The Crisis in
by Dave Shields
Thereís a crisis going on, and nobody is doing anything
about it. Isnít there somebody out there who can save us from ourselves?
Shouldnít the government step in?
Tour de France addicts are being created at alarming rates.
Media sources continue to feed the frenzy with no thought about the
consequences. Millions of people are going to devour this event for the next
three weeks, and then what. Nothing (at least, if you live in America). I can
already see the confused masses shuffling off toward work, on-time for the first
time in three weeks, on Monday, July 25. These unfortunate souls will be left to
sufferÖ asked to re-integrate into polite society without so much as an
acknowledgment that the problem ever even existed. Itís a cover-up that Nixon
would be proud of.
But for now, with the entire race in front of us, we get to
stare at the banquet table, salivating. Which of the scenarios weíve dreamed up
are going to play out? Is the three-headed Telecom monster going to be as
fearsome as it should be? Who is going to throw the first big pedal wrench into
the works? Will Floyd have the opportunity to point to a time clock ahead of
Lance? Will he do it if he does? What behind the scenes machinations are going
to turn every theory on its ear? Does Johann have Bjarne on speed dial? Who
(other than my man, Zabriskie) is going to explode onto the scene with a
performance that sets the world on fire? Iím telling you, the Tour de France has
CNN has invited me to do a series of interviews on their
network as this yearís race unfolds. Iím also doing lots of segments with other
media, radio in particular. In tiny sound-bites Iím expected to convey the
essence of this misunderstood and complex sport. The surprising thing is, itís
the easiest job in the world. Nearly everything about cycling is more
interesting than casual observers assume. Yesterday I spoke with the hosts of a
sports talk station in Nashville. I told them facts about how this event works,
and listened to their stunned reactions. Once they got a taste of this forbidden
fruit they attempted to dislocate their jaws in order to take in a bigger
mouthful. Our interview went twice as long as initially scheduled. Iíve seen it
over and over again. Itís a mystery to me how so many sports fans in America
have been able to remain unaware of this event for so long.
Yep, thereís a crisis going on, and Iíd like to encourage
you to do everything you can to help. After all, misery loves company. July is
the ideal time to get to work addicting your friends.
Dave Shields is the author of Amazonís #1 Selling Sports
Novel, The Race. In June the book became the first sports themed novel
ever to with the Ben Franklin Award for Best New Voice in Fiction.
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