Saturday, January 19, 2013

Whom Do You Trust: Lance Armstrong, Manti Te'o, or Thomas P. Lowe

Whom Do You Trust: Lance Armstrong, Manti Te’o or Thomas P. Lowe?

Who do you trust: the cheater, the hoaxer/hoaxee, or the lawyer?

Think of the Lance Armstrong Story. After suffering from testicular cancer at 25, he won the Tour de France seven straight years. His forte was the mountain laps conquered with seemingly super human ability. He raised hundreds of millions of dollars for cancer support at Livestrong, the non-profit he created. We wanted to believe.

Even more remarkable is that in a sport renowned for cheating, he won, out-cheating the cheaters. He doped for 20 years, lied for 12, and won 7. Others were caught, but not Lance. He out-cheated, out-doped, out-hustled, out-bullied, and out-sued them all.

He beat the inspectors, licensing and regulatory bodies, and governments. He took a small fortune from the United States Postal Service.

He won.

Lance Armstrong amassed a fortuned estimated at $100 million.

He couldn’t outsmart though science and his guilty teammates, who plea-bargained to testify against him. New tests detected the illicit chemicals in his samples preserved for years.

In the end, he sought absolution from the only person in American who can grant absolution: Oprah Winfred. He admitted to being a bully and living “one big lie.” He confessed to all: EPO, blood doping, blood transfusions, testosterone, cortisone, and human growth hormones.

Alas for Lance; she can only give partial forgiveness. He is about to suffer the hell of a thousand lawyers. All the people he defamed; all the insurance companies and media defendants he won judgments and settlements from through perjury seek their money back. He faces possible criminal prosecutions.

His sponsors, Trek, Nike, Anheuser Busch, and the Postal Service have dropped him. He has no income coming in. He may end up bankrupt.

He’s already offered $5 million to the federal government for the Postal Service. The government wants more.

He ruined many in the pursuit of glory. One victim is Emma O’Reilly, his former masseur, who stated she carried doping supplies cross borders for him and trashed drugs to avoid him getting caught. They called her a heavy drinker and an ex-prostitute.

Greg LaMond, a legitimate two-time American winner of the Tour de France refused to recant his statement that Armstrong was a doper. Trek dropped him, with three years left on his contract.   

Lance Armstrong hurt many.

Manti Te’o was either part of the hoax, a facilitator of the hoax, or a victim, in which case he is incredibly naïve. Wait until the sports agents and managers get their hands on the Notre Dame All-American!

Manti’s story makes sense in virtual reality with a second life and an avatar. This is reality though, real time, and the story line and timeline don’t add up.

However, it’s Notre Dame! Who could question a tale right out of the Gipper and Rudy?

Manti, like Lance, had a beautiful story. His grandmother and girlfriend died at virtually the same time. He played for them.

The NFL won’t hold this hoax against him. The only test is how he performs on the field.

Alas, he played poorly against Alabama in the BCS Title Game.

He hurt no one with this hoax.

Thomas Lowe is a 58 year old disbarred attorney in Eagan, Minnesota. He represented an emotionally disturbed woman in her divorce. He commenced an affair with her during the divorce proceedings.

That is ill-advised.

Next came the chutzpah.

He then billed her for legal services for the time spent stooping her. He dumped her last March, and resigned as counsel. She attempted suicide the same day with the sordid details coming out.

Minnesota suspended him from the practice of law for an indefinite period.

He deeply hurt the victim.

His past record is also not exemplary. He was placed on probation in 1997 for using cocaine and being involved in purchasing the drug from a client.

I never cease to be amazed at how some athletes and lawyers can screw up, but Lowe and Te’o pioneered new fields for future athletes and lawyers.

Most lawyers are trustworthy, but not all.

I never trusted Lance Armstrong. He was no more believable than Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and A Rod. Greg LaMond told us about Lance Armstrong, just as Jose Canseco warned us about McGwire.

Greg and Jose were treated like Cassandra.

People did not want to believe the obvious; the story was too good. Baseball knew, but looked the other way in pursuit of breaking the Babe’s record and hyping attendance.

Armstrong and the baseball players all had their facilitators as well as those who knew better, but knowingly blinded themselves to the oblivious.

Sports writers asked if the ball was juiced or if the quality of major league pitching was deteriorating. They refused to look at the bodies of the players, the bodies that suddenly sprouted 30 new pounds of chiseled muscle in the off season. We term it res ipsa loquiter (“The thing speaks for itself”) in the law.

The Angels won the World Series a decade ago. Some of the Angel sluggers similarly possessed the physiques of steroid users.

Don’t look at the body if you have doubts. No exercise regime can transform a head into Mr. Potato Head, but steroids can. Take a second look at Barry Bonds. Take a similar glance at Tiger Woods.

Compare the before and after photos of the players.

To answer my question, I never trusted Lance Armstrong and have faith in the ability of some lawyers to royally screw up. As for Manti T’eo, he had better grow up fast. Touchdown Jesus cannot protect him as he leaves the Golden Dome.

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