Ten upsides to the Lance Armstrong story

January 18, 2013
Lance Armstrong
Without the performance enhancers, he’s just Lance Arm. (Thao Nguyen/AP)

Now that Lance Armstrong has admitted that his legendary seven Tour de France victories are based on lies, everyone is castigating everyone else and generally expressing disappointment in this world we live in.

But there are a few upsides.

  1. We no longer have to pay any attention to cycling. It can go into the blissful fields of oblivion, where it has been longing to go for some time, joining dressage and golf post-Tiger Woods. This is a huge relief. Pretending that the Great Sport of Cycling was something we knew or cared about independently of Lance was making us all feel shifty and vaguely dishonest. Besides, paying no attention to cyclists is something most of us are good at, if traffic near-collisions are any indication.
  2. For once, we had an excuse to watch Oprah! Oprah is that friend from back when whom we have been intending to visit for some time, but OWN up until this point had given us no incentive to do so. Hi, Oprah! Great to see you!
  3. Between this and the Manti Te’o scandal, it’s a great week for Things That Only Existed Because We Allowed Ourselves To Believe In Them. You can spin this positively for your kids: “See, if you just believe in something hard enough, it can be true for other people too!” you can tell them. “For anywhere from 12 years to — however many months we thought that Manti Te’o thing was true. Dream big, Chester!”
  4. Pretty much anything you might lie about this week pales in comparison. Juice up that resume! Go out and go wild! If anyone tries to call you on it, shrug. “I know you are lying to me,” your wife says. “There are illicit sexts on your collar.” “Hey,” you say, “look, it’s not like I pretended that I won 7 Tours de France.”
  5. If you are Manti Te’o, it’s one sports story you aren’t in today!
  6. As numerous folks on Twitter have observed, Lance Bass is suddenly the world’s most trusted Lance.
  7. If there were ever a time to reintroduce the cartoonishly gigantic front wheel to bicycling, that time is now! The hipsters can finally complete their quest to take cycling back to its roots as a dangerous thing you do on a brakeless vehicle while wearing a silly-looking mustache and clothing that came from 1890.
  8. There is literally no excuse for anyone to be wearing a yellow Livestrong band now. The vogue for rubber bracelets is long over. For the six people still invested in cause bracelets who were running out of arm: Now you finally have room for the Kidney Awareness bracelet on your left wrist!
  9. Kids no longer will have to strain to look up to a guy who says things to women like, “‘Listen, I called you crazy. I called you a bitch, I called you all these things, but I never called you fat.’ Because that’s … She thought I said, ‘you were a fat crazy bitch.’ And I said, ‘Betsy, I never said you were fat.’ “
  10. It is almost over.
Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.
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Alexandra Petri | January 17, 2013