Response to quinnox (Original post)
Wed Oct 17, 2012, 04:45 PM
Javaman (48,385 posts)
9. The dark side of corporate sport sponcorship...
one begets the other.
The riders, traditionally, were poor and struggling to fund their own training. In steps corporations to sponsor them.
In order to keep that sponsorship, they have to keep winning. But in order to keep winning, they dope because everyone is doping to win, keep their sponsors and not live in poverty.
I am old enough to remember when athletes in the non-traditional corporate sponsored sports struggled to train and feed themselves. It wasn't until the AAU allowed "some" sponsorship for the athletes to properly train. This was a earth moving decision and let the flood gates open.
Prior to this decision, I recall many world class athletes who had to quit their primary sport and go into pro-sports to keep themselves and their families clothed and fed.
When the rule change happened, those same athletes tried to complete again in their old sports and alas, time marches on and they just weren't at their peak any longer.
I, as well as many many others, applauded this decision by the AAU.
Sadly, it now has resulted in this situation of athletes doing everything they can to stay "employed", if you will.
Living in Austin, Armstrong has always been hailed the conquering hero. I knew better. I had friends that rode with him and told a different story. He wasn't very pleasant to be around and all marveled at how he came across on TV as a "good guy".
That aside, crappy personality or not, the bottom line is, most if not a very high percentage of athletes in non-traditional sports dope and they do it to keep the money coming in from their corporate sponsors. And while the French screamed loud and hard over Armstrong's doping, I had always, thought, "My, those French athletes are yelling a lot. Me thinks they protest too much". So the statements by the other teams claiming that the French were doping and doping for a long time, honestly comes as zero surprise. As does Armstrong's doping.
But the hilarity of it all comes in the fact that the American public are "sooo surprised" by all of this when it is obviously rampant throughout the world of sports.
We want our athletes to be these paragons of virtue, these olympic gods of purity, when in the end, they couldn't be farthest from that myth. They are people working to make a living and given their field of choice being physically punishing, are we surprised that they dope? I recall one pro-football player saying, "Imagine being in a massive car wreck every week, that's what it's like playing a pro-football game is like".
We bet on football, we bet on basketball, we bet on track and field races, we bet on bicycle races, yet we get all bet out of shape when the athlete doesn't perform up to our expectations. We want perfection, we want accuracy, we want an athlete who never tires, never gets injured and never gets old.
But yet, when they show they are human and fail to meet our outrageous expectations, we, the public get pissed as if those athletes owe us something, when in fact they owe us nothing.
So while we get angry or sarcastic about the doping, I frankly, wouldn't be the least surprised if one day, an Athlete gets up to a microphone to address his adoring fans who are disappointed at he or she being found out to be doping and says, "fuck you all" to a stunned room.
As I started off my response and end it with the same statement, one begets the other.
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The dark side of corporate sport sponcorship...
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