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Tour de France - is it unAmerican?



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 26th 03, 04:51 PM
Steve
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Default Tour de France - is it unAmerican?


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.

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  #2  
Old July 26th 03, 06:40 PM
The Causey Way
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Default Tour de France - is it unAmerican?


"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.


  #3  
Old July 26th 03, 07:03 PM
Rivermist
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Default Tour de France - is it unAmerican?

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.



  #4  
Old July 26th 03, 08:13 PM
Ruger9
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Default Tour de France - is it unAmerican?

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

  #5  
Old July 26th 03, 08:25 PM
Joe Potter
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Default Tour de France - is it unAmerican?

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


  #6  
Old July 26th 03, 08:37 PM
Michael
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Default Tour de France - is it unAmerican?


"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.


  #7  
Old July 26th 03, 08:49 PM
M. Barbee
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Default Tour de France - is it unAmerican?


"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...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.



  #8  
Old July 26th 03, 10:57 PM
Zoot Katz
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Default Tour de France - is it unAmerican?

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
  #9  
Old July 26th 03, 11:00 PM
Zoot Katz
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Default Tour de France - is it unAmerican?

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/M...350219,00.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
  #10  
Old July 26th 03, 11:05 PM
Eric S. Sande
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Default Tour de France - is it unAmerican?

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"------------------
in.edu__________
 




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