Friday, March 19, 2010

Reactions to Lance Armstrong's Conversation with Tony Kornheiser

In the wake of Tony Kornheiser statements the other day about running down cyclists on the road, the internets lit up like wildfire and the de facto king of all Cycling, Lance Armstrong, took up the fight. I just listened to the interview on Kornheiser's radio show.

I may try to get a transcript of the whole call but from what I heard, Kornheiser doesn't really seem sorry for what he said, he seemed much sorrier about getting called out for it and had no idea of the kind of firestorm his stupid ass comments would bring down on him.

This latest stupidity comes on the heels of a two week suspension for making dumbass remarks on the air about Hannah Storm. I make no bones about the fact that I think Tony Kornheiser is a blithering idiot. I've really disliked him for years now and pretty much ignore him whenever his face-made-for-radio is splashed on the tv. I find it ridiculous that he got a suspension for a stupid sexist comment about Storm and doesn't seem to be facing any repercussions for calling for grievous bodily harm against cyclists. What is up with that, ESPN?

The main problem most cyclists have with an attitude like Kornheiser's is that we already feel very exposed out on the roads. We don't need some asshat national sportswriter painting an even bigger target on our backs. I have been lucky enough to never have any road rage drivers grief me on the roads but I ride on the road much less often than in the woods (partially because of this) but I have had nearly every one of my cycling buddies get some kind of hassle. One buddy who was just biking to work had some jerks throw a soda can full of pennies at him on the way by, he's very, very lucky it missed him because the can weighed like three pounds and would have seriously hurt him. Other cyclists I know have been "doored" (when a car opens its door into a bike lane and catches a cyclist), Cyclicious relates a story of some wanker in a BMW tapping his back wheel in the Santa Cruz Harbor.

There is nothing funny at all about running down cyclists, there is nothing funny about calling for harm to be caused to other people and I don't think Kornheiser is truly sorry, I think he's sorry he set off a firestorm and just wants to keep his cushy job yapping about sports that he's not talented enough to play. I had no respect for him before and now I'd probably be just as likely to punch him in the face if I met him only now I'd feel more justified in doing so.

I wish Lance had taken him more to task, I wish the conversation had been less about the new social media landscape and more about the affront to decency that Kornheiser represents with his opinion and words. I understand Lance needed to be diplomatic and represent our sport as a cool, calm super stud that he is. But it would have been nice to him drag Kornheiser's worthless ass across the coals for a bit.

But then I've been told that I'm often too reactionary when I should be more thoughtful and deliberate. On that same token, I think the whole world could do more to be more thoughtful and deliberate.

What was your take on the interview and the controversy?
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