Lance Armstrong: Maybe he’s just a loser

Lance ArmstrongTo know me, is to know that I believe in second chances. It is one of the foundational beliefs of the Sports Ethics programs.

However (and it’s a big however), if an athlete, team, coach or even an entire program isn’t willing to do the hard, soul searching, work of understanding where their bad choices led them, absolutely nothing is gained. Eventually bad choices will lead a man or women to realizing that if they don’t change their lives and their poor choices, their careers will be over. We will see how Josh Gordon, Hope Solo, Johnny Manziel and Warren Sapp respond to their recent challenges. It is in their hands.

What happens though, when someone never learns; when their poor choices keep occurring because they are too arrogant or too egotistical to change their behavior?

The poster child for such a person is Lance Armstrong.

Honey, will you take the blame for me?

In an article that went out over the Associated Press (February 4, 2015) entitled: “Lance Armstrong: Hit Parked Cars,” we see that Lance and his girlfriend, Anna Hansen, had been out partying in Aspen. After leaving the party, he got loaded and managed to hit two parked cars. In his drunken state, he did what any loser would do: had his girlfriend take the blame.

“Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong hit two parked cars with an SUV after a night of partying in Aspen, Colorado, but agreed to let his longtime girlfriend take the blame to avoid national attention, police reports show.

Hansen initially told police she had been driving home from an Aspen Art Museum party when she lost control of Armstrong’s GMC Yukon on icy roads, hitting the cars. She said she drove because ‘Lance had a little bit to drink,’ according to the reports.”

I won’t go into the various ways that the girlfriend covered for Lance Armstrong that night. She lied to the people whose cars Lance hit, but at least she was bright enough to not lie to the detectives.

“’We’ve had our family name smeared over every paper in the world in the last couple of years and honestly, I’ve got teenagers, I just wanted to protect my family,’ Hansen told police, the reports state. ‘I thought, gosh, Anna Hansen hit some cars, it’s not going to show up in the papers, but Lance Armstrong hit some cars, it’s going to be a national story.’”

Anna Hansen has just joined a long line of chumps and stooges who have enabled the shamed cyclist to keep on going with his schemes and scams. I believe that she acted out of love, but to what end? He threw her under the bus without hesitation.

Her fears that she didn’t want this to become a national story were false; it has become a national story and about 100 million people are calling her a sucker. In his career as a cyclist, in his charitable foundation, in his public service announcements and in life he has misrepresented himself over and over again. It has gone beyond poor ethics and bad choices.

The whole Lance Armstrong story, with all its drama and celebrity, is still the story of a man who has not learned the simplest of all lessons: bad choices lead to bad consequences. He has just about run out of chances because he cares about no one except himself. People like that are usually called losers.



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