Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Praise for Granny

The London Guardian's Kevin Anderson talks to Tour '03's Online Journalism class at George Mason University.

That's quite a job Oude Granny has done maintaining this blog with some outstanding posts these past several weeks. When Tooth, Granny and I started this blog almost a year and 500 posts ago, I knew this format was made for Granny. He's got the right touch (just like he does on the bike!), and I don't know many so-called experts who demonstrate greater insight about this sport we all love and sometimes hate.
After writing a good number of these posts over the first 10 months or so, I needed a break. The trick to writing a blog (and my good friend, Kevin Anderson, the blogging editor of the London Guardian, just talked about all that to my George Mason Online Journalism class yesterday during a visit to the States) is to combine equal parts passion, knowledge and time. My passion has taken a hit since the summer; my knowledge certainly doesn't compare to Granny's; and a certain lack of time due to my responsibilities at school combined with a computer crash a couple weeks ago all combined and conspired to quiet me down.
But with Spring Break fast approaching and no plans of note, I hope to regain my enthusiasm for the sport through the blog as we head into the Spring Classics.
As I have in the past, here's an article -- a blog entry, in fact -- that updates the ongoing saga of Bad Boy Floyd Landis about as well as anything I've read. It's from Carlton Reid's Bike Biz blog and includes part of a web chat with the LATimes' outstanding investigative reporter, Michael Hiltzik, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and columnist. In the chat, Hiltzik explains BBF's wikipedia defense, in which Landis posts his documents and his defense online.
Says Hiltzik: "I think it is, in its way, brilliant. One of the main problems athletes have had in defending themselves in anti-doping cases is the dearth of independent experts. That's because the most experienced doping scientists tend to be employed by WADA labs, and under WADA rules they can't work for an athlete's defense. The wikipedia defense in effect drafts thousands of qualified experts in cyberspace to revew the case, and I have no doubt that Landis's defense has profited from the analysis done online."
After reading the item, I can see Landis winning his case because he's making a strong case that the testing process is shoddy. The real question, even if the charges are ultimately dropped, will be whether the public buys it. Sadly, BBF is probably forever tainted. But then, so is Our Boy Lance, who has never been found guilty of anything except bad judgment in dropping women.
Cycling does like to eat its heroes ...
Finally, I don't know that I ever said a proper goodbye to cycling's endlessly tragic hero, Jan Ullrich, the Red Klotz (from the Washington Generals) of the sport. Every sport needs its foils, and Jan served OBL well in that regard. Lest we forget, Jan did win the Tour. Once. And that was his great sin, as OBL endlessly told us, setting up Jan for repeated failure during Lance's run of seven Tour de France victories.
And OBL was all the greater for all Jan's failures.

5 comments:

Granny's 30 said...

thanks for the kudos...I'm actually planning on trying to attend one of FFF fundraisers in Chicago this weekend...maybe I'll get an interview from the man.

Suw (Kevin's fiance) said...

Thanks for the picture of Kevin. He'd said he'd had a bit of an iffy haircut which I've been very curious to see!! Doesn't look too bad though. Of course, I'll get to see it in person when he gets home tomorrow, but patience has never been my strong point. ;-)

Regarding blogging, we all go through phases. I've been blogging for I think about 5 years now, and the urge to write ebbs and flows. I think it's not just natural for it to do so, but also essential - we need to have fallow periods to regroup for our next excited period, and without the quiet moments, I think we'd burn ourselves out.

Granny's 30 said...

SUW,
Excellent points all. Thanks for dropping by, and hope for your continued readership and support. I agree with the natural progression of blogging. I can't tell you how many times I've had a post start out with "welcome back..." I also feel that without those ebbs, blogging would seem burdensome and most likely has contributed to the downfall of many a blog.

Tour of '03 said...

Great to get a comment from Suw. I'll have to send you some other photos from Kevin's visit. I'm curious as to how you found the blog and picture -- or is it as simple as Kevin telling you?

KevGlobal said...

Wow, I've gone from working for Auntie (the BBC) to Granny. Yes, blogging does take time, and all you have to do is take a look at Strange Attractor to see that my free time waxes and wanes. But what I'm trying to do is to maximise my use of idle thinking time such as on my commute. I really wish I had a Treo or a Blackberry or something to moblog with. Inspiration often hits me on my commute.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Praise for Granny

The London Guardian's Kevin Anderson talks to Tour '03's Online Journalism class at George Mason University.

That's quite a job Oude Granny has done maintaining this blog with some outstanding posts these past several weeks. When Tooth, Granny and I started this blog almost a year and 500 posts ago, I knew this format was made for Granny. He's got the right touch (just like he does on the bike!), and I don't know many so-called experts who demonstrate greater insight about this sport we all love and sometimes hate.
After writing a good number of these posts over the first 10 months or so, I needed a break. The trick to writing a blog (and my good friend, Kevin Anderson, the blogging editor of the London Guardian, just talked about all that to my George Mason Online Journalism class yesterday during a visit to the States) is to combine equal parts passion, knowledge and time. My passion has taken a hit since the summer; my knowledge certainly doesn't compare to Granny's; and a certain lack of time due to my responsibilities at school combined with a computer crash a couple weeks ago all combined and conspired to quiet me down.
But with Spring Break fast approaching and no plans of note, I hope to regain my enthusiasm for the sport through the blog as we head into the Spring Classics.
As I have in the past, here's an article -- a blog entry, in fact -- that updates the ongoing saga of Bad Boy Floyd Landis about as well as anything I've read. It's from Carlton Reid's Bike Biz blog and includes part of a web chat with the LATimes' outstanding investigative reporter, Michael Hiltzik, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and columnist. In the chat, Hiltzik explains BBF's wikipedia defense, in which Landis posts his documents and his defense online.
Says Hiltzik: "I think it is, in its way, brilliant. One of the main problems athletes have had in defending themselves in anti-doping cases is the dearth of independent experts. That's because the most experienced doping scientists tend to be employed by WADA labs, and under WADA rules they can't work for an athlete's defense. The wikipedia defense in effect drafts thousands of qualified experts in cyberspace to revew the case, and I have no doubt that Landis's defense has profited from the analysis done online."
After reading the item, I can see Landis winning his case because he's making a strong case that the testing process is shoddy. The real question, even if the charges are ultimately dropped, will be whether the public buys it. Sadly, BBF is probably forever tainted. But then, so is Our Boy Lance, who has never been found guilty of anything except bad judgment in dropping women.
Cycling does like to eat its heroes ...
Finally, I don't know that I ever said a proper goodbye to cycling's endlessly tragic hero, Jan Ullrich, the Red Klotz (from the Washington Generals) of the sport. Every sport needs its foils, and Jan served OBL well in that regard. Lest we forget, Jan did win the Tour. Once. And that was his great sin, as OBL endlessly told us, setting up Jan for repeated failure during Lance's run of seven Tour de France victories.
And OBL was all the greater for all Jan's failures.

5 comments:

Granny's 30 said...

thanks for the kudos...I'm actually planning on trying to attend one of FFF fundraisers in Chicago this weekend...maybe I'll get an interview from the man.

Suw (Kevin's fiance) said...

Thanks for the picture of Kevin. He'd said he'd had a bit of an iffy haircut which I've been very curious to see!! Doesn't look too bad though. Of course, I'll get to see it in person when he gets home tomorrow, but patience has never been my strong point. ;-)

Regarding blogging, we all go through phases. I've been blogging for I think about 5 years now, and the urge to write ebbs and flows. I think it's not just natural for it to do so, but also essential - we need to have fallow periods to regroup for our next excited period, and without the quiet moments, I think we'd burn ourselves out.

Granny's 30 said...

SUW,
Excellent points all. Thanks for dropping by, and hope for your continued readership and support. I agree with the natural progression of blogging. I can't tell you how many times I've had a post start out with "welcome back..." I also feel that without those ebbs, blogging would seem burdensome and most likely has contributed to the downfall of many a blog.

Tour of '03 said...

Great to get a comment from Suw. I'll have to send you some other photos from Kevin's visit. I'm curious as to how you found the blog and picture -- or is it as simple as Kevin telling you?

KevGlobal said...

Wow, I've gone from working for Auntie (the BBC) to Granny. Yes, blogging does take time, and all you have to do is take a look at Strange Attractor to see that my free time waxes and wanes. But what I'm trying to do is to maximise my use of idle thinking time such as on my commute. I really wish I had a Treo or a Blackberry or something to moblog with. Inspiration often hits me on my commute.