Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The complicated case of Lance Armstrong

By Jeff

Lance Armstrong and video games have more in common than you think. Armstrong beat cancer and then came back to the sport of cycling and won a record seven consecutive Tour de France titles. We've since learned that he cheated to do so. That's like when you build a dynasty in any sports related video game and it's almost unfair because you have rigged the draft, performed lopsided trades or used a glitch in the game so that you can just bring the puck down the ice, swerve to one side and backhand the puck past the goalie every time ("NHL 96").

Or maybe you could say Armstrong is like the Konami Code. Without it, the game "Contra" is impossible because it's like all the enemies are hopped up on drugs and the only way you can beat them is to take said drugs.

OK, that was a bit of a stretch.

Anyway, there is a lot of debate on Armstrong with that reports are coming out that he will admit to Oprah Winfrey that he used performance enhancing drugs during his career. Does the $400 million he helped raise for cancer awareness justify cheating in the sport that allowed him to raise that money?

I would say yes. Cycling is a sport, which in turn is a game. Cancer is one of the scariest things in the world that kills people indiscriminately. So yes, if cheating in a sport led to saving countless lives, then it is worth it.

But that is not all Armstrong did. He tried to or did destroy other people's lives in his attempt to cover up the truth. Those actions are not defensible. His bullying tactics are disgusting. This is not the type of person you want to look up to. Bullies are terrible people and there is no excuse for their actions.

In this sense, I have lost respect for Armstrong. If he just admitted to doping after he had won the titles, he still would have been able to raise all that money for cancer, but no one would have had to be hurt or threatened.

Cheating at a game is one thing. Especially in a sport where cheating is so rampant. But personally attacking individuals for addressing said cheating is inexcusable. While I am happy for the millions of people with cancer Armstrong has helped, his other actions will always leave a sour taste in my mouth.

No comments:

Post a Comment