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Analyzing the tale of two liars

Published 11:08am Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Comedian Steve Harvey once had a pretty funny bit about men and lying. He said, “Men love to lie! Men will lie when the truth will do!”
Considering the antics of Manti Te’o regarding his imaginary girlfriend, I’d say Harvey nailed it.
Was Te’o the victim of an incredibly elaborate hoax? Was he (and maybe his family) in on the whole ordeal to drum up sympathy votes for the Heisman?
Was the fake love of his life fabricated to mask his true sexual orientation (yes, that theory is out there)? We don’t know these answers yet, and we may not know them for quite some time.
In the end, while this bizarre story is undeniably shameful, the real culprits will be the ones who pay the price. Te’o’s draft stock has been undoubtedly affected, and Notre Dame’s shaky credibility takes yet another hit.
We all may be upset that we were duped into thinking Te’o played through heartbreak all season, but none of us really lost anything because we were lied to.
Meanwhile, Lance Armstrong — maybe the “lyingest” person in Fib-town — goes on Oprah last week and confesses to copious amounts of doping while winning his Tour de France championships.
Te’o’s lies were slimy, but Armstrong’s were downright criminal.
Not only were Armstrong’s wins in his races undeserved, but he was emphatic that he never, ever took any type of performance enhancing drugs the whole time.
He sued newspapers and anyone else who claimed he was illegally enhancing. He lied UNDER OATH in defense of his innocence!
If Nick Saban is murdered in the press for saying he would not coach Alabama, Armstrong should be drawn, quartered, then halved, then quartered again.
Think about it like this: cyclists who didn’t juice were denied a chance at a true victory because they were racing against a man more full of drugs than Rite Aid.
Meanwhile, as Americans, we are generally defending Armstrong tooth and abnormally strong nail. We thought those dirty ol’ French newspapers and investigators were just out to get poor li’l Lance.
We don’t like being lied to by our supposed heroes. Americans will put up with a bunch of crap, but if you lie like Armstrong lied, it is very hard to curry our favor again.
So now many of the organizations Armstrong sued are suing him. Good for them, I say. But other groups are also planning to file suit because they paid Armstrong for appearance fees based on his success in cycling, and they want their money back.
Here is my issue with that premise: if a group pays Armstrong for an appearance and said group charges admission, shouldn’t everyone who paid admission be reimbursed, too?
Any chance that happens? I think you know that answer.
Another thought: While Lance is a total fraud, didn’t his success lead to more eyes and thus more money for cycling in general?
Would anyone even give a stale croissant about the Tour de France outside of Paris if not for Lance and his string of wins?
Granted, the sport’s entire reputation takes a hit now, but I doubt it will sink any lower than it would have been had there been no Armstrong to follow for his seven year run.
Armstrong’s and Teo’s lies, while disgusting in theory, helped propel them and their sport to greater heights for a short time. We are all making fun of these guys now, but there will be a new story soon enough to make us forget.
Robinson is a columnist for The Outlook