Friday, January 18, 2013
Greek Tragedy In Real Time: Lance Armstrong
This morning as I was discussing last night's Oprah interview with my husband he mentioned he didn't want to give Lance another second of his time to think about. I disagreed, of course, this is a rare time we can watch a person endure the lowest point of his life (cancer) to the highest (7 Tour De France wins and a thriving charity foundation) to the lowest (public ridicule and shaming).
It is a Greek tragedy in real time. You can take a lot away from Lance but no one can ever accuse him of not living a BIG life. Whats next for the fallen superstar? I am on the edge of my seat. I can't wait to find out. Seriously. He's fascinating. The thin veneer of contrition over boiling anger at having been caught and now having to admit it. The dagger-like eyes of ice boring into Oprah as she forced him to admit he was a "bully" and a "jerk".
"What would you have advised him to do?" asked my husband. Hmmm, well first of all I never would have been hired because guys like Lance, and Tiger, and Roger Clemens don't listen to advice from folks like me, not when their pride deafens all others out. But had I been able to wrestle his attention I never would have allowed this interview. Oprah did a great job, she got everything out of him he was willing to spill, and all we really cared about. What does this admission mean to his upcoming lawsuits? What does it mean for the last shred of potential sponsorship opportunities available to him? What does it mean for the court of public opinion?
I would have put Lance on the road, not on a bike this time but in a car, personally driving and sitting down with ALL the people he wronged; looking them in the eye, face to face and apologizing. Not having a "40 minute conversation" on the phone with the wife of one of the teammates he has ruined. Once he made amends Lance should have shown in in a tangible way, either through a BIG donation, or time spent sacrificing himself to serve others that he was willing to make up as much as he could for his mistakes, lies and damage to the sport of cycling. THEN and only then should he have sat down with Oprah, telling her all this because that time would have forced him to really think and understand what he did to people and how he affected their lives. That time would have softened his famous ego, cut through his defensiveness and allowed the public to see a real human being sorry for his actions under the bravado.
Lance- there is still time. Do the right thing for yourself, your fans, your fellow survivors and the sport.