Tour de France - is it unAmerican?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Steve, Jul 26, 2003.

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  1. Steve

    Steve Guest

    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.
     
    Tags:


  2. Henry

    Henry Guest

    And that is why we have fewer and fewer friends in the world every year--because it's all about us.
    If they're not with us, they're against us because we're never wrong.

    We went from having the sympathy and support of nearly every country in the world September 11,
    2001, to being shunned and despised by much of the world in 2003.

    We've forgetten what WIN-WIN is all about. We've also forgotten that the people you mistreat on
    the way up, you might meet up on the way back down. It is a small world and we need to learn to
    live in it...

    Just my (call it Un-American if you like) opionion...

    "Steve" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > 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.
    >
    >
    > 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.
     
  3. "Steve" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > 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.
     
  4. Rivermist

    Rivermist Guest

    troll

    "Steve" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > 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.
     
  5. Ruger9

    Ruger9 Guest

    On Sat, 26 Jul 2003 15:51:39 GMT, Steve <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Excerpts from King Kaufman's column in Salon -

    Well, there's your whole problem right there.

    Ruger9
     
  6. Joe Potter

    Joe Potter Guest

    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
     
  7. Pat

    Pat Guest

    x-no-archive:yes

    "henry" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > And that is why we have fewer and fewer friends in the world every year--because it's all about
    > us. If they're not with us, they're against
    us
    > because we're never wrong.
    >
    > We went from having the sympathy and support of nearly every country in
    the
    > world September 11, 2001, to being shunned and despised by much of the
    world
    > in 2003.
    >
    > We've forgetten what WIN-WIN is all about. We've also forgotten that the people you mistreat on
    > the way up, you might meet up on the way back down. It is a small world and we need to learn to
    > live in it...
    >
    > Just my (call it Un-American if you like) opionion...

    Henry, it's just his opinion: he is only saying how HE personally would react. It's not the entire
    country's ethos just because one jerk shows that he's an A--hole. Don't make the mistake that just
    because one idiot made this statement that it is the truth!

    Pat in TX
     
  8. M. Barbee

    M. Barbee Guest

    "Steve" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > 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.
     
  9. Michael

    Michael Guest

    "Joe Potter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > 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.
     
  10. >There was a live online chat with Sally Jenkins...

    She had a good column in the Sports section a couple of days ago about Tyler Hamilton. Looking at le
    Tour as a reenactment of Christ's journey to Calvary and redemption of sin. She's a good writer,
    better than the Salon guy.

    --

    _______________________ALL AMIGA IN MY MIND_______________________ ------------------"Buddy Holly,
    the Texas Elvis"------------------
    __________306.350.357.38>>[email protected]__________
     
  11. David Kerber

    David Kerber Guest

    In article <%[email protected]>, mdw3- [email protected] says...
    >
    > "Joe Potter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > 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.

    Soccer has this tradition, including in the MLS and WUSA. Last weekend I went to the US Men's
    National Team vs Cuba. ONe of the Cuban players goes down with an injury, and the US side kicks the
    ball out of bounds to stop play so the injured player can be attended to. Then Cuba gets the ball on
    a throw in, but they give it back in to the US because the US had posession when the injury
    occurred. This is one of the traditions of the game.

    --
    Dave Kerber Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

    REAL programmers write self-modifying code.
     
  12. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    Sat, 26 Jul 2003 17:21:57 -0400, <[email protected]>, David Kerber
    <[email protected]_ids.net> 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
     
  13. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    Sat, 26 Jul 2003 19:49:21 GMT, <[email protected]>, "M. Barbee"
    <[email protected]> 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
     
  14. >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"------------------
    __________306.350.357.38>>[email protected]__________
     
  15. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    Sat, 26 Jul 2003 18:05:47 -0400, <[email protected]>, "Eric
    S. Sande" <[email protected]> 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
     
  16. Kevan Smith

    Kevan Smith Guest

    On Sat, 26 Jul 2003 19:37:31 GMT, "Michael" <[email protected]> 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.

    --
    http://home.sport.rr.com/cuthulu/ human rights = peace FROZEN ENTREES may be flung by members of
    opposing SWANSON SECTS ...
    5:38:05 PM 26 July 2003
     
  17. Kevan Smith

    Kevan Smith Guest

    On Sat, 26 Jul 2003 16:06:55 -0400, "Eric S. Sande" <[email protected]> from Realtime Limited wrote:

    >Looking at le Tour as a reenactment of Christ's journey to Calvary and redemption of sin.

    Oh, that's laying it on way too thick.

    --
    http://home.sport.rr.com/cuthulu/ human rights = peace My CODE of ETHICS is vacationing at famed
    SCHROON LAKE in upstate New York!!
    5:39:05 PM 26 July 2003
     
  18. Joe Potter

    Joe Potter Guest

    Zoot Katz wrote:

    > Sat, 26 Jul 2003 18:05:47 -0400, <[email protected]>, "Eric
    > S. Sande" <[email protected]> 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
     
  19. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    Sat, 26 Jul 2003 17:38:10 -0500, <[email protected]>, Kevan Smith
    <[email protected]/\/\> wrote:

    >On Sat, 26 Jul 2003 19:37:31 GMT, "Michael" <[email protected]> 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
     
  20. Zoot Katz wrote:
    > Sat, 26 Jul 2003 18:05:47 -0400, <[email protected]>, "Eric
    > S. Sande" <[email protected]> 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!"
     
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