I just finished watching most of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Lance Armstrong, and the imagery from the underbelly of the cycling industry brings me back to those days in the 1980s when all these bloated, gassed up wrestlers on steroids were the norm.
Armstrong, finally forced into a corner regarding his lengthy use of performance-enhancing drugs and blood doping, came clean to Oprah. This is in stark contrast to Hulk Hogan’s 1992 appearance on the popular Arsenio Hall Show, during which he backpedaled about his steroid use. He later recanted those statements in federal court.
Regardless, Lance Armstrong is Hulk Hogan. Granted, Armstrong is on a much bigger scale with more eyes watching, but at their cores, each of these athletes is a persistent liar. And just like nobody believes much of anything Hogan says these days, you also have to doubt every single word uttered by Armstrong.
They both spout off in a way meant to give them an advantage. The often seem to say half-truths in order to distract you from bigger untruths. They both know how to work their audiences. They are both ruthless in protecting their interests.
The irony of the Armstrong developments is that ever since I started watching wrestling in 1981, I’ve heard all kinds of disparaging comments:
“You watch that fake stuff?”
“Those guys are just actors.”
Yeah, I knew it was fucking entertainment within a few weeks of watching it after my parents told me the wrestlers really didn’t hurt each other.
Yet here we are decades later, and you’ve got folks who still believe sports like cycling and baseball are real. Those fans are every bit the marks that wrestling fans are, just like those cyclists and those baseball players are every bit the fakes that rasslers are.
Hogan. Armstrong. The names are interchangeable to me. They’re con men, and even after they come clean, they never stop trying to work you.