It just keeps sucking.

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Not to make light of anything said here in the past day or two, but goddammit if this whole VDB thing isn’t just bugging the shit out of me. It’s been the elephant in the room of my cycling spectatorship since Pantani gave up.  It really bothers me that we put so much emphasis on athletic performance for the sake of our entertainment that the athletes so “valued” view them selves as worth nothing else.  What’s more is that this same brand of tragedy exists in our own culture. Our “heros” are all fucking disposable.

Take a look at this guy I know named Eddie. Eddie’s a dude in his 50’s who lives in Carrboro/Chapel Hill. He thought he had hit it big a few decades back, when upon completion of high school he was whisked away to the University of Alabama on a full-ride scholarship to play some football. Alabama at the time was not known for being too stoked on the citizens of our country who appeared any darker than, say, a wheat cracker. Well, Eddie went down there, played football as hard as anyone. He apparently could run over fools like a tank; a real force to be reckoned with. He had all the makings of a star until he sustained a severe back injury during practice. Guess what? Any chance at a comfortable life was yanked from his strong hands and thrown away forever. Not only couln’t he play football anymore, but he couldn’t even go to college anymore.  Maybe there was a split second of his life where had he just not been a little more careful, things would be different. In this challenging time, SonderCare online inventory showcasing a range of hospital beds, offering support for daily activities.

Now Eddie’s in a bad way. He can’t afford his medicine required as a result of his injury; in addition to the physical injuries, he’s developed mental problems over time– no doubt due in part the the depressing and unrelenting reality of what might have been. You know what makes Eddie feel better these days? Crack. Fuck you all.

Think about the shit you watch on TV. Think about your heros. Think about the ones that truly bring you joy, inspiration and motivation. Right here in one of the richest countries on earth, we mine the ghettos for heros.   We find the real gems and when they cease to sparkle as brilliantly as when first pulled hungrily from the streets, we pitch them. Fuck ’em, right? There are more where that came from.

VDB is no less a victim of this same set of circumstances. We’re all just citizens of Rome, watching the gladiators drop like flies. Watch your heroes play the football and ride the bikes. Watch them keep up with the demand in any way they can. They’re not worth shit else to us – we don’t really fucking care if they’re fathers, sons, or husbands. We just want to see the carnage. When in Rome, do as the Romans do, right?


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About Snake Hawk

good, bad, funny, sad, stupid, rad, has, had. non-joining funhaver from coast to coast(er brake). buster of the chops, drawer of the logos. North Carolina, USA

31 Replies to “It just keeps sucking.”

  1. All true, sadly. But it goes both ways. Look at that asshole Vick. After what he’s done I wouldn’t hire his ass to push a broom. Yet he’ll get more of a second chance than anyone who’s good at something truly useful ever would. And it’s hardly an isolated case. Say what you will about Rush, his statement that the NFL is “like the crips and the bloods without the guns” is more than amply supported by the thuggery that goes on every day.

  2. In a society governed by democratically elected representatives, and given the often-promised but rarely seen transparency and accountability, that would be We the People. Us and an independent press. But demanding that said promises be kept is apparently a sure fire way to the dreaded accusation of racism. And as for an independent press, they’re laying low for fear of reprisal.

    Of course all of this amounts to mere words unless the aforementioned We actually give a fuck about what’s happening.


  3. Hy,

    Yes is sucks… Why are we so performance orientated. Is not sufficient to beat the other guy, but you have to do it better badder faster than before. Sucks.

    With this in the back of our minds, with some mates we are thinking of mounting the hardest triathlon possible around Nice (just the marathon would have more than 2000m of climb). Where the finish is not open before 14 hours of racing is done. If you are early, go have a coffee. And you race with a buddy – no buddy, it’s a DNF.

    The only thing the first one wins? The right to buy a beer to any other finisher if shown in a watering hole the prize all finishers get: a pair of iron balls.


  4. Yup, absolutely. How long before they start arming the contestants in ‘Celebrity Desert Island’ or whatever the feck reality TV show is big these days to satisfy the baying mob. Actually I might actually want to watch that. Kind of Darwinism in action, but with guns………wait I might just pitch this, wonder if Stewie from Family Guy would buy into it? The dollar/yen/rouble/pound/deutschmark/lire/franc/pound has corrupted everything that was good, all that’s left is who has the biggest wallet, you only have to look at Formula One……once it used to be about who was best…..then it was a beautiful sport.

  5. Sad thing is that we value athletic achievement over human achievement. Doped or not, there is no more of a gifted athlete. As a person though,he is an asshole. So are most of the people he runs with. he goes through friends like a kid does Now or Laters the day after Halloween. His motto is never quit, Live Strong…unless we are talking about your marriage….then quit and go nail a Rock Star, then tell that same Rock Star you don’t want kids right before you get married. then fuck your friend’s girlfriends b/c you can etc. etc. Great Athlete, agree with Contador on his persona.
    I have heard that VDB was shy and very nice in person, but he ultimately was doomed to try an live up to the hype that came with any talent. Huge weight to carry if you don’t have the mental mke up for it. Does not forgive the decision to dope though.

    At the end of the day, I have more respect for the guy that works a full time job, trains at night or before the sun comes up for free, loves his wife and family, and still makes time to tuck his kids in bed or read them a story than any douchebag Pro in any sport.
    You can take your million dollar contracts, your PR firms, your roids, your publicists, your egos and go fuck yourself.

  6. I’m glad that there can be so many conversations on this site. Fucking talk about stuff that’s important to you, cry out for attention, spout out some nonsense. Keep talking.

    Dave, Mike Vick does suck. The fact that he’s able to bring home such a big check totally sucks, too. The problem goes many different ways. You’d mentioned him being given a second chance as if it’s different from a pro cyclist being made to feel that if he doesn’t dope it up, he’s back to working at le McDonald’s, and the fact is that it’s the same shit. It’s two piles of shit on the same side of the coin. The exact same fucking thing: we don’t care about anything but the spectacle. Whether one is paying their attention to the support of doping or to a dog murdering ball tosser, one is paying to be entertained. Supply and demand, bitches. Ask (pay) and you shall receive.

    “Are you not entertained?”

  7. I, for one, enjoy watching the mighty fall from grace. You sell out and it blows up in your face…not my problem. Anyone of those potential super stars could have taken the safe, low risk path like the rest of us but they didn’t.

    There are many more perverse pleasures than watching athletes go all in and loose. Not to mention it makes me feel better about myself. Life is cruel!

  8. Snake Hawk, keep preaching the good word of real hero’s and glamorized douche bags with a little bit of talent.

  9. Snake Hawk, respectfully, ingesting PEDs is nowhere close to being on the level of torturing and brutally killing animals for fun and profit.

    But I know you know that.

  10. Well, what happens to your buddy sucks. Not like it doesn’t happen everyday to the average Joe though.
    I worked hard for a company in the time I was there, I fell off a truck and slipped a disc.
    I’ve barely ridden in 2 years, my leg/back hurts all the time, loss of sleep, bad attitude (that effects everything) and they were complete assholes to me from the minute I filed an accident report and wanted to see a doctor. Of course it was a work comp doc and he sucked. He overloaded me on Ibuprofen that didn’t even help the pain and it never ‘decreased inflamation’.

    Of course I ended up getting screwed in the deal and they just found someone else to work for no money.

    As far as professional sports, I just don’t give a rat’s ass. Football is fun to play, who cares about watching it. Same for cycling, I’d rather go out and just ride instead of sitting on my ass watching the circus fanfare and cheering for my ‘hero’. All the Idol worship sports/hollywood/whatever crap is just a bunch of shit anyway.

  11. Poor Eddie.
    What a shame.
    I’ve heard that the correct way to treat back pain is smoking crack.
    And that those with back pain cannot attend college.
    Or be responsible for their own health.
    And be depressed over what might have been.
    The citizens of the ghetto need to look after their own bodies. As do we all.

  12. no doubt. beer.

    to address dave’s point, and to reinforce others’, it is not the atheltes i’m talking about here as being the dirtbags; it’s the organizers and propagators of the unfair entertainment system. they are the ones to be held accountable. if it’s the system that’s causing the harm, be it by placing undue pressure on an athlete to perform beyond natural means, or the “forgiving” of an athlete for unspeakable crimes, then the system should pay the price rather than more youth and more dogs.

  13. big fan. you’re elisist? racist? straight edge? what? i can’t really see far enough through the DICK.

    when all the men want to see you do is play ball, then for whatever reason you can’t anymore, then you don’t get to be in their college anymore. at least when eddie was “in” college.

    and then when you can’t get a job because your back got so fucked up, you can’t well afford your medicine. then the pain gets worse. then you just really have a hard time getting it together. i guess that’s when (as an injured black athlete in the south, mind you. and mind you more, as a parallel to european cycling as a profession) one should just, say, start a business? good. i’ll just pass that on.

    i’ll say something like, “damn, eddie. when you’re down off the crack, well, so like in 4 minutes, i’d like to let you know that you should start a business. you know, maybe um, maybe you could be a venture capitalist. or maybe um, start a helicopter company or something. you know, a job where you can just sit around and read blogs and make stupid unsubstantiated racist comments about shit that you don’t understand AT ALL. you’ll be a comfortable, despicable prick in no time, eddie. duh.”

  14. i’m sorry not to have yet mentioned it: baddcog, i feel for you. i wish you a full recovery, and as quickly as possible. stay strong.

  15. you know, that’s kind of why i’ve never really paid attention to major league sports, celebrities, whatnot. i couldn’t tell you who is pitching for what baseball team… i think football just started but i’m only going on the fact that it coincides w/ school…. does that apply to the nfl? that just started right? i could care less.

    fantasy football…? wtf? don’t you have anything better to do than to virtually idolize somebody? not taking shots at anyone who does it, i just don’t get it i guess.

    i better stop now…. but to say that i have no expectations of any athlete other than myself and believe, those are unrealistically high. gahd help me at the pueblo this year….

  16. It’s life, it’s personalities, weak and strong, some survive some don’t, the law of the jungle, sad but true

  17. mitch…I liken fantasy football to recreational golf…it’s just another way to get together with friends and drink beer or just stay in touch with friends while drinking beer seperately. You understand the theme…drinking beer.

  18. Take a look a Joe Louis if you want to see the pinnacle of professional sports corruption. As I recall he did like 100 or so charity bouts for WWII fighters and vets raising money and spirit. In the end the however, the IRS (aka the Federal Reserve, not a US entity but a private bank) had a bill of over a million bucks that they would not let him out of. These bastards just kept loading on the interest and Joe kept trying to fight his way out of it, but it was just too much.

    Only after he was dead did the government give him a nod by creating a congressional gold medal in his name, but it really is a bit late after a guy is dead. I think it was more a move to cover their back and say “look, we really do care.” Our government and their banker overlords love ridiculously high paid athletes because it’s such an easy way to leach millions of cold hard cash off the people.

    Fuck the Federal government and the wasting away of the USA. This isn’t a fucking free market or a democracy, the whole fucking system is rigged at this point and we’re lucky as hell to have what we do. Layer upon layer of crooked agreements and longstanding bribes have got us in one hell of a sticky situation. We the People are the victims of huge crimes and ought to fight for our rights instead of hand them off to a small group of international mercenaries.

    America, land of the captive, home of the indefensible.

  19. ” it is not the atheltes i’m talking about here as being the dirtbags; it’s the organizers and propagators of the unfair entertainment system.”

    Snake Hawk—

    It is the athletes. Professional ball-and-stick players earn seven figures a year. They sort of ought to scrape by somehow.

    The organizers are businessmen. They are in it for the money, nothing else. Granted they deceive their customers by selling “glory” and “victory” and such, when all it is to them is money, and lots of it.

    The fans are the ones pouring billions of dollars into a bizarre, crooked scheme that (once again) enriches athletes and team owners. As long as they can fill stadiums with idiots who will spend $100 for a seat and a couple of beers, the problem will not go away.

    Someone else said it: my heroes are CAT2s with jobs. Those are hard men, hard-working men.

  20. The star that shines brightest they say. Amen. And fuck Micheal Vick, and that college for taking Eddie’s education after he gave them everything he had.

  21. …c’mon…it’s not any one side or the other, it’s lack of a balanced perspective, all ’round…

    …organizers & team owners X highly ego-ed athletes + big bucks X an adoring fan base w/ a need for entertainment = the present fucked up situation…

  22. Entertainment is in the eye of the beerholder. If the stands are empty, seven figures will be no longer. If you spoil it, it will rot. Bikes, beers and dogs kick ass. Screaming sports fans have a place, that place sucks except for the beverages.