By Mike Corasaniti
Two inevitable situations crossed Monday in the sports world. One event was exciting and full of potential for something classic, while the other was truly unfortunate and at times, downright embarrassing.
The National League pennant was decided after the NLCS’s Game 7 between the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants. As MLB’s own Twitter account quaintly put it yesterday afternoon, “There will be a group of grown men pouring champagne on each other tonight.”
No matter what happened, no matter who won or lost the decisive game in California last night, there was celebration, champagne and the excitement for what was to come next.
Earlier yesterday morning, the Lance Armstrong Steroid Saga, and its years of accusations and dragging on, finally met its bitter, awkward end. As if they really needed to wait this long to execute the mounting evidence against him, the International Cycling Union, thanks to assistance from the USADA, officially stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles.
No matter what happened, no matter who officially came out on top in these court cases and investigations, there was not going to be any celebration, champagne or excitement for what was to come next.
At the very least, now we all have a little bit of closure. But what hurts the most about the Armstrong situation is the American standpoint of the scandal.
“This is a landmark day for cycling,” said Pat McQuaid, president of the cycling union in a statement. What stood as the downfall of one of the greatest American conquests in sports history is, to the rest of the world, “a landmark day.”
But that just goes to show the binary that can be so present in sports. Two unrelated stories in two unrelated sports could have such similarly resounding effects on its fans and critics. With one of the few similarities coming from the Game 7 and the seven stripped titles being that they broke on the same day, it can be amazing what we take from such stories in sports.
From the Giants and Cardinals, all we were looking for was a winner. Who would be crowned king of the National League and deemed worthy of facing Detroit for a world championship?
But with Armstrong, it seemed that all people were interested in was the loser. Would the union fall to the power of Lance and his incredible power? Or, probably more popularly towards the end, would Armstrong be stripped of everything that gave his fans reason to cheer for his incredible run?
Again though, that’s just the binary. Sometimes sports can literally lift you out of your seats while a few hours later it can break your heart. The most amazing part of it is how rarely those two feelings are separated. Baseball is about to enter its newest chapter of championship history while cycling is in the midst of its darkest days.
But it’s in that binary that fans should focus their allegiances. To some people, the steroid scandal of Lance Armstrong will go down as the top story of Oct. 22, 2012, while ignoring the dramatic meeting between two teams who simply refused to quit this postseason. But in looking at the binary, the contrasts and the yin and yang of sports, the scandal should always take a back seat when the champagne is flowing.
This column can be seen in The Daily Campus