Not a ton to talk about from Monday, but one story really dominates all and The Stack is here to talk about that and another topic or two, so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Tuesday, January 15:
Lance Armstrong admits to doping
In an interview taped Monday with Oprah Winfrey set to air Thursday, former cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted to using performance enhancing drugs to help him win his seven Tour De France titles. Confirming what most people thought and that witch hunt that had been out to get him, Armstrong and his legacy will receive plenty of backlash. Earlier in the day, he stopped by his LiveStrong organization to appologize to employees for what he had done and for what is going on, and a source said there were tears from both Armstrong and some employees.
Armstrong was the poster boy for the steroid era not just in cycling where the anti-doping agency was constantly after him, but France as well, and the US government after failing to get Roger Clemens or Barry Bonds. He had steadfastly denied ever using PEDs forever, but with evidence mounting against him, Armstrong has finally decided to come clean.
Reaction will most certainly vary. Plenty of people will remain in his corner because of all that he has done for cancer research with his LiveStrong campaign and because of how he was able to come back and win those seven titles regardless of the help he received from steroids. Then there are people who had their doubs about Armstrong since these allegations and now think of him as a dispicable person and they have every right to think so. Armstrong was living a lie. He duped the public into believing his story, perhaps because we thought it was something of a fairytale that someone could come back from what Armstrong had gone through and be so successful. And there are others who had backed Armstrong while these allegations were coming out, but now see him as a bit of a fraud.
I'd say I fall into the latter. Sure what Armstrong did was great and I'm glad what he has done for cancer research and with his LiveStrong organization, but all of what he has done on the bicycle is pretty much a lie. It is still incredible that he was able to compete at such a high level after he had cancer, but the use of PEDs and consistent denial really darkens his legacy for me. I've always believed him even when the witch hunt was going on, but now, he's just another sad story to me. I hope his organization can survive this, but it will take a major hit. Armstrong needs to do a world of good in terms of giving back a lot of the money he made from sponsors, donors, etc. and perhaps even more charitable work in order to get back on so many people's good graces. Armstrong came back from cancer and has done amazing things for cancer research, but what he has done now is kind of cheapened. What do you think?
Australian Open belated preview
Down under, tennis' first major of the year has started. The best in the world have come to Australia in hopes of winning the Austrailian Open. No Rafael Nadal this year, which puts Novak Djokovic in the driver's seat for a title. Roger Federer and Andy Murray have an outside chance and may make things interesting at times for Djokovic, but Djokovic is day and night the best tennis player in the world and he will prove that once again barring injury.
The women's side is a little more unclear. Most would expect Serena Williams to make a play at the title, if not win it, though an ankle injury she suffered in her first round match may dampen those expectations. Then you have Maria Sharapova who looks pretty strong and the number one in the world, Victoria Azarenka. They are going to have in interesting battle. I think any one of the three is going to win it. Is there someone on the outside that could surprise the field and win it? Absolutely, but I don't see it and I don't know who that would be. Don't think the extent of Williams' ankle injury is too severe, so we'll tab her as the pick to win, but Sharapova will be right there, perhaps in the title match. Won't surprise me if she wins.
Coming up later this week: NHL preview and AFC & NFC championship picks