'Tis a bitter pill indeed.

‘Tis a bitter pill indeed.

It’s Monday, and my social-media feeds, as usual, are full of football.

Frankly, I’ve never understood how the rabidly antidoping cycling crowd can go so gaga over the NFL. It’s an inconsistency that I find amusing, like listening to a vegan extol the pleasures of watching a good cockfight on Sunday afternoon.


25 Responses to “Dopey”

  1. matlinp Says:

    rapidly? Or rabidly?

    In any event, I suspect it stems from a NIMBY attitude towards things.

  2. debby511 Says:

    Yeah, I just don’t get the obsession people have with American football. And indeed, PEDs seem to be just fine in that world. I don’t get that either.

    My daily PED comes out of my Saeco espresso machine. I might need a seconds serving today. 🙂

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Saeco? I start thinking red, Cannondale, zip the lip, Cippolini, …. Never mind.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Caffeine is not a drug. It’s a food group.

    • Steve O Says:

      No idea where to find this study… Ran across it many years ago … But basically, America’s favorite past time changed every 20 years or so, from 1776 until the mid 20th century.

      Patrick would probably know this number… isn’t it something like, in 1880, there were more members of the American wheelsmen association than current AAA members today? Something like that, turn-of-the-century, more people in some big bike league then there were cars on the road

      There was some ten-year stretch around 1920 or so when something like one out of every four buildings in New York City at a miniature golf course on its roof

      People used to listen to horseracing on the radio. Golden gloves boxing used to pack the house.

      Point is, for about 200 years, we changed our enthusiasms with the regular basis

      Until … TV and ad dollars decided what we would all watch

      Since then, there have only been the occasional hiccup

      NASCAR took off for a while, but it was basically cannibalization of other smaller racing circuits

      This ultimate fighting business seems to have legs, but it is the exception that proves the rule, as it’s growth has been tied to its ability to attract sponsors first, then eyeballs

      So that’s where we are. We are watching that which big brother tells us to watch

  3. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    22 oversized men running around on a green carpet, chasing a ball that isn’t even round. I’d rather fans of that “sport” stay with it rather than invade cycling as far too many did during the BigTex years. Didn’t think bike racing fans cared much for the National Foolball League, but what do I know?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Man, Larry, you should see my Twitter/Facebook feeds. All football, all the time. Makes me want to replace my profile pic with one of Lyle Alzado.

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        These people are (were) bike race fans? And now they watch the NFL? We used to enjoy bike rides on Superbowl Sunday because all the NFL fans were watching the game instead of driving around. I couldn’t even tell you who played in the last one.
        And yeah, PSOBRIEN, Cipollini (one p, two l’s, one n) is the name of “not only the fastest, but also the best looking” as well as Italian for “little onions”. Can you imagine anyone saying, “Hey, Mario LittleOnions, come over here!”? Pro cycling needs more characters like The Lion King.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Larry, it is Pat O’Brien. I swear I wasn’t hiding behind psobrien. This damn WordPress site doesn’t catch the name sometimes. I will never forget the Saeco/Cannodale lead out train. I was riding nothing but Cannondales at the time.

    • Steve O Says:

      There’s absolutely nothing to not understand about football.

      It’s sponsorship and TV, plain and simple.

      Wasn’t that big a deal until instant replay made it TV friendly.

      In the late ’40s and ’50s, Army -Navy tickets were more expensive that pro. Because the parade was cooler than the game.

      The real kicker was that the NFL was getting its act together the same time major advertisers were figuring out that branding was a effective way to sell things. Instead of a single sponsor putting on a big show, Budweiser and Coca-Cola could slap their label on a whole bunch of series of events.

      It would be easy to paint it as some sort of conspiracy theory or some devious grand scheme, but it’s really just coincidence. Whole bunch of planets lined up at the right time to create irreversible momentum. Because once they got those light beer and Doritos dollars, you just can’t turn it off.

      When I was in seventh grade we moved to Maryland, and I fell in love with lacrosse, even though at that point I was too old to pick up the sport, at least at a competitive level. This was in the late 70s, and I was convinced lacrosse was about to take over the country. It had the speed of basketball, the hitting of football, the nonstop action of rugby. I just thought, if you took all of the stuff that made any particular sport interesting, lacrosse had it all. But the real world doesn’t work that way.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I was fascinated when I moved to Burlington, Vermont, and found that the university there had dropped American football and was doing the Euro variety. Later I discovered rugby. Football Yanqui style really looked feeble after that.

    • Larry T. Says:

      Pat O’Brien – I try to forgive Super Mario for the Cannondale episode. “Best Bike” hammered a ton of nails into the Italian steel bike industry coffin. All my Italian industry friends couldn’t believe folks would buy those ugly, rarely-straight, rattle-your-dental-fillings-out welded aluminum contraptions. They all knew someone who could whip up frames like those, a lot of ’em guys that were welding up patio furniture. Quick and easy to make and the rubes would pay more for them than a lugged steel bike that took days to make! Torches were turned off all over Italy, with tubes and lugs still rusting away in the back of a lot of old bike shops. The shop founders went from brazing up frames to overseeing the design of the stickers to slap on generic, recycled-beer-can frames and when carpet-fiber came along, it was easy to order ’em up by the container load from Asia. Mario really got that rolling I’m sad to say.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        I hear you Larry. But the early, all American made C’dale aluminum frames were made from 6061 Easton alloy with beautiful, sanded, and contoured welds. Almost looked filet brazed, except for the fat tubes. When I retired, I started getting rid of Cannondales and going to steel, except for one carbon Trek (which, to me, rode like steel, just weighs less) and never looked back. I sold the carbon Trek to guy who winters in Hawaii. Guess rust was a concern. A magnet now sticks to everything in our garage.

  4. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Kinda like a mixed martial arts fan criticizing the NFL for ignoring chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) injuries on its players.

  5. Steve O Says:

    I watched the Broncos last night. There was a broadcasting moment that just blew me away.

    The guy who wasn’t Al Michaels said, “Joe Blow came back from his four game suspension and he’s a totally different player. Used to be one dimensional, now he’s an all around monster. ”

    What was his suspension for?


    No sense of irony or, worse, regret in his comments.


  6. matlinp Says:

    Actually, I’m kind of jealous of people who take PEDs – I wish I had a performance worth enhancing.

    • Steve O Says:

      Was it Drunk Cyclist who said, I have a ton of respect for Lance Armstrong. I tried bicycling on drugs once and I ran into a mailbox trying to get away from flying bunnies

  7. Jon Paulos Says:

    It’s always irked me that the major pro sports in the US (football, baseball, basketball) get away with a head-in-the-sand approach to PED’s, while cycling gets hammered. Not that cycling shouldn’t, but I’d like to see the others get a taste of it too.

    What really bugs me (and why I just don’t watch much anymore) is the way they approach head (and other) injuries. My daughter loves horses and we’d occasionally watch the Triple Crown races, but as she grew older and we learned what they do to horses, the ethics of it grew to bother me. Similar issue with football. I was watching a game briefly this fall, and a football player got up kind of slowly after essentially stopping another player with his head. The announcer said, “Oh that’s a stinger”. With all the attention being paid to the long term negative effects of head injuries, the euphemisms continue, and the game just goes on. I feel squeamish watching someone give himself major long term injuries for my entertainment.

    And that’s football at the pro level. At the semi-pro (or “college”) level, everyone profits but the athletes themselves. The son plays Ultimate at his college and it is “relegated” to being a club sport. I hope to god it never becomes a varsity sport. He has a lot of fun, plays hard and has good friends.

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