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Check out this MSNBC article(40 posts)

Check out this MSNBC articlebike_guy
Jul 25, 2002 5:33 AM
This is just ridiculous.

http://www.msnbc.com/news/785267.asp
Some idiot wrote the same thing about Lemond in 1989 (nm)OffTheBack
Jul 25, 2002 5:40 AM
What the hell is hePhatMatt
Jul 25, 2002 5:55 AM
This guy is the ultamate fat ass couch potatoe. I mean I played both soccer and Football in High School and now play Hockey as well as ice climb. And still it takes more strength and energy to ride a long ride (I have never raced). this guy is just a punk.

Matt
lance meets his athletic criteria.Sintesi
Jul 25, 2002 6:16 AM
"For my money, being the greatest athlete in the world involves strength, speed, agility, hand-eye coordination, mental toughness and the ability to make your body do things that defy description. Chief among them is not pumping your legs up and down while your feet are strapped to bicycle pedals."

That's his stated criteria, so does Lance meet them?

Strength? God Yeah

Speed? ITT, mountains? Take you pick he's the fastest.

Agility? How nimble do you have to be to avoid a crash in a roaring peloton through city streets, or take a 70kph descent down a winding mountain road? Slipping on a rain jacket at 35kph in the wind anyone?

Hand Eye coordination? Not so sure about this. May have us on this one. Grabbing musette bags? But one could argue Lance far exceeds contemporary athletes so far in the other categories that he is exempt in this one.

Mental Toughness? Are you kidding?

The ability to make your body do things that defy description. What in the hell is he talking about? What athlete does this? please.
agreed and...Slowclimber
Jul 25, 2002 8:18 AM
he is quite the hypocrite as well.

He says at the beginning of the article that marathon runners are not athletes but then goes on to say that Marion Jones is an athlete and uses her as an example. Correct me if I'm wrong here but her claim to fame is running 100 meters in a straight line faster than any other female. Occasionaly she will throw in a turn for good measure and run an extra 100 meters. Every now and then she may run then add a jump at the end of the finish line, long jump (I used to be a collegiate track athlete so, yes I'm poking a little fun at it).

How does that make her an athlete and not Lance?

To add in the hand/eye coordination I would venture to think that it takes trumendous hand/eye coordination to ride down a hill at 50-65 mph, especially the tight and twisty descents that they ride in the tour.

This guy is an idiot that probably played JV baseball and football in high school and wished he could be a sprinter if it wasn't for his 14.5 second 100 meter time. His idea of an athlete is the guy who dates the prom queen in high school. My guess is the last time he was on a bike was when he crashed in second grade and his mother told him he couldn't ride his bike anymore because he would get injured.

He's an idiot with the unfortunate ability to spread his ignorance to a mass market due to his employment as a sports writer (?).
F### this jerk and his candy-a55 opinions. nmeschelon
Jul 25, 2002 6:38 AM
Well said, eschelon - nmLeroy
Jul 25, 2002 9:33 AM
re: Check out this MSNBC articleTurtleherder
Jul 25, 2002 6:57 AM
Ron Borges is a moron, and I said so in my e-mail to MSNBCsports. Lance meets every one of this guys definition points except maybe the hand-eye coordination. But that's a skill not an athletic feat. So where is Marion Jones' hand eye coordination? Just pumping her legs up and down. So does a five year old running around the yard. Did you happen to notice this guys main area of coverage is boxing? Oh, yea there's an athletic endeaver. Two guys throwing the ends of their arms at each others heads. Ever see butter bean? Great athlete there. Don't even get me going on those fat baseball players. Wake up buddy, the WORLDS sports writers ARE covering the event!
what an idiot. check out the survey -lower left.EpicX
Jul 25, 2002 6:58 AM
looks like 95% of 2200+ people think he's full of shit too.
A nice dose of idiocy to go with my coffee.Alex-in-Evanston
Jul 25, 2002 7:09 AM
Great way to start the day. It makes any other moron I see today seem more palatable.

Alex
What an imbecile!Kristin
Jul 25, 2002 7:14 AM
I think he's taken one too many shots to the head. He reports on boxing?? Lance will be winning races long after the boxers of today are drooling on themselves in some nursing home.
just goes to show u how narrowminded US is in terms of sportskomatiite
Jul 25, 2002 7:30 AM
forget the world cup, forget the Tour...give me nascar and a lazyboy recliner any day of the week. how completely stupid of this writer to say that the winning the tour is no big deal?! i bet Jordan or the others in his article couldnt even complete the first stage. not athletic....jeez.
Let's say how narrowminded that one American is...PdxMark
Jul 25, 2002 7:53 AM
the MSNBC poll shows that 95% of folks think the guy is a dope
Amazingfiltersweep
Jul 25, 2002 8:09 AM
that 95% actually disagree... maybe there is HOPE for humanity after all?
well, that was bracing. nmbill
Jul 25, 2002 7:30 AM
nm
athletes ride, everyone else plays games...yeah right
Jul 25, 2002 7:34 AM
okay, so that can be extended to any other sport which is a suffer fest.

I was a good baseball player and a crappy athlete at the time in high school, somehow i could still play as well as my peers.

it's funny too, because lance was a triathlete before just bike racing, so asking, is he faster than chipper jones, had me just about rolling on the floor. is swimming an athletic sport? is anything over a 100m sprint a sport for running? this guy just revoked his right to write in my opinion.
re: Check out this MSNBC articleelrey
Jul 25, 2002 7:56 AM
I also sent an e-mail to NBC Sports. I don't even know what to say this article is so riciculous.
fave quote:filtersweep
Jul 25, 2002 8:11 AM
"Armstrong can pedal a bike better than anyone. ... But could he do it if someone was playing defense? "
I propose a new acronym: TPI. . .js5280
Jul 25, 2002 8:20 AM
as in "This Person is an Idiot." Commonly given to editorial journalists w/ their heads up their a$$.

I disagree that cycling doesn't have a lot of hand-eye coordination. There is a lot of it required to manuever in a tight group, switch gears, take in food, brake, change clothes, avoid potholes, groundhogs, sticks, idiot drivers, etc. If you don't think hand/eye condition is important to cycling then take off your handlebars, think of the weight savings!
how do we mail this idiot? nmweiwentg
Jul 25, 2002 8:24 AM
send your fan mail to "sports@msnbc.com"brider
Jul 25, 2002 8:35 AM
I did. Here's what I wrote:

If you could please pass this on to Ron Borges and the editorial staff:

Mr. Borges:

I read with interest your commentary "Great feat, but not a great athlete: Armstrong winning Tour impressive, but it's not athletic." And I agree with you on a point -- Lance Armstrong may not be the greatest athlete in the world. I think even he would agree. However, for this race, he is the greatest bike racer in the world.

To make comparisons to ANY other sport is simply ludicrous. The top of ANY game is so specialized, that to take some one out of another sport and make comparisons is an exercise in futility. Just ask Michael Jordan if he thinks professional baseball is tough. Jordan is without argument a great athlete, but to say he isn't the worlds greatest athlete because he couldn't hack it in baseball says nothing.

And as for the "Who really cares?" comment, I'm sure you're being deluged with messages from those who do care. Start making a list, then multiply it by ten thousand. In Europe, cycling is third behind soccer and tennis. American football and basketball isn't even on the radar screen.

So while you're bashing Lance, why don't you try to get to the top of YOUR game -- writing. Seems you have a long way to go to get the Pulitzer prize. Then you can try to do what you're suggesting to Lance, which is to climb into some one else's game and compete. I think if you even tried to do what the Radio City Rockette's do, you'd find it pretty "athletic."
Doesn't he know that football and boxing aren't real sports. . .js5280
Jul 25, 2002 8:39 AM
they're just temporary solutions to prison over-crowding.
Doesn't he know that football and boxing aren't real sports. . .gregario
Jul 25, 2002 8:56 AM
hehheh, prison overcrowding. Good one! How about basketball too?
He is a football writerAlpedhuez55
Jul 25, 2002 9:30 AM
THe author, Ron Borges writes for a medium sized newspaper south of Boston. He is a Patriot's Beat writer. He also is on a local radio station in Boston a lot as well. He is a pretty good writer but is a little narrow minded.

I think you always get idiots like this writing this type of article. I guess if there is no ball involved, it is not a sport. Maybe he would consider Armstrong an athlete if he played Mountain Bike Polo.
re: Check out this MSNBC articleelrey
Jul 25, 2002 8:47 AM
I also sent an e-mail to NBC Sports. I don't even know what to say this article is so riciculous.
Riding is no special feat once you get your train wheels offLC
Jul 25, 2002 8:54 AM
From his view he is right. Riding a bike is no special feat once you get your train wheels off. Racing a bike is a whole different ball game. Even if most of us had a motor on our bike that would match the horse power of Lance, you would end up at the back of the pack and eventually get cought up in a crash. Everyone wants to ride in that same position in the pack, near the front but not at the front. Very few are able to do it.

Since I started racing I have a whole new appreaciation of what these guys do.
Check the poll results in the left column of that webpage.fracisco
Jul 25, 2002 8:56 AM
As of 10am PDT, 96% of poll respondents feel that the author is out to lunch. 7775 respondents.
I enjoyed this quote, for some reason I fjound it very funny.bikedodger
Jul 25, 2002 9:01 AM
"It would be more of a feat if he was forced to dine on French cuisine each night too and then lug those heavy sauces around with him the next morning. After a week of that it would be the Bus Tour de France because everyone's bicycle seats would be broken."
Yeah, that Lance, he's no offensive linemanGator
Jul 25, 2002 9:52 AM
I mean the crouching, the pushing, the grunting, the crouching, those guys define grace and versatility.
The unfortunate thing about the internet...TPC
Jul 25, 2002 12:05 PM
...is that even a total idiot can have his voice heard by thousands of people.
so much anger in that article...TPC
Jul 25, 2002 12:12 PM
I can't believe that MSNBC would post something that is so filled with anger and hate.

Since it's taboo to lash out at people because of their race, sexual preference, etc., he's left with getting his anger and aggressions out on groups without strong political factions.

Anger and hate are never appropriate. Never. He should be fired.
I agree with him somewhat..S-U-B
Jul 25, 2002 1:06 PM
I understand his point, not that I totally agree with him. I consider great athletes someone who can jump from the free throw line and dunk, or run a 4.2 40 yard dash. I don't consider golfers or even some baseball players as great athletes. I look at an athlete as being someone who may be great at one thing, but can do many sports well or above average. Dion Sanders is a great athlete. I would hate to see Lance on the basketball court. Dion would probably look damn funny ona bike as well. Dont get me wrong, I Admire what Lance has Done as much as anyone possibly could. I just think you have to seperate endurance sports from other sports, because the criteria for being great in each is totally different. Most endurance sports are so boring you couldn't pay me to watch. I think that most people dont understand the tactics and strategy found in cycling which is what makes it interesting to watch for me, to people who dont understand this, it is just a bunch of guys on bikes riding over mountains. How many of you could sit through 2 hrs a day of the ironman? put me to sleep.
I agree with him somewhat..really? i don'tyeah right
Jul 25, 2002 1:57 PM
I don't think you have to watch a whole race to understand lance's dominance and athleticism. in fact, watch the thirty second recap on the evening news, or sportcenter. on any given stage, it could show lance:

1. sprinting away from a pack of cyclists (going up hill) and putting more space on any of them than marion jones could ever hope to.

2. finishing minutes ahead of everyone else

3. going the top speed of sprinter while talking with other people, and not even breathing hard

4. showing the agility of ichiro while avoiding fallen riders and sharp turns at high speeds.

I would in fact argue that cycling is one of few sports where you have to be a great athlete to even compete.
I agree with him somewhat..S-U-B
Jul 25, 2002 2:47 PM
I understand his point, not that I totally agree with him. I consider great athletes someone who can jump from the free throw line and dunk, or run a 4.2 40 yard dash. I don't consider golfers or even some baseball players as great athletes. I look at an athlete as being someone who may be great at one thing, but can do many sports well or above average. Dion Sanders is a great athlete. I would hate to see Lance on the basketball court. Dion would probably look damn funny ona bike as well. Dont get me wrong, I Admire what Lance has Done as much as anyone possibly could. I just think you have to seperate endurance sports from other sports, because the criteria for being great in each is totally different. Most endurance sports are so boring you couldn't pay me to watch. I think that most people dont understand the tactics and strategy found in cycling which is what makes it interesting to watch for me, to people who dont understand this, it is just a bunch of guys on bikes riding over mountains. How many of you could sit through 2 hrs a day of the ironman? put me to sleep.
What I sent to sports@msnbc.comclintb
Jul 25, 2002 1:11 PM
Mr. Borges,

I read with pity your MSNBC article titled "Great feat, but not a great athlete
Armstrong winning Tour impressive, but it's not athletic". I use the word "pity" because it is just that which I feel for the state of journalism today. Maybe there are varying levels of journalism and that is fairly evident in your title of "Contributor", so it is evident you're not a REAL jorunalist. But nonetheless, when a person has been charged with writing a piece to be viewed by the public eye, you are "Journaling".

I grew up hearing about how a Journalist is supposed to report objectively, without opinion and fairly. What has happened is people, like yourself, decided that it has become more important to stir up controversy and thus inject your own opinion and emotion into your writing. Leave the emotion to novelists!

Now, onto your opinion of Lance Armstrong not being an "Athlete" in your own terms;
1. Strength: Lance can pedal a bicycle up mountains that would have most people, probably including your great Marion Jones, begging for a car while only walking up the same incline.
2. Speed: Again, Lance, along with many other pro bicycle racers, are pedaling at speeds that break many speed limits. School zone speed limits are regularly shattered by these men.
3. Agility: Most of the bike races in Europe take place where they will likely see some mountains. What goes up, must come down. And down they do come, to the tune of 60mph sometimes.
4. Hand-Eye Coordination: Bicycling involves the operation of 2 sets of gears, 2 sets of brakes, attention to the road, the road conditions and your competitors. This most favorably compares with automotive racing.
5. Mental Toughness: Name one American athlete, outside of cycling or triathlons, that can play their sport nonstop for 5 and 6 hours without a break. Then, put these 5 and 6 hours torture sessions back to back for 21 days and 2300 miles and we'll see how many American athletes will be left standing.

So I ask you. In your very own definition of an "Athlete", where does Lance Armstrong fail the definition? I shall answer for you: You can't, because you only laid out the characteristics with no definition for substance. Substance, is what you obviously lack.

This was taken directly from the MSNBC page on which displays your commentary.
Ron Borges writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers boxing and the NFL for the Boston Globe.
So, Mr. Borges, here lies the real truth to your writing. A sad man writing about sad excuses for sports in which men bash each others brains out. Real smart and very neanderthal. Ugh, me have ball. Me run you over. I punch you. You fall down.

Bye the way, 96% of 16787 people who have voted on your own MSNBC poll don't even agree with you. That sir, in Presidential terms, is a "LANDSLIDE"! You have been voted a very insignificant minority, Mr. Borges.

Josh Knight
Dumb @$$e$.....too bad it's illegal to kill themI Love Shimano
Jul 25, 2002 4:54 PM
25987 responses

96% thing Borges is a c*cks**k*ing dope head.
consider the source...MarvinK
Jul 25, 2002 5:54 PM
Roy Borges is best known as a boxing commentator for HBO. It sounds to me like maybe he's been doing more than just commentating.... a few too many shots to the head, if you ask me.
borges@globe.comMarvinK
Jul 25, 2002 6:35 PM
In addition to letting MSNBC know about their poor decision to publish the article, maybe you'd like to discuss fringe sports like Soccer and Cycling with him personally?
letter to borges & sports editorMarvinK
Jul 25, 2002 9:20 PM
Sent to borges@globe.com & sports@msnbc.com....

Dear Mr. Borges:

As I read your article, two clear thoughts came to my mind:

1. You clearly do not understand the sport of cycling.

2. All of the world's greatest athletes specialize in their own sports.

I could take either argument to make my point that this was one of the most laughable articles I have read—even on the Internet!

By your own definition, cycling is a true sport—competition at the Tour de France involves offense, defense, teamwork, strength, speed, endurance, agility, strategy and even coordination! If you believe cycling encompasses nothing more than pedaling as fast as you can, you simply haven't bothered to do any research. The two minutes of SportsCenter updates you suffer through will simply not provide adequate insight into this complex and tactical sport.

Lance Armstrong is not one of the fastest runners in the world—although as a teenager he ran 30 miles (and swam 10000 meters) a week. Randy Moss probably couldn't compete on a baseball field (although I wouldn't be surprised to find out he did well on a high school team). I don't think many NFL quarterbacks would choose either of the Williams sisters as linemen (although I'm sure they'd show their competitive merit in their effort). Shaq's ability to dunk might not translate into reach on the tennis court. Alex Rodriguez wouldn't even consider stepping in against any of the world's greatest boxers.

The bottom line is—all of the greatest athletes have something in common: a drive to win. As part of that drive to win, they work to excel at their sport. The training involved to become world-class cyclist is different than that of a world-class boxer, which is different than that of a basketball player, which is different than a world-class football player, which is different than that of a tennis player.

Lance Armstrong is definitely a fierce competitor—and has proven it off and on the field. He is considered by many as one of the greatest athletes in the world—not because of his ability to pedal fast, but because of his mental toughness, physical strength and endurance, tactical skill, determination and drive to win. Those are the qualities of any truly great athlete.

MSNBC: I was disappointed to find such a poorly researched and distasteful article found its way onto MSNBC.COM. Please consider selecting contributors that have bothered to do at least a minimal amount of research on their topic in the future. Putting Bondy's article out a day later serves as little more than a transparent effort to save face. You should still be completely embarrassed to have let Mr. Borges' article slip through unchecked.
re: Check out this MSNBC articledavee
Jul 25, 2002 6:45 PM
His preoccupation with training wheels should be the tip-off. Face it, some poor ba*tard* never learned to ride a bike when they were youngsters. They still can't, and need to bash those who can to bolster their self esteem.

David Holcomb