to change your day of youth to sullied night.
Garminean douchebaggery kept George Hincapie out of yellow yesterday. Hincapie, 6'3", 165 pounds of sinew and skeleton, has seen thirteen tours, five olympics, and countless classics. But he's never donned the yellow jersey; and probably never will.* What a great story it would have been...
This morning, Tom Watson bogeyed the 18th hole, then collapsed in a playoff to lose the Open Championship to Stewart Cink. Great story. Not to be.
Also today: Lance Armstrong watched Alberto Contador launch to the finish on Verbier. He could only cling to Kloden's wheel and pace himself as the Schleck brothers, Sastre, and Wiggins gave chase. Sad, sad.
A reminder: all the old guys eventually suck.
Since everybody dies and the dead suck at everything, this is trivially true. You don't have to worry about dead guys pipping you at the line.
See? This is how I contemplate mortality. Juvenile observations.
The point is that we all hate and fear aging, and if you're like me anyway, you always want to see the veterans pulling out one last magnificent performance. Nicklaus shooting 65 to win the Masters at age 46. That sort of thing. You want to see it because it tells us that you, too, could, in some very remote sense of 'could', still do something amazing like that.
More often that not, even the towering figures of sport do not come through on that fantasy. Willie Mays in chasing fly balls in his 40's was not a pretty site. Michael Jordan with the Wizards was a shadow of his former self. It's not the narrative we want, but Time wins these contests... in the end, every last one of them.
Wish I had something more "uplifting" to "share", but, as Armstrong said today, "that's reality for me". If you've read about his battle with cancer, you'll know Armstrong is a cold-eyed realist if ever there was one.
I could prattle on, but why even try when you've got all the poets writing on the theme? Pick
a random sonnet.
* Footnote: speaking of douchebaggery... what about my fact checking? I remembered Hincapie winning (2005 + TTT's), but forgot he was ever in yellow (2006). Sigh. Dementia.