Tuesday, July 22, 2008

There is no need to not have answers

Rob is watching the Tour de France. Again. This particular sporting event has graced our television every night for the past 17 days. It's funny how 17 days can seem so much like 37 years. Seriously, how long is this race? I feel like I will slowly grow old while emaciated men in spandex climb up mountains and occasionally get ejected for drug use. The scenery is nice.

Anyway, I got home from an author event tonight and sat on the couch next to Rob, who was paying rapt attention to the Tour and eating Thai chicken puffs, which are basically fried balls of curried meat.

He cleared his throat and I glanced over at him.

"Not that you care," he began, "but this is the hardest day of the Tour de France since World War II."

"They had the Tour de France during World War II?" This I would find interesting.

"No," he said. "I don't know...I'm just saying...it's a really hard day."

I made an impressed face and then looked up the Tour on Wikipedia (Source of All Truths). It turns out that since 1903 there have been 94 completed Tours de France. In 1939 Spain, Italy and Germany bowed out of the race due to the political unrest in Europe. The whole Tour was then canceled from 1940-1946, beginning once again in 1947.

"Eat your chicken puff," said Rob.


Jay Nicolosi said...

So they didn't cancel the Tour during WWI? Interesting. FYI - the race is 2200+ miles over 23 days. And a great majority of it is mountainous. I need steriods just to fathom that....

Jonathan Lyons said...


Sarah said...

Which is basically the same thing as saying "eat your chicken puff."


Sarah said...

Nicolosi--I think your comment perfectly describes my difficulty in appreciating the race. It is beautiful and really impressive, but so many people have been yanked out for drugs and it's hard to believe the others are doing it drug-free. I am dubious.

Nina said...

i hate to be such a skeptic but i'm with you Sarah. i'm convinced that there's some stealth form of epogen (increases red blood cells and thereby increases ability to carry oxgyen) that nobody knows how to detect yet. . .i want to give lance armstrong the benefit of the doubt, but 7 years, really. . . ?

Penny K said...

That's precisely why I LOVE the TdF, and most pro and top-level amateur sports. All the competitors are freaks of nature, made even freakier by the fact that they ALL take performance-enhancing drugs. I have two words for you: Dara Torres. Come on!! I hold my own at the gym for 40, but good god almighty, a 41-year old mother competing at that level?

I say, may the man/woman with the best chemist win. It's more entertaining that way :)

Jay Nicolosi said...

So the reason behind banning steriods is to give a "level" playing field, right? And what do we have as a result? Cheaters and suspected cheaters. Why not just say "anything goes?" That would be a truly "level" playing field, no? The friekiest frieks will win. The drugs would be a push, and the best "natural" athlete would prevail. Man, lot's of quotation marks....sorry.

Sarah said...

There's a book coming out by a guy whose research shows that from the beginning of baseball and into the 80s, only FOUR players improved their game after age 28. In the 90s, THIRTY players did.

If you can't beat em, join em.