Okay. I got about three hours of sleep last night — parenting stuff — and so I am not feeling particularly funny today.
I am, however, feeling like writing something.
So I’m going to write about this ridiculous Tony Kornheiser, who yesterday used his radio show to urge people to get in their cars and run over cyclists.
I got a lot of comments and email yesterday, asking me to respond. So here’s my gut response:
A lot of people in the universe are jerks. Most of these people, sadly, have enormous metal weapons known as “cars.” This guy is one of those jerks with cars. The only difference is he has a radio show.
He didn’t say anything new, or interesting. Just stupid.
What is interesting, however, is that Lance Armstrong really got into this. Here are some of his tweets from yesterday:
Listening to Tony Kornheiser’s comments/rant on ESPN radio re: cyclists. Disgusting, ignorant, foolish. What a complete f-ing idiot.
Tony Kornheiser on cyclists on the road, “run ‘em down”. Really? Big mistake, Tony.
Have a listen. http://ow.ly/1nByQ. Listen to the March 11, part 1 segment and go to 30 mins in.
And then, this:
How douchebags apologize…RT @ESPNRadio980: @ESPNRadio980 – Hoping to be a Trending Topic Worldwide today, keep your fingers crossed…
And, then, amazingly, this:
…just off the phone w/ Tony Kornheiser who’s very sorry 4 his comments re: cyclists. Going on the show 2morrow 2 discuss this w/ him.
Yes, that’s right. Tony, by being a total jerk, has gotten an interview with Lance Armstrong.
So, let’s liveblog that show right now.
9:04: Lance begins by accepting Tony’s apology (Tony called Lance and apologized, which is fine…for Lance). Says that he accepts the apology and thinks it’s sincere.
9:05: Lance is talking about a guy in NC who got killed yesterday by a car. Says, “Let’s all get along here.”
9:07: Tony says that yesterday Lance said that people in cars will get behind tractors or horses and wait forever, but get crazy angry when they get behind a cyclist. Asks why this is so. Lance says he doesn’t know. Says that he’s seen people do crazy things to avoid squirrels or dogs on the road, but get angry at cyclists on the road.
9:08: Lance says that 40 years ago, 40% of kids rode their bikes to school and there was 14% obesity rate. Now 3% ride to school, and obesity is much higher.
9:09: Lance talks about a hypothetical 40-year-old woman who gets brushed by a rear-view mirror, says she’ll never ride again. We need bike lanes for people who are new to riding, so people can ride and feel safe.
9:11: Lance asks Tony the furthest he’s ever ridden a bike, Tony admits to not riding at all, except spin classes. Tony makes fun of cycling clothes, Lance points out that all athletic clothing looks silly outside its context.
9:12: Tony asks Lance what it’s like to daily get the kind of scrutiny Tony’s getting because of this event. Lance takes the opportunity to tell him that this is the way the world is now, you big fool. Word spreads fast. Lance also holds Tony’s feet to the fire and reminds him that he was a jerk, for real.
9:15: Tony asks Lance why he retired and then came back to cycling. Great question, Tony, since it hasn’t been asked a million times before.
9:16: Lance tells him he’s racing to raise cancer awareness, and because he likes racing.
9:17: Tony asks Lance if he really drinks Ultra. Lance dances around the question, then finally says, “Yes, I drink Ultra.”
9:18: Tony says, “Someday we’ll go on a ride and then drink an Ultra together, OK?” And Lance says, “Sure,” essentially.
So the lesson we can all take from this, kids, is that if you want to go on a ride or have an interview with Lance Armstrong, get a radio show and urge people to run over cyclists.
Then just sit back and let the Internet do its thing.
Here are my “Now that I’ve had a few minutes to think” reactions to this whole thing:
- I need sleep.
- It’s easy for me to forget that a lot of people who listen to Kornheiser’s show wouldn’t have heard the outrage that came in response to it. So while to me it seems like Kornheiser was “punished” for his bad behavior by getting an interview with a guest he would have never otherwise netted, Lance coming on the show was probably a good thing for cycling and maybe hopefully got some people to reconsider their angry attitude toward cyclists.
- Kornheiser was a jerk for, after all this, needling Armstrong on the Ultra thing. Armstrong just gave him an easier time than he deserved, and Tony finishes by attacking the source of Armstrong’s paycheck?
- I need sleep.