Dan Majestic writes from New York: Big, big story, that television interview that the disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong gave to Oprah Winfrey, admitting that he took performance-enhancing drugs during his glorious career in pedal pushing. (Yes, cycling is all about pushing pedals and pretty much nothing else, apart from successfully dodging drug tests that is.)
Ms Winfrey, who incidentally never married despite her stunning looks, obviously thinks she has pulled off a scoop, bringing her impressive frame to international attention. And while the world is coming to an end, with wars raging all over the place and the economy in permanent meltdown, the whole of the US of A and beyond were supposed to be gripped by Lance’s story about his dope taking and record breaking. Not forgetting the weepy moment when he choked on his own emotion, revealing how he told his son Luke that he was not the great athlete that he, Luke, always thought he was. (Lance actually broke it to Luke gently, telling him to stop denying any more jibes that his dad is a cheat and Luke, like a good boy, said that he still loved him.)
But honestly, how stupid can anyone be to fall for this rubbish. Don’t people know that cycling, like most professional competitive sports, is all about winning at any cost? And all sorts of substances do play a part in these pedal pushing activities because of the money at stake. For sponsors and advertisers generally push athletes to extremes by offering them vast amounts of cash. It’s a vicious circle that will never be broken, now that professional sport is motivated solely by greed.
But that’s all beside the point really. And the point being that sport is given way too much prominence these days in the media and by politicians who somehow feel that if they pretend to be very supportive of sports they would be liked by their voters. Corporate types, who are keen sport fans, are at least in it for the free entertainment that they get as sponsors and mobsters are in it because they launder money through sport. But all those mugs, who obsess about football and other types of physical activity that demand no levels of intelligence to be involved in, are taken for a ride, getting distracted from things that really matter and paying extortionate prices for tickets and all that other junk that is called ‘sports memorabilia’. Not forgetting, of course, that millions of idiots actually buy stuff just because some tattooed idiot promotes it and sportswear companies make millions out of selling kits and running shoes to overweight couch potatoes who think it makes them look sporty.
This whole turning of sport into some sort of religion is perverse. It has come to a point when people who have no interest in sport are actually seen as weird. Even though watching sport is a total waste of time and money that does not enlighten you in the slightest. And turning dim-witted sportsmen into role models is simply idiotic, giving youngsters all the wrong signals. If you take away all that propaganda and massive marketing and advertising of sport there would be no fans left in no time. For watching paint dry is probably more beneficial than wasting hours on meaningless competitions that are probably fixed in advance anyway.
Sport is an activity to take part in. Not to watch and obsess about simply because some people make a lot of money out of it. Think about it next time you feel like killing several hours in front of the box watching unremarkable people doing unremarkable things.