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L E’s Stories – An Angel Fell From Grace…..And Atlas Shrugged Twice – A Tale Of Lance Armstrong

I will start this story out with a quote from ESPN First Take Host Stephen A. Smith….when he and Skip Bayless were debating the issue of whether 7-time Tour de France” champion cyclist Lance Armstrong was using PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) or not…..as Stephen A said, “You know what you know …..and you don’t know what you don’t know.”….while understanding that at this point in time of this debate, no one really knew the answer. Also, as I dive into this story, I want each of you readers to know that I am including some of my favorite videos in our museum out of the nearly 5500 videos that I have posted so far.                                                                                                                                                              

   Cycling – 1999 To 2005 – Highlights Of USA Lance Armstrong’s 7 Consecutive Tour de France Victories

The answer to that question would come to the surface not to far in the future from the date of this particular First Take program…..and on the day that this question was answered, the world paid a great price for HUMANITY from that day and far into the future….for something that was at the time…. essentially a “perceived truth”….and that is when Atlas shrugged….not once but twice. The first shrug came when a seven time world cycling champion fell from grace….after being found guilty in the court of public opinion for transgressions he supposedly did seven (7) years prior regarding the use of PEDs (performance enhancing drugs)….and the world of cycling was changed forever.                                                  

                    Cycling – 1993 To 2003 – The Story Of USA Lance Armstrong At The Tour de France

But when Atlas realized that as a result of this particular hero’s fall from grace in cycling….that in his decent he would also take an Angel of Mercy to millions of HUMANS around the world with him….for the decent of the cycling champion required that the same HUMAN had to also retire as the founder and chairman of Livestrong Foundation….specifically as an attempt to save a top rated cancer related foundation that had helped so many people…. and that is when Atlas shrugged again. Only this second shrug was harder than the first…..as Atlas had to stoop even a little further down as the weight of the world got heavier….cuz this time the fall from grace affected a multitude of HUMANS in need….causing a rippling affect that had the potential to change the world of many of this foundation’s present beneficiaries….while inducing significant obstacles for this foundation’s ability to receive donations …. which will affect potentially untold millions more HUMANS forever.                                                                         

                    Cycling – 1992 To 2005 – Highlights Of Lance Armstrong’s Best Moments Set To Music                                                                          

The fact is that when Atlas shrugged the second time….the effect was and will be felt all over the world….in every corner….from the top to the bottom….and all throughout the mid-section….reaching even deep down into it’s innards….straight to the core….the change will be felt.

What Atlas realized in what was the cause of his second shrug….was that by the bringing down of Lance Armstrong’s cycling career….which had actually concluded when he retired some 7 years back…was that in addition to the stripping of this champion’s accomplishments….the actions of those who continued to seek the truth….long after the fact….will literally and directly affect the growth and continued development of the funds and research necessary to help so many of those HUMANS who have the horrible disease of cancer. The truth is that no matter how the pie is cut….with effects long into the future….the ability of Livestrong Foundation to operate at its maximum efficiency and capability will be retarded significantly….along with the ability of this foundation to maximize its donations will be affected negatively….and if the history of HUMANITY repeats itself….heck….it could potentially be the start of a pervasive attitude being allowed to develop….which could destroy the lifeblood of a vibrant….successful ….and well run cancer foundation….that is needed for all of HUMANITY for years to come. Remember though….we are talking HUMANS here. Can you say COMPLICATE?!                                                                      

    Cycling – 2002 – Tour Du France Special – The Best Lance Armstrong Documentary You’ve Never Seen

                                                                                                                                                                                  At the time I wrote this story….Livestrong says it had functional expenses totaling nearly $35.8 million in 2011….and 82% of every dollar raised went directly to cancer programs….a total of more than $29.3 million….folks….do I need to reiterate that figure….we’re talking 82% of every dollar donated gets to the folks who need the help. CharityWatch.com is an organization that analyzes the work of approximately 600 charities….and they list Livestrong among its top-rated organizations….a status that normally goes to groups that generally spend 75% or more of their budgets on their actual programs….so they spend $25 or less to raise $100 in public support…while Livestrong does not hold excessive assets in reserve….and they disclose all basic financial information and documents.                                                                                  

                                  Cycling – 1993 To 2003 – Special Highlights – The Tour de France                                                                                        With The Greatest Cyclist Lance Armstrong

                                                                                                                                                                                The long lasting result of this Angel’s fall from grace….will have such devastating affect for decades into the future on so many people and their family’s lives….not just for those who have cancer….but their friends….their jobs and businesses….and even for those who will get cancer in the next few decades. And you know what….none of these people really give a “flying flip” about what their Angel did or didn’t do seven years ago”….cuz they simply cherish the comfort and hope that has been provided to them from the mind and the soul of this Angel of Mercy….giving support to the fact of his undying effort to help others. Other cancer organizations lauded Armstrong as an advocate in the fight against the disease. “Armstrong has been a world leader in addressing the physical and emotional challenges that cancer patients face, both during and after treatment. He has personally campaigned tirelessly for increases in cancer research funding. He and this foundation have also been advocates for better access to quality cancer care….for all people,” said Dr. Larry Shulman, director of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.   

                               Cycling – 1992 To 2005 – Documentary – The Story Of Lance Armstrong                                                                                And The Tour de France With Host Phil Liggett

                                                                                                                                                                          Armstrong’s inspiring story of not only recovering from testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and brain.…and then being able to recover so well that he was able to win seven (7) times the world’s best-known and one of it’s sports most challenging bike races….while providing leadership and helping his foundation grow from a small operation in Texas into one of the most popular charities in the country. Armstrong drew legions of fans and donations….as he insisted he was drug-free at a time when doping was running rampant throughout the culture of professional cycling on a global basis. In 2004, the foundation introduced “the yellow Live Strong bracelets”…. while selling more than 80 million units…. and creating a global symbol for cancer awareness and survival. “As my cancer treatment was drawing to an end, I created a foundation to serve people affected by cancer. It has been a great privilege to help grow it from a dream into an organization that today has served 2.5 million people and helped spur a cultural shift in how the world views cancer survivors,” Armstrong said in his statement. 

                Cycling – 2012 – NBC Special – Cyclist Lance Armstrong Speaks Out On Life After Doping                                                                                            On The Today Show                                  

                                                                                                                                                                                  So the big question from a dog’s perspective becomes….”Why do HUMANS feel a need to focus on a person’s shortcomings instead of shining more light and giving more support to their long suits? Why can’t HUMANS focus on what that person with shortcomings has done in serving HUMANITY?” All this lil ole Chiweenie knows is that which caused Atlas to shrug the second time was significantly more impactful than the facts or truths that were uncovered during the investigation process. The truth be known is that we here at ImaSportsphile doubt that anyone will remember the exposing of Lance Armstrong the cyclist by year 2030….and sadly enough, they won’t remember LiveStrong either.                                                                                                                                                                                                Comedian D L Hughley on ESPN’s First Take when asked how Armstrong will be remembered….. and responded,  “He is all of us….some bad….some good….as a human being….he is more human to me.”….to which Steven A reacted to D L’s comment by saying “It is not what he used that is my issue….it is the way he attacked people who accused him of doping….and it was wicked….he’s a despicable human being with what he was willing to do to others….and his comment that he cared was comedic….he tried to destroy people’s lives….it’s the intended pain he was willing to inflict….and that is what he will be remembered for.“

 

         Cycling – 2015 – Special – Lance Armstrong Tells BBC Interviewer He Would Probably Dope Again                                                               If He Went Back To 1995 But Not So In 2015

                                                                                                                                                                                    If what Steven A. said is true….and like a hand shake from a West Texan or Skip Bayless….I’d say that it’s a good bet that it is true….cuz of his perchance towards a higher standard….then maybe in this particular case….the end did justify the means….but it is this little ole Chiweenie’s belief that the world would be a much better place if all the HUMANS on this Earth would agree to learn to shift their focus from the small picture to the big picture. You know….just simply try to support their fellow man instead of focusing on endeavors that are intended to tear them down. I mean….don’t we all….dogs and HUMANS alike…. have good things we have done and bad things that we have done?….even we who want the truth to be known so bad that they will go back 7 years to uncover some semblance of truth….don’t we all have demons in our hope chests. It is my contention that everyone has some things hidden in their life’s closet that could bring them down if it were known of.   

       Cycling – 2011 – Special – Interview With Prior 7 Time Tour de France Champion Lance Armstrong                                                                On Training + Quarantine Living + Evolving                                                                                                                        

The obvious food for thought here lies in the question….”Why do HUMANS focus on the things that can destroy rather than those things that build?”  Anyway, this story is just some food for thought from your favorite lil Chiweenie sprinkled with some good ole Dog Philosophy….cuz the big picture here is not about a champion who cheated….but rather of a whole culture that encouraged cheating. However, when you follow the money….it is not hard to understand how the individual becomes the focal point….while the culture and the folks with big bucks plays better than thou….while giving the impression that they knew nothing. Like Bone Daddy always says….”Always….just follow the money L E”….and remember that those who dig up old bones and make them public….will never put anything in print or over the airways….that points the finger at the whole culture of the sport….aka….steroids in baseball….cuz these folks who feel a need to blow the whistle….understand that their jobs are not in jeopardy while pointing the public finger at the athlete….but if they even dared to blow the whistle on the culture…..they’d most certainly lose their jobs.” The truth of the matter is that they ”know who has the money”….cuz they work for The Man….which makes the individual athlete an easier and more accessible target.                                     

     Cycling – 1981 To 2005 – Special – Profiles Of THE BEEF Between Greg LeMond & Lance Armstrong                                                       With Threats + Doping + The Legal System

                                                                                                                                                                                      Like many of my stories, once I get them started writing one, doesn’t mean that I always get them finished….cuz many that I’ve started are still sittin’ right where I started them….in need of being finished. This is one of those stories….as it has been sitting on the shelf for enough time to pass to allow me to gather enough information to allow me to come to this conclusion……that Lance Armstrong was truly an Angel of Mercy to so many HUMANS on this Earth. It seems to me that no matter how much the public was deceived by this champion’s accomplishment….the fact was that the whole culture of bicycle racing not only knew what was going on in their sport….but they also supported and condoned it….and It is my opinion that the cheating was done by many more than just the champions and athletes….for it was very widespread throughout the culture of cycling….so the need for some HUMAN to illuminate the discretions of one….without illuminating the discretions of the whole cycling world….is once again the ability of HUMANS to focus on the small picture instead of the big. In this case….the eventual outcome of the big picture will have huge negative affect to the lives of so many innocent suffering HUMANS….who could care less whether the culture of cycling was blood doping or not….for “as this angel fell from grace….Atlas shrugged twice.”                                                                                                                                 

         Cycling – 2019 – NBC Sports Special – Sportscaster Mike Tirico Conducts An Extensive Interview                                                              With Lance Armstrong Into His Life And Career

                                                                                                                                                                                      You need to pay attention to this one….cuz we dogs have a far better outlook on this subject than HUMANS….and it is another example of how SIMPLER IS BETTER….you know….the basic difference between dogs and HUMANS….cuz you HUMANS like to complicate everything…..as you will see in this example, but first….two questions:

Question # 1 – In America…..isn’t a HUMAN considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law?

Regarding the first question….it is glaringly obvious by the example of the story of this fallen athlete…. that no longer in America is a man innocent until proven guilty. The reason for Armstrong’s fall from grace….was because of perceived guilt based on data compiled from testimonies of many former teammates….wherein 29 in total as purported by the media….which would lead one to believe that Armstrong was guilty of the doping accusations. So, is he guilty?….certainly by now he is definitely guilty in the eyes of the public….and by the time I finished this story….Armstrong had come out and admitted his guilt….cuz the focus by the media of a whole society’s sins creates an insurmountable amount of pressure for ANY individual to endure.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    However, in the country and place where BD grew up….he understood full well that in America a person is innocent until proven guilty. A proven truth vs. a perceived truth were the grounds for this story….for by the time Armstrong had been proved guilty in the court of public opinion….without value to the consideration that he had been tested hundreds of times over his career and never having a positive test.…so, even a Chiweenie can figure this one out….cuz since he has now admitted he was really guilty….then how did he pass all of those tests?! Duh….I mean….DUH…..could the whole culture have known?!!! How about another real truth vs. perceived truth as in this story….surfaced the fact that a special government report was filed….after their publically tax funded investigation supported the belief that Armstrong did not use PEDs…..for no official testing entity could ever show proof of Armstong’s use of banned substances for whatever the reason….so, really when you consider this first question as based on the Constitution of the United States of America….there is “no proof”….other than his eventual disclosure….and therefore Armstrong is “innocent until proven guilty”.                                                                     

                      Cycling – 2019 – Tour de France Special – Phil Liggett Interviews Lance Armstrong                                                                      About The First 10 Days Of the 2019 Tour de France

                                                                                                                                                                                  So, if Armstrong had not crumbled under the financial pressure of fighting the media and the government in America….and if he had not admitted anything….would he have eventually been proven guilty by a court of law?….or would the culture of cycling at the time have been proven guilty? From this canine’s perspective…..the whole matter would have been slipped under the rug….to protect those who were equally guilty?….or maybe the ones who make all the MONEY?….could they have been the same folks? Well, being a dog….I know that in the world of media….you HUMANS will continue to burn and bury the individual athlete and not the culture.                                                                                                                  

When it comes to dogs vs HUMANS in this story….there ain’t no way that any dog would dig up somebody else’s old bones after they had been buried for over 7 years…. cuz we like to keep things simple….so we might dig up some recent bone from a couple of days or a week back….OK even a month back….but every dog I know would move on after that….never ever considering going back years to find an old bone. On the other paw….with most of you HUMANS….you feel a need to go back years to dig up other HUMANS old bones….applying pressure and duress to anyone who might know where an old bone might be buried…. and for what purpose?….the truth? Who the hell are you kidding? The way I see it….this once again provides undeniable proof that HUMANS just have to make every situation as complicated as possible….and that’s my only explanation for why HUMANS do that which brings us to my second question.                                                                                                                                                            

          Cycling – 2013 – ESPN 30 For 30 Special – Lance Armstrong Talks Training Under Michele Ferrari                                                                                                                                                  

Question # 2 – What is the true value derived for HUMANITY from uncovering and exposing the weakness of one individual HUMAN at the expense of the all HUMANITY?

In every aspect of life as we know it on this Earth….whether you are a dog….a HUMAN or whatever….you can’t have a top to something without having a bottom to that thing….in furniture, you can’t have a top to a table without having a bottom of the table….in nature, you can’t have a rose without a thorn….in weather, you can’t have a calm day without another day having a storm….and within all HUMANS, you can’t have good without having bad….for God Dog (God Almighty to HUMANS) made things that way. So, as only a dog can say it….”Simply put….you just can’t have a top without a bottom”.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Therefore, what if one learns how to embrace the bottoms of every aspect of their life….in order to identify those lessons that they are supposed to learn from when the most challenging times are upon them. All HUMANS have the ability to embrace the bottom side of life when things are going bad….as much as they embrace the top side….when everything is going really good in their lives….cuz then and only then will they find that within the confines of their life’s bottom parts and times is the embodiment of some of the greatest lessons of life to be learned. These are the lessons that go a long way in helping all beings, especially HUMAN, find peace, joy and tranquility in their lives….at least here on Earth….as once again….I give you living proof that dogs differ from HUMANS in the fact that all dogs will focus on the good in all these things….cuz the simple truth is that dogs will see the one piece of good meat left on a decaying bone carcass with tons of flies….whereas a large number of HUMANS will focus on the bad parts of decay and flies….and they never see the good in the bad. So look harder all you HUMANS…. and embrace the bottom and grow….for if it doesn’t kill ya….it will make you stronger.                                             

                                           Cycling – 2005 – Highlights – Tour de France – Stage 10                                                                                                                Lance Armstrong’s Epic Ride

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