Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Time to Heal?

"What is it in us that seeks the truth?
Is it our minds or is it our hearts?"

- Jake Brigance - A Time to Kill

From my "On Tap" post (a new weekly blog occurence, providing some sort of guide to the weekend), I was in attendance for the March 10th Floyd Fairness Fund fundraiser in Wilmette, IL. (Incidentally, if your directions to Central Ave. involve going north on Green Bay Rd., please be advised that Evanston has a Central St. just a couple of blocks south of Central Ave. in Wilmette). The event was held at the Wilmette Theatre (see inset), a historic theatre with two 200 seat screening rooms, which didn't really strike me as unusual until my friend with whom I share some interesting Chicago coincidentals, Betsy, asked "why's a fundraiser being held at a movie theatre?"

Although I had gone to the Floyd Fairness Fund website numerous times and downloaded Dr. Arnie Baker's presentation and other materials, the barnstorming nature of these fundraisers went completely unnoticed. It wasn't until later, while perusing the internet, that I found out that these events have been held in all sorts of venues, like bars and restaurants, and bike shops (as T-o-03 mentions below), all over the country. When I finally entered the room and saw Dr. Baker's Powerpoint presentation cued up for viewing, it only made sense to hold the fundraiser in a theatre.

There were approximately 140-160 people in attendance. During a question and answer period of the scheduled 3 hour event, I found out that some notables of the blog-o-sphere were present. One such gentleman was James, Steroid Nation, who not only has a complete breakdown of the event, but also has video of it. So rather than belabor a point, I'll pull a George Michaels here and suggest that we all "go to the video tape." (Another great recap of the event can be found on Rant Your Head Off)

Admittedly, I went to the event more as a fan rather than a skeptic. Most of the materials presented, I had already dissected and come to my own conclusions. But as I sat there drinking my Pride & Joy - Three Floyds' Mild Ale (yes, some of these fundraisers have alcohol present), the above quote from John Grisham's novel came to mind. What truth or what type of truth was I searching for that possessed me to drive four and a half hours from Ann Arbor, MI? Was I searching for more than simple validation, like the gentleman sitting next to me, who stood up and prompted his cycling hero to, "tell me that you haven't taken anything, and it'll be good enough for me...then I can look my kids in the face and tell them the same?"

What was my mind telling me and/or what was my heart telling me?

The Mind
For those of you who don't know me, I'm a person that can analyze to the point of paralysis. I like to look at things from a variety of viewpoints. Does that mean that I'm always right? All it says is that if you're so inclined to ask for my opinion, you'll usually receive something back that's been really well thought out. So what does my mind tell me about Floyd's case? From what I've read from the disclosed documents of the case and his Wiki Defense, there is more empirical data suggesting his innocence than there is to the contrary.

But, having spoken to relatives and friends in the legal profession, its also become readily apparent that these tribunal type arbitration hearings aren't in the same vicinity of anything that we, the non-legal types, know of jurisprudence. If those adjudicating his case aren't open to his defense, then it won't make a bit of difference come May 14th (when Landis' public hearing is scheduled).

The Heart
I met Floyd once before, last year in Chicago, while he was helping Robbie Ventura open up a north of downtown location of VisionQuest Coaching services. I don't claim to have any extraordinary insight into the man other than what I've read about him, and from these appearances and the meet-and-greet afterwards. So what makes me believe that Floyd Landis' circumstances, and for that matter, Floyd, are any different from those cyclists accused of doping in the past?

Floyd, in his demeanor, in his words, and in his actions seems genuine, from the heart. He has been unwavering in his denial and has been forthcoming and transparent in his defense strategy, "I've got nothing to hide." It also doesn't hurt that his foil in this matter, WADA Director, Dick Pound, seems more interested in the prosecution than in the truth.

So what is it in you that seeks the truth...your mind or your heart? In this case, both seem to point to the same thing.

Perhaps after the dropping of the Operacion Puerto case and the Landis hearing, cycling may finally get a chance to heal.

Other tidbits from the fundraiser:
- The May 14th hearing is public, so those of you in the area can attend.

- Contrary to popular, and somewhat legendary, belief, Floyd did not talk with Eddy Merckx to strategize the night before the famous Stage 17 (although he did talk to him several times during the Tour).

- Floyd has spoken to former teammates, like LA and Tyler, who offered their assistance, but he hasn't taken them up on their offer.

- He seems healthy after his hip surgery; no limping. He is still training, but doesn't expect to race at all this year.

- Dr. Baker's online presentation is only a small tidbit of information being used for Floyd's defense. Baker suggested that there is a lot more to be brought up.

- Is the Floyd Fairness Fund strategy working? Time and the hearings will bear that out, but as of today, a Google search of the same reveals 232,ooo results. It seems that some people are talking, writing, about it.

- Another great blog that has encapsulated all of the happenings on Floyd since his "positive" finding, is Trust But Verify (by sometime Triple Crankset visitor Dave Brower).




8 comments:

strbuk said...

I loved what you had to say about your experiences at the recent FFF event. It's nice to see someone who is NOT afraid to speak from their heart as you have done.

strbuk


for floyd landis information go to:
trustbut.com

Granny's 30 said...

thanks strbuk. its nice to hear someone appreciate that fact. i think a lot of people, especially in floyd's case, have forgotten that there's actually a human being attached to those lab values.

sad that your namesake was apparently oft on bsg.

granny

Tour of '03 said...

Great post, Granny. Real live reporting!

daniel m (a/k/a Rant) said...

Hey 53 Tooth,

Great post. I used to live and ride in Ann Arbor, up until about 9 years ago. Did you ever do any of the AABTS or AAVC rides? Perhaps we crossed paths way back when...

- Rant

Granny's 30 said...

daniel,
sadly enough I just moved to AA, from Chicago, last Sept. know that there is some great cycling around here and am thrilled about that...any other suggestions on rides areas...did you ever hit the track in Rochester Hills?

53rd Tooth said...

From childhood to well, recently, I would always vet friends or acquaintances that would make larger than life claims with the great equalizing question: "Do you swear on your mother's life?"

Not full proof mind you but this guilt laden question certainly increases your odds tremenously in rooting out the truth. Often times, one that was fibbing would squirm, look away and finally break down with an "Okay....maybe that isn't exactly how it happened".

Either way, the ones that would look you in the eye and say "I SWEAR on my monther's life" with great confidence always lead me to believe that they were telling the truth.

So I propose that we trash the FFF, Dick Pound, WADA, USADA and the whole lot. Let's wrap this up in 5 minutes:

Floyd, do you swear on your mother's life?

daniel m (a/k/a Rant) said...

Granny,

Sorry for the confusion there. Never rode the track in Rochester Hills, though I hear it's good. It was designed by Dale Hughes, who also designed the track for the 96 Olympics, if memory serves me correctly. Have fun if you go.

- Rant

Granny's 30 said...

no doubt Tooth...I'll repost the youtube video section which has him actually saying that to the guy sitting next to me, if its not on this 10 minute video already.

That's the thing that kills me, I know we need govt regulations and regulators, but it seems we need to add another layer just to police those folks.

scary.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Time to Heal?

"What is it in us that seeks the truth?
Is it our minds or is it our hearts?"

- Jake Brigance - A Time to Kill

From my "On Tap" post (a new weekly blog occurence, providing some sort of guide to the weekend), I was in attendance for the March 10th Floyd Fairness Fund fundraiser in Wilmette, IL. (Incidentally, if your directions to Central Ave. involve going north on Green Bay Rd., please be advised that Evanston has a Central St. just a couple of blocks south of Central Ave. in Wilmette). The event was held at the Wilmette Theatre (see inset), a historic theatre with two 200 seat screening rooms, which didn't really strike me as unusual until my friend with whom I share some interesting Chicago coincidentals, Betsy, asked "why's a fundraiser being held at a movie theatre?"

Although I had gone to the Floyd Fairness Fund website numerous times and downloaded Dr. Arnie Baker's presentation and other materials, the barnstorming nature of these fundraisers went completely unnoticed. It wasn't until later, while perusing the internet, that I found out that these events have been held in all sorts of venues, like bars and restaurants, and bike shops (as T-o-03 mentions below), all over the country. When I finally entered the room and saw Dr. Baker's Powerpoint presentation cued up for viewing, it only made sense to hold the fundraiser in a theatre.

There were approximately 140-160 people in attendance. During a question and answer period of the scheduled 3 hour event, I found out that some notables of the blog-o-sphere were present. One such gentleman was James, Steroid Nation, who not only has a complete breakdown of the event, but also has video of it. So rather than belabor a point, I'll pull a George Michaels here and suggest that we all "go to the video tape." (Another great recap of the event can be found on Rant Your Head Off)

Admittedly, I went to the event more as a fan rather than a skeptic. Most of the materials presented, I had already dissected and come to my own conclusions. But as I sat there drinking my Pride & Joy - Three Floyds' Mild Ale (yes, some of these fundraisers have alcohol present), the above quote from John Grisham's novel came to mind. What truth or what type of truth was I searching for that possessed me to drive four and a half hours from Ann Arbor, MI? Was I searching for more than simple validation, like the gentleman sitting next to me, who stood up and prompted his cycling hero to, "tell me that you haven't taken anything, and it'll be good enough for me...then I can look my kids in the face and tell them the same?"

What was my mind telling me and/or what was my heart telling me?

The Mind
For those of you who don't know me, I'm a person that can analyze to the point of paralysis. I like to look at things from a variety of viewpoints. Does that mean that I'm always right? All it says is that if you're so inclined to ask for my opinion, you'll usually receive something back that's been really well thought out. So what does my mind tell me about Floyd's case? From what I've read from the disclosed documents of the case and his Wiki Defense, there is more empirical data suggesting his innocence than there is to the contrary.

But, having spoken to relatives and friends in the legal profession, its also become readily apparent that these tribunal type arbitration hearings aren't in the same vicinity of anything that we, the non-legal types, know of jurisprudence. If those adjudicating his case aren't open to his defense, then it won't make a bit of difference come May 14th (when Landis' public hearing is scheduled).

The Heart
I met Floyd once before, last year in Chicago, while he was helping Robbie Ventura open up a north of downtown location of VisionQuest Coaching services. I don't claim to have any extraordinary insight into the man other than what I've read about him, and from these appearances and the meet-and-greet afterwards. So what makes me believe that Floyd Landis' circumstances, and for that matter, Floyd, are any different from those cyclists accused of doping in the past?

Floyd, in his demeanor, in his words, and in his actions seems genuine, from the heart. He has been unwavering in his denial and has been forthcoming and transparent in his defense strategy, "I've got nothing to hide." It also doesn't hurt that his foil in this matter, WADA Director, Dick Pound, seems more interested in the prosecution than in the truth.

So what is it in you that seeks the truth...your mind or your heart? In this case, both seem to point to the same thing.

Perhaps after the dropping of the Operacion Puerto case and the Landis hearing, cycling may finally get a chance to heal.

Other tidbits from the fundraiser:
- The May 14th hearing is public, so those of you in the area can attend.

- Contrary to popular, and somewhat legendary, belief, Floyd did not talk with Eddy Merckx to strategize the night before the famous Stage 17 (although he did talk to him several times during the Tour).

- Floyd has spoken to former teammates, like LA and Tyler, who offered their assistance, but he hasn't taken them up on their offer.

- He seems healthy after his hip surgery; no limping. He is still training, but doesn't expect to race at all this year.

- Dr. Baker's online presentation is only a small tidbit of information being used for Floyd's defense. Baker suggested that there is a lot more to be brought up.

- Is the Floyd Fairness Fund strategy working? Time and the hearings will bear that out, but as of today, a Google search of the same reveals 232,ooo results. It seems that some people are talking, writing, about it.

- Another great blog that has encapsulated all of the happenings on Floyd since his "positive" finding, is Trust But Verify (by sometime Triple Crankset visitor Dave Brower).




8 comments:

strbuk said...

I loved what you had to say about your experiences at the recent FFF event. It's nice to see someone who is NOT afraid to speak from their heart as you have done.

strbuk


for floyd landis information go to:
trustbut.com

Granny's 30 said...

thanks strbuk. its nice to hear someone appreciate that fact. i think a lot of people, especially in floyd's case, have forgotten that there's actually a human being attached to those lab values.

sad that your namesake was apparently oft on bsg.

granny

Tour of '03 said...

Great post, Granny. Real live reporting!

daniel m (a/k/a Rant) said...

Hey 53 Tooth,

Great post. I used to live and ride in Ann Arbor, up until about 9 years ago. Did you ever do any of the AABTS or AAVC rides? Perhaps we crossed paths way back when...

- Rant

Granny's 30 said...

daniel,
sadly enough I just moved to AA, from Chicago, last Sept. know that there is some great cycling around here and am thrilled about that...any other suggestions on rides areas...did you ever hit the track in Rochester Hills?

53rd Tooth said...

From childhood to well, recently, I would always vet friends or acquaintances that would make larger than life claims with the great equalizing question: "Do you swear on your mother's life?"

Not full proof mind you but this guilt laden question certainly increases your odds tremenously in rooting out the truth. Often times, one that was fibbing would squirm, look away and finally break down with an "Okay....maybe that isn't exactly how it happened".

Either way, the ones that would look you in the eye and say "I SWEAR on my monther's life" with great confidence always lead me to believe that they were telling the truth.

So I propose that we trash the FFF, Dick Pound, WADA, USADA and the whole lot. Let's wrap this up in 5 minutes:

Floyd, do you swear on your mother's life?

daniel m (a/k/a Rant) said...

Granny,

Sorry for the confusion there. Never rode the track in Rochester Hills, though I hear it's good. It was designed by Dale Hughes, who also designed the track for the 96 Olympics, if memory serves me correctly. Have fun if you go.

- Rant

Granny's 30 said...

no doubt Tooth...I'll repost the youtube video section which has him actually saying that to the guy sitting next to me, if its not on this 10 minute video already.

That's the thing that kills me, I know we need govt regulations and regulators, but it seems we need to add another layer just to police those folks.

scary.