Monday, July 20, 2009

What's Good for the Team, Can be Bad for the Sport

Sometimes, being a good teammate can be bad for your sport. Take the current situation at he Tour De France. Lance Armstrong, who is in second place, has basically decided to give up trying to win the race because his teammate Alberto Contador is in first. Here is the Quote from Armstrong:

"This is a team sport," Armstrong said. "I think now is the time for me to put my chances aside, and focus on the team."

Contador and Armstrong both ride on the same team for the same major sponsor. So his decision makes sense from a team standpoint, but it is bad for the sport of cycling as you have the sports biggest name now saying that he is not trying to win. Sports thrive when they have drama and good rivalries. The current situation at the Tour De France now will have neither.


Sean said...

While I generally agree with CRChair about this - in this case I think he's wrong. In sports that are a hybrid of individual and team sports - like cycling or team distance running - there is a a leader of the team and it is the job of the rest of the team to help that leader win. In the case of this year's Tour Armstrong's team hired two leaders and decided to let them duke it out and figure out who the leader is. Now that Contador has gotten a pretty significant lead, Armstrong has agreed to yield his bid to be leader of the team. This is the way the sport is played.

The problem is not with Armstrong 'not trying' which is a huge understatement - but with the team, Armstrong and Contador. Both Armstrong and Contador knew it would come to this and one of them should have simply signed with a different team or the team shouldn't have signed two leaders.

CRCHAIR said...

I understand your point. I'm not saying that Armstrong is now doing anything wrong. It just will be bad for Cycling in general. It will basically get no more coverage in America this year. (I also understand that cycling is much bigger in Europe than in America.) And although Contador has a nice lead, it is not currently insurmountable.

BH said...

The real problem is that Alberto can kick Lance's butt any day of the week. Lance is just lucky he will be on the winning team.

"Nick" said...

And, to throw something in the mix... ratings are higher (highest ever I think). Heard that on an NPR story.