Bay Area Reporter
Copyright © 2006 Bay Area Reporter, a division of Benro Enterprises, Inc.

Jock Talk
It was on the Internet, so it must be true

It's been a difficult week or so trying to concentrate on watching sports, what with the distraction of the presidential inauguration and observance of Martin Luther King Jr. weekend and tons of games to participate in during the Sin City Shootout sports festival in Las Vegas, so I'll try to catch you up as best I can on the big things that happened. Mind you, I'm a little confused myself because the radio talk shows kept cutting in and out while I was driving, so this may be a bit disjointed, but here goes.

Apparently Lance Armstrong spent a few hours at the opera – it must have been a Wagnerian opera because it was really long; called "Winfrey" with a ring and a dwarf or something like that – and while he was there he told the audience that when he was touring France he ran into a girl from Stanford who he thought was the love of his life and she got him to take all sorts of banned drugs, which apparently everyone in France does.

Armstrong said the woman, Lennay Kekua, roped him in with her sad story of being abducted from her home in Roswell as a young girl before falling for a handsome young Mormon football player from the South Pacific she met during a Stanford-Notre Dame game. Something about leukemia treatments, car accident, and grandma dying the same day ... anyway, before he knew it, Armstrong was blubbering his eyes out and was doing everything this pathetic love of his life asked.

For years, Armstrong denied to everyone everything about the drugs because he wanted to protect Kekua, but he began to become suspicious she was not being entirely honest with him. She had told him she had left her job hunting snipe for the Fernwood, Ohio forestry department to become an undercover operative searching for weapons of mass destruction and was currently based in Winesburg, Ohio.

So Armstrong talked with a friend referred to him by Jose Canseco at a pool party at Roger Clemens's house to celebrate Barry Bonds's Hall of Fame induction who does criminal investigations and bar mitzvahs. Canseco said the guy really knew his stuff – for instance, he'd written the first scouting reports that predicted how great Brian Bosworth and JaMarcus Russell would be – so Armstrong gave him $60 million he'd won in the lottery to investigate Kekua's background.

Armstrong said the investigation dug up a story Stephen Glass wrote for the New Republic that reported that Kekua's boyfriend didn't actually exist, hadn't died, and in fact was still playing football for the Fighting Irish. But then the lies really started to build up when they dug deeper. It turns out the Irish weren't really Irish, they weren't really fighting, and even their No. 1 ranking in the polls was a hoax.

By now, Armstrong said, he didn't know whom to believe. He figured the only thing he should trust would be what he could learn on his own, so he decided to do research on the Internet Al Gore invented before global warming. Canseco told him he should do a Google search to find out what Kekua's "deal" was, so in anger Armstrong typed in the search terms "What's your deal?"

But he said he did this while on a bike ride in China, so all he found were stories about Jim Harbaugh and an official statement from the Chinese government that there are no homosexual people in China.

Armstrong told the opera people he finally decided to come clean about the dope because he realized he was bad to bully his children with lies whenever they asked, "Dad, is that a syringe in your pocket or are you just happy to cash those paychecks?"

Of course, Armstrong's announcement created major waves, allowing the Mavericks international surf competition to be held for the first time in years. In other reactions, the Sacramento Kings decided to move to Seattle in disgust and Sacramento decided to let them in disinterest. And the Livestrong Foundation, which Armstrong created, dropped him from its board.

Not everybody is turning on Armstrong, however. A poll in Cleveland found Armstrong still ranked just ahead of LeBron James and Art Modell among most despised sportspeople, in a dead tie with Jerry Sandusky and O.J. Simpson.

Anyway, that's pretty much all that happened in sports, and you can check it all out in the Internet for details. Oh yeah, and the 49ers advanced to the Super Bowl or the Har-Bowl or something like that, but we'll have a couple more weeks to figure out what's their deal. In the meantime I've got a script I want to pitch to the producers of Fringe about a world in which a magician has a mirror that makes lies and cheating turn to good deeds and cash. If it's too outlandish for TV, maybe I can turn it into an opera.