Do you remember the Livestrong bands? Everyone had one. Some people actually cared about cancer research. Others wore it because everyone else did. The nation's wrist was adorned with yellow elastic. Then, suddenly, as fads go, it vanished. Everyone ditched their Livestrong in favor of the popped collar. Well, I am putting my Livestrong back on my wrist.
In case you have been residing in a cave and haven't heard the news, Floyd Landis gets super excited after a shot of whiskey. Disproportionately excited. After winning the Tour De France, Tour officials found irrationally high levels of testosterone in the Landis A sample. Immediately, Landis came clean with everyone, giving the honest truth. He had a couple drinks prior to filling up his sample and that must have been the reason for the imbalance. No problem, the B sample should be normal and everyone will be okay. Or, maybe not. Shockingly, the B sample was as jacked up as the A sample. Hm, who saw this coming?
Jason Giambi, Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco, Justin Gatlin, Ben Johnson, Marion Jones, Onterrio Smith, and Floyd Landis. Cheaters. Straight up, no gray area. Each one of these athletes is a cheater. They have taken each of their sports, all sacred, and tarnished them. They may as well have taken their samples and dumped them on baseball, track, football, and cycling. Does anyone remember Rae Carruth? He was the Carolina Panther who murdered his girlfriend a few years ago. You didn't remember him did you? How about Rafael Palmiero? Yeah, everyone remembers him and his famous, "I never did steroids. Period?" Quote and point which is translated, "I never did steroids - except when I did 3 months ago - period." Steroid use has become the synonymous scarlet letter of athletics. You could kill someone and get less press coverage and scorn.
So who is left? Who is left that hasn't cheated? Do you trust anyone in baseball? Track has banned some of it's finest athletes. Cycling has banned it's heroes, Ivan Basso and Jan Ulrich. One could safely say that there is not one sport that has lost it's steroid purity. Unless you're a curling fan. There is one, singular being who we can point to and say, "He didn't cheat."
That being would be Lance Armstrong. He alone has gone through every test, every needle prick, and every urine sample. The French were so hell-bent upon proving Armstrong was a doper that they sabotaged some of his samples. Yet, no matter how hard anyone tried, none could find wrong in Armstrong. For once we could say "clear" without accompanying "cream" at the end of our sentence. Now the Livestrong band has a new purpose. Not only does it state you support cancer research, or whatever else people were wearing them for. It also symbolizes true athleticism, a lack of tolerance for those seeking a quick boost. I hope the Livestrong turns into an American icon like Uncle Sam or the Simpsons because right now, sport in America is losing a battle for it's credibility.