T.O. Payback

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This is Diana Nyad for KCRW, and this is The Score.

Let's start with Lance Armstrong. The cycling giant is two-tenths of a second off the lead in the Tour de France. And his strong suit, climbing, starts in the Pyrenees tomorrow. Back in February, when I said here on The Score that, whether you cringe at the Armstrong colossal ego or not, you have to admit he's earned every accolade heaped upon him as a cyclist. Yet I received a number of emails from listeners, lambasting Lance as a doping cheater and further lambasting me for giving him positive ink. I recently spent some time in France and every French person I spoke to said in disgust they would never again follow the Tour, once beloved to them, because they firmly believe Lance Armstrong's cheating ruined the entire sport. So now I ask you Lance detractors, now that he's once again proving his superiority in the saddle, now that drug testing at the Tour is hyper-vigilant, where do you dig up these firm convictions and clear outrage that he has won all his yellow jerseys on dope? I can't pretend to count myself a raving Armstrong groupie over the years. But I do recognize superior talent when I see it. And I see it at the foothills of the Pyrenees, about to climb onto the victoire podium yet again.

Have you been watching The Superstars the last few weeks?

It's as lame as reality television gets, with mostly retired athletes going against unknown entertainment types, none of which has any meaning whatsoever. But watching Terrell Owens get chewed out by a tiny supermodel was, I must admit, downright hilarious. How many NFL teammates has the classless T.O. disrespected and pissed off over the years? If we went back to his colleagues at the 49'ers, the Eagles, the Cowboys, how many tales could we drum up of T.O.'s boorish behavior? Terrell Owens has been world-class, unmatched, in his unsportsmanlike behavior. So how out loud funny was it during this insipid Superstars competition to watch this tiny blond model named Joanna Krupa berate and belittle her partner, the very T.O. who has berated and belittled so many before. There was an obstacle course event where the second teammate can't start until the first one finishes. T.O. went first and while his diminutive partner Joanna Krupa was salivating to get started, her teammate got his sneaker caught in some cargo netting. Never mind that skier Bode Miller figured out when his sneaker was caught in the nets to rip his shoe off and continue without it. T.O. just continued to struggle with that sneaker. The other teams were cheering their teammates on, whether faring well or not. But when T.O. was all tied up in the netting, little Joanna Krupa went beserk and started an unlikeable, unsportsmanlike tirade against her teammate. "They call you an athlete?" "They pay you millions? For what?" "You are pathetic." T.O. was sincerely embarrassed by his performance and, as for the dressing down by his tiny teammate, he took it with shrugged shoulders, as if this was ironic, shaming payback for all the badmouthing he has doled out throughout the years.

By the way, back in the day when the TV event The Superstars was more interesting in that it was current athletes going against each other in various sports, there was also a version of entertainment celebrities playing sports against each other. And I clearly remember that the best actor athlete at that time was Farrah Fawcett. Chris Evert said that Farrah was the best non-professional tennis player she had ever seen. May you rest in peace, Farrah. And please know that we not only remember your beauty and your courage, but we remember that sizzling forehand of yours as well.

This is Diana Nyad for KCRW, and that's The Score.

Banner image: Adam Larkey/ABC



Diana Nyad