Lance Armstrong Dodgeball Cameo Looks Pathetic After NY Times Doping Report
I woke up today to the New York Times' eye-opening page-one report on Lance Armstrong's role in the U.S. Postal Service cycling team's doping conspiracy, and, after finishing Juliet Macur's excellent story, I couldn't help thinking that the disgraced Tour de France winner, who's been stripped of his seven titles, should have made a very different cameo in Rawson Marshall Thurber's Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.
If it's been a while since you've seen this 2004 laugh riot — one of my favorite comedies of the last 10 years — Armstrong has a small but pivotal role in the movie in which he inspires Vince Vaughn's character Peter La Fleur to go back and continue fighting for the Average Joe's dodgeball team that he has abandoned.
According to IMDB.com, this is how the exchange goes:
Lance Armstrong: Hey, aren't you Peter La Fleur?
Peter La Fleur: Lance Armstrong!
Armstrong: Yeah, that's me. But I'm a big fan of yours.
La Fleur: Really?
Armstrong: Yeah, I've been watching the dodgeball tournament on the Ocho. ESPN 8. I just can't get enough of it. But, good luck in the tournament. I'm really pulling for you against those jerks from Globo Gym. I think you better hurry up or you're gonna be late.
La Fleur: Uh, actually I decided to quit... Lance.
Armstrong: Quit? You know, once I was thinking about quitting when I was diagnosed with brain, lung and testicular cancer, all at the same time. But with the love and support of my friends and family, I got back on the bike and I won the Tour de France five times in a row. But I'm sure you have a good reason to quit. So what are you dying from that's keeping you from the finals?
La Fleur: Right now it feels a little bit like... shame.
Armstrong: Well, I guess if a person never quit when the going got tough, they wouldn't have anything to regret for the rest of their life. But good luck to you Peter. I'm sure this decision won't haunt you forever.
That dialogue now seems empty and sad in light of the Times report that "hundreds of pages of eyewitness testimony from teammates, e-mail correspondence, financial records and laboratory analyses released by the United States Anti-Doping Agency" paint "a picture of Armstrong as an infamous cheat, a defiant liar and a bully who pushed others to cheat with him so he could succeed, or be vanquished."
In light of the Anti-Doping Agency's information, Armstrong would have been truer to himself if he'd made a cameo in support of "those jerks from Globo Gym." [New York Times]
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