Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Watch yourself at Trader Joe's (I'm not talking about the food)
I knew this morning when I put on my Saxo Bank Cycling Team t-shirt I might be making a mistake. I wasn't going to be holed up in the house working all day (as is usual) since I had a lot of errands to do - the post office, the bank, the screen printer and Trader Joe's. My shirt had the potential for a major unsolicited spoiler - It made me pretty identifiable and as such I was setting myself up for someone to say something to me about the Tour, especially if they had already watched it.
But then I thought I was being paranoid. This is America, where the second most popular sport after football is waiting for football season to start. Cycling is way down on the list. I know that Phil and Paul are saying on-air that Versus viewership of this year's tour is up 150%, but 150% of 100 is what? 250? My point is I'm not sure how many people are watching this year, but it's no Superbowl. It's probably not even the NBA All-star game.
But none of that matters, because it only takes 1 person. And that "one" came in the form of a very well intentioned and friendly guy at Trader Joe's.
Him: "Did you see the tour today?"
Me: "No not yet, I DVR'ed it..."
Him: "Yeah, Contador is a real *sshole."
Me (to myself): What the hell did I just say to you, dude?
Me (to him): "Oh really? That sucks. Just leave it there though, I'm going to watch it when I get home.
Him: "Don't worry, I think Schleck will get it back."
Me: "OK thanks dude, you just saved me 4 hours."
"Him" grovels a bit.
Me (feeling a bit bad that my bone dry humor just shot way above his head, possibly into the stratosphere): "Aw, I'm just kidding, it's all good."
I watched it anyway, because I didn't yet know why this guy thought Contador was an "*sshole". But when Shleck's chain fell off and Contador sped by, I groaned. And as he rode by the camera, I saw a coward.
In 2003, when Jan Ullrich and Lance Armstrong where fighting it out for the GC, Lance crashed near the top of a climb. Ullrich waited for him and it may have cost him the tour. But it was good sportsmanship, and that's classy. Contador, not so much.
I hope Schleck jumps all over Contador tomorrow and Thursday and buries him.