Lance pulled a Michael Jordan, embarked on a semi-retirement, and left us with this Scottie Pippen impostor who wasn’t worth the yellow spandex he covered his ass with.
After a victorious ride through the 2006 Tour de France, Landis had his championship stripped due to doping allegations, all but sealing his fate as a fraud.
In a sport tainted by drug scandal in recent years, Landis took the Roger Clemens route to redemption, vehemently denying all charges of steroid use and fighting to clear his name until all circuits of court had been exhausted. Ultimately, he remained a loser, a cheater, and a purported drug user. Shortly thereafter, Landis, like Clemens, disappeared off the face of the earth.
Four years later, Landis’ name has resurfaced in connection with a French computer hacking case that has ties to the drug scandal of ’06.
French authorities are so sure that Landis has some part in this cyber attack on world freedom that they’ve issued a warrant for the 34-year-old’s arrest. But let’s be honest here for a minute. They’re French authorities, so can we really trust them? I don’t think so.
Unless Landis decides to travel to France, he will never be arrested. So in essence, he’s been banned forever from the capital of the world’s most competitive bike ride. Good luck getting back into the sport, Floyd.
Even though Landis’ beef is with France (essentially a fistfight between a bodybuilder and a flamboyant gay), and even though we don’t really like Lance Armstrong (kind of a jerk), all this scandal surrounding Landis has left him as a reminder of American loser-dom that we’d all like to forget.
It’s tough being the guy who follows THE GUY, we know. We tend to use great quarterbacks or legendary coaches to illustrate this phenomenon. But what Landis did sets a whole new precedent for failure.
First of all, he won the Tour. He actually managed to do what his predecessor, Armstrong, had previously achieved seven times. So he wasn’t a loser in that sense.
Second, he watched the title be ripped from his grasp amid steroid allegations. Armstrong, too, had faced steroid scrutiny on a yearly basis. The difference is he had that whole cancer, one-testicle thing to fall back on, more or less allowing him to sink back into the good graces of the public eye, turning his accusers into clear-cut villains in the process. Landis, on the other hand, was made to be the evil-doer from the get-go, turning the tables on the cyclist in a way that Armstrong had never experienced.
Third, he handled the scandal all wrong. Instead of following the tried-and-true formula of regaining public acceptance (admit, repent, redeem), Landis decided to start a holy war which we all knew he would lose. Trying to prove one’s innocence in a sport riddled with cheaters is next to impossible, and Landis only further exemplified that. He will likely never clear his name.
For a guy who was supposed to be the LeBron James of his sport (the Second Coming, if you will), Landis not only failed, he failed epically.
In a world of Barry Bondses, Mark McGwires, Sammy Sosas, and other disgraced athletic superstars, Landis is and forever will be the one and only worst.
Taken down by an entire nation who we all seemingly despise (France), and embarrassed on an international stage after victory at the pinnacle of his sport, Floyd Landis earns the uncoveted title which we can only bestow on one individual: Worst American Hero.