It makes you wonder if the Tennessee Titans fans ought to be facing jail time for what PacMan Jones has been up to lately. Or if San Francisco Giants fans oughtta be drug tested thanks to Barry Bonds juicing. Or if Atlanta Falcons fans should be under indictment for Michael Vick's alleged dog fighting. For that matter, with a dozen Bengals players arrested over the last year, what the hell would you do with the Cincinatti Bengals fans... put them in the gulag?
Punish the athlete by screwing the fans... Man, now that I think about it, the German TV stations are merely acting like U.S. pro sports team franchise owners, who use punishing the fans as a magic Band-aid for pretty much anything that ails the team. Need money for free agent contracts? Screw some money out of the fans. Need to renegotiate the collective bargaining agreement? Have a lockout or strike, screw the fans so they pressure the players to settle. (Yep, the players' unions act the same way). Want to pay off the fines assessed for cutting down hundreds of trees without a permit near your mansion in Potomac, MD? Just raise the rates for parking and get the state to tell fans it's illegal to walk to the ballpark. Screw the fans until they start liking it, and ask for more.
When you start ginning up a bill of particulars about every different way sports ownership screws the fans, it's clear that the management in pro sports enjoy doing it. Thus it shouldn't be surprising that T-Mobile seems crooked, that UCI and WADA seem happy to mount what look like witch hunts, and that the TV stations are happy to pursue their agenda at the expense of the fans. Maybe the commies are right, maybe the monied interests are wrecking sports. [Update: Maybe the University of Chicago economists are right too, about how when you get a lot of people with money sort of conspiring together, they screw up the marketplace by preventing it from acting in a natural manner, punishing bad performers on its own.] Ted Leonsis, the best owner in all of sports excepted, of course - we love ya, Teddy, you rock! German television... not so much.
Tour Tidbit from Bob Roll: "We saw Patrice Algan attacking on the hill, and Jens Voigt going to the front, and restoring order by HURTING the men around him..." God, I love Jens Voigt... he's just a beast. He should have dropped those French wheelsucking fools when he had the chance, though.
Christian VandeVelde's take on the stage is definitely worth reading.
Zabriskie lost his mind under the hot sun, much to the amusement to those of us around him. . . I did manage to catch up with a few friends and tossed water bottles at cars. Fabian had an impressive John Paxon-style three pointer today. He pointed out a van on the side of the road with the door open. Once he had our attention, he hucked one across the road, right into the back seat. I was impressed as hell that the Swiss bear could shoot so well. I did my best Bulls' announcer impression, but it was completely lost on ol' Toblerone. This is not as easy as it sounds. We are rolling around at about 25 to 30, so you really have to time your throw or else you could put it somewhere you shouldn't, like where I did when I tried to copy his shot. I mean I... well, no comment. Suffice it to say, I'll stick to golf.And Christian's thoughts on Patrik Sinkewitz?
One big loser of the week and I use that term in the broad sense when it comes to him, is Patrick stinky pits (sorry, I don't know how to spell his last name). He smashed his face after the race the other day and then found out he turned a positive test this morning. And you thought you were having a bad week?!? Not that I feel for him in the slightest way. Frankly, if he needs any help re-breaking his nose, I know a lot of people who would love to give him a hand.
Oooh. That'll leave a mark.