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Last Dance vs Lance

choppack1choppack1 Posts: 1,590
Disclaimer: I didn’t watch more than a few minutes of The Last Dance. I also am no fan of Michael Jordan. However, I was not really a huge fan of Lance Armstrong either.

I watched the Lance Armstrong 30 for 30 the other night. I have always found him a polarizing figure. When he was obviously using PEs, it amazed me how many of his fans didn’t think he did. When he caught, the outrage amazed me as well. I mean, if you even just casually followed cycling (which I did at the time), it was pretty obvious that there was a huge doping culture and that if you were going to compete, this had become the most likely way you could achieve any kind of sustainable success.

Finding out Lance was doping was about as surprising as the paper classes in Chapel Hill. The data told you that the level of success was highly unlikely if done ethically. 

But there were 2 things  I always respected about Lance and the cycling culture: it’s the fearlessness and dedication to their craft. As someone who now cycles on a regular basis, there’s few things more thrilling than going over 20 miles an hour on a bike. It’s not unusual for me to hit 30 mph going down a hill. Even at that speed, you know if you fall, you are toast. You will probably survive, but it won’t be pretty. The professional cyclists to go over 50mph. Which brings us to the second point.

If you are willing to take this chance with your life every day on the bike, why would you be afraid of doing something that might hurt your body afterwards. If you have chosen this profession, is it surprising that some (maybe most) of these pros are doing what they can to compete?

For years, Lance denied doping. What’s worse, he viciously attacked those who had the audacity to attack him. But his story is similar to so many...he used to be relatively clean, but then, in order to compete, you have to up the ante. 

I found his admissions unapologetic - which I strongly suspected he would be. Like MJ, his intense desire to win is more of a manifestation of a sociopathic personality trait than it is a virtuous behavior. However, in the public sphere, one is worshipped and lionized, the other is shunned and basically a pariah.
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Comments

  • WulfpackWulfpack Posts: 2,243
    I watched both, and the pure entertainment value of The Last Dance blows the Lance 30 for 30 away (it is the highest rated Docuseries in history). I am a huge basketball fan and was a kid when Jordan, Bird, Magic etc were in their prime. Watching it brought back so many great memories of my childhood. It was a different game then, and the rivalries truly mattered. I am also no fan of MJ, always rooted against him, but I recognize his intense drive to win, as well as his greatness. I’ve said it before - I don’t look to professional athletes as role models. They are just people, flawed like the rest of us, with an incredible skill. MJ is an arrogant POS. 

    Regarding Lance, I felt the same way last night. He came across as an arrogant SOB. But man, was he awesome. His foundation has also done great things for the fight against cancer. 

    Chop, I’m well aware of the thrill of cycling. I used to ride myself until I was hit by a car at an interesection. Those guys are amazing. Truly fearless. 

    I remain amazed at Lance’s comeback following his cancer surgeries and chemo.  It is nothing short of a miracle. Yes, he was doping. And so was everyone else. 


  • GsoPackBackerGsoPackBacker Posts: 911
    I watched about an episode and a half of The Last Dance (8 and 9) and was underwhelmed with the way Jordan came across.  Not sure whether that was just him, or him and the way it was produced.

    Seemed as though they showed some piece, got other's insights, then cut to MJ giving you his take.  Easier to make yourself look good when you always get the final word.
  • RickRick Posts: 2,269PFN Referee
    My understanding is MJ had control over the edits. He stil came across as a sad human being. Never happy. Insecure. Always trying to find a reason to get mad at someone. 
    Just a pathetic person in general. 
  • choppack1choppack1 Posts: 1,590
    Haha yes he did Rick! The insecurity sounds like Lance. Although Lance comes across more like who really doesn’t give 2 farts about what you think about him. 

    He had a similar fall from grace to Tiger, but he still does his thing and he doesn’t really try to act like he was a choir boy. Oh, he’s hiding plenty of stuff, but he doesn’t make himself out to be a role model. It reminds me of the last time I got a speeding ticket. The highway patrolman pulled me over and I guess I wasn’t angry, remorseful or scared enough. It had been a while since I had one and I knew this was the kind of problem that went away easily. I am sure he thought I was being arrogant, but I wasn’t going to say I was sorry (because I wasn’t sorry I was going 12 mph over the 55 mph speed limit) and I wasn’t going to feign surprise or try to lie. I think he was miffed he didn’t get a reaction. 

    Not caring about your public persona is pretty powerful. He appears to be in a camp that he’s happy to be called a jerk or sociopath. He’s going to keep on doing his thing. I wonder how MJ would have handled a Tigeresque or Lanceish fall from grace. My guess is not too good.
  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 2,144PFN Referee
    I didn't watch either, but likely will watch the MJ series because I loved that era of NBA basketball.  I never liked Lance and think he is generally pretty scummy.  
  • AdventurooAdventuroo Posts: 2,631
    edited May 26
    NOT a cycling expert.  Did do some reading about Lance and the “TOUR”.  That whole thing is fraught with sordid things.  Makes Louisville and the stunts that the NFL teams did on nights before critical or playoff games....women, booze, recreational Rx, etc.....look calm.

    Lance, and the other super stars had “squads” or lieutenants....that rode with them.  They controlled the momentum of the various segments or legs.  That stacked the deck for. The stars.

    Some of them came back rich and famous and had stateside careers and such.  Often they build small empires on their name and “rode with Lance”.  They were semi rock stars hired to promote equipment and such....often given lucrative franchises for bike shops or equipment.
  • 13OT13OT Posts: 75
    I didn't watch any of the MJ stuff and won't. I prefer re-runs of Larry Bird games on youtube.
  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 2,144PFN Referee
    edited May 27
    Roo:  That US Postal team had a number 2 and number 3 that could have anchored most teams.  They were stacked and juicing.  Landis was probably one of the top 5 cyclists at the time and was relegated to the Cal Naughton Jr (of Talladega Nights) role.
  • WulfpackWulfpack Posts: 2,243
    13OT said:
    I didn't watch any of the MJ stuff and won't. I prefer re-runs of Larry Bird games on youtube.
    I love watching old games of Bird. I hear all the time about how he wouldn’t be able to cut it against today’s athletes. Yea right.
  • choppack1choppack1 Posts: 1,590
    Roo - the teams had their sprinters, and the guys who could climb the mountains. Although, it’s a totally different terrain, these guys are often some of the best in time trails too. Then, as you note, you basically have your “blockers” these guys provide as safe a passage as is possible to the sprinters and climbers. There’s definitely a lot of teamwork involved, but so are egos. 

    Wulfpack - I guess you recovered OK? I haven’t been hit yet, but I realize every time I head out on the road the risk is there.

    Like you, I love watching Bird play. I also really enjoyed watching Magic play. I liked these guys so much more than Jordan because they played such an intelligent, beautiful and unselfish game. Their passing was incredible, and they could also grab 12 boards.
  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 2,144PFN Referee
    chop: I liked watching Magic and Bird much more than Jordan for the reasons you mention.  I did then, and my opinion hasn't changed.
  • choppack1choppack1 Posts: 1,590
    Yeah Rye - in this era of hyperathleticism, I don’t know if we will ever see their type of games again.
  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 2,144PFN Referee
    edited May 27
    I think the game now is athletes and shooters. I was horrified watching a NBA game (right before COVID19) where one team's entire offense was lackadaisically passing the ball around the perimeter and firirng up a three with no attempt to even go to the basket.

    I wouldn't be surprised at some point to see the 3 point line possibly go away.  There's only so far back they can push the line due to the sidelines.
  • GasHouseGangstaGasHouseGangsta Posts: 468
    MJ was incredibl skilled and athletic and didn't have the supporting cast early in his career, unlike Bird and Magic. Had he had that type of supporting cast, I expect he'd have been just as good of a facilitator. But as it stood, he was expected to create and score.

    I haven't watched a full NBA game in probably 20 years. I can barely watch a full NCAA game.
  • pakfanistanpakfanistan Posts: 280
    ryebread said:
    I think the game now is athletes and shooters. I was horrified watching a NBA game (right before COVID19) where one team's entire offense was lackadaisically passing the ball around the perimeter and firirng up a three with no attempt to even go to the basket.

    I wouldn't be surprised at some point to see the 3 point line possibly go away.  There's only so far back they can push the line due to the sidelines.
    So you've seen the Rockets play. 
  • RickRick Posts: 2,269PFN Referee
    MJ was incredibl skilled and athletic and didn't have the supporting cast early in his career, unlike Bird and Magic. Had he had that type of supporting cast, I expect he'd have been just as good of a facilitator. But as it stood, he was expected to create and score.

    I haven't watched a full NBA game in probably 20 years. I can barely watch a full NCAA game.

    I don't think so. I think MJ is inherently selfish and so would never have fit into a facilitator role. Of course this is all just opinions. 
  • KingHippo_fka_BJD95KingHippo_fka_BJD95 Posts: 3,649PFN Referee
    I guess at least...Jordan can handle two balls?
  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 2,144PFN Referee
    ryebread said:
    I think the game now is athletes and shooters. I was horrified watching a NBA game (right before COVID19) where one team's entire offense was lackadaisically passing the ball around the perimeter and firing up a three with no attempt to even go to the basket.

    I wouldn't be surprised at some point to see the 3 point line possibly go away.  There's only so far back they can push the line due to the sidelines.
    So you've seen the Rockets play. 
    HAHAH.. Great call! 

    It was the Rockets playing the Bucks.  I had them in there specifically named, but then revised my wording.
  • choppack1choppack1 Posts: 1,590
    Yep. Excellent call on the Rockets. James Harden can be fun to watch, but in the playoffs he pretty much makes me turn the channel.
  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 2,144PFN Referee
    edited May 29
    If you want to realize just how mediocre HWSNBN is as a basketball coach, check out how little he did with the 2009 Arizona State Sun Devils.  The roster included:
    - James Harden: Pac 10 player of the year and first team All American
    - Jeff Pendergraph: Played for the Blazers, Pacers and Spurs
    - Eric Boateng: formerly of Duke and a McDonald's AA
    - Ty Abbott: Bounced around Euro leagues
    - Jamelle McMillian: Nate's kid

    Talent alone had the Sun Devils ranked #15 in the preseason.  Here's a little season recap....

    - Non-conference games: 11-1.  Sounds awesome until you realize the ONLY teams they played that were any good were Baylor (lost by 9) and BYU (won by 1).  The Wells Fargo arena was rocking against teams like Miss VALLEY State, Idaho State, IUPUI (1 point overtime win) and Central Connecticut State.

    - Pac 10 slate: 11-7 in the regular season, but lost 3 out of the last 4, including a 16 point home loss to a Johnny Dawkins led Stanford team that went 6-12 in the Pac 10.  

    - Pac 10 tournament: Two arguably upset wins.  The first was over Arizona (.500 Pac10 team that year) and was followed by a win over #13 Washington.  With achievement of something meaningful in sight, the favored Sun Devils lost to USC in the Pac 10 championship.  USC finished the regular season at 16-14 (8-10).

    - NCAA tournament: After beating Temple in the opening round, the Sun Devils got knocked out by Syracuse by 11 points.  The Syracuse 2-3 zone held ASU to 67 points and the Sun Devils shot 13-35 from 3 while getting out rebounded 33-24.

    All this................with James Harden, who scored 40 in one game.  He averaged 20.1 ppg, 5.6 rebounds pg and 4.2 assists pg despite playing on a team whose adjusted tempo was 334 (out of 344) nationally.  Yes, with that kind of talent, HWSNBN decided to sit on the ball and play tight.

    Say what you want about KK, but he's never had a roster like that at NC State.  If he did, I'm pretty sure we'd get better results against a tougher schedule.  I do not miss the Desert Wanderer one bit.
  • TheAliasTrollTheAliasTroll Posts: 2,632PFN Referee
    survive and advance better than  last dance by a long shot
  • PackPACPackPAC Posts: 378
    survive and advance better than  last dance by a long shot

    I did not and probably will not watch the last dance and I do not need to watch it to know that this statement is 1000% true! 
  • KingHippo_fka_BJD95KingHippo_fka_BJD95 Posts: 3,649PFN Referee
    I didn't cry at my father's funeral (well, in FRONT of anyone), but I weep like a baby every time I see Survive and Advance.

    Took homework with me to that Duke game.  I was there for fucking V.
  • GasHouseGangstaGasHouseGangsta Posts: 468
    ^I had the privilege of working with the producers on Survive and Advance and have worked on a few others with them since...I still get choked up everytime I see that one. My fav of the Hock films may still be the Marcus Dupree flick, The Best that Never Was...I keep egging them on to take a shot at a UNC-Cheat flick
  • Pack78Pack78 Posts: 373
    Saw Marcus Dupree torch KU (like everyone else did to KU) back in the 80's when I lived in Lawrence-even as a freshman, a man among boys...
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