Cycling is at a crossroads

News & Results

12/31/2012| 2 comments
by Neil Browne

Cycling is at a crossroads

In these tough times, tough decisions need to be made.

20th century and grew up in Greenville. He was an accomplished player holding several records for the time and still holds the third-highest career batting average in major league history. He was also a cheat.

Jackson was a member of the 1919 Chicago White Sox team which conspired to lose the World Series. This scandal rocked America, was front page news, and as a result Jackson was banned for life from America’s favorite past time.

Presiding over the scandal was Kenesaw Mountain Landis. He was a federal judge and the first Commissioner of Baseball. He was a tough judge and had fined Standard Oil of Indiana for twenty-nine million dollars and during World War I threw the book at draft resistors. He carried that iron-handed attitude to professional baseball. Despite repeated appeals, Landis never reinstated Shoeless Joe back into the game and is considered to be responsible for cleaning up baseball, which had been plagued by gambling problems. Public perception was that professional baseball was riddled with thrown games. In order to accomplish that change, strong, unyielding decisions had to be made and Landis stepped up to the plate.

The “Black Sox Scandal” as it was called is over 90 years old. Now there is a park named after Jackson, as well as a museum with a gift shop (purchases are cash only) just across the street from Flour Field, the home of the Greenville Athletics. Will time wash away the destroyed image of Armstrong the same way it did for Jackson and leave us with the man who fought cancer and survived?

To this day supporters of Jackson claim there is some depute he threw those games.

Jackson told The Sporting News in 1942 and posted on the official Shoeless Joe Jackson website, “Regardless of what anybody says, I was innocent of any wrong-doing. I gave baseball all I had. The Supreme Being is the only one to whom I’ve got to answer. If I had been out there booting balls and looking foolish at bat against the Reds, there might have been some grounds for suspicion. I think my record in the 1919 World Series will stand up against that of any other man in that Series or any other World Series in all history.” Sound familiar?

I’m not optimistic that in Armstrong’s lifetime there will be a park named after him. Contrary to what McQuaid says, this dark time in professional cycling won’t go away so soon because quite frankly it hasn’t run its full course. Another reason it won’t go away anytime soon is due to the continual failure in leadership at the UCI. Hard choices need to be made and one of them is to gut the governing body from the head and work our way down. By this I mean managers and riders who continue to their complacent behavior towards doping starting now.

If there is strong evidence that shows a rider or manager continues to be part of the doping problem they should be banned from the sport for life. The window for immunity is

Pages

Your comments
Your comments
sign up or login to post a comment
hughest|

I see our sport from the point of view of a life long fan of the sport. I had a few heroes over the years, I got to see the Coors Classic a few times as well as the S.F. Gran Prix and now I get to share this wonderful sport with my son's 12,9 and 5 are my boys ages and they know more about cycling than 80% of America. I have never been accused of being a fan of LA but I will always respect the Livestrong movement. Me and the boys have gotten to meet a ton of huge name guys and MOST of the time (like 99.9% kind of most of the time) they were super nice and would always focus on the kids. Big George and DZ were excellent, every single time. DZ sitting in dope tent cracking jokes with my 12 y/o about some doofy old dude trying to touch DZ. After a extremely cold and wet stage that finished in Modesto, Big George came rolling into the bus parking and ride directly to my kids, said hello and offered them his bottles off his bike. It was freezing and he is still that kind of cool.... Thanks again for that by the way George.
You cant get an American athlete to act like that on their best day let alone "one of the worst days ever on a bike"-Levi.
so as I see it, cycling should survive just fine. The riders treat the fans like they matter and the fans will continue to follow. If UCI or the teams change the way they interact with the public and cycling will suffer. Look back at NASCAR when the drivers were asses and had very little contact if any with the fans. They made a small change in access to the drivers and the fans came flying out of the sheds and outhouses to get a pituer with Dale or JR.
Now should be the time when a company considering sponsoring a team should strike. Getting in when cycling is turning and claiming a spot in the clean up is priceless free advertising.
JV is no idiot, Garmin is as respected and feared for a reason.
I would kill to get to work in professional cycling. All you people that are ruining our sport should step aside and let those of us who love the sport take over and let it be the epic adventure that cycling is.

XpertNtraining|

Cycling's comeback can be a long way down the road or it could be back in a year, it all depends on how "the powers that be" handle it. If its handled like the Nuremberg Trials were handled, it will take years and wear heavily on the whole industry. However if those powers determine that they only need to remove or discipline the select top few, and then eliminate the doping loop holes, this can be over quickly and back to the positive parts of cycling.

Like in a down housing market, that's when it is time to buy, I see it that way for cycling now. It is time for companies to get in low and grow with the comeback, these companies can help provide incentive to move forward.

We will see where the leaders in Cycling and the Governing bodies take us, will they make quick work of the clean up or will their egos get in the way.