Thursday, June 26, 2008

Real Niche Sports: HBO Does Millar


Last night, the HBO show “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” aired a segment about David Millar. I always perk up when cycling is going to appear on mainstream television, so I made sure to watch. Of course, cycling only gets attention outside the cycling media when the subject is doping, and I knew this piece was yet another doping story, but still, like a virgin entering a whorehouse, I went in hopeful.

Now, as a caveat, I should mention I don’t follow any sports apart from cycling. I’m not a fan of unscripted entertainment, and to me watching a sport like baseball is like watching the “Flavor of Love” in that’s it’s basically a bunch of cheesy people with unfortunate hairdos being winnowed down to a single winner over the course of a season. Cycling, on the other hand, is lots of different events with lots of different winners. (Though there’s still the cheese factor and the bad hairdo factor.) Also, I like to ride my bicycle, whereas the only ball sport I like to play is pocket pool.

Well, I was disappointed almost immediately—Bryant Gumbel wasn’t the guy I thought he was. To be honest, though, the fault was mine as I had gotten my hard-hitting sports journalists confused. I had thought Gumbel was that guy from “Pootie Tang,” but it turns out he’s actually that guy from the ‘80s who was in “Gumbel to Gumbel.” I soon got over that, but I was disappointed anew to learn that the first segment was about women’s softball and how it’s no longer going to be an Olympic sport. Whatever. Softball’s just a watered-down version of a sport I don’t care about anyway, and that fast-motion underhanded pitching creeps me out. Actually, truth be told, I don’t care if they get rid of cycling in the Olympics, either. I think they should fix the problem of Olympic bloat by getting rid of every sport except the ones that cavemen used to do. The Olympics should just be about who can lift the heaviest rock, who can run the fastest, who can jump the highest, and who can throw a heavy rock or stick the farthest. Done and done. Leave the rest to the professionals.

So I fast-forwarded through the softball and went straight to the Millar piece, only to encounter more softball--reporting, that is. Gumbel, Cone of Smugness firmly in place, introduced the piece by calling cycling "a niche sport whose image has been trashed by a series of scandals and allegations involving performance-enhancing drugs." I really can’t stand when people call cycling a niche sport. Yes, it's not regarded as mainstream, but the truth is it’s actually incredibly popular. Not only is the Tour de France (despite itself) one of the world’s most popular sporting events, but participation on the amateur level is huge as well. Outside of an academic environment how many people do you know who compete in organized and sanctioned baseball, or football, or basketball? Globally speaking, who the hell cares about the “World Series?” If cycling is a niche sport then Islam is a niche religion. Cycling’s not a niche sport—Gumbel’s a niche journalist.

Gumbel then passed the Cone of Smugness to John Frankel. Millar’s story is already familiar to most cycling fans, but if you’re not up to speed here are the highlights as presented by the piece:

--Millar is now clean, and he wants to help younger riders stay clean too. He recognizes that "fans of the sport no longer believe what they're seeing."

--Millar talks to Frankel while having his blood tested. Frankel asks him if it evokes a time when he used to stick a "needle in your arm--or elsewhere" in order to dope. The “elsewhere” is highly intriguing, yet they never follow up on it.

--Millar was a clean athlete until 2001, when he finally submitted to pressure to dope. When he proudly showed off a natural hematocrit of over 40%, a teammate remarked, "’Why aren't you at 50?’...for him it wasn't professional." Finally, tired and lacking results, he reached the breaking point. A team official sat Millar down for a talk and explained he needed to “prepare properly.” "It was relief,” says Millar. “I was just tired."

--Millar used EPO, which helped him win Vuelta stages and the World TT Championship. Jaded, Millar felt "no joy, absolutely no joy,” and kept the used EPO syringes on his bookshelf--the evidence which ultimately damned him.

--We see footage of Millar walking a city street pensively in a black peacoat. During his two year suspension he says he disappeared off the grid and drank excessively. This is more intriguing even than the “or elsewhere” with regard to the injections. Personally, I’d love to learn more about the lost years of David Millar. It’s kind of like John Lennon’s “Lost Weekend,” or that period in Jesus’s life that’s not covered in the Bible, during which people try to say he went to India and studied Buddhism or whatever. Did Millar smoke crack with Amy Winehouse? Did he paint himself green, eat peyote, and run around the desert at Burning Man? Did he take a creative writing course at the Learning Annex? I’m strangely curious.

--Eventually, Millar rediscovered his love for cycling. Enter Jonathan Vaughters whose own Cone of Smugness is pointier even than his sideburns. His riders are tested randomly once every two weeks, year round, and five times more than those on other teams.

--Vaughters wants people to "go back to believing in the athletes for what they really are" and he’s going to "put it all on the table." They’re putting it on the table all right—we see lots of shots of doctors putting vials of urine on one while Vaughters is talking.

--Slipstream is a "culture shift" in cycling; they all live together in Gerona, which allows “teammates to police each-other." They’re each given a Blackberry so they’re "easily found for testing at any time." “The result is the result,” Vaughters says. “If it's first it's first, if it's 132nd it's 132nd."

Hey, I respect Millar for serving his time and ostensibly being honest. I also respect Vaughters and Slipstream for trying to be “transparent.” They're like a straight-edge band: boring perhaps, but their hearts are in the right place. What creeps me out though is this idea of “policing” each-other. Treating riders like a bunch of unruly 7th graders seems worse for the sport than an underground culture of doping. Things get “transparent” when you slice them too thin. They also fall apart. There’s nothing in the world that holds up to intense scrutiny, and you can’t dissect something unless it’s already dead. And why do people expect such integrity out of sports anyway? It's not something important, it’s sports. Set some rules, make some guidelines, and enjoy the show. Sheesh.

Then we go back to the studio and niche journalist Bryant Gumbel. He and John Frankel exchange a few words, and then Gumbel moves his glasses down his nose emphatically and asks Frenkel: "And yet here's what I don't get. The sport is in shambles for doping, and yet its greatest champion, Lance Armstrong, is still revered as a hero. Where's the logic in that?"

Smirking, Frenkel replies, "Lance would say, 'I never tested positive.'"

"Neither did Roger Clemens or Barry Bonds or Mark McGuire," says Gumbel.

Frenkel (smirking even more aggressively): "We agree on this subject."

Gumbel and Frenkel then look at each-other a bit too long, like they’re both savoring the same delicious pudding, or like they might suddenly start french-kissing, and then Gumbel introduces the next piece which is about a horse or something.

Thanks, Gumbel. We almost got to the end of a cycling segment without the subject turning to Lance Armstrong, and we almost got to the end of a piece of journalism without winking and insinuations. Didn't Armstrong retire? What does he have to do with this story about Millar and Slipstream? And hey, if you’re sitting on some good stuff, let’s have it! I have to admit, though, it’s pretty clever what you did there. You sucked people in by presenting an optimistic story about the clean future of cycling, but then you grabbed the sport by the wing, stuck a pin in it, and started plucking its legs off at the end. Still, though, I do thank you for the revelation that David Millar injected EPO directly into his penis. I mean, he didn’t contradict you when you mentioned that he injected EPO into his arm “or elsewhere.” He never said he didn’t inject EPO into his penis. So I’m going to assume he did. I believe they call that “niche doping.”

184 comments:

Anonymous said...

good thing i dont have a job

Anonymous said...

2

Anonymous said...

hincapie

Erik said...

almost!

Anonymous said...

Fourth - Bitches!

Anonymous said...

Make that 5th -Bitches!

Erik said...

If anonymous is Hincapie, I guess that makes 4th place the ever boring Carlos Sastre. At least we know he probably doesn't dope.

ant1 said...

podium?

ant1 said...

damn I'm slow

evil (ken) said...

spent too long thinking of clever ways to say i didn't read the post yet...

aham23 said...

byant gumble can suck it.

later.

Anonymous said...

"savoring the same delicious pudding"...........laughed out loud at work like an idiot. perfect. mike

MURPHY said...

GO RIDE A BIKE, "PODIUM-TARDS"

ant1 said...

Did you guys hear/read about the study saying that the tests to detect artificial EPO are completly unreliable? Apparently it's extremely hard to detect, unless the test is done right after a rider takes a massive dose.

ant1 said...

go ride yourself, podiumtardhater

Anonymous said...

damn! read it first you doping pricks.

roomservicetaco said...

Miller spent his lost 2 years perfecting his bike throwing technique. Perhaps that can substitute for a road race in the caveman olympics.

Anonymous said...

I can't ride, I'm at work and trying for a podium spot is the only light in my sorry exsistence

Anonymous said...

ATTENTION, ATTENTION. ahem... yes, thank you. now for some truth that's gonna blow everyone away..... there is NO credible news reporting or investigating anymore. anywhere. hand jobs? yes! sneaky kicks to the balls? yes! journalism? died very quietly in or around 1980. thank you, pls continue

Commiecanuk said...

I thought Bryant Gumble was the green guy make of clay with the orange horse-thing friend from the 60s, all produced by people on a lot of acid.

If you can't inject EPO in your penis, then what is the point? It's hard to imagine any drug that's not better by penile injection..hell, I inject my Flinstones chewables into my Huang every morning.

Bryant Gumby is the perfect example of TV's non-intellectual, intellectuals, they talk like they know what they are saying, their voices have all the right inflections, even the right facial movements and hand gesticulations, but after you pay $12.99 for a transcript of the show and read what they are saying, you get the real text, "some bike racers guys did dope and now they don't do dope and the biggest racer guy didn't get caught doing dope but he really doped."

It's kinda like the sporting version of Tucker "the fucker" Carlson.

Someone needs to Jon Stewart these wankers and call them dicks on the air.

PAPOFHN

bk jimmy said...

Every day (after reading the entire post) I resist the urge to try for podium and instead ride my bike around the office until I become exhausted or crash into in intern pushing a cart full of hot copies.

vegas kid said...

So it seems that the race and sports book at the Mirage has put out a line on whether Kevin from Ft. Myers will post a comment today. The overwhelming money from the wise guys is coming in on "yes."

Anonymous said...

long time reader of the blog and first time poster. Frankly, I find it sadly pathetic that people revolve their days around trying to be the first to post a comment. But anyways, on to the real reason for posting:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/26/sports/olympics/26doping.html?ref=todayspaper

Doping has become widely pervasive and the issue is not helped by the insinuations and ignorance of niche reporters.

thefutureofamerica said...

Was it the same peacoat he's wearing in Millar's tale? You'd think after signing on Garmin, they'd have a little more wardrobe budget... He'd better not spill any salsa on that, or he's screwed.

I think the most impressive thing about Millar is his ability to unwrap and consume a naturally-raised chicken burrito during a pro bike race.

Commiecanuk said...

Roomie..
Beijing is the first year of he new gun-free biathlon: discus and time trialing.

ant1 said...

Commie - well said. It's also like hearing politicians talk about things. You know they don't actually know what they're talking about, they're just trying to sell you something.

Anonymous said...

1:44

Podium chasing is like kids playing hopscotch on the sidewalk--it's mildly inconveniencing to others, but otherwise it's silly harmless fun.

If such things are sad and pathetic to you, it's possible you are taking things too seriously in this life.

Grump said...

Hey, it's TV, for god's sake, what did you expect?

Commiecanuk said...

In a study published in Thursday’s online edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology, lead author Carsten Lundby, a physiologist at the Copenhagen Muscle Research Center, said that urine samples, known to be positive for EPO, produced inconsistent test results, with many of the samples ultimately classified as negative or “suspicious.”

“It’s super-difficult,” Lundby told the New York Times on Thursday.


"Super-difficult"? Methinks the brightest and best are not necessarily working on this problem.

ant1 said...

anonymous 1:44 -
You're so right. I used to have a normal life, but then decided that posting first was going to be my calling. So I quit my job, sold my car, and said my goodbyes to my friends and family. I now wake up around 9 am, have a little coffee, and boot up my internet machine. I then begin my stretching and mouse hand training exercises to insure a quality post. around 11 am I sit in front of the computer hitting refresh every two seconds until a new BSNYC post is up. I read it. Then I go to other lesser blogs for some cool down commenting. I then do a little yoga to clear my mind, and go into a 4 hour meditative trance in my sensory deprivation chamber to improve my posting mindset for the next day. I am in bed by 5 pm. Wake up at 9 and repeat. Some people call it revolving, but I see it as reloving.

bk jimmy said...

Commie,

I think Jon Stewart only straps on his jumbo-sized cone of smugness when he's got a book to promote.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:50, I think podium racing is a cute and harmless diversion. However, if you study past posts to see what time of day Snob typically posts, then sit by your computer hitting the "refresh" key attempting to be first, you are indeed sad and pathetic. If, on the other hand, you stop by on occasion when you have a slow moment on your job, and you are just lucky enough in your timing to be the first commentor of the day, where's the harm in that?

Adam said...

Good post. It made me feel funny inside.

Anonymous said...

Commiecanuck, shouldn't we be more concerned with false positives than with false negatives?

areUpake? said...

ant1 --

so YOU are the one who built the riddle bike!!!! HAH you have been outed

Jim said...

The Olympics should just be about who can lift the heaviest rock, who can run the fastest, who can jump the highest, and who can throw a heavy rock or stick the farthest.

I think you're confusing the Olympics with the Scottish Games, where they do all that, plus eat mutton pies, get hammered, and play bagpipes.

On a more serious note, Vaughters is going right at the heart of the problem with the Blackberries and peer-policing. One of the things confessed dopers (as opposed to Hamiltoned dopers) do is talk about how they felt the peer & team pressure to dope. Face it we're all weaker than we want to admit. They also talk about the dependency on the dope, probably justified in a peloton where so many dope. Millar, for all the weeping, is right: it's an addiction problem, among other things.

So I don't view Vaughters' tactics as a snooping system but a support system, comparable to what a recovering drug or booze addict would need as they worked their way out of the depths and tried to avoid further trouble. I'm not saying all the Slipstreamers were dopers or anything, just that for those who did, and for those who might be tempted, this might be a good approach to deal with it. It's kind of clever, and the intra-team policing is the kind of thing you might find on a really cohesive and high performing contact sports team. I've been on a team like that (not cycling) and positive peer pressure helps guys stick to the training routine and stay out of trouble, and it creates an expectation of total committment to winning. Yeah, it's a bit straight-edgy and sanctimonious, but did you expect anything less from the Mad Scientist?

kevinftmyers said...

While I am anti doping, I am one...

ironic?

Mongo Pusher said...

Have you checked out the street value of niche dope lately?

Neilio said...

Hey, weird, besides biking, pocket pool is my favorite activity/pastime/hobby too.

Anonymous said...

anon 1:57

Going for RTMS podium gold on a daily basis is a bit much, sure. But I'd sure love to be up there just once. I had a shot on one occasion, but made the mistake of trying to maintain my integrity by reading the post first. Guess I just don't have that killer instinct.

-Anon 1:50

Anonymous said...

first off, let's bash on bryant.

bryant gumbel is by far the biggest asshole on tv. he is unmeasurably smug, disrespecful and condensending to his interview subjects, and he doesn't like cheese (saw that on his farewell show from the today show)

he must have used some old jedi mind trick on the HBO execs to stay employed there, 'cause i heard he lost his announcer's gig on the NFL network.

the millar piece was as good as the other pre-TDF pieces - no better or no worse. every year the "hard hitting media" do little human interest puff pieces 'cause the tour is comming. sometimes it is about the cancer survivor defending champ, sometimes it's about a british rider who got sunburned a lot in last year's tour.

as cycling fans, we just have to be happy that the mainstream guys are sitting on our wheel.

as humans, we must do everything we can to crush bryant gumbel.

Bikeslob 80220 said...

Podium-chasing is for such losers. With some simple histoical data, I can plot Snob's time of his daily post against the previous night's low temperature in NYC in degrees Kelvin, stage of the moon expressed as an integer between 1 and 28, and the natural logarithm of the dollar amount of the last Pista posted on Raleigh-Durham's Craigslist, run a multiple regression, and predict "Podium Time" to within 3.5 seconds. I'm so good I don't even bother playing.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:50, you READ THE POST? What the hell would you do that for?
Anon 1:57

Anonymous said...

amazing

wishiwasmerckx said...

Bikeslob 80220, is that in degrees of kelvin ft. meyers?

smartypants said...

Real athletes don't need to stick EPO in their penis in order to perform.

Anonymous said...

fuck bryant gumbel, he can and does suckit. he knows nothing about any sport.
fuck the doping hype in cycling. some dope some don't they all race who fucking cares. i love it.
and yeah, this who posted 1st crap is just that, crap. its annoying and, really annoying. fuck that too.

simonlamb said...

Great article thanks, Ive found slipstreams approach really fustrating. Why not just ride without drugs. What they are trying to do is commendable but slightly obnoxious "WE TEST EACH OTHER" shouts of a culture of mistrust just get on with cycling if you are all clean you don't need to keep going on about it.

Commiecanuk said...

1:58 pm...the air seems cleaner today, the sun brighter, food tastes better, no foot odor...something's different...

Anonymous said...

The slipstream tactics may seem a little heavy handed, but it's a step in the right direction. And it's refreshing for somebody to be okay with lesser results because they are committed to doing the right thing. The way things are now, all the major teams might as well include an asterisk on their jerseys.

Commiecanuk said...

Anon 1:59, depends if you're a fan of Lance or not.

Commiecanuk said...

Jim said...
I think you're confusing the Olympics with the Scottish Games, where they do all that, plus eat mutton pies, get hammered, and play bagpipes.


I think you're confusing Scottish Games with a Scottish wedding.

frilly said...

cc--
'PAPOFHN'

Is it wrong that I'm sort of flattered?

Or is it more wrong that I'm sort of nervous--just in case?

patrick swayze said...

"This is a ceremony we always do at the end of the summer. One last speed star."

Anonymous said...

"There’s nothing in the world that holds up to intense scrutiny, and you can’t dissect something unless it’s already dead. And why do people expect such integrity out of sports anyway? It's not something important, it’s sports. Set some rules, make some guidelines, and enjoy the show. Sheesh."

---you pretty much summed up here what every cycling writer should have written about this situation instead of bothering us with lengthy weepy laments about the state of a sport whose winners have always cheated. After all, the first winner of the Tour decided to put his bike on the TRAIN. come on people. get over it.

If you're a rider who sees another rider dope... take a clue from team Cinzano.....

leroy said...

Honestly, I don't get all this testing for dopes.

If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that the SAT is an impefect predictor of academic achievment.

The EPO test will be no better as soon as Kaplan comes up with a prep course.

dopepedaler said...

Cycling, journalism, American politics...all just as rigged as "professional" wrestling. Although wrestling may be a hair more credible in that you know it's a put-on.

Anonymous said...

Until I hear facts to the contrary, I'm going to assume that Gumbel blows goats.

Anonymous said...

Q: How do you tell the bride at a Scottish wedding?
A: She's the one you don't punch in the face.

Commiecanuk said...

Frilly, just be careful exiting limousines in a skirt.

Puffda said...

Gumbel is a niche 'reporter' in that his opinion is based entirely on the scant view he manages through his anus, from which he sees the world.

Adam said...

See, this interview reveals the second half of Slipstream's plan. The first step? Be completely drug free. The second? indirectly accuse everyone else of being on drugs. Use this to excuse poor results.

Notice when they have a bad race, they all go: "well, that's what happens when you don't use drugs, you can't win them all." I'm just waiting for the day he starts referring to his 52nd place rider as: "The first clean finisher today"

Anonymous said...

I hate all the "people who try to post first are assholes" assholes. Do you all just get up in the morning hoping you'll be the first to complain about those who are first.

SD said...

Holy shit,
simaonlamb just came up with the answer. Why DON'T they just ride without drugs? Problem solved.

Podium racing is kind of like sprinting for non sprinters. All of a sudden you find yourself third wheel with like 300 meters left, and you just say "fuckit" and go. You weren't planning on going for it, but if the opportunity comes up....

Matt said...

If you want to annoy sports fans here in Minnesota, you point out that pro bicycle racing is on the same channel as other fringe sports like the National Hockey League.

I wonder if anonymous the podium winner dopes? With these unreliable EPO tests, we may never know but his achievement will always be under a cloud of suspicion and I for one am NOT checking his pecker for needle tracks.

Oh, and vegas kid, Kevin already posted today. Put us in our place, too, if I recall correctly, but to be honest I kind of squint a lot while reading his comments and they were a bit fuzzy.

ant1 said...

I, for one, can't help but laugh at the internal doping controls. I'm not saying they don't work, or are improperly applied, or shouldn't be used, it's just that they are marketing tools, not assurances. That's like taking a liar's word that he's not lying. Or asking a scam artist if he's trying to screw you. What do you think they're gonna say? If you want a believable internal control system, pay WADA to run extra tests on your riders.

scott said...

Guess who's back
Back again
Bitter's back
Tell a friend
Guess who's back, guess who's back, guess who's back, guess who's back
guess who's back, guess who's back, guess who's back..

Sky said...

thanks for speaking the truth about the hbo segment. most sports stories really have nothing to do with the sport. idiots like gumbel cant see cycling without seeing doping. too bad, cycling might do his overweight ass some good.

Anonymous said...

I hate all the people who hate on the people who hate on the people going for the podium.

If there's one thing RTMS has taught me, that's to hate everybody. I love it. Oops, I mean hate it.

dopepedaler said...

I (donkey) punched my Scottish wife on our wedding night and that greatly enhanced performance.

Anonymous said...

jim, when i decide to rid myself of booze and dope i'm kickin all the drunk bastards right to the curb with all the empty bottles of leffe. spying is spying, tho we're all getting pretty used to it. until every single one of us has been divided into proles or party members, decisions are a personal thing. fuck i need a ride.

ant1 said...

By the way, i doped and only got 8th today, so what does that say about our podium?

Anonymous said...

all this crying about doping and how it makes sports bad is all bullshit. The only reason its bad is because sponsors who are only interested in publicity and how much they can get for their money are upset when some other sponsor get better return on their investment when doped competitors beat the none doped competitors. When it all comes down to the nitty gritty, its all about greed and feeling cheated if they don't get what they want

Anonymous said...

Somebody tell me when Lame BikeSnob is writing. I only want to check in on the good ones...which this was not. Ah, Mr. Ghost Writer snob guy, isn't there a job for you writing for a sitcom? I'm thinking maybe a spin off of That 70s Show- so there isn't a lot of expectation. You're a junior high date- all build up, no action. Please improve before the real snob let's you post here.

frilly said...

Adam--

Right on! To quote Jim, "sanctimonious prigs." When Astana got snubbed, they let their race results do the talking.

When is Vaughters going to quit talking?!?

Strayhorn said...

Anon at 2:17 sez:
bryant gumbel is by far the biggest asshole on tv.

I don't watch a lot of TV other than movies, so I'm generally unaware of the personalities involved, including Jon Stewart who is apparently the next Jesus, or at least the next John Lennon.

Anyway, my kids are home from college and now the TV is on all the time, including ESPN and something called Sportscenter.

First thing I noticed was that the cat, usually asleep in front of the TV, was comatose. I hurried him to the vet thinking his time had come. The vet simply said that exposure to ESPN was proven to decrease the IQ of people in the room by one point per hour of exposure. And with the limited-IQ animals like cats and presidential candidates, short-term exposure caused rapid onset of a coma. He simply had the cat listen to a few books on tape, primarily Richard Posner and Simone De Beauvoir.

But I digress. What I'm saying is there there is an amazingly wide field of candidates for the title "biggest asshole on TV" so perhaps the decision isn't final. There's the global field, for instance, including such folks as John Simpson on the BBC. And there's that guy who keeps breaking in on Melissa Theuriau on LCI.

Perhaps we need to set up a survey.

ant1 said...

Anon 3:10, you make a good argument, and I'm sure sponsors would agree with you, but as far as I'm concerned, sponsors play no part in my views on doping. The reasons I dislike dopers are the same reasons I dislike thiefs, murderers, cheaters, rapists... They don't affect me all that much, since I don't race against them, but everytime a cheater wins, they are stealing money from the race organizer, the sponsors, the fans, and, most importantly, the clean riders in the race (if there are any, of course). It's like faking a winning lottery ticket. You didn't actually win, since you didn't follow the rules, but you did keep the actual winner from being recognized and rewarded. On top of that, dopers are using prescription drugs illegally. I don't generally care about drug usage, but if I use some drug without a prescription, I can end up in jail. I think they should also go to jail. Screw a two year ban. So yes, I hate dopers, and I think that doping is a serious issue, and not bullshit as you claim.

Anonymous said...

And what the heck is up with olympic records. In swimming they use these skinsuits to reduce drag which naturally increases speed which means old records fall just because of technology...I mean...why compete if your world beating effort can be nullified later just because technology allows someone to become faster. I could go on and on about this subject

dopepedaler said...

My vote on Biggest asshole on TV? Everyone from FOX News.

vermicious knid said...

hey aren't y'all being a little hard on poor gumby...saying he know nothing about sports is just isn't fair. i know a guy who knows a guy who dates a guy who says he's quite the bumper pool shark. so..there!

Judi said...

I say Lance didn't dope.

ant1 said...

Frilly - Letting your race results do the talking may prove you're better at winning races, but does nothing to prove you don't dope. As a matter of fact, the more races you win, the more likely it is you are doping. Look at contador at the giro. He spends two weeks on the beach not training, hadn't ridden a single stage in recon, and still manages to beat all the riders who trained (or doped) specifically for the event. Does that prove that he's not doping?

AH said...

Judi--
Whaaaaaat?!?!?!

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 3:13pm,

I write the lame ones. The ghost writer writes the good ones. That's why they're good, but they're also expensive. Send money and I'll hire him more often. Or if you're really loaded I bet you could hire him directly to write a blog just for you.

--BSNYC

ant1 said...

Snobby - Does your ghost writer have a ghost bike?

dopepedaler said...

Lance should have kept taking the performance-enhancing drugs for his acting appearances.

andrewc said...

bryant gumbel is a pudgier dumber version of his big brother. he's infinitely likelier to eat pudding than to french kiss anybody, even frankel.

david millar is a whiner and the more i hear him talk the less i like him.

this blog is the best thing i read.

mcguire bonds and clements (all morons) were tested how often again? never? lance was tested hourly for seven years. the guys got a heart and lung capacity 3x the size of a horses and crushed grand tours for 21 straight days year in and year out. clemens worked once every 21 days. to compare lance to clemens -- you might as well compare lance to pudgy stupid bryant gumbel. gawd i hate the yankees. no offence snobNYC.

r.s. said...

I like to put my thumb waaay deep inside my asshole and then just push it back out with the force of my sphinc.

analnymous said...

bryant blows donkeys.

gewilli said...

wtf - BSNYC wrote a decent article... first in a while - that fixie bashing is so last week...

nice write up...

almost as well set up as Gumble's storyline thing...

C.P. said...

Bryant Gumbel is a "menotenous spoke wrench".

ant1 said...

andrew - the whole "im the athlete tested the most in the world" thing Lance likes to use is a lie. He is not the most tested athlete in the world. On top of that, there are types of doping that were/are not tested for, so just because he was tested does not mean he wasn't doping. I agree with your stance that he shouldn't be compared to baseball players.

thejakesnakes said...

And they're doping their weak journalism with far-fetched observation. So what if they're doping, at that level it's like a college student drinking coffee to have the energy to finish the final paper. It's just business protocol, Some people drink coffee and some people don't. Are there any mormon pros?

frilly said...

No, of course it doesn't. But, he is a professional athlete who started his training in December. Two weeks on the beach is not going to undo six months of training. True, he didn't start the Giro in the best form, however he had won a couple of big races prior to Italy. He is having a good season and it shouldn't have been a surprise that he won the Giro too.

This is deja vu--the same discussion on Belgium Knee Warmers a couple of weeks ago.

the goat said...

BG does give good bj's

the donkey said...

he's mine GOAT!

Bryant Gumble (not Gumby damn it!) said...

donkey, goat, please don't fight over me. There is plenty of big BG for all to share, 'elsewhere'.

C.P. said...

And why do people expect such integrity out of sports anyway? It's not something important, it’s sports. Set some rules, make some guidelines, and enjoy the show. Sheesh.

Word. 'bout time the over moralizing of what is basically childs play stops. Kills me how the media will make nothing into something all in the name of getting "you" to rubber neck at the spectacle and the PAID advertising that goes along with it.

Kudos to Snob for using the word "guidelines"

NASCAR, F1, Indy, most mechanical forms of racing have some form of "rules/guideline" violations every season. None of them turn into scandals that are going to "sink" a sport.

We don't see F1 Engineers getting "inspected" by the engineer rules police twice a week... Of course there are inspections but nothing is blown so out of proportion.

Can't wait for the viewing audience to catch up with the times so the media loses it's rubber nekkin' power over the masses.

(yawn sniff... rolls over... goes back to sleep)

ftmyerssuxponypenis said...

Jim-
Don't forget the haggis, a cornerstone of any good nutritional plan and a required item at any Scottish event worth its whiskey.

slowisthenewfast said...

Merckx crap Gumbels

Bravo said...

I'm sick of people calling Millar "honest". He didn't become "honest" until he was caught. It's a sad state of affairs when that's what passes for honesty.

ant1 said...

Bravo, agreed, but if you compare millar to riders like hamilton and landis, who even when caught claim innocence, it is refreshing to see someone admit to doping.

Anonymous said...

Kensaku-kun (Murata Boy) said ...

"Snobby is good, Snobby is right, or Snobby is funny. Kevinftmeyers is a putz."

LP said...

I agree that Millar is imperfect, but his strong stance currently and his positive interaction with the younger pros seems like a step in the right direction.

leroy said...

Thanks to Mr. Gumble, we now know the second water bottle cage is for carrying the urine sample.

Well color me relieved I didn't learn that the hard way.

short hair said...

anon 3:21 - yea skin suits allow the swimmers to swim faster on average but they are not causing world records to be broken any faster then they aver have. records always get broken and the guys that are doing it now are just f'n fast. Spitz is still one of the all time winners and he didn't use a skin suit. who knows about doping but its not so publicized in swimming.

Anonymous said...

If we're going off-topic on competitive swimwear, why don't they just swim naked? TV viewership would go through the roof! Regrettably, a big johnson would just increase drag and slow you down, but at least one competitor would not have an advantage over another based on the make of their swimsuit.

ChrisB. said...

I'm still laughing about the mention of "pocket pool."

My dad, when he saw us with our hands in our pocket, used to ask us if we were "playing pocket pool". And for a good ten years I thought there was an actual game.

frilly said...

8 ball snobby's right pocket.

anon 4:47--

Don'tcha think big boobs would be more of an impediment?

Anonymous said...

frilly apparently you haven't seen me naked!

- non anon 4:47

p.s. I know typical male comment, so sue me

Anonymous said...

oops that was supposed to be signed "NOT anon 4:47"

- anon 5:07

frilly said...

Apparently you haven't seen me naked either...however if Commie's new campaign is successful...

To quote my sweetie--

Just sayin'

Frank said...

Lance didn't dope. never. Its just the fucking french who try to accuse everyone of doping. They're just bitter that a french rider hasn't won the tour in forever.

Kelly XY said...

Lance Armstrong didn't win those Tours all by himself. How many,if any, on US Postal/Discovery doped so that Lance could win? And how many riders dope not to win but just to keep their jobs.

Just wonderin ...

Anonymous said...

Frank, you're right it's all jealousy. Sure, tons of people dope (as shown by positive tests), and lance beat them all over and over again without doping. And only the french accuse lance of doping?
I saw this article using one of lance's tour wins as an example, taking everyone who has been shown to dope off the rankings, you're left with armstrong beating the non/unproven dopers by something like 15 minutes, the biggest margin ever.

prolly said...

about Bryant Gumbel,

"I know him pretty well and he's a solid dude and has been enjoying pudding for a long, long time for whatever thats worth."

dopepedaler said...

"Lance Armstrong didn't dope" is about as misleading a statement as "designer has creative control"

wishiwasmerckx said...

A Richard Posner reference? Snob, you do indeed have some erudite readers.

cumball said...

I love the ass pudding!

hoon said...

I laughed, I cried, I swore a lot. This is like sex, but less embarassing.

bushwick bill said...

"That's a waste of time, conversation and my fuckin'."

heaven's gate said...

Is one testicle really better than none?

Anonymous said...

ghost writer??? WTF! hell no! this is snob through and through...some people!

Judi said...

Lance was the most tested athlete EVER! They would have caught him if he doped. I believe him!

bikewhorder said...

Are you kidding me! This post screams ghost writer! I was only a few sentences into before I became skeptical as to its authenticity. The metaphores are terrible and the real Bsnyc/Rtms would never use the "cone of smuggness" so innapproprately or so frequently. And the bit about not knowing who Bryant Gumble is was so lame/out of character. Snob, why would you not jump at the chance to deny you wrote this one? There's no wit or insight to be found anywhere. Its ok if you want to take a day off man, but please don't waste our time with such a long and uninspired bit o rubbish such as this.

Bluenoser said...

Fire in the Disco.... Danger danger.

-B

lance said...

sorry judi, i doped.

tony cruz said...

The deep pinot tration from this ergodynamic saddle is orgasmic. It truly dilates my anus to a circumference of breath taking elation.

the nash from wonderland said...

"Don't fuck with the Nash!"

Bluenoser said...

Sorry Anna.

To Quote Chicago Six.

-B

stupid fuck said...

top 130!

survivor of straddle injury said...

"Since the accident it has become difficult to cum in my own mouth."

BikeSnobNYC said...

Bikewhorder,

Oh, come on. It's OK not to like it, but deep down you know that pudding line was good.

I would shout "I wrote this!" from the mountaintops if only I didn't live on a big flat island.

--RTMS

1/2 jewish guy at home said...

You gotta up the auntie

retired model said...

up my dick!

erik said...

fuck bikesnob faggot suck my dick

bikewhorder said...

I guess technically its was your "like a virgin" analogy (not metaphore)that aroused my suspicions. Usually your analogies are so spot on and tickle my brain with their brilliance, but that one was like, Huh? I've been reading your blog every day since last November and have been amazed at how consistantly you can turn out a such a high quality product, and I know an imposter when I see one. I just can't accept that you wrote this one. Bring back snobie.

defendant said...

Butt Deep in my ass, I know I'm right.

Anonymous said...

i just walked on to a shitty blog site.

Anonymous said...

fuck this blog let's shut this shit down...

Anonymous said...

bikesnob's mom's pussy smells like carpet cleaner.

buttson howl the turd said...

My mouth aches from the dick stretching antics of your bowels.

lafong said...

suck bikesnobs dick

bikewhorder said...

Wow, I got a response from bsnyc/rtms himself... or is it? yes I suppose the pudding line was quite good.

Anonymous said...

The posts have been top-notch lately, but as the Snob's fame and popularity continue to grow, the comment board is collapsing under its own weight. I suppose that this was inevitable. The board was ahead of its time, kind of like when the Simpsons was just a sketch in The Tracy Ullman show, or Bruce Springsteen before "Born in the USA." People are already posting about how long they have been a regular reader, the post-anniversary version of the podium race. Guys, I hate to tell you, but it is the comment board which has officially jumped the shark, not the Snob himself.

AH said...

Bluenoser--
It's Electric Six, my friend.

"Danger, danger! High voltage!!!"

AH said...

Judi--
I can't tell if your Lance comment was sarcastic or not. My Smartass-O-meter isn't blinking but the BS-tronic 3000 is off the charts...

Andy Pandy said...

Thought we had outed Frills some weeks ago in Pez, and those low lifes did not send her socks.
And I have a Gumby toy on my PC and I talk to him often, and he talks back .His horsey friend Pokie however snubs me. And believe me I never doped.... and I have never tested positive to any KNOWN drug... just sayin

Mark said...

Wait, you mean professional wrestling isn't REAL?

Cletus the Slackjawed Yokel said...

Quitcher effing blogging
Go ridejer bikes

veloben said...

Snob,

Really the Island isn't that flat. If you'd pull yourself out of the five boroughs and go east there are parts of the Ronkonkoma moraine over 200 ft.


Only know of one that has a paved road to the top so plan accordingly.

Anonymous said...

C'mon guys, there are certain lines that are just not crossed. Who wants to read about Snob's mom's pussy? Now Frilly's, that's another matter. Just remember though, you will have to deal with the wrath of BGW, and trust me, that is something you don't want to mess around with. He will go all ellipsis on your ass til you don't know whether you are coming or going.

AtlScott said...

Snob (RTMS),

Great post. Yes, your a good writer. Many of us enjoy your blog daily, but it would appear your a pretty fucking good journalist as well.

Well done. I live in Atlanta, in NY monthly and read the blog daily. Keep it up, you provoke the response of those who ride, and however they ride.

Sorry Gumbel.

frilly said...

Anon 11:33--

Funny but true. Sweetie's always got my back.

Jonathan said...

What's wrong with being Straight Edge?

Yeah, I'm straight edge. Watching my Dad go blind when he got a headaches due to a bad acid trip when he was 18, kinda drove the idea into my head that drugs are bad. I also have an alcoholic Uncle that I watched destroy his career due to his one person motorcycle accident while drunk. I guess not everyone has family members with addiction problems to scare them straight.

bikesgonewild said...

...i'd say any woman who posts on a site like this is fair game for her comments but a certain amount of decorum is appreciated when dealing w/ the "fairer sex"...

...although, from a guys perspective, "what is fair about women & sex ???...just askin'...

...frilly & bgw play close to the edge on-line but while certainly not puritanical, we haven't gone all sleazy on yer asses either...

...but ya, i got her back.........

frilly said...

Merci, cheri.

Anonymous said...

I think B.Gumbels' hair used to be on tha dope. main line the sack!!

Alpinerabbit said...

Anon 2:28 -

While representatives of the Hall were thrilled to get the ball from the most hallowed record in sports...

Most hallowed. WTF. Baseball does not exist over here.

hoon said...

the niche sport comment pisses me off. fucking American-centric, sports view. fucking baseball, basketball and american football are niche sports.

GRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!

S.K. said...

Its not argyle on the Slipstream kit... Those are Xs...

the truthiness said...

Kelly xy, the correct answers are: at least Tyler Hamilton, Frankie Andreu and Floyd Landis from US Postal.
And yes, you can bet that they were pushed to dope under the expert control of Michele Ferrari.

Armstrong ruined cycling, and now he's ruining cancer charities, and he's on his way to ruining the Democratic party in Texas. Someone explain to me why America loves bullshit artists and enjoys mass cognitive denial.

ice cube said...

The best Real Sports was when he had the hooligan on. Isn't baseball in shambles? Stupid shits anyway.

ice cube said...

The best Real Sports was when he had the hooligan on. Isn't baseball in shambles? Stupid shits anyway.

ice cube said...

The best Real Sports was when he had the hooligan on. Isn't baseball in shambles? Stupid shits anyway.

ice cube said...

BTW Jonathan,

Snobby was refering to a sXe band(s) NOT sXe. Clearly you don't understand the analogy. Boring(the bands). XslcX. No one is picking on you or the scene.

Tooth Fairy said...

Judi, I am so relieved to hear your support for Lance Armstrong. He feats are the stuff of legend, no matter what the rest of these cynical sycophants have to say.

Easter Bunny said...

Yeah...what she said.

St. Nicholas. said...

I have to agree as well. There are a lot of folks from this comment board that have been recently added to my naughty list.

God said...

Judi....keep the faith.

Sasquatch said...

You guys are full of shit.

Anonymous said...

mmm drugs, got to love them!

fahr451 said...

Actually you can dissect things while they're still alive. Back in the day I was in high school (when cyclists wore wool and aluminum water bottles were high tech) we had to dissect a live frog and observe the heart beat.

Darn unlucky day for the frog.

Probably not part of 10th grade biology anymore. Where to inject the EPO would be more relevant I suppose.

Peter said...

"They're like a straight-edge band: boring perhaps, but their hearts are in the right place."

They might have been a bit dodgy, but atleast One Life Crew got one thing right: "Remember: Straight Edge is all about golf".

Slipstream, uh..sorry, Garmin brings this full circle with the argyle team-kit. It's all very clear to me now.

(By the way, I saw a black Bianchi Pista with flopped & chopped bars the other day - the Fixed Gear Apocalypse is about to hit Oslo, Norway as well..)

Anonymous said...

Bryant who?

Slipstream is a bit more holier than thou but if that's what it takes to resurrect general public fan faith in the sport at this point, maybe we're better off with a bit of that, than the other extreme- a bunch of needled shaved egotists trying to convince themselves they are doing something useful on 2 wheels.

The future of cycling may not be in the peloton- but in a form of sustainable transportation for the masses- just as it has been for most of the past 100 years.

Anonymous said...

footure of cycling! wtf! apocalypse dude! slipstreem is boring whiny & lame. bring death. bring gloom.

Anonymous said...

Nice mention of the uber-opinionated Gumbel and his lacky Frankel throwing lance under the bus again. Why do they think Lance never tested positive? They mention bonds and Clemens. When did those two give blood samples after major games? never? When were they confronted at their homes with a surprise blood test? never. So, they all seem to think that Lance was some kind of super genius that found a way to cheat and miraculously hide this from the constant testing??? Get over it guys. This show is basically Gumbel's own crappy opinion disgused as a news worthy show.

Jordan said...

I'll sometimes watch Real Sports, and caught the bit on Millar. Gumbel is terrible! They way they ended that segment I was thinking the same thing!

Anonymous said...

Power Players and the Cycling System - They have us all Fooled

I find this entire “drug" testing in cycling interesting. More so and most especially when many if not all of the power players in the sport are still well entrenched in the system. A few examples - Why is admitted drug user Bjarne Riis still allowed to run (co-own) and profit from one of cycling's most powerful teams (CSC)? How does admitted drug user Frankie Andreu continue his career in the sport, although a very minor role, when he also has admitted to using EPO - (and more interesting when he admitted his use it was along with "another" unnamed teammate who admitted use, but did not want to have his name published as to the possible negative affect to his career in cycling... Ummmm wonder what side burn wearing hypocrite that could be?) After such news Frankie was no longer a part of Team Toyota-United.

So the question is- why would a young man like Ricco test positive for EPO? How can a team hire someone like this and yet waive all responsibility for him when he tests positive. Following standard operating procedure, as always, the team fires the rider.

This firing method has been going on for years and what happens next - the rider pays his 2 year suspension and ends up back on a team, sometimes the very same team and so the story goes on and on and on.

I would like to suggest something - if a rider on any team tests positive then hit the team with monetary fine, a big fine and actually collect the money as I am sure it costs a fortune to process all of these tests (so says WADA). If a team continues to hire dirty riders then let the team who hired them pay the price too.

If this were implemented, it would be a huge step forward to start getting the dope out of the hands of the dopes in cycling and the team managing dopes running them.

The tough part is though, the whole system is corrupt and if the UCI and ASO were really serious about this it would implement such a system. Then again it’s hard to ask an agency like the ASO who tossed out Rasmussen from last years TdF in Yellow one week from the end of the TdF. I would bet and would be very certain if Rasmussen was a Frenchman, he would have never been tossed out – never and I mean Jamais! So therein lies the real trouble with drugs and the sport of cycle racing.

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