The parting glass

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51 Responses to “Toast”

  1. Sharon Says:

    ABC’s – – Armstrong, Bonds, Canseco… et al
    Too bad it’s gone so far that he can’t come clean. He’s going to have quite a few lawsuits I would suspect to try to get money back earned via ill-gotten ways. He could go broke with all of the attorney fees, unless he siphons off enough money from LS. That may be the next shoe to drop for him – – how much that he benefits financially from LS. Read some of the excerpts of the testimony this afternoon and some are really tough about being young and having to choose to go along or go home. DZ’s story seemed especially sad.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Sharon, it’s going to be a long slog, for sure. I read the Reasoned Decision but haven’t gone for the full monty yet. Been a long day trying to get Herself back from Hawaii, a task accomplished right around noonish.

      The worst things I had to deal with as a young sprout new to my trade were work 44 hours a week, get paid for 40, and drink a string of long-neck Buds at the whim of a managing editor who was fond of bar fights. Times sure have changed for the entertainment bizniz, and not for the better.

  2. brokenlinkjournalism Says:

    I’ll have some of that wine there, fine sir.

    Speaking of whines, I wonder when the first ‘reasoned’ response will come from the multitude of TCWSNBN’s pedantic hangers on (i.e. fans). It should be interesting reading just to see how the brainiacs in the peloton ‘excuse’ away their actions. A reasoned guess would be that the statement “but all the Euros did/do it” will be somewhere in the proclamations of fandom.

    Oh, how the worm has turned….

  3. Steve O Says:

    Just read Dave Z’s testimony. I want to punch LA in the face. Or kick him in his one ball.

    • Steve O Says:

      Wanna lose 20 IQ points? Try reading the comments to the VeloNews lead article.

      • Larry T. Says:

        VN’s become the place where the spectacularly uninformed meet the fiercely ignorant. These comments would be laughable if they weren’t so sad. This is the same kind of blather that comes out of Repuglican pundits these days.

  4. Libby Says:

    Wine, crystal and jewelry – I see that you are “keep[ing] it classy”, Patrick. I have to check out Mr. Pelkey’s “classy” take.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Thanks, Libby. I had started writing a post but it went nowhere fast. I don’t know whether I was tired of Big Tex, or just tired, period. In any case, I thought I’d see whether the old saw about a picture being worth a thousand words was actually true.

  5. David R Says:

    Well done sir! Great photo…

  6. Derek Says:

    Well played sir.

  7. JoeyDurango Says:

    It’s about effin’ time this went public… finally.

    Actual comment seen yesterday on AP story: “Good job USADA – you busted the guy that inspired millions.” Sarcasm apparent. Have we really dropped to the low of not caring about actuality, only appearances? Oh wait – don’t answer that. Pretty sure I got that one already.

    • Steve O Says:

      For a dozen trays, the mantra went, witch hunt, you’re a hater.

      Now that’s its beyond speculation, they’re screaming for lifetime bans for GH, CVV, DZ, etc.

      But it totally explains our disfunctional political situation, yeah? A confederacy of dunces on both sides.

  8. Jon Paulos Says:

    Patrick, you drank that wine after the photo shoot, right? You probably needed it.

  9. Larry T. Says:


    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Thank you, sir. You may be pleased to learn that the wine in that glass is a 2009 Michele Chiarlo Barbera d’Asti. And very tasty (and soothing) it was, too.

      • Larry T. Says:

        A nice vino for sure. My recent multiple case order got cut down to a mere 19 bottles and 12 of them were promised to friends! I guess the secret’s out on that one. As to the glass, I suppose it’s sort of an odd collector’s item now?

  10. khal spencer Says:

    I’m seeing some of the “I’m sorry, mea culpa” including George Hincapie’s blog statement. George H is a good guy.

    What I don’t know is how the peloton actually worked. I have a buddy down here, Clay Moseley (Patrick, you might know him) who raced a little bit in Europe about the time of the Festina affair and fled the drug scene, seeing the syringes on the wall, so to speak. He is now a civil engineer for the county and is still a formidable amateur racer on the local and national level. Perhaps a better choice for those with sufficient grey matter.

    Seems the peloton has been a bunch of wussies on this issue. Don’t they have an…ahem…labor union? Being asked to take illegal and potentially harmful drugs for the team bosses and team leaders so that everyone can go harder to get to the same place sounds like a sure loser of a proposition and an unfair labor practice. Anyone know anything about pro cycling vs. labor law on this? Where is Pelkey when you need him?

    • Steve O Says:

      I’m with you on not getting it.

      You know why you should never believe a conspiracy theory involving the military? Because, for any potential conspiracy, there’s going to be that disgruntled private who was standing out side the door and heard everything, And who was so pissed off because he had KP duty last weekend that he’ll tell the New York Times or seymor hersh anything and everything

      Similarly, I can’t believe there aren’t more B team racers who have nothing to lose by going to the media.

      I guess it’s not so much a loyalty to the bosses as a loyalty to ones peers. You bring down the team, and lancey pants will still do fine, but that first year kid, your bunk mate last spring, will be the one who can’t find a team next year

      • khal spencer Says:

        Steve, I think that is why its a union issue. Its not practical for reasons you described to have a B team guy rat out the pack. The team has to collectively say “fuck you” to doping. I suspect that would mean that the team leaders have to swallow their pride and agree to it. That’s the tough part.

        I was on the Board of Directors of the Univ of Hawaii faculty union for a few years before we fled Paradise for BombTown. Getting the high fliers to agree on priorities with the working stiffs could be a tough job, as they had different primary roles and interests. To the high salaried research faculty, it was academic freedom, good intellectual property rules, and higher salaries, for example. To the grunts in the trenches, it was hammering out teaching equivalencies and release time and salaries. Managing to get all that stuff balanced out in a contract settlement was like herding cats. In the 2001 settlement, some of my own colleagues were madder at me than management. I suspect the Lances of the cycling world have different interests than the domestiques, and at some point if they can’t get their shit together, they are screwed.

    • Larry T. Says:

      Does the mafia have a labor union? I can see a goombah filing a beef with the union about having to whack a guy on a holiday. 🙂
      Remember what happened to Chris Bassons when he talked about this issue. These criminal rings make sure the new recruits participate right away in the crimes, so they have as much to lose as the other members. Some of these mobsters see more profits in illicit EPO than traditional cocaine and heroin smuggling/sales, with far less risk.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Omerta is a tough nut to crack, Larry.

      • Derek Says:

        Uh, Larry I would be remiss (meaning my wife would be mad) if I didn’t point out that the term “goombah” is sometimes taken as a derogatory reference to those of Italian heritage. If used in a public forum (where she can see it) should be phrased delicately. Make fun of us micks all you want as we have superior exoskeletons, but please refrain from disparaging those long maligned fabulous cooks, the Italians especially before dinner.

      • Derek Says:

        Having now apologized for hanging out with the same type of hooligans online as I do in the real world and writing an appropriate reproach, sorry Larry, I will be allowed to partake of some kind of rigatoni combined with cheese from NJ, tomatoes from a green house in CO some fancy olive oil and some kind of mystical thing she does in that thar kitchen. I am pretty sure my description is inadequate. If I ever figure out how to put up pictures I shall.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Larry and I are both Paisano, Derek. I think he and I are entitled to a little bit of self-depreciating humor.

      • khal spencer Says:

        To elaborate, the Spencer is my stepdad’s name. My mom’s side came over on the boat from Naples (my grandfather) and central Sicily (my grandmother). As far as two-wheelers, my grandpop rode both bicycles and motorcycles until he met his end under a streetcar in Buffalo while riding his motorcycle in shitty Buffalo weather during the cold months. My stepdad and both stepbrothers ride motorcycles. Like Larry I’ve ridden both the motorized and human powered stuff, but I think we would all agree that compared to Larry, I’m down in Cat CXXI or so.

      • Larry T. Says:

        The REAL insults to Italians are a) The Olive Garden b) Godfather’s Pizza and c) TV’s Jersey Shore. NOTHING could do more damage to the image of Italians worldwide than these asshats, to use one of OG’s favorite phrases, BTW, I’m Italian only in spirit/marriage – my wife’s father was born there.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Jeeze, Larry. You sure do look the part.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Gents, as I understand it the riders’ union is about as powerful a tool for the working stiff as The Newspaper Guild (yeah, I have some experience with that lot, all bad).

  11. Opus the Poet Says:

    Not pertinent to this post, but a question anyway: Where are your recent comics? I used to really like your stuff when it was in Velonews, way back at the turn of the century.

  12. bromasi Says:

    32 comments and counting.

  13. John Dallager Says:

    33 now. I see some strong parallels between Omerta and the peloton’s and professional cycling’s leadership/organizational culture of the 90s/early 2000s and “Lord of the Flies”.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      There are overtones of “Serpico” here, too: “Frank, let’s face it, who can trust a cop that won’t take money?”

      • khal spencer Says:

        More than a few overtones. “…Gee, sorry I overlapped your wheel, guy…” or “damn unlucky that team car cut you off and you flew into a barbed wire fence”

        Gun shop owner: That gun takes a 14 shot clip. You expecting an army?
        Clean rider: No. Just a peloton.

  14. John Dallager Says:


  15. Larry T. Says:

    I thought this one was priceless though it’s not by OG.
    I imagine BigTex’s blood pressure goes up every time a new one of these goes up.

  16. Friday funnies « Mad Blog Media Says:

    […] the Poet asked in comments where my cartoons have been hiding lately, so I thought I’d pop up this one from 2011, […]

  17. Friday funnies redux « Mad Blog Media Says:

    […] Dark Ages cartoonery: This time you can blame Khal Spencer, who in comments recalled a VeloNews ‘toon I drew back in 2000, which seems like an awfully […]

  18. Jeff Cozad Says:

    I broke my LiveWrong since the “news” hit.

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