Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

I see where Lance Armstrong’s Lucifer-like fall from the sporting heavens has accelerated with the decision of Nike to sever its sponsorship of him due to the “insurmountable evidence” of his alleged long-time doping.

Not that I’ve been paying that much attention to the story, but I gather that despite Armstrong’s insistent claims of innocence, the brief against him is pretty damning.

I recall some years ago remarking over at the Llamas – perhaps when he was about to break the record for Tour de France wins for the first time – that something about Armstrong had always given me the creeps.  He had about him an eerie intensity, a hunger that exceeded all healthy competitiveness and passed into the realm of the grotesque, even the malevolent.  It just didn’t sit right.  If memory serves, I got pretty thoroughly pummeled in the Tasty Bits™  Mail Sack for daring to have these doubts about such a bona fide All-American Hero.

I won’t use this opportunity to say I told you so.  I simply will remark that I have found myself over the years to be a pretty good judge of character.  Even at several removes, my instincts are seldom wrong.

And speaking of character, I can’t help wondering what Armstrong will do now.  Continue to proclaim his innocence to the Universe?  Eventually own up to his past?  Simply go quietly into the night?  Pick up the pieces and try to start over?  Dedicate himself to good works of some sort?

I don’t know, but it’s never too late for penitence and redemption.   Were he to take that route, then yes, I’d call him a hero, too.

**”Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition. By that sin fell the angels.”  Shakespeare, Henry VIII, Act III, scene 2.

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