Friday, June 28, 2013

Is Kyle Petty Saying What Everyone Thinks About Danica Patrick?

Kyle Petty is no Richard Petty, but on Friday he called out Danica Patrick by characterizing her results racing on NASCAR's biggest stage, the Sprint Cup.
Kyle Petty
“Danica has been the perfect example of somebody who can qualify better than what she runs. She can go fast, but she can’t race. I think she’s come a long way, but she’s still not a race car driver. And I don’t think she’s ever going to be a race car driver.”
That was Petty's assessment of Patrick's performance during her short tenure in NASCAR. In her first year, 2012, Patrick raced in less than a third of the 36 races. She never won a race, finish in the top 5 or top ten. Patrick didn't lead one lap. The leader, Jimmie Johnson, lead races for 1744 laps. Patrick ran in a total of 3115 laps. The leader in that same catagory ran in nearly three times as many laps. (10,406) Patrick finished the season ranked 62nd out of 80 drivers, and was ineligible for Sprint Cup points.
Danica Patrick

She's doing a little better this year. On average she's finishing almost six spots higher (25.8) than she starts. (32nd) Patrick has earned one top ten and one pole position. But in defending herself, Patrick seemed to downplay the benefits of qualifying.
Partick in Japan
"Those who watch know I can't qualify for crap. The race goes much better."Averaging 25th place isn't something Patrick should putting upon Pinterest. The fact is Patrick wasn't much better racing open wheel cars in the IRL. In seven years, she had just seven podiums, 3 poles and one win. The one thing she did do plays right into Petty's point, that Patrick's doing a better job of marketing than racing. Patrick missed only three races out of 115 in seven years, and only failed to finish thirteen times, but only got a champagne bath one time. But her car's sponsor, Go Daddy, and Motorola, or whomever her sponsor was, circled the track for almost every race, for the whole race. She's running out of races and reasons for not winning, and yet last year Patrick was the fifth highest paid female athlete earning $13 million, just $1 million from racing. Sounds like Petty is right to me!

Zaire, Dwayne Wade's Son, A Chip Off The Ole Block

Zaire is a country in Africa. It's also the name given to Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade's son.
Dwayne and Zaire Wade

I don't know much about Zaire, the country. In fact, if they even have a basketball team, I'd be surprised. Zaire, Wade's son, is someone you may start to hear more and more of in the coming years. Last week City Hoops basketball camp posted a video of Zaire to YouTube having several, like father, like son, moments.  City Hoops is run by former NBA player and coach, John Lucas.
See the link to the video by clicking on the highlighted spelling of Zaire's name.

NASCAR Still Lilly White

The NASCAR circuit just ended its annual visit to the Bay Area. 
Martin Truex Jr.
The Save Mart 350 is run at the Sonoma Raceway every year. Martin Truex Jr., won therace. But every year there are no black drivers in 
NASCAR'sSprint Cup series races, America loses.

In the 65 history of NASCAR there have been just 6 black 
question is who's racism is keeping blacks out of this sport.
Is it NASCAR, is it the sponsors, or is it the fans?
One of the six drivers is Tia Norfleet. She not only has the designation of being the 
Tia Norfleet
first African-American driver, but the second women driver (Danica Patrick was the first)
Danick Patrick
to have a NASCAR license. Her father, Bobby, is also one of the original NASCAR 
Darrell Wallace Jr., another African-American, was also granted a license this year.

“NASCAR isn't any more racist than any other aspect of out society,” said Norfleet.
“I have been to races as a fan and been welcomed, but there are those that you know 
don't want you there.”
In recent years, African-Americans have expanded their reach in sports where white peoplehave traditionally enjoyed a comfortable majority. Even if the percentages of 
African-Americans in tennis and golf aren't commensurate with our population numbers, thehighest profile players in those sports, are African-American. The world's number one 
golfer is Tiger Woods, and the world's top female tennis player is Serena Williams.
Bobby Norfleet
Even the NHL is expected to take a huge step forward in the upcoming draft. Seth Jones, a black hockey player whose father 
played in the NBA, could be the number one overall 
Seth Jones
pick in the 2013 NHL draft. 
Meanwhile NASCAR's color line barrier, while technically brokenby Wendell Scott in 1952,for all 
intents and purposes still exists. After Wendall, the next black 
driver to compete in a cuprace was Bill Lester in 1986. 
NASCAR should be ashamed. America should be ashamed.

According to Norfleet, NASCAR has a diversity program, but the program's goals aren't 
pointed in the wrong direction. “People they bring into the program wind up being interns in a NASCAR office. They don't wind up going where they are most needed, which is on the track as drivers, said Norfleet. But the lack of blacks in the sport isn't just about race.
"The key to winning races is sponsorship,", the owner of his daughter's team. He said 
Gladys Knight was among his first major sponsors. According to estimates by and 
Glayds Knight
Forbes magazine, it takes between $13 million and $20 
million a year to run a season-long, 36 race NASCAR teamIts not the kind of money Knight and/or the Pips have 
to sponsor a NASCAR driver. He said company's who sponsor cars aren't always willing to 
take a chance on drivers without a proven track record or without knowing the driver has the ability to steer consumers to their product.
Norfleet had his license, but did not race in the what is 
now known as the Sprint Cup Series, the major leagues of the three stages of NASCAR. Neither his daughter Tia, or Darrell Wallace Jr., the other black driver to get his license this year, races in the Sprint Cup Series, but its common for newer drivers to start at the 
lower levels of the sport. Norfleet is hoping his daughter will generate enough interest, 
wins and experience to race in the Sprint Cup series next year.
Darrell Wallace Jr.
However, Norfleet said its no coincidence that both Tia, his daughter and Wallace 
got license this year. Norfleet says 
NASCAR is no desperate to attract fans, 
any fans, and revenue. 

According to figures published in the 
Charlotte News and Observer earlier this year:

*Admission revenue at Charlotte-based Speedway Motorsports Inc. fell 11 percent over the past year, to $116  million. That’s the lowest it has been since 1998, not adjusted for inflation.

*International Speedway Corp., the country’s largest track operator and owner of Daytona’s famous speedway, lost 6 percent of its admission revenue, slipping to $136.1 million.

*Dover Motorsports, based in Delaware, lost nearly a quarter of its admissions revenue for its two NASCAR race weekends. At $10.4 million, it’s about one-third of what it was in 2005.
Like The U.S. electing a black president, NASCAR seems only willing to turn to African-Americans for support when all else has failed. It looks like Tia Norfleet and Darrell Wallace Jr., will have to take advantage of this window of opportunity before traditional supporters return and NASCAR turns its attention back to them.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Privileged Cashman Cusses Out Alex Rodriguez

Yankees GM Brian Cashman has a message for injured 3B Alex Rodriguez: never take sides against the family in public. Michael Coreone he ain't, but in telling A-Rod to shut the **** up, publicly, after A-Rod tweeted this:
Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez        ✔ @AROD

Visit from Dr. Kelly over the weekend, who gave me the best news - the green light to play games again!
4:22 PM - 25 Jun 2013

it would seem Cashman violated one of his own rules.

I don't know if what A-Rod did violated SOP, but can you blame him? A-Rod has been out all year with an injury and he's had to rehab away from the team while fending off charges he's involved in another drug scandal. He's down in Florida making $28 million and hasn't played one inning. So you can imagine how excited he was when he heard the news. Rodriguez has 647 career home runs (5th all-time) 1,950 RBI's (7th all-time, and number one active) and has been the MVP three times. A-Rod may have crossed a line by tweeting the news, but Cashman is way out of line for being so publicly nasty about someone with Hall of Fame numbers and someone, unlike Cashman, who actually earned his position in baseball.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Serena Poised To Repeat at Wimbledon

Serena Williams at Wimbledon players party
Serena Williams is set to play Mandy Minella of Luxembourg in her opening match at Wimbledon. You will not see her get blasted out of the tournament in straight sets, like Rafael Nadal did on Monday. Serena has won this tournament 5 times. If Serena wins here again, she'll move one step closer to tying the record for Grand Slam Championships. The record is 18. If Serena wins she'll have 17, and will only need to win the U.S. Open to tie the record this year.

Watch Wimbledon this year to watch a slice of history. My guess is Serena is on a mission to win the next six Grand Slam titles. If she wins the next three, she'll have the "Serena Slam." She'll be the defending champion in all four Grand Slam events. What she wants is "The Grand Slam." To win all four events in the same year.

Williams is now the defending champion in three of the four Grand Slam events. Two weeks ago, Serena won the French Open. She beat her nemesis, arch-rival Maria Sharapova. Sharapova is the number two women's player in the world. As long as Serena is playing and healthy Sharapova will never be number one.

Maria Sharapova
And maybe that's why Sharapova decided to attack Serena in the media just two days before the first ball toss of Wimbledon. Sharapova is frustrated.

“If she wants to talk about something personal, maybe she should talk about her relationship and her boyfriend that was married and is getting a divorce and has kids,” Sharapova said. “Talk about other things, but not draw attention to other things. She has so much in her life, many positives, and I think that’s what it should be about.”

Sharapova was prompted to respond to a Williams quote to a Rolling Stone reporter. “There are people who live, breathe and dress tennis. I mean, seriously, give it a rest.” Serena exits the car and the conversation moves on to a top-five player who is now in love. “She begins every interview with ‘I’m so happy. I’m so lucky’ – it’s so boring,” says Serena in a loud voice. “She’s still not going to be invited to the cool parties. And, hey, if she wants to be with the guy with a black heart, go for it.” {An educated guess is she’s talking about Sharapova, who is now dating Grigor Dimitrov, one of Serena’s rumored exes}

(If she did say this, however, c'mon Serena you sound like you're in high school)

The "educated guess" part appeared in a Sports Illustrated ariticle. That's what passes for journalism. Coincidentally, Williams apologized to Sharapova for inadvertently getting Sharapova involved in the discussion. It was AFTER this apology that Sharapova then made her comments about Williams.
The writer, made an educated guess, and that guess became attributed to Serena, even though Serena did not name, names. In any case, its clear to whom Shaparova was speaking about when she was running her mouth.

Williams is the women's version of "the man," in women's tennis, and Sharapova can't stand it. Williams has 43-2 match win-loss record since the beginning of this season's WTA tour, which began December 30, 2012. Serena has won six tournaments this year, including huge events in Madrid, Rome and in, what some people call the fifth Gram Slam, Miami. Serena is the oldest women's player to be ranked number one. At 31, Serena seems as focused now, as she's ever been. What motivates a tennis player with 16 Grand Slam singles titles? (29 when you include doubles and mixed doubles)

My guess is this is quest for respect as well as glory. Williams is number one, but her closest competitor, Sharapova, is the highest paid female athlete. Yet Sharapova is not even the best women's tennis player. That has got to bug the crap out of a clearly competitive person like Serena. It should bug the crap out of all of us because of our sense of fair play. Serena is trying over come something she may not be able to overcome. The higher standard African-American athletes must meet just to be considered equal. Serena has beaten Maria 13 times in a row. During that stretch, Sharapova has won only 3 sets. Serena's 14-2 against Sharapova all-time. Sharapova has never been the number one ranked player at season's end, and yet she, not Serena, gets all the commercials, all the endorsements, and all the cash money.

It's the dynamic for minorities in this country. Even if you work hard and are the best at what you do, you're not always rewarded like you are. Some would argue that standard might apply to anyone, not just minorities. An yet I can't think of one non-minority with a dominating record like Serena's that has had to endure second class treatment at the hands of the market. Can you?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Is the NFLPA Blocking Brain Injury Treatment?

George Visger would like to put the kind of pressure on the NFLPA, that a brain hemorrhage put on him. The kind that changed his life. The kind that might have saved Dave Duerson, Ray Easterling and Junior Seau.
George Visger
The former 49er sent an email to NFLPA chief De Maurice Smith accusing the union of blocking a new treatment to reduce the long term health effects of traumatic brain injuries. "At the Barbershop," was also sent a copy of the email.

"This could save countless players and their families from the hell my family has had to deal with the last 32 years due to my early onset, NFL caused dementia like symptoms, said Visger, a traumatic brain injury survivor, and the head of the Visger
Junior Seau
Group, a Traumatic Brain Injury Consulting concern. Visger says the NFLPA has yet to react to his recommendation to use hyperbaric oxygen treatments (HBOT) for acute traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions. These kinds of concussions are widely believed to cause CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy a progressive,
Dave Duerson
degenerative brain disease caused by repeated traumatic brain injury. Thirty-four former NFL players have been diagnosed with CTE. The list includes Duerson, Easterling and Seau. All three men suffered from crushing depression, a CTE symptom, and committed suicide.

In the email, Visger said, "Studies have shown receiving a HBOT within the first hour of a head injury can ameliorate the majority of inflammation to neurons.  Not only returning the player to play exponentially faster and saving the owners money, but more importantly, preventing early death of those inflamed neurons and brain cells."

The email also said that Dr. Richard Ellenborgen, a neurosurgeon who works with the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Injury Group, "voiced his continued frustration," with the NFLPA and Dr. Thomas Mayer, the union's medical staff director, over the union's inaction adopting this new treatment for players.
Hyperbaric Chamber

"The owners have agreed to treat 50 concussions this year with hyperbaric oxygen treatments.  It seems the only obstacle is the one who should be the biggest proponent of treating the players. "

YOU and the NFLPA!!!   A reference to Smith and the union.

The primary physical manifestations of CTE is a reduction in brain weight. So, its not now possible to diagnose, beyond a reasonable doubt, a living current or former NFL, NHL, professional boxer or other athlete prone to head injuries with CTE, since the brain can only be weighed during an autopsy following death.

However, the symptoms of CTE are increasing providing an early warning of the potential for the disease in current and former players. In addition to depression, dementia, memory loss and aggression are other symptoms. When players with those symptoms, and/or those with a history of concussions are revealed, Visger believes addressing CTE with hyperbaric oxygen treatments can at least slow down the effects of CTE.

Visger did not cite the studies, but is understandably anxious to have sound medical therapy implemented for the treatment of brain injuries. Visger got a Super Bowl Ring with the 49ers in 1981 but his season ended long before San Francisco played Cincinnati in the Silver Dome. Visger says he suffered a severe concussion in a game against Dallas in week six, but claims to have had his first concussion at the age of 11 playing pee wee football in Stockton, CA.

Since the 1981 season, Visger has had multiple brain surgeries, and suffers from memory loss. In fact, Visger blames his below average memory for a mischaracterization of Dr. Ellenborgen's position. Dr. Ellenborgen wrote Visger this: "We can NOT implement anything without the full approval of the NFLPA and NFL leadership.  Despite many good ideas they must be properly vetted through the NFL and NFLPA." AND
"What I told you is that the players are our patients and we can not do anything without their permission, period." Dr. Ellenborgen may not have said he was frustrated, but he confirms there has been no action taken on the recommendation to use hyperbaric oxygen treatments. And if, as Visger claims, the owners are all-in, and there is no other improvement treatment on the radar, what is holding up a decision from the NFLPA?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Packer Donald on Driver's Street

Retired receiver and former Green Bay Packer Donald Driver got a street dedicated in his name and a statue planted in the city known around the NFL, as Titletown.
Donald Driver's statue
Driver spent his entire 14 year career with the Packers who drafted him in the seventh round out of HBCU, Alcorn State. (Steve McNair's school) You can tell from all the people who turned out for the statute's unveiling that Driver is truely loved in Green Bay. This isn't a new statue. Since 1985, it stood like a figurine across from the GBP Hall of Fame as a (white)
Way to go Donald
guy catching a football. The conversion includes a coloring or the receiver's "skin," and the penciling in of Driver's name on the back of the uniform.  It's worth noting that this honor was cooked up by the "city" of Green Bay, and not necessarily the Packers franchise, and it comes at a time when Brett Favre is so desparate to for the Packers to recognize his time with the team, that he has stooped to taking the blame for the circumstances that led to Favre's leaving the team and predicting that current Packer QB, Aaron Rodgers, will break Favre's records. Both of those admissions, or lies depending on what you'd like to believe, had to kill Favre!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Jackson Says It Felt Good to Handle Some Bidness

Man without a team, Stephen Jackson, says it felt good to punch a fan. Jackson was referring to the 2004 brawl with fans and Detriot Pistons at the Palace. Artest fouled Ben Wallace, and Wallace over reacted. Jackson said he wasn't just reacting to what happened that night, but all the other crap players have to hear, but can't solve. “All the racial slurs I done heard,” he explained. “All the things I heard about my mom, and my basketball game and my kids, all this. It felt good to punch a fan one time.”
Stephen Jackson
The punch came following a near fight on the court. Ron
What people forget, or intentionally or otherwise, about this is that Artest did not engage Wallace. To dramatize his attempts to stay above the fray, Artest literally laid down on the scorers table. Only when a fan walked up to him and threw a beer at him from point blank range, according to Jim Gray, did are Artest handle his bidness. Jackson followed Artest in an attempt to help him. ( In what way no one has asked) While there, bidness. So sad, and dubious to hear the announcer describe Artest and Jackson and marauders. If this were a hockey game, it wouldn't have drawn, but a yawn.
another fan threw a beer in Artests' face and that's when Jackson handled his
Heres a link:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tom Brady Injured My Shoulder: Ed Reed

I always thought what Tom Brady did to Ed Reed in the AFC Championship game was cheap, but I didn't realize Reed had been hurt on the play as well. Reed today told a Houston sports station that the shoulder injury that has sidelined him for most of the off-season, and maybe even hastened his departure from Baltimore, was caused when he was kicked by Tom Brady. “The only play I could look at is when I got kicked by a certain quarterback,” said Reed.
Ed Reed and Tom Brady
“But even then, I played in the Super Bowl and you saw what happened there.”
Brady was running with the ball, but instead of take a hit, slide to stop the play and to stop any contact. While he was sliding, Brady clearly intentionally straightened his leg and flashed his spikes into Reed's leg and hip. In order to avoid Brady, Reed jumped over the sliding, kicking quarterback and crashed into the ground. Reed thinks he suffered a torn larbum on the play. The labrum is part of the shoulder. The refs didn't flag Brady on the play. (How much you wanna bet they would have flagged the defender if this would have happened the other way around)
Brady was fined $10,000 by the league, about the amount of money he made during the play. It's not Brady's fault that the media thinks he's a god, probably because they all want their son's to be just like him. But this play was completely unnecessary. Reed had no intention of hitting Brady. What it showed was the a-hole side of Brady, one we now can prove the media will ignore in order to keep people from seeing it.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Jason Collins Coming Out Party is Underway

When NBA player Jason Collins announced he was gay, I predicted that Collins had correctly called the social wind shift and that he could use his orientation as an asset.
Last night, both Collins and I had our predictions validated.
Jason Collins
Collins was invited by the Boston Red Sox to throw out the first pitch at Fenway Park before last night's game against the Texas Rangers.

"This is an opportunity for us as an organization. We respect his courage, we respect his choices," said Sox manager John Farrell. "It's an opportunity to showcase that. At the time when this was a possibility of coming out, we had said we're an organization that embraces all, and I think this is a very small way of showing that."

 In other words, the team now feels it's beneficial to "showcase," its attitude toward diversity. It's true that Collins played for the Boston Celtics last season, but the Red Sox did not cite that. Instead, Collins' first pitch was another first for a gay athlete, and a sports team looking to ride the coattails sexual orientation, which suddenly finds itself cool. Too bad the Red Sox were as quick to embrace racial diversity. They were the last in the majors to field a black player. the year was 1959, TWELVE years after Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball's racist color line. Oakland's Pumpsie Green was their player. As for Collins, the question for him is whether America's recently found acceptance will translate into a contract in the NBA. Remember, he's not yet the first openly gay player in a major American team sport, and not just because that retired soccer player came out of retirement (too) so he could snag the honor. Collins is not now, and was not at the time of his "coming out" under contract with an NBA team.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

LGBT Heckles First Lady.

A LGBT activist interupted a speech by First Lady Michelle Obama last night.
Michelle Obama
The interuption came during a fundraising speech she was giving in Chicago. It's not only FLOTUS' hometown, its also one of the ground zeros in the fight for restricting access to certain high-capacity clip magazines and background checks. Legislation on both those issues failed in the Senate earlier this year.
Ellen Sturtz

The First Lady had been talking about violence and the shooting death of Hadiya Pendleton. The 15 year-old Chicago teenager was shot and killed just a week after performing during President Obama's inauguration. While the country can't get together on a compromise for gun control, several gay rights issues have moved forward with super sonic speed. Of course, the fight won't be over until, everyone has equal rights, but last night's action by Ellen Sturtz was extremely inappropriate. For one thing, the President has the influence, not the First Lady. Second, the President now supports gay marriage and has spoken out against discrimination in all forms on several occasions. And let's not forget that 15 states, have now legalized gay marriage. Sturtz's blurt was meant to pressure the President to issue an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees and job applicants. I don't know why the President hasn't signed the order. He should.  Bur confronting the First Lady sounds like something an activist group does when it doesn't have a supporter in the White House, and then you heckle the President not the First Lady. But given the White House's past of working with the LGBT community and its support of gay marriage, Ellen, this was the wrong tactic taken against the wrong person.

Ryan Denies Drug Use, Despite Positive Test, New Investigation

The chickens are finally coming home to roost for Ryan Bruan, they're just waddling back really slowly.
An ESPN report says 20 major 
Ryan Braun
leaguers, including Braun, will be fingered by a witness in an investigation into drug use by major league baseball. The witness is Anthong Bosch and he will say that all used drugs banned by baseball. Bosch is the founder of the now defunct Biogensis Lab in Miami. Earlier this year, Bosch and his lab were linked to drug use among some major leaguers. Braun is one of the players named in the earlier media report, as well as the ESPN report from yesterday. Braun has already tested positive for HGH, Human Growth Hormone. The positive test came at the end of the 2011 season, just after Braun had been voted the National League MVP, by the media. And now, even though the media broke this story, (if it is accurate) the media are the same people who seem to be holding out hope that Braun can beat the rap, again. Following the 2011 season, the MVP award and the
positive HGH test, Braun appealed the 50 game suspension he was given for getting busted, and won. Braun never claimed that wasn't HGH in his urine. Just that the security of the chain of custody of the sample did not follow agreed upon rules. Earlier this year, members of the media accepted as true, when a number of players appeared on a list kept by Biogensis, which has been likened to BALCO, the Bay Area Labratory Cooperative founded by Victor Conte. 

{To give you an idea of the bias operating openly with regard to banned drugs, the media never refers to Braun as someone who used performance enhancing drugs, or PED's, even though he tested positive. On the other hand, even though Barry Bonds never tested positive, the New Times report that broke the story about Biogensis earlier this year says BALCO provide Bonds with steriods.
 Braun tested positive: not a steriod user. 
Bonds never tested positive for steriods: he used steriods.}

 The list was leaked to the New Times by an employee, who confirmed that the lab had not only worked with the list of almost exclusively baseball players, but had supplied them HGH, testosterone, and anabolic steroids. One of the names on the list was Alex Rodriguez. Earlier in his career Rodriguez had voluntarily admitted taking steroids to help him stay on the field. The media also hates Rodriguez. He made an earlier attempt to foster a friendly relationship with the media, but most said it
Alex Rodriguez
smelled of fake smiles and compliments, and rejected Rodriguez as a self promoting charlatan. So when this story came out, so did every sports writer who hated Rodriguez, which is just about every sports writer. All others on this list were condemed as well, but none more than Rodriguez who is one of those players the media and the fans love to hate. The documents about Rodriguez and the others had been used in the media as proof, that Rodriguez had had a relapse. The documents were indisputable evidence of drug use by the players on the list. Two weeks later, when new documents from the same lab, connected Braun to Biogensis, the enthusiasm to convict in the media wasnt so strong. Suddenly, the documents the media had accepted as true in the other cases, were subject to question when it came to  Braun. The USA Today said the list by no means proof that Boigensis suppplied Braun with banned substances.

Rodriguez on the list: proof he used drugs.
Braun on the list: not proof he used drugs.

Braun's explanation was that he had paid lab founder Bosch as a consultant in Braun's appeal to overturn his suspension stemming from the 2011 positive HGH drug test. Braun's own lawyer denied Bosch was used in the appeal. Today the media is still in the kind of denial it was under during the 7 straight years Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France. The media refuses to unleash the full power of hate and scorn on Bruan just like it did with Armstrong. But with evidence and witnesses lining up to cooperate with MLB's investigation, the time is soon coming when Braun will have to take a seat right next to Armstrong on trash heap of athletes the media, try as they might, just can't prop up anymore as a heroes.