Lance Armstrong has been thoroughly disgraced. In an attempt to redeem himself in some fashion, he talked to Oprah and in an interview that will air on Thursday and Friday, according to news reports, he finally admits to the fact that he took banned drugs during his cycling career.
What follows is a completely made-up, imagined, make-believe, created-from-scratch-out-of-my-own-imagination conversation between Lance Armstrong and Oprah.
Oprah: Why are we here today Lance?
Lance: Because talking to Bob Costas or the New York Times would have been really, really hard and I like to take the easy route.
Oprah: No, I meant, what did you want to talk about?
Lance: Oh. Right. Well, you see, back in 1998, I was just coming back from cancer. At the same time, during the 1998 Tour de France, the Festina Affair was going on. So me and my buddies concocted this great scheme where I would cheat, come roaring back at the 1999 Tour de France, redeem the sport of cycling and be an inspiration to cancer survivors the world over. I would then use those cancer sufferers to build a personal brand worth an estimated $100 million. Pretty clever, huh?
Oprah: OOOOO-K. But we already knew all that. So I'll ask again - Why are we here?
Lance: Oh, yeah, right. Well, you see, during that process of using cancer to line my pockets:
1.) I cheated by taking performance enhancing drugs.
2.) I lied about it repeatedly, vociferously and adamantly for 15 years.
3.) I ruthlessly and viciously attacked anyone who dared to tell the truth about me. I destroyed careers and lives in the process.
4.) Any time someone questioned me, I would say "But look at all those cancer victims! I'm riding for them!"
5.) I quit when I had an actual chance to face my accusers.
6.) I whined about the process not being fair and not being able to face my accusers.
So now, you see, I am completely screwed in that I have no discernible skills and no way to make a living, so I need to try to rehabilitate my reputation so that I can do a few triathlons and hopefully get some third and fourth-rate companies to sponsor me.
Oprah: And I can help you do that?
Lance: You bet, Oprah! Throughout my career, I always made a point of only talking to "journalists" who were in the tank for me (guys like Phil Liggett), or who were afraid of me (again, Phil Liggett) or who have no clue about professional cycling. You fall into that last category.
Oprah: Lance, it seems like you did some pretty bad things and hurt a lot of people. I mean - you used cancer victims as human PR shields! Why do you think anyone will forgive you now?
Lance: Because I talked to Oprah! Remember?
Oprah: So, do you think you are more of a dick or more douche?
Lance: Wow, Oprah. Tough question! You're no pushover afterall. Well, I've been called both, millions of times by millions of people. But, I promised to come clean with you so I guess I'll have to say I'm a dick. A monumental dick.
Oprah: Last question: Why, in the end, did you do all those terrible things?
Lance: You recall my first book that I wrote with that hack, Sally Jenkins - It's Not About the Bike? Well, the subtitle to that book should have been "It's ALL about the money."
Remember Oprah, in professional sports (and big-time college sports) - it's ALWAYS all about the money.