the world's best cyclists. His power-to-weight ratio would
be 3.5 at best. If the guys at the front are finishing the climbs in
2 hours, the hypothetical Bo would be doing them in 3+ hours, and he
would be eliminated.
--
terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://www.terrymorse.com/bike/

Paul Turner
August 2nd 03, 07:39 PM
Preston Crawford wrote:

> it was
> his assuming this is an American trait we should be proud of that
> bothered me more than anything else.

Anyone who thinks that was Kaufman's point is impervious to irony.

--
Paul Turner

Michael
August 6th 03, 04:06 PM
"Chris Phillipo" > wrote in message
.. .
> In article >,

>
> Of course then you look at a guy like Indurain and say, "What's he, a
> wrestler?"


Indurain didn't win until he lost around 20 pounds to put him at around
165, and even then he had to win in the time trials, never attacking in the
mountains.

M.

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