I Am SO ANGRY At Outside Magazine

06.17.2010 | 10:15 am

201006171012.jpg A Note from Fatty: Today is the last day you can enter to win the SyCip hand-built bike, tricked out with Shimano and PRO components. Read here for details on the bike, then click here to donate for a chance at the bike.

I’m so angry right now I can hardly see straight. Well, the truth is I have a lazy left eye so the “not seeing straight” part is pretty normal for me.

But — trust me — I’m pretty darned angry.

And I’m not the only one. Lance is mad too. Which is us is angrier? It’s hard to say.

I better back up and explain.

As many of you know, Lance Armstrong and I are now pretty tight. We hang out together, share training successes and failures, give each other parenting advice, exchange recipes, and are on the same World of Warcraft guild (his handle is “MelloWarlord;” mine is “FatPaladin”).

And so — like Lance — I was outraged when I saw the upcoming cover of Outside Magazine:


No, Lance was not outraged because the hairstylist made his hair look like he was photographed while hanging upside down. Nor was he angry that they chose the one photograph out of the whole sitting where he was looking menacingly intense, instead of showing his usual congenial, toothy grin.

He wasn’t even angry — well, OK, he was kind of angry, but not red-faced and seething — at the “Major Shrinkage!” headline right there beside him.


He was angry for the exact same reason I am angry. And that reason is: Outside Magazine photoshopped “38. BFD.” onto his T-shirt.

Note: For those of you who aren’t familiar with the “BFD” acronym, it stands for “Bidirectional Forwarding Detection,” which is a network protocol used to detect faults between two forwarding engines connected by a link — a very peculiar thing to put on a t-shirt, I think you’ll agree!

Lance was so angry, he actually tweeted:


Wow. That’s angry. I, for one, hardly ever get so angry that I start talking in light grey rectangles. But Lance — he and I have agreed during one of the many, many times we’ve hung out together — has a greater capacity for anger than I.

Which is not to say that I am not angry.

At this point, you’re probably wondering why — apart from indignation on Lance’s behalf — I am angry. What stake do I have in this egregious example of Photoshopping a plain t-shirt?

Well, the only way I can explain is by showing you the original photograph — the comp Outside emailed to Lance and me, saying they were just going to make a “couple of minor changes” before going to final.


For one thing, it is not easy to get Lance Armstrong to wear your t-shirt in public. At least, not for most people.

And for another, I totally paid Lance $20 to wear that shirt for the cover, and Lance says he’s already spent it and it wasn’t his fault that Outside Photoshopped it out anyway.

I’m so angry, I could just tweet .


  1. Comment by Mike Roadie | 06.17.2010 | 10:23 am

    Doesn’t everyone want their FC t-shirt in the picture.

    You must so furious you could, you could, you could….just blog!

    Go Team FC!!!!!

  2. Comment by Dan in Sac | 06.17.2010 | 10:27 am

    Tweet, tweet, tweet. Bloooooog. The expletives of the 21st century!

  3. Comment by Anonymous | 06.17.2010 | 10:31 am

    Nice photoshopping Fatty! Only you put the wonderful Floyd text behind your Team Fatty t-shirt. oops.

  4. Comment by MattC | 06.17.2010 | 10:35 am

    Is that seriously a photoshop job of the 38BFD? If so they have some amazing software and/or graphic artists…it follows the contours/wrinkles of his T-shirt perfectly, and the shadow/light areas…wow! I play around w/ photoshop some, but that is some nice work! (I guess if you work in the graphics dept for a major mag then you just MIGHT be good at that kind of thing). Not to be lame, but what does the BFD stand for? (big freaking dog?)

    And Good luck Team Fatty Seattle! Enjoy the weekend…and will be waiting w/ baited breath for the pics/reports! Be safe everybody..keep the rubber side down (that goes for you too Fatty)!

    OK..I’ll go back into my cave now…carry on.

  5. Comment by Dr. Brett | 06.17.2010 | 10:36 am


  6. Comment by Damon | 06.17.2010 | 10:39 am

    Loved this article, in protest for you and for Lance, I will never wear that 38 Big Fu*kin Deal shirt! Not unless I get at least $20. I could use some more gum. Good Blog!

  7. Comment by d | 06.17.2010 | 10:44 am

    maybe you could ask lance to give you that t-shirt to auction off. good luck

  8. Comment by Fred | 06.17.2010 | 10:47 am

    Lance’s comment is almost as lame as this blog post.

  9. Comment by axel in texas | 06.17.2010 | 10:53 am

    I am surprised that Lance as Michelob Ultra spokesman would speak up for the new hampshire homebrew club
    BFD=brew free or die
    and does he state his age to show he is over 21?
    I just don’t get it.

  10. Comment by Paul Guyot | 06.17.2010 | 10:55 am

    Wait… isn’t that the guy from WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? and TWO AND A HALF MEN?

  11. Comment by Lavagal | 06.17.2010 | 10:56 am

    How come you never send me recipes?

  12. Comment by Loving the Bike | 06.17.2010 | 11:02 am

    Awesome post…thanks for clearing things up for me. I had seen Lance’s tweet yesterday but didn’t know what it was all about. I had meant to search for it on Google, but your post saved me the work.


  13. Comment by T Foster | 06.17.2010 | 11:29 am

    BFD – Bite Floyd’s Derriere

  14. Comment by Gomez | 06.17.2010 | 11:31 am

    itsa OUTRAGE!!!!!

    Maybe, in penance, Outside could put that cool picture of Stanley Tucci wearing a Fat Cyclist jersey that you had on yesterday’s post. That’d be cool.

  15. Comment by Mikeonhisbike | 06.17.2010 | 11:34 am

    I would have been ticked too. I don’t blame you. Hey on another note, any other Fatty followers planning on riding the Seattle to Portland next month?

  16. Comment by GenghisKhan | 06.17.2010 | 11:55 am

    Funny. I think I just Tweeted my pants (size 38 BFD.

  17. Comment by GenghisKhan | 06.17.2010 | 11:56 am

    @Matt C. And, heck ya, photoshop. Forty years ago the US government “photoshopped” pics to make it look like we beat the Ruskies to the moon, so a few contours on a t-shirt these days ain’t no thang. ;o)

  18. Comment by Franky | 06.17.2010 | 12:09 pm

    I think this was the original layout :)

    I bow to your superior Shoppiness. Nice work, Franky! – FC

  19. Comment by Survivor | 06.17.2010 | 12:10 pm

    I thought Lance’s tweet inferred that he had a plain shirt on. Did I miss that?
    I viewed this whole “poetic license” thing differently.I think it’s great!
    To me, it (the shirt) said two things: his age is irrelevant—and will be no big deal for him—especially as he competes with some who are nearly half his age. Secondly “38″ beats the alternative (of not reaching 38) for cancer patients.
    If we’re to be angry at anything–I think we all would agree that it should be at the lack of cure(s).
    After all, don’t we all agree that life is way too short—especially if you have been touched by the disease.
    Get me a few of those shirts! I’d proudly wear every one of them—even though I have nearly 20 years on Lance.

  20. Comment by bikemike | 06.17.2010 | 12:30 pm

    Actually “BFD” (bon fromage doodeau) is french and roughly translates to cheese crap. I found that in my french to chinese to english dictionary.

  21. Comment by Adobe Photoshop | 06.17.2010 | 12:31 pm

    I can do all that and more, MattC. Really, it’s one of my simpler tricks.

  22. Comment by stuckinmypedals | 06.17.2010 | 12:31 pm

    @mikeonhisbike I’m riding STP. You’re probably doing it in 1 day. I’m doing it in 2 ’cause I’m slow.

  23. Comment by melicious | 06.17.2010 | 12:34 pm

    Wow, Franky you nailed it! Nice work! Love how Outside chose to airbrush his Fat-Tat off, too! ;)

  24. Comment by randy | 06.17.2010 | 12:56 pm

    Frank, if you’re not in the biz, you should be! Good work. Someone get that shot to Lance.

  25. Comment by Chuck | 06.17.2010 | 1:21 pm

    Hey Elden, Lance isnt’t the only one who wants to wear an FC t-shirt. Drop the hint to your boys over at Twin-Six to print up another round and include some sizes for the clydesdales around here.

  26. Comment by Nurse Betsy | 06.17.2010 | 2:01 pm

    Okay Fatty, just sent in my donation to Livestrong. I am visualizing a Java Boy cruiser…….sweet!

    I’m with Chuck……Waiting for Twin-Six to issue new Fatty ware. My T-shirt from the “100 Miles of Nowhere” really didn’t fit…..too small. We need “real world” sizes. Really want some great jerseys.

    Keep up the good work Fatty.

  27. Comment by rokrider | 06.17.2010 | 2:33 pm

    What does Lance have against Company 38 of the Boston Fire Department?

  28. Comment by Joel P. | 06.17.2010 | 2:38 pm

    Great post and some almost equally great comments. Note the “almost” as no one could dream of topping an award winning blogger. I also second the motion for another crack at a FC or WIN T-shirt. I seem to always wait too long to order.
    Joel P.

  29. Comment by Clydesteve | 06.17.2010 | 2:42 pm

    I think Lance could lose about 32 grams if he got a buzz cut.

  30. Comment by Mario Riojas | 06.17.2010 | 2:57 pm

    Nice blog Fatty! Were you at the 2008 Tour de Cure? I have a similar picture of Lance. He was there with family and Chris Brewer, Liz Kreutz, et.al.

  31. Comment by Turt99 | 06.17.2010 | 3:01 pm

    Hey, they did put a note on the cover “Note: not Armstrong’s real T-Shirt”

  32. Comment by D. | 06.17.2010 | 4:20 pm

    Truth is, he’s almost a 39 YO doper.

  33. Comment by Fizzhogg | 06.17.2010 | 4:28 pm

    And just when exactly are these super new special fancy pre-order only FC jerseys going to be available?

  34. Comment by Kyle | 06.17.2010 | 4:50 pm

    Folks, BFD is Big F’ing Deal…

  35. Comment by McDeb | 06.17.2010 | 6:50 pm

    Thanks for the laughs! Its posts like this that keep me reading your blog, Fatty. I love the way you write! I hope you realize how talented you are. Wait…of course you do! What was I thinking…

  36. Comment by bubbaseadog | 06.17.2010 | 7:06 pm

    now fatty ive never seen lance wear a plain t shirt without some kinda logo it just wouldnt be lance right? on the other hand 38 is not a bfd 65 is and im still cycling bfd

  37. Comment by roan | 06.17.2010 | 7:23 pm

    Hey Fatty…Twin Six has Fatty stickers. I got a set so I could make my 1st place…winner in the 100MoN. Now I would like some Fat-Tats too. I prefer the temporary type (I’m too beautiful already). If you can’t get any temporary ones I’ll take the iron on ones. That’s gonna hurt…but for you Fatty anything.

  38. Comment by graisseux | 06.17.2010 | 8:17 pm

    I’m pretty sure it’s from the Roald Dahl classic, “The Big Friendly Giant.”

  39. Comment by Constantin | 06.18.2010 | 7:11 am

    Why would they do such a thing?! Changing the Fatty design with that “38 BFD” which I still don’t know what it means…

  40. Comment by Greg | 06.18.2010 | 8:34 am

    @ Franky, that’s good work!

  41. Comment by Barry | 06.18.2010 | 9:49 am

    the official response:


    this guy has a memory like an elephant. game over for them!

  42. Comment by Darth Vader | 06.18.2010 | 10:59 am

    @Franky You da bomb! The Dark Side needs your skills.

  43. Comment by plutosdad | 06.18.2010 | 11:28 am

    It looks like they did a job on his face too, increasing the contrast to make wrinkles/etc stand out to make him look older. I mean I’m 38, he looks a lot older than me in that photo.

  44. Comment by Dan O | 06.20.2010 | 12:05 am

    Photoshop can be a scary tool. I do Mac support for a living and see what’s tweaked for catalog use. Any cover, catalog, or mainstream print is tweaked and mutated to look better then real – just look at any Bicycling magazine cover….

  45. Comment by Lisa | 06.22.2010 | 2:37 pm

    I thought it stood for Big efffing deal. LOL

  46. Comment by daness40 | 06.24.2010 | 1:49 pm

    You play WoW?

  47. Comment by kiwi | 06.25.2010 | 8:31 pm

    I would be pissed if my hair looked like that!
    Maybe that’s just me?


  48. Comment by Di | 07.6.2010 | 4:43 pm

    That’s priceless. :-)

  49. Comment by Jono | 07.9.2010 | 8:49 am

    Hmm, still waiting for my copy to turn up in the UK.

  50. Comment by Camille | 07.19.2010 | 7:28 am

    Classic! Nice photoshopping skills, Fatty and Frank!

    Personally,I’d be angrier about the hair, but I’m vain. :)

  51. Comment by Rodrigo Langeani | 07.27.2010 | 12:23 pm

    Nice post!
    Cheers from Brazil!

  52. Comment by Brian Pera | 08.18.2010 | 4:24 pm

    Fatty- What World of Warcraft server are you and Lance on? I don’t play, but my borther-in-law is an avid player and wanted to know.

  53. Comment by Caleb | 09.9.2010 | 10:36 am

    I love Franky’s moc up. haha.

    Man, I think you are asking for it posting your WOW information on here. I don’t play myself, but know several who do.

    p.s. only recently started following your blog, but love it! Your posts are fun and witty. They always seem to catch me off guard at first. Maybe I should start reading the end first and then the beginning :)


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