Celebrity of Pro Cyclists

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Patrick, Jul 28, 2003.

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  1. Patrick

    Patrick Guest

    When the riders are interviewed during coverage of the big races on OLN or where ever, they seem to
    stick to tactics and speak to the true cyclists watching the events. When I read the threads on this
    NG I see a lot of different personalities, but mostly veterans who don't want to put up with noobs
    asking questions like "What's a chainstay?" Although sometimes the flaming is ruthless It keeps me
    thinking that cycling is an "underground" sport that probably won't attain mainstream status
    comparible to american football or baseball. AND I LIKE IT that way. I saw the interview with LA on
    NBC this morning and I rolled my eyes more than a few times. Lance was such a dork. Playing into the
    retarded questions "whats-her-face" asked about how scared he was when he was only up by 15". I
    guess my question is...is the overexposure that Lance Armstrong is getting going to ruin the race
    interviews that I like to watch, and are future winners going to do the same. Or, refresh my memory,
    do all big race winners turn hollywood ?
     
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  2. Khoomei

    Khoomei Guest

    On 28 Jul 2003 16:17:55 -0700, [email protected] (Patrick) wrote:

    >I guess my question is...is the overexposure that Lance Armstrong is getting going to ruin the race
    >interviews that I like to watch, and are future winners going to do the same. Or, refresh my
    >memory, do all big race winners turn hollywood ?

    Remember Pantani around 1997 and 1998? He was a very humble likeable guy. Face it. At first they are
    all alone during their practice with maybe a few teammates everyday. Once they win the TdF then
    every TV announcer wants to interview them. After a while it can easily go to their head that they
    are superhuman. They spend a much larger chunk of their time talking about how great they are than
    training by themselves on the road. Pantani became arrogant for no reason and then a mental patient.
    I thought this would have happened to Lance at least 2 years ago. I think the cancer was a big
    reality check for him.
     
  3. Amg

    Amg Guest

    > I guess my question is...is the overexposure that Lance Armstrong is getting going to ruin the
    > race interviews that I like to watch, and are future winners going to do the same. Or, refresh my
    > memory, do all big race winners turn hollywood ?

    This bears on a bigger issue, which is that, as far as the viewers and the media are concerned,
    sports is essentially a form of entertainment -- call it show business if you wish. Sports
    heroes can obviously become celebrities, just like actors -- or anyone else that can create a
    big enough stir.

    How an individual responds to the limelight depends on his own constitution, but there are many that
    have gotten carried away and started to believe in their own wonderfulness, perhaps because everyone
    seems to be suddenly paying so much attention to them. Some even start to think that celebrity
    qualifies them to become statesmen or political leaders, amazing though this may seem. (Anyone
    notice Arnold at the Tour?)

    Whether this will happen to Lance, who still seems pretty sincere, is open to question, but clearly,
    all the attention forces one to think about other things than just the nuts and bolts (literally) of
    the next race. In any case, as a celebrity interviewee he must keep in mind who his audience is --
    he can't talk in the same terms to a national TV audience as to a racing club, disappointing though
    that may be to the true devotees who are watching. Lance also has a second constituency in the US
    that is broader than the racing community -- that of cancer survivors, or those who are desperate to
    survive -- to whom he is talking.

    The other side of the coin is that at the moment, Lance and his celebrity are driving the
    popularization, even the recognition, of cycling as a watchable spectator sport, and it is this
    popularization that makes TV coverage feasible -- the same coverage that is so avidly sought after
    and discussed, often in excruciating detail, in this group. So paradoxically, the dilution that goes
    hand in hand with national media attention may be an inevitable accompaniment to the deepening
    appreciation of cycling by a larger public, an appreciation whose benefits are ultimately shared by
    the aficionados.

    In other words, you can't have it both ways!

    -- AMG (former show-business person, but never a celebrity, thank God!)
     
  4. "Patrick" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > Playing into the retarded questions "whats-her-face" asked about how scared he
    [Armstrong] was when
    > he was only up by 15".

    That seems like a good question to me.

    JT

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