The Bible says, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” This past week, the passage from John 8:32 was put to the test by two outstanding athletes, who exhibited less than stellar actions in their athletic pursuits.
In the case of Lance Armstrong, he admitted to Oprah Winfrey that his career as the premiere cyclist in the world was a fraud. Armstrong rose to the top of his profession and deservedly garnered the adoration, admiration and acclaim of cycling fans and those of us who admire any athlete who seems to accomplish the impossible. In addition, after his bout with cancer, Armstrong was seen by virtually everyone as someone who not only overcame this setback, but worked tirelessly to help fight for a cure with one of the greatest charitable organizations, Livestrong. We, then, discovered that these accomplishments were won with the aid of performance enhancing drugs. The situation was compounded by years of lying to the governing bodies of cycling and to the adoring public, who so much wanted to believe him.
He admitted those lies in an interview with Oprah this past week. Did the “truth set him free”? Based on the reaction from the media, the admission came much too late. The overwhelming response is that Armstrong is still arrogant, barely repentant, and bitter.
In my opinion, the passage from John 8:32 should be two affirmative sentences: “You will know the truth. The truth shall set you free.” Armstrong knew the truth all along and took much too long to admit it. Going on Oprah years later will not and did not set him free.
Manti Te’o is one of the best college football players in the nation and played for Notre Dame University. By now, you know he claims to be the victim of an on-line hoax that established a relationship with a non-existent girlfriend, who later supposedly died. Here the Bible wins out. It is said Te’o found out the story was a hoax in late December and notified the University. Wasn’t this the perfect time to disclose to everyone that this was a hoax perpetrated on an unsuspecting athlete? Particularly, since Notre Dame was playing in the national championship game the first week of January. To paraphrase the Bible, “now the truth WAS known, so let it set you free”. Sure, there would have been questions, but there, also, would have been timely and, hopefully, appropriate answers.
Now those questions, we have been told will be asked by Katie Couric. The answers did not work so well for Armstrong.
We are left in both situations to believe that both these athletes and Notre Dame are not really upset with what they did, but that they got caught. They all need to read more passages from the Bible to get it!!
ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
- My Super Bowl pick at the beginning of the year was San Francisco. There is hope.
- Some pundit called the Super Bowl the “Har-bowl” (Harbaugh vs Harbaugh). Clever. By the way, SF’s Jim Harbaugh was last year’s coach of the year. Should it go to brother, John, this year? It would keep peace in the house.
- Is San Francisco’s QB Colin Kaepernick in the same category as RG III and Andrew Luck or is he better? By the way, I would start my NFL team with Atlanta’s WR Julio Jones. He is amazing.
- There is a new sport that is catching on – it’s called the Tough Mudder. There are no winners and contestants help one another get through the course. It is a 12-mile extreme obstacle course which includes walking through a vat of ice, a crawl through thick mud with barbed wire hovering over your head, and another walk through more mud with live electrical wires (10,000 volts) dangling overhead. There are 53 events in 47 cities and 13,500 people signed up for a Tough Mudder event in Sarasota in early December. Up for it?
- The Lance Armstrong story this week made me think of an incident I had on a vacation cruise. My wife and I were invited to dine with the captain and other officers and guests. I asked the purser (the only American officer) to find out why and was told the captain had heard I was a sports announcer and he was a big sports fan. I was seated right next to him and all he wanted to talk about was Greg Lemond, the great American cyclist and an international icon. I had virtually no knowledge of cycling or of Lemond. I faked the conversation as best I could. Perhaps, the “truth would have set ME free.” Oh well, the escargot was good.
NFL PICKS FOR THIS WEEK
(Last week – 1-1) (88-54 for the season – 62%)
- SAN FRANCISCO