The Tour de France is without a doubt one of the most grueling athletic competitions in our world today, and for that matter in our history. What the athletes must go through in order to even finish it, let alone win, is a testament to their toughness, athletic prowess, sheer determination and above all the will to put themselves through hell. That being said, I could care less.
Maybe if it was a continuous race I might be more interested, but the way it is timed, over 23 different stages, with all the times added up has just never led to me dying to watch the final few stages to see who comes out on top. I am not here, however, to condemn those that do have a genuine love and passion for this race (as someone who can watch a 9 inning baseball game every day for half of a year, I have no right to claim some sort of sports watching superiority over anyone, it’s just my personal preference). The posers however, the people who really don’t know jack shit about the Tour de France/cycling in general, but read a fucking headline or two so they can chat about it to seem cool, they are the ones who piss me off.
Only knowing the name “Lance Armstrong,” or being able to ask “Do you know who won the time trial today?” does not make you a cycle enthusiast, it makes you a complete and utter douchebag. This would be synonymous with the Red Sox fan who couldn’t name anyone but the superstars, or the Yankee fan that only asks Sox fans, “Who gives a shit about recently, how many World Series have you won overall?” No one likes these people, so what makes people think they will be appreciated by the cycling fan base when they come up with gems of insight like, “Boy, Lance really killed it in the mountains today…and his age, just, wow!”
That was actually said to me at a bar Friday night when Sportscenter was on. I decided to press him for some more info by asking two simple questions, “who is he trailing” and “what team is he riding for this year?” There was a muttered response about “I think some guy from Italy, oh and not the Postal Service” before the conversation quickly turned to how well Jon Lester threw for the Sox that night.
I guess I understand that it is probably ingrained within us, the need to try to impress others. And maybe I’m different than most, but I would have been a lot more impressed if the guy had just been honest and answered, “honestly I have no fucking clue…just read the bottom line on ESPN 2, sorry for being a dbag.” Hell, I probably would have even bought the guy a beer (nothing more expensive than PBR, though).