Associated Press Photo
What can you say about Lance Armstrong. He is clearly an unbelievable athlete. Frankly to win any competition as grueling as the Tour de France for seven years in a row...well the accomplishment boggles the mind. And he's no young 'un anymore either.
To make the Tour de France a sporting even that Americans actually follow is also amazing. There are plenty of sports where Americans do well, but the vast majority of Americans couldn't care less. But each year we pull for Lance.
Coloring all of this is, of course, Armstrong's battle and victory over cancer. That is the integral part of why Lance Armstrong's story captivates the nation. It's not just that he has a winning streak, and we like winners. It's because despite his consistent winning, he can still be considered the underdog, having battled something with an even more consistent winning streak than he has: death.
But I really wish Lance and everyone else had rethought the Nike ad they've been showing during the Tour. It's footage of Lance at the press conference where he announced he had cancer, and that it had spread. But that he vowed to not only beat it, but to come back and race competitively again.
And, of course, being a Nike ad...the footage fades to a black screen with the words Just do it.
That's right folks. Just do it. Got cancer? Just beat it. What's wrong with you if you don't? The people who die obviously weren't committed enough to recovery. I'm all for positive attitude and all that helping the recovery process, but there's an undercurrent of "blame the victim" here.
Lance is inspirational. This commercial turns his inspirational story into something a little more scolding and depressing. I don't like it, as you can tell.
What do you think? Am I being too harsh on Lance and Nike?