$0.02: Lance’s legacy untouchable in more ways than one | SummitDaily.com
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$0.02: Lance’s legacy untouchable in more ways than one

DEVON O'NEIL

Now that Lance Armstrong has announced his retirement plans, only two questions remain: Will he kick the extra point on his touchdown of Tour de France victories, and what will his legacy be years from now?We won’t know the former until this summer. The latter, however, is all but decided.Armstrong is the greatest cyclist of all time, not just of our time. He won the sport’s biggest prize six years in a row, some by a landslide, with the target on his back in more ways than one. He withstood scrutiny and jealousy, and performed at an unprecedented level in spite of it.Yet none of this would matter as much as it does if Armstrong were not an American. Remember, cycling is a European-dominated sport. And remember, Armstrong has done his best work in France, where Americans are not exactly at the top of the popularity totem pole.

Don’t forget, either, that even basic cycling questions could stump the smartest of U.S. sports fans. Summit County serves as one of the nation’s most saturated cycling hotbeds, so it’s easy to overlook the attention Armstrong has attracted to his sport in this country. But the simple fact that folks in Louisiana bayous now know who Lance Armstrong is, well, it speaks to the strides cycling has taken under his guidance.I’ve heard rumors that Armstrong is not the most personable guy, and that may be true. But he beat cancer. He lived when people didn’t think he was going to. Then he became the best there ever was in a sport that demands near physical perfection. In doing so, he provided – and continues to provide – hope to human beings across the globe in need of just that.Yes, Lance Armstrong will be remembered for his Tour de France wins. But if you know even one person stricken with cancer, you know that Armstrong’s greatest legacy will be his survival first, and subsequent success second …So the Nuggets will have to beat battle-tested San Antonio to keep their season going. Nice second half of the year, fellas, but good luck …

Did all the anticipation surrounding the naming of a new pope remind anyone else of college basketball’s Selection Sunday? …If the Rockies think rebuilding hurts in the standings, it stings just as much in the stands: Monday’s game drew just 18,546, the smallest home crowd in the history of the franchise. I have a hard time believing that mark will stand for long …So let me get this straight: According to court documents, Michael Vick – one of the most electric athletes on the planet – called himself “Ron Mexico” when he knowingly infected a former girlfriend with genital herpes? Have you ever heard a weirder tale than that?No word yet, by the way, on where I stand on the waiting list to get a No. 7 Ron Mexico jersey. Should be any day now …

With Monday Night Football going from ABC to ESPN, I’m wondering (hoping, praying he’s not) whether Joe Theismann will be part of the new broadcast team. There is speculation that Mike Patrick, Paul Maguire and Theismann will replace Al Michaels and John Madden. Here’s one vote to keep Madden and Michaels in the booth …In parting, a line item in our transaction wire the other day reported that a minor league hockey player had been loaned to another team. I know it must be odd to get traded, but loaned? What are we, used books?Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at doneil@summitdaily.com.


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