I’ve always been at a loss as to why people are interested in watching professional baseball, football, basketball and golf. First of all it’s boring as hell. Secondly money has absolutely ruined the major American sports. Baseball is a child’s game; getting paid one hundred million dollars to play it is obscene. Some would argue that players are just getting what the market will bear, here in Seattle that’s a croc as we tore down one unpaid for stadium to build two so that our football and baseball teams wouldn’t make good on their threats to leave town. When the basketball team played the same gambit we told them not to let the door hit them in the butt. I don’t even care if the team is in the black, and doesn’t have to go to the taxpayers for a handout – just because you can pay a one hundred million dollar salary doesn’t mean that you should pay a one hundred million dollar salary. Any child knows that.
Well I have to eat my words a little bit as I’m totally hooked on the Tour de France. Amazing athletes, stunning scenery, and drama so compelling that if you made it up folks would say “aw that would never happen.” The winner of the Tour de France takes home four hundred thousand Euros, the winning team splits fifty thousand. Hell LeBron James wouldn’t blow his nose for fifty thousand Euros. Winners of intermittent sprints win four hundred Euros, that’s like six hundred dollars; those guys are out there busting their butts for six large. I bet A Rod has neck ties that cost more than that.
Cycling is a sport of passion, it sure as hell ain’t no path to fame and fortune, and maybe that’s what makes it so intriguing. Those guys aren’t out there for a paycheck, even superstars like Lance Armstrong don’t have a helicopter at the finish line waiting to take them to a five start hotel. They bed down at a local mom and pop just like the rest of the racers; some of them probably even share a bathroom.
The race this year has been complete with heroes and villains, old warriors and new blood. In the Contador versus Schleck battle I’m all for Schleck. I don’t know why I don’t like Alberto Contador, I just don’t. Conversely I don’t know why I like Andy Schleck, but I do. Heck how can you dislike a guy who says “my stomach is full of anger.” I mean maybe only someone like Hemmingway could come up with that stuff. As far as Lance goes you gotta give the guy credit, he went out there even when the odds were against him and held his own. The man is a warrior, and I respect him for giving the stiff middle finger to the naysayers. He walks away with his head held high that’s for sure.
It’s still a mystery to me why someone would watch a guy chase around a little ball, but my addiction to the Tour is helping me to begin to understand.