I just read that Lance Armstrong, seven time winner of the Tour de France, is considering apologizing for the use of performance enhancing drugs, an act which he has spent the last few years vehemently denying.
I don’t know if it’s the case, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that a bevy of high-powered public relations specialists are holed up somewhere working feverishly at developing a strategy by which Armstrong, or perhaps more importantly his reputation, can be rehabilitated.
It worked for Tiger Woods. Why shouldn’t it work for Lance?
After cheating on his wife with a list of bimbos rivaling the length of the Yellow Pages, all Tiger did was recite a well scripted “apology” to an empty room, lay low for a few months, and then come back to the cheers and adulation to which he had grown so accustomed.
I keep hearing that it’s in the nature of the American people, sports fans in particular, to be very forgiving. Of course the reality is that most of those pronouncements are made by the same PR gurus who are earning their very lucrative livings rehabilitating the characters of one tarnished athlete after another corrupt politician, not to mentioned the occasional befouled celebrity. I’m not sure that’s the type of resource I would select to reliably assess anyone’s true nature.
Anyway, back to Lance. He seems to be following the trail first blazed years ago by Pete Rose. That is – lie, dissemble, deny, and fabricate until the cows come home and then be prepared to apologize as if you’d never contradicted the truth in the first place.
I’m not sure Pete has been completely satisfied with the results he achieved and I don’t expect that Lance’s experience will be any more satisfactory if he chooses to pursue that route.
Maybe the best thing to try would be a “Forgive Lance” campaign complete with a distinctively colored lapel ribbon, or perhaps a wrist band.
Now that’s idea whose time had come!