Friday funnies

The Mud Stud and Dude watch "60 Minutes"

The 2011 “60 Minutes” interview with Tyler Hamilton causes consternation in the shop.

Opus the Poet asked in comments where my cartoons have been hiding lately, so I thought I’d pop up this one from 2011, following Tyler Hamilton’s revelations about Lance Armstrong on “60 Minutes.”

For those of you unfamiliar with the “Shop Talk” strip, it’s something I’ve been doing since 1992 for the trade magazine Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. It concerns the misadventures of the Mud Stud, a mohawked mountain-biking mechanic with the IQ of an Allen key, and Dude, a roadie who appears to be the boss, though he’s most often depicted wearing the blue shop apron of a wrench.

This is also where the Fat Guy wound up, when he’s not announcing the end of a breakaway for Charles “Live Update Guy” Pelkey over at Red Kite Prayer.

Speaking of breakaways, it appears that Johan Bruyneel has decided to step down in order to spend more time with his pharmacy … er, family. Naturally, we wish him well in his future endeavors, especially if they involve public humiliation and/or jail time.

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13 Responses to “Friday funnies”

  1. Khal Spencer Says:

    So Patrick, when do you think the shit will finally settle on this mess?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Not anytime soon, K. Big Tex isn’t your average bike racer, Tour winner or cancer advocate. He’s a corporation. Shit, more like a nation-state, with squadrons of flying monkeys ready 24/7 to launch smart briefcases full of legalese against the Enemy.

      If the U.S. Attorney’s Office grows a pair that grand-jury inquiry might get reopened. The SCA arbitration could come back to bite him in the ass, too. But both would be tough hustles, preposterously expensive and politically risky.

      Then you have to endure the requisite paper-shuffling among the various governing bodies, which come off looking like a cross between Captain Renault and Inspector Clouseau. Who knows what’s been going on behind closed doors at UCI and USA Cycling? This is basically a story everyone knew was coming but nobody wants to see written.

      Even in what should be “the end,” a ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport, nothing will be settled definitively. Big Tex will keep stonewalling, the believers will keep believing and the haters will keep hating. And the lawyers will all be driving next year’s Lamborghinis.

      • Khal Spencer Says:

        The only thing that surprises me is that USPS seems to have been a doping juggernaut compared to the other pharmaceutical companies/tour squads (latest tell-all is in today’s NY Times–a story about Vande Velde. Unless, of course, we are just waiting for the other cleat to drop on the rest of the peloton.

        I wonder which lobbyist called the U.S. Attorney’s Office and told them to shut down the case, and how much money was handed to a politician.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Money helps, in cycling and elsewhere. That’s why the idea of letting everyone dope in hopes of creating a level playing field won’t work. Under such a system the guys with the most resources (i.e., money) are still likely to get the most wins.

  2. Larry T. Says:

    One wonders how many of those yellow rubber bands were tossed? I still see ’em around – there’s a woman on NBC news who is often shown reporting from the latest shooting or environmental disaster wearing one. The connection with loved ones and the battle against cancer is strong – probably stronger than their dislike of a guy who cheated through most of his career and possibly even caused his own cancer via PED’s? They say donations to BigTex’ foundation went UP when the sh__storm hit. I’d guess the corporate sponsors sticking with Tex will try to cash in on this with even more connections to the….er…well…..disgraced champion.

  3. Sharon Says:

    Well at least through this mess, we were able to get complete clarity…it really was never about the bike, it was and still is, all about Lance. Cult of personality.

  4. GJ John Says:

    I sure hope it’s true that Postal was an exceptionally well organized doping machine as compared to the other teams. However, when I read the article at Velonews about Bruyneel’s departure, Cancellara’s apparent shock, yes shock! that postal was doped to the gills sounds a bit disingenuous. I’m not accusing Cancellara of doping, but c’mon, the guy came up through Bjarne “Mr. 60%” Riis’ CSC team, he’s known what the score was all along. Just about everyone who watched HWSNBN and Postal during during those TdF wins at some point knew something just wasn’t right, (unless you were high on chamois fumes, that is).

    The only big surprise to me that has come out in the last couple years was the UCI’s culpability in the whole thing, a story of which much more needs to be exposed if the sport is to progress at all.

    • Larry T. Says:

      Interestingly, I was told on the QT a few years ago by a USA cycling official (though not acting as such when I was told) that Spartacus, the one known as “dopey smurf” and a few others had essentially laughed at the officials at that “California vacation” race when dope testing was the subject. Something along the lines of “sure, dope test us…if we test positive your little race becomes a laughing stock and is gone from the calendar….or maybe we just all go home….go ahead…we dare ya!” The sheer nerve and callous disregard for the rules displayed by these fellows was shocking to this official. It was like all of these big-shots were simply ABOVE the rules. Seems the BigTex hubris was not limited to just Tex? And the omerta is far from dead?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Lots of stories yet to be written here, John. The UCI is a big one — what did they know, when did they know it — as is the U.S. attorney’s astonishing decision not to proceed with a criminal case post-grand jury (he ain’t talking).

      And as the always excellent Joe Lindsey notes, many of the people in positions of authority during the sport’s Dark Ages remain there now. Sometimes I think the sport needs an Ellen Ripley to really bring it: “I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”

  5. Opus the Poet Says:

    Yay! More of my favorite art form. Can you tell I really missed these?

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