A shitty little sport

If there is a lamer sport than pro cycling, I hope to never watch it. Because the most exciting, dramatic, challenging, lungbusting leg of cycling’s most legendary stage race was decided today by a poopy diaper.

Say it isn’t so. And even if you say it isn’t so, Laurens Ten Dam will: “I think you all saw what happened on television, right? He had to shit,” said Ten Dam, commenting on the decisive move in the race, a move which involved the lower gastrointestinal tract.

How can you explain that to Grandma? She understands the vague basics behind the Cubbies, the Patriots, and the Spurs. “One team won because the other team scored more points, Grandma.”

“Oh, I see,” she says, briefly looking up from her knitting to see a tall, athletic looking fellow named Flubbs or Crowley or Hockinspittle doing something athletic with a ball. Everyone roars and the points on the scoreboard change. She goes back to her knitting until you prod her again. She looks up, new numbers. Even Grandma gets it. The nice fellows in the yellow suits got more points than the other nice fellows in the blue suits, so they won.

Contrast that with yesterday’s Giro d’Italia. “Hey, look Grandma! The fellow whose name I can’t pronounce just took off his shorts and is crapping behind a bush! Now the others are attacking! The decisive bowel movement of the race has begun!”

Grandma doesn’t look up, she looks away, mortified that you watch such filth, and unable to understand how pooping behind a bush is a sport. “Don’t they have port-a-potties for that?” she asks. “Even though it’s Italy?”

Then you fall into a long explanation about the “etiquette” of pro cycling, and whether those behind in the GC who are now off the front have an obligation to wait for the race leader like Tortellini did in ’37 when Effluvia, who was in the lead by ten seconds, flatted on the Mortirolo, and then on the descent in the ice storm when Fettucine slid out and fell off the 1,000-meter cliff, Effluvia, who had regained the lead, sent his sister’s third cousin Panini back to hoist Fettucine out of the crevasse, and as the patron of the peloton Effluvia then ordered Tagliatelle, Linguine, and Spätzle to slow the tempo until Fettucine regained the peloton and was able to help his team leader Tortellini, who had broken a fork and needed help with the bellows to fire up the forge down in the village in order to repair his bike. But after this gallant gesture, when Tortellini rejoined the leaders, he attacked Effluvia, who had stopped to complete some masonry on a cathedral, and ended up winning the stage and the race by a mere eleven seconds, which was almost exactly the amount of time that Effluvia had had when he flatted back at the bottom of the Mortirolo. And therefore, cycling tifosi have argued ever since about exactly when it is appropriate to win the race with a heroic attack and when it is instead appropriate to quit racing and let the other guy win because of random dumb luck. “That’s the whole thing about etiquette in cycling, Grandma,” you say.

“If they had any etiquette at all they wouldn’t be doing their business on the side of the road, and the t.v. certainly wouldn’t be broadcasting it,” Grandma says angrily. “And why does everyone in the race sound like the menu at the Olive Garden?”

As usual, Grandma is always right.



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26 thoughts on “A shitty little sport”

  1. Way back in the net.news days in the rec.sport.bicycle.racing there used to be a guy (Bruce Hildenbrand) from Colorado who had friends on 7-11 and used to post information on the various races going on throughout the racing calendar in Europe. To those of us who only got information in 2 week clips via our snail mail delivered velo-news, this was pretty essential news.

    In those days, the Giro was mainly raced by italian teams with Italians who all had un-pronouncable Italian names, and he frequently used pasta as aka. Those reports always read pretty funny, and so does your account to Grand ma.

    1. I remember those reports. Also remember how you could call a 1-900 number that was listed in the back of Velonews and get the days results on the phone. Once miss-dialed that by one digit and got a sex hotline. We all thought it was funny as hell until I got a $150 phone bill for a 1 minute call.

  2. Hadn’t really noticed before but you seem to have acquired a sense if humor.

  3. Tim Joe Comstock

    First time I laughed out loud while reading a cycling post since I quit visiting the Snob. You have a high sense of the ludicrous, Skinny…but then again, you are, after all, an attorney.

    So ya got that goin’ for ya.

    1. Winning! Out loud laughing is like scoring two touchdowns on the same play.

        1. ‘Muricans don’t like guns unless they can kill unarmed people with them.

  4. If you’re sick and tired of sporting competitions that feature incredibly fit people crashing into each other, hitting things, running around and getting millions of dollars all while preening for their next photo session, rejoice! Bike racing can be won by when, where and how you take a dump. Fun!

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