Tag Archives: PED

Super Bowl, Super Irony and Super Clarity

Super Bowl week, a week of unrelenting media bombardment and hype. Stories of what might happen, what should happen, and commercials.  Blows my mind that as a society we get wound-up over the idea of how well something is going to be pitched to us for our consumption.  Then again, the commercials are sometimes more entertaining than the game.   Super Bowl Sunday has become a part of our national fabric.  And this year is no different, except for a story that broke on Tuesday regarding Performance Enhancing Drugs. Sort of makes me feel like it is cycling season. However, this time names like Alex Rodriguez and Ray Lewis, and a bunch of other “mainstream” athletes are tied to the story.

Here we sit on Friday, and not a word of the story.  It was a story for 24 hours, then it was simply swept away or ignored…48 hours later hardly a peep.  And the response from Ray Lewis to the media in New Orleans, well it sounded a lot like other comments we have heard from other high-profile athletes over the years.  It was all a bit ironic, the face of the sport, on the sports biggest stage, with a world-wide audience, denying, minimizing the story and ultimately turning the spot-light onto the accusers, their motivations and their credibility.  Love irony, just love it.

As we reach the end of the week, irony has brought clarity – the NFL is too big to fail.  Same goes for MLB.  A-Rod and Ray Lewis are marquee players, faces of their sport, and no one cares about what they did or did not do when it comes to PEDs.  It is so clear what is valued and what is not.  Marion Jones cheated and lied; she went to prison.  Lance cheated and is literally and figuratively only beginning to paying the price.  Ray Lewis, A-Rod, Bonds, Clemens, or any of the others in the NFL or MLB…not a dime.  Nothing.  It is another moment of clarity.

Now the real irony is the fact that one of the government’s reasons for going after Lance is because of the US Postal Service sponsorship of the cycling team.  The positive press the US Postal Service received for those years was absolutely massive.  It was a marketing coup and might represent one of the best advertising investments in the history of marketing, yet the government feels they were a victim of fraud.  The US Postal Service has had two other positive moments in its entire history before the cycling team, the Pony Express and “neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow”.  Gotta love irony.

Clearly, like everyone else in the country, I will be watching the Super Bowl Sunday.  Well, after I get back from my bike ride that is…

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Filed under Current affairs, Sports, Uncategorized

Own It…Even When It Hurts

Once again, hats off to the world of sports for providing yet additional support to an age-old adage. Ownership of your decisions and a bit of contrition will go much farther, much faster, than denial. Denial in the face of facts is never a winning strategy – never. It simply delays the inevitable.

The latest example involves Floyd Landis and the world of cycling.  Shocking as it might be to learn of doping in sports, Floyd now acknowledges he was doping…after 4 years of denials.  Of course he denied the test results (both of them) and fought his 2 year ban from the sport and accused everyone and every institution remotely tied to the process as being tainted and aligned against him.   4 years, a book, a legal defense fund, countless interviews pleading his innocence and several million dollars later he admits it.  He looks like a complete fool.  His reputation and legacy totally trashed.

To reinforce the lesson, consider a few quick case studies of other epic sports dopers:

Barry Bonds – Denies It – Publicly hated – the face of the steroid era.

Alex Rodriquez – Owns it – Totally forgotten in a matter of weeks.

Roger Clemens – Denies It – The sordid details keep on seeping out – his reputation and legacy in tatters.

Marion Jones – Denies It – Convicted of Perjury and spent 6 months in prison.

The NFL – Ignore it – Maybe you will be lucky and no one will call you on it…maybe.

Mark McGuire – Ignore it then own it – The stain lingers, but will never disappear.

So what is the lesson?  Simple really, just own it.  Good or bad, easy or hard, clean or dirty, just own what you do, the decisions you make and the path you choose.  No one is expected to be perfect.  If there is anything that sports has shown us it is that people will forgive and forget if you just own the mistake.  Admit it, show contrition, learn from it and move forward.  The human capacity for empathy is almost without limit.  Honesty is a powerful thing – everyone gets it.

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Filed under Coaching, Current affairs, leadership, Sports