Lance Armstrong and his confession have been all the rage as of late. We here at Abnormal Use are apathetic, as we are neither fans of cycling nor Sheryl Crow’s ex-beaus. Others are outraged by his admission to doping – some even to the point of filing suit.
According to a report from USA Today, two men filed suit against the seven-time Tour de France winner in a California federal court alleging that Armstrong’s autobiography, It’s Not About the Bike, is a fraud. The men claim the book contains falsehoods about how Armstrong was able to perform at such a high level on cycling’s biggest stage. In support of its allegations, the suit cites Armstrong’s recent confession to Oprah Winfrey that he used banned drugs or blood transfusions during each of his Tour de France victories. The men claim that they would not have bought the book had they known “the true facts concerning Armstrong’s misconduct.” The suit seeks class-action status on behalf of other readers.
As you might expect, we question the merits of this lawsuit. The men apparently seek only a refund of the book’s purchase price and, of course, their attorney’s fees. We must wonder if the men have sought refunds for every autobiography containing lies and inaccuracies. While we don’t have any sources, we imagine Armstong is not the first to lie in a self-penned work. (James Frey, anyone?). Nothing good comes from mendacity, especially when the liar profits from the falsehood. Nonetheless, it is hardly worth taking it to a federal court over $29.95.
This, like many lawsuits, is not about the money. It is a reactionary suit to being duped. Feeling wronged by an idol is tough to take. It is natural to assume our heroes walk on water. Despite their other-worldly talents, however, like us, they too are human. Rather that own up to our creation of an unrealistic of our heroes, upon this discovery, we often take our anger out on them.
In this case, we recognize that Armstrong played a role in creating his supernatural cycling mythos. It’s okay to be mad at him about it for awhile. Let’s just leave our anger out of a federal courtroom. Another sports star for us to worship will come along soon enough. And we guess someone will sue that person, too.