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Rant: the July bike race fan (intended to be light hearted)(24 posts)

Rant: the July bike race fan (intended to be light hearted)sacheson
Jul 14, 2003 11:11 AM
OK, so I know I'm exposing myself to some flames here, but is anyone besides me a little tired of the "July bike race fan" that lingers around the office corridors? Don't get me wrong, I think it's cool when people get interested in the coolest sport in the world (no, not lawnmower racing or bass fishin', bike racing), I don't fault a person for not knowing the ins-and-outs of the sport, and I'll go to great lengths to explain anything I understand to a person that doesn't quite understand the complexities. I also have NO problem with someone who doesn't want to be an expert in the sport, and casually watches with some interest - I think that's GREAT. It's the 'American sports fan' that annoys me ... you know the person, kind of that jack of all trades, master of none type ... they'll talk the talk just enough to snowball others who aren't bike racing literate, and have the attitude to boot.

Anyway, after the stage this morning, the office know-it-all here was about 10 feet away from me talking about that "wun-s" guy (read ONCE as the English word once) that crashed today and forced Armstrong to mountain bike to the finish. "That's why the French won't be an American, they don't know how to mountain bike". (side note: yeah, Nicolas Vouilloz, Miguel Martinez and Anne Caroline Chaussen don't know how to mountain bike!)

Then I overheard him saying, "I don't know why Armstrong is winning the race, he hasn't won any stages. That Italian guy who won four sprints should be winning". (yeah, the same Italian that abandoned two days ago)

At this time, I thought I'd attempt an explanation of the whole accumulated time thing and how it is completely possible for a Tour winner to never win a stage (and had some backup from another office mate). This guy couldn't (or chose to not) comprehend the shakedown that happens in the mountains. "You're just riding a bike. It's not like there are guys trying to knock you off" was his reply.

Anyway, annoyingly humored ... thought I'd share with others who might be experiencing something similar.

Fire away ...
re: Rant: the July bike race fan (intended to be light hearted)TJeanloz
Jul 14, 2003 11:28 AM
You asked for it...

I think it's pretty stupid to be annoyed by people who haven't reached your exalted level of knowledge of the sport. But rest assured, they feel the same way when you talk to them about football. And while you might think you're some kind of cycling expert, there's a lot of people out there with enough knowledge to expose the wrong things that you might have once said.

Really though, can't we all just be happy to get enjoyment out of the race? I couldn't be more pleased that more people in the United States are gaining some insight into the epic event that is the Tour. I don't know anybody who claims to be an expert (maybe because they've all been trained to defer to me), but I think it's nice that the Tour has entered the realm of the American sports fan.
Leave it to TJsacheson
Jul 14, 2003 11:31 AM
to read WAY too much into something.

And FWIW, I don't try to know anything about overrated American sports.
What did I read into it? Or was your question just rhetorical?nmTJeanloz
Jul 14, 2003 11:34 AM
I posted about ...sacheson
Jul 14, 2003 12:02 PM
... the ONE person who acts like the resident know-it-all, not the people who aren't big cycling fans (in fact I said something to the tune of 'more power to them' if they want to be a casual follower). This guy might get the same reaction when talking about any sport to someone who feels a little on the expert side of things. I attempted to post some humor with comments he made.

I said to read the post in a light-hearted manner, and you fire back with how stupid I am for letting anyone who hasn't reached my exhalted level of expertise annoy me (I'm posting about someone - not a general group!), how I have the same effect on others who know more about cycling than me, and made the assumption that I become this guy when discussing other sports.

I'd say that's reading a little more into the post than what was presented ... and once again, injecting words and phrases that were never said in your retort.
Then I completely misunderstood,TJeanloz
Jul 14, 2003 12:11 PM
I didn't know you were talking about 1 person, I thought you were talking about a vast conspiricy of bike-racing know-it-alls who appear in office corridors every July.

I didn't say anything about your stupidity, I said that I thought it was stupid to be annoyed by fellow cycling fans. There are much better things to be annoyed about, and it is stupid to be annoyed by something as trivial as somebody else's level of fan-dom.

And my real question, if you want to feel insecure, is how do you know that you aren't "that guy"? Maybe there's a former Euro-pro lurking in your office corridors who is secretly annoyed that you are the office know-it-all, while he's actually been-there-and-done-that?

My point is that none of us is as smart as we think we are, and it doesn't do anybody any good (unless it makes you feel good) to make fun of other people for not dedicating their lives to following professional cycling.
Then I completely misunderstood,took
Jul 14, 2003 12:13 PM
yeah. why can't we all get along (BS)
My point exactly; why can't we get along? (nm)TJeanloz
Jul 14, 2003 12:18 PM
What did I read into it? Or was your question just rhetorical?nmtook
Jul 14, 2003 12:03 PM
typical "why can't we all get along" bs...

TJ probably loves CBS coverage of alp d'huez.
I appreciate CBS for their in-depth coverage...TJeanloz
Jul 14, 2003 12:05 PM
Actually, I love that the coverage is nationally televised on CBS. I just wish it was better coverage.
I appreciate CBS for their in-depth coverage...took
Jul 14, 2003 12:11 PM
you are secretly disappointed that the coverage did not contain a vignette on french wine and more of john tesh's finest. wanker...
so it's no wonder...EpicX
Jul 14, 2003 12:15 PM
no wonder the office experts don't understand whats really going on. They get it from crap like CBS. I missed it this year but has CBS ever really explained the concept of a 3 week stage race? It seems more like they just say "look at these skinny guys go real fast".

and yes it makes me cringe when someone that doesnt know jack about something (cycling or anything else) 'educates' people that know even less. If they were the only representatives cycling had we'd really be in trouble.

"wunce!" i love it!
I completely agree,TJeanloz
Jul 14, 2003 12:17 PM
But some coverage is better than no coverage. If this drivel is the best we can get to a national audience, it is still better than nothing.

The worst part of this is I've insulted the CBS coverage, even though I didn't see any of it...
actually ...sacheson
Jul 14, 2003 12:09 PM
... I think it's typical "you don't agree with my politics in the Non-Cycling discussions, so I'll flame you whenever you post" attitude.

I'm getting used to it.
I think I've been railroaded here!TJeanloz
Jul 14, 2003 12:15 PM
Wait. You practically REQUESTED to be flamed in your opening post. You pose a ridiculous (by your own admission) question, say your ready to be flamed for your position, and then complain when it happens?

While I do often frequent the non-cycling discussions board, any "flaming" that I do is completely tongue-in-cheek. I try my best to respond to posts, not posters.

I guess my question is, what kind of response did you want? Let me try this:

I hate those losers who think they know everything. They should go back to Adrian Karsten and leave me with my office monopoly on cycling trivia.

Is that the response you wanted to hear?
what response to I want here?sacheson
Jul 14, 2003 12:54 PM
There's disagreeing ... then there's attacking. I might be a little shell-shocked from the replies you've given before, and I might have taken your post a little too strongly, but don't play innocent here.

And claiming you reply to posts, not posters - COME ON!

What kind of reply did I want? When I posted it, I a) thought it would add a little humor and b) thought I might piss someone off for using my coworker as the source of my humor. I added the part about flaming in an attempt to humble myself in that regard. I guess I didn't think I'd be attacked because I 'let this bother me', nor did I think my character would be questioned (implying that I take that role with other sports, or that I'm a know nothing dork myself). As I stated before, knowing this post came from you probably affected my reaction to it ... but that conclusion wasn't drawn from experiences with someone who responds to posts, not the poster. I've been at the wrong end of too many TJ flames to believe that.

I suggest we drop it. It was bad humor that went bad. Good enough.
Come on??TJeanloz
Jul 14, 2003 1:09 PM
I'd be happy to drop it, but I sincerely do make an effort to address the posts, not the poster, both here and in the Non-Cycling forum. I'm personally disgusted by the attacks of "Live Steam" et. al., and think they have no place in adult discussion.

I cannot recall a post where I have made a personal attack on a poster. If you can find one, I will happily and sincerely apologize for it.

I'll call an idea stupid if I think it's stupid, especially if its founded in bad data or statistics. But the bottom line is that I don't know anybody here personally (actually, I think I know three regular posters personally), and thus all I can discuss is your position on the topic - because I don't really know anything about you.
Jul 14, 2003 1:56 PM
It must be my issue. I'll take FULL responsibility for my post that was based on bad data / statistics. I apologize to everyone on this board for making a generalizing statement and for a failed attempt at humor at another person's expense. And I apologize for making references to an issue I'm not willing to research.

Can we drop it now?
I apologize,TJeanloz
Jul 14, 2003 2:00 PM
You're right that I shouldn't have written what I did, or at least directed it so personally as you. I took your flame commments as an invitation, which, apparently they were not. Mea culpa.

If you'd like, I could add you to the list (currently standing at 1) of people to whom I don't ever respond.

But until then, consider it dropped.
nah ...sacheson
Jul 14, 2003 2:16 PM
... I think I need to realize (maybe both of us?) that what happens in the non-cycling group stays there ... I know that's a majority of the reason I was initally so defensive. I'll keep that in mind and THINK a little before a pull my Jules Verne (Sam Jackson from Pulp Fiction) retort out of my a$$.

Truthfully, I think you're one of the more intelligent people in this group and I'd hate to not get your feedback - especially the times I don't agree with it! I've spent too much energy fuelling the negative and not enough trying to create a positive from it. I'll take this as a lesson learned. From now on I'll take your posts as just how you described them - a response to the post, not the poster.

Issue under the rug.

On a side note, and something that did make me feel a little worse about making my original post, another coworker came up to me since the 'office discussion' this morning to make a comment about the same guy I was poking fun of before. It did seem trivial after I heard it third person. 'Nother lesson learned.
nah ...TJeanloz
Jul 15, 2003 4:50 AM
After thinking about it overnight, one clarifying point occurred to me, and I don't know why I didn't make it yesterday. When, in my response, I referred to "you", I didn't really mean you specifically - it was the "royal you". The pronoun "one" would have been more appropriate in that case, but one issue with this media is that poor writing leads to misunderstandings like this one.

The attack wasn't really aimed at you - rather at the roadie snobbery that we all exhibit from time to time, which drives me up the wall.
what you're getting at is...ChazWicked
Jul 14, 2003 12:51 PM
the relative popularity of cycling (present audience excluded) is rather low. The knowledge is also fairly low. That said, all of us here would likely prefer to see cycling, as a spectator sport, active sport, and way of life become more popular.

So when somebody is just butchering the story and replacing intelligent explanation with misguided opinion it's annoying. It falls right in line with the sitcom mentality where bicycle seats = impotence. It's juvenile.

On the flipside, being an elitist about your knowledge (which I don't think you were) isn't good either.

Ideally, you would have politely engaged into the conversation, not to show off, but to enlighten on what's really going on. But I certainly understand just letting it go.

that is it 100%!sacheson
Jul 14, 2003 12:57 PM
I was asked if NEIL Armstrong was winning...mfuchs1
Jul 15, 2003 3:59 AM
by one person and another asked me how Lemond was doing. The question of the day though was when a guy at work came over to look at the video of the stage and asked where (country)they raced the Tour de France. In all cases I politely explained the correct answers.