Professional cycling continues to prove it’s a shady business.
Floyd Landis recently accused his former racing partner and seven-time Tour de France champion, Lance Armstrong, of taking steroids. His allegations made national headlines as statements like these always do when those accused are as accomplished as Armstrong. Landis’ comments turned out to be largely unfounded (we think) by anything other than his own opinion and perhaps a touch of jealousy for never having dated Sheryl Crow.
Since it has become fashionable to publicly accuse high profile athletes of doping for personal gain, I would hereby like to make an accusation of my own. The Michelin Man is on the juice! Like Landis, I have absolutely no evidence to back up my claim but come on, look at the guy. He’s considerably more jacked up than Armstrong. So what if he never failed a drug test? Who has these days?
Years ago, the Michelin Man was a plump, cheery, animated character comprised of vulcanized rubber, the bulk of which lay around his mid-section. Have you seen him lately? Atkins diet, my ass! He’s got guns and probably what amounts to the equivalent of a 56” chest. Either he’s been putting in extra time at the gym or he’s on PED’s. I’m inclined to believe the latter.
Clearly, somewhere along the line, Michelin’s marketing department discovered that a more in-shape tire guy would have better luck selling whitewalls to a population which is largely overweight. But that doesn’t change the fact that the Michelin guy, aka Bibendum, became suddenly and suspiciously svelte. One need only look at their resulting spike in sales to raise an eyebrow. I propose an asterisk on all future advertisements.
Did Bud Selig, the Bernie Madoff of sports commissioners, moonlight as Michelin CEO during this change? Has the Michelin Man been spotted with Anthony Galea or Brian McNamee? How soon can we implement drug testing among marketing icons? What if that little, green Geico lizard became Hulk-like overnight. Wouldn’t we think something was amiss? If people can associate Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with cocaine use, then why can’t I point a finger at the Michelin Man for sticking a needle in his rear tire?
Are my allegations that an animated character took steroids as laughable as Landis’. Maybe. But now the Feds are involved and we’re about to find out who’s innocent and who’s not. Our tax dollars hard at work. We’ve already seen countless reputations ruined across all sports for steroid use. If it were discovered that Armstrong, cancer survivor and national hero, did the same, sports fans might not know how to react.
For the sake of decency, let us all hope that Landis’ allegations are as absurd as mine.