With the NBA play-offs on a 2 week hiatus, and the best part of the Orioles season not happening until the June MLB draft it is sometimes nice to take a step back from all things Baltimore and survey the rest of the sporting world. If you are anything like me you begin to indulge yourself int he world of cycling. Not only is it fun to picture a group of severely farmer tanned guys battling their way up the French Alps with thighs thicker than their torso’s, but it also allows red-blooded males everywhere to relive their child hood dreams of racing along the peloton in the quest for the maillot jaune. I tried to make it sound as appealing as possible.
Landis to Bring Down Armstrong, Cycling– If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a noise? In the same way if everyone in a sport is using PED’s, do the winners really benefit? Disgraced cycler Floyd Landis has decided that the best way to save face is to implicate all other cyclers, including the most successful American cycler Lance Armstrong, in a massive doping scandal. How big of Landis to stick his neck out for something we already knew. I am not saying I know specific cyclers are cheating, specifically Armstrong, but I take the same approach to cyclists as I do track athletes. Like most other things where there is smoke, there is fire. Rumors and positive drug tests abound for athletes in both sports, so I have just resigned myself to believe that they are all cheating. I feel bad for athletes that have stayed clean, but if the majority of competitors are boosting their performance, then I don’t see a real gain. Armstrong fired back attacking the credibility of Landis, who we have no reason to believe. The sport is tainted. I would not be surprised if Lance is someday proven to have doped, but I really don’t think it damages cycling, or his reputation all that much. It does make his comeback as a cancer survivor a little less inspiring.
Wizards Charm Lotto Ball, Fans Say “We Want Wall”– The beleaguered Washington Wizards got a shot in the arm when they won the 1st pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. It is almost a foregone conclusion that the Wiz will use the pick to select Kentucky guard John Wall. Wall represents renewed enthusiasm in the short term, and a cornerstone to build a play-off team around in the long term. The question is, what does the rest of the Wizard’s roster look like in the coming years? The club has already jettisoned Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison. Is Gilbert Arenas next? Or does Ernie Grunfeld hang on to Arenas (he may not have a choice) and hope that a Wall/Arenas back-court can work? New Wizards owner Ted Leonsis has infused cash and talent into the Washington Capitals. Does he look to make a FA splash this off-season by signing a player like Chris Bosh or Amare Stoudamire? Dan Shanoffhas another idea that could affect the Charm City. Shanoff’s advice to Leonsis: Stay out of the FA market this year….Save your cap space for Carmelo Anthony in 2011. Bringing ‘Melo back within proximity of his former hometown would only add more excitement for hoops in DC. Could you imagine a three-headed Wall, Anthony and Arenas monster? Plus Andray Blatche stealing rebounds in quest of triple-doubles. Shanoff speculates that Leonsis could lure Anthony to DC with the promise of some games in Baltimore, but is Anthony the type of player that can bring home championships. He certainly is talented, but I am not sure if he has the mettle to win NBA hardware. Does he have the drive and attitude to be the very best, or will he stay at very good?