Front page
Silflay Hraka?

Bigwig is a systems administrator at a public university
Hrairoo is the proprietor of a quality used bookstore
Kehaar is the head web developer for a regional newspaper
Woundwort is a professor of counseling at a private university

The Hraka RSS feed

bigwig AT

Friends of Hraka
Daily Pundit
cut on the bias
Meryl Yourish
This Blog Is Full Of Crap
Winds of Change
A Small Victory
Silent Running
Dr. Weevil
Little Green Footballs
Fragments from Floyd
The Feces Flinging Monkey
Dean's World
Little Tiny Lies
The Redsugar Muse
Natalie Solent
From the Mrs.
The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
On the Third Hand
Public Nuisance
Not a Fish
Electric Venom
Skippy, The Bush Kangaroo
Common Sense and Wonder
Neither Here Nor There
The Greatest Jeneration
Ipse Dixit
Blog On the Run
Redwood Dragon
Greeblie Blog
Have A Cuppa Tea
A Dog's Life
Iberian Notes
Midwest Conservative Journal
A Voyage to Arcturus
Trojan Horseshoes
In Context
The People's Republic of Seabrook
Country Store
Blog Critics
Chicago Boyz
Hippy Hill News
Kyle Still Free Press
The Devil's Excrement
The Fat Guy
War Liberal
Assume the Position
Balloon Juice
Iron Pen In A Velvet Glove
Freedom Lives
Where Worlds Collide
Knot by Numbers
How Appealing
South Knox Bubba
Heretical Ideas
The Kitchen Cabinet
Bo Cowgill
Raving Atheist
The Short Strange Trip
Shark Blog
Ron Bailey's Weblog
Cornfield Commentary
Northwest Notes
The Blog from the Core
The Talking Dog
WTF Is It Now??
Blue Streak
Smarter Harper's Index
nikita demosthenes
Bloviating Inanities
Sneakeasy's Joint
Ravenwood's Universe
The Eleven Day Empire
World Wide Rant
All American
The Rant
The Johnny Bacardi Show
The Head Heeb
Viking Pundit
Oscar Jr. Was Here
Just Some Poor Schmuck
Katy & Bruce Loebrich
But How's The Coffee?
Roscoe Ellis
Sasha Castel
Susskins Central Dispatch
Josh Heit
Aaron's Rantblog
As I was saying...
Blog O' Dob
Dr. Frank's Blogs Of War
Betsy's Page
A Knob for Brightness
Fresh Bilge
The Politburo Diktat
Drumwaster's rants
Curt's Page
The Razor
An Unsealed Room
The Legal Bean
Helloooo chapter two!
As I Was Saying...
SkeptiLog AGOG!
Tong family blog
Vox Beth
I was thinking
Judicious Asininity
This Woman's Work
Fragrant Lotus
Single Southern Guy
Jay Solo's Verbosity
Snooze Button Dreams
You Big Mouth, You!
From the Inside looking Out
Night of the Lepus
No Watermelons Allowed
From The Inside Looking Out
Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics
Suburban Blight
The SmarterCop
Dog of Flanders
From Behind the Wall of Sleep
Beaker's Corner
Bad State of Gruntledness
Who Tends The Fires
Granny Rant
Elegance Against Ignorance
Say What?
Blown Fuse
Wait 'til Next Year
The Pryhills
The Whomping Willow
The National Debate
The Skeptician
Zach Everson
Geekward Ho
Life in New Orleans
Rotten Miracles
The Biomes Blog
See What You Share
Blog d’Elisson
Your Philosophy Sucks
Watauga Rambler
Socialized Medicine
Verging on Pertinence
Read My Lips
The Flannel Avenger
Butch Howard's WebLog
Castle Argghhh!
Andrew Hofer
Moron Abroad
White Pebble
Darn Floor
Pajama Pundits
Goddess Training 101
A & W

July 20, 2002

Le Tour While most of

Le Tour

While most of the sporting world has its collective eye focused on the British Open, I find myself grossly uninterested in the whole affair.

I play some golf. (Quite poorly, I might add. BigWig is better than me. For that matter, so is WoundWort. I suspect that Fiver is better than me too, but I can't recall if we've ever played together. We probably have, and since there are very few people that I've ever beaten at golf, we'll assume that he is better than I. Actually, the only person that I can say I've beaten at golf without having to stop and think about it is my father. He stinks at golf. That is to be expected though, given that he is 67 years old, has back, knee, and hip problems, played his first game at age 64, and uses his 1 wood for driving, pitching, putting, and spreading mayonnaise on his sandwiches. To give you a better idea of how poorly I play golf, even he has beaten me on at least one occasion. I suck. But I enjoy the game.) I usually have at least passing interest in the four Majors. I am a fan of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Davis Love III. I am pulling for Tiger to win golf's mythical Grand Slam. But I find that I am annoyed by all the media coverage of the event. I have visited CNNSI and ESPN several times a day for the past week and the BO is usually the top story and IT'S PISSING ME OFF!

I am not visiting to read about the Open. I want to know just what the hell happened today in the Tour de France!

I love this event. I am obsessed with it. I get up in the morning and check for updates before I get in the shower. I arrive at work, boot my computer, fire up my browser and check for updates. I take my mid-morning sabatical to the men's room around 10:30 a.m., come back and check for updates. I go to lunch, come back and check for updates. And again after my mid-afternoon sabatical. And again when I get home from work and...You get the picture.

My enthusiasm for the event has mirrored the rise of Lance Armstrong's dominance of it. (If there wasn't an American in contention, I probably wouldn't follow it. In that respect I am typically American. We don't follow a sport that we aren't expected to win. See: World Cup)

The Tour first drew my attention in 1999 when Lance came back from battling testicular cancer (Beavis interlude: "He said 'testicular'. He. Hehehe. Hehehe." Whereas my brother channels Zod, I channel Beavis, Butthead, and a slew of other cartoon characters. More on that later.) to win his first tour. I didn't follow the actual race, but the whole thing made a good story and I was glad that an American won.

I probably followed a little more closely in 2000. I watched a few minutes of the race if I saw it on TV while I was flipping channels. I would get the update on the leaders and then turn the channel. I read the articles in the Sports pages if they caught my eye. I was pulling for a repeat Armstrong victory. Lance won again and I was well pleased.

Last year I really started to get serious about it. There was a lot more television coverage and I would find myself watching entire stages of the race. I found out what the word "peloton" meant. I already knew that the overall leader wore a yellow jersey, but I didn't know that there were white jerseys (Best Young Rider) and green jerseys (Most Points) and even a polka dot jersey (Best Climber). I found that out too. Lance won again. Lance is the man.

And now it's 2002. And I'm obsessed with the Tour de France. Unfortunately, the vertical scan in my television ceased to be during a thunderstorm a few weeks ago and I'm too cheap to get a new telly or to get the old one repaired, so I can't watch the Tour on TV. But I CAN listen to it. And I do. I listen while I surf the Internet looking for stories that talk of Armstrong's invincibility. (I eat stuff like that up. It's hero worship in it's basest form.) I watch the video. I listen to the audio. I get my tour fix every few hours and I spend the days of rest between stages in very restless fashion indeed.

There was some early talk that Lance was over the hill. Lance won the prologue but lost some time due to an accident and then lost in a time-trial for the first time in a goodly while. (Didn't even know what a time-trial was a few years ago. I naively thought that all the stages were time-trials. I mean, you raced to beat the clock, right? Guess not.) I began to listen to the talk. Maybe Lance is over the hill. Maybe he hasn't got enough juice to win again. Maybe he slacked off on his training a bit. Maybe we'll lose this year! Oh my God! It'll be just like losing the America's Cup! Oh, the horror! Oh, the shame! Oh, the humanity!

But then we got to the mountains and all is well in the world again. Lance won the first two mountain stages going away, with much help from his U.S. Postal Service teammates, and it appears to be mostly downhill from here, notwithstanding the several remaining mountain climbs. Lanced finished 30th in today's stage but it's all part of his master plan to win in the end so I am unconcerned.

If Armstrong wins the Tour this year, it will be his fourth and he will become part of a very select crowd. Only four men will have won more Tours and only three men have ever won four in a row. He will leave behind fellow American Greg Lemond, who won three tours between 1986 and 1990. No other American has ever won the Tour de France. If Lance wins this year, he'll have a chance next year to do something only one man has ever done: win 5 tours consecutively.

Thankfully, I'll be on vacation this week, the last week of the tour. I'll be at the beach with my whole family: mom, dad, brothers, sister, nephew and niece. The house in which we are staying has a working television, or did the last time we were there. When my family packs up for the day and trundles out to the beach to play in the ocean and soak up the rays, I know where I'll be: on the sofa watching Lance climb the mountains into history.

Posted by Kehaar at July 20, 2002 01:45 PM | TrackBack
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
Post a comment Note: Comments with more than two dashes per line will be blocked as spam.

Remember personal info?