IN MY OPINION

Lance Armstrong, Manti Te’o take lying to new heights

 

Hot List

Today: The NFL’s final four. Postseason histories of the four surviving teams playing Sunday:

Team (Seasons) POs (Record) Super Bowls/Wins
49ers (67th)25 (28-19)5-5: 1981, ’84. ’88, ’89, ’94
Patriots (53rd)20 (24-16)3-7: 2001, ’03, ’04
Ravens (17th)9 (12-7)1-1: 2000
Falcons (47th)12 (7-11)0-1: N/A


More information

What South Florida fans are talking about

1. NFL PLAYOFFS: Championship Sunday as Final Four vie for Super Bowl: It’s Falcons-49ers in NFC, then Ravens-Patriots in AFC. Biggest story line is either the retiring Ray Lewis getting his storybook ending, or a “Bro Bowl” Super Bowl between coaching brothers Jim and John Harbaugh. Both stories require a victory by the Ravens. As if Dolfans needed another reason to root against the Patriots!

2. PANTHERS: Hockey’s back! Cats open delayed, truncated NHL season: Defending division-champ Florida opened its 19th season at home vs. Carolina Saturday night to begin an abbreviated 48-game schedule. Meanwhile the NHL took out full-page newspaper ads in every league market to apologize to fans for the season-shortening lockout. “Thank you!” said the financially struggling newspaper industry.

3. HEAT: LeBron youngest to 20,000 points, leads Miami past Lakers: Heat in midst of five days off after a 3-3 western trip that ended with win over Lakers on Thursday. The strong finish to an otherwise rocky road trip means all is well again, at least until the next loss. You know the routine. Around here, angst and premature panic never disappear. They just lay dormant … waiting.

4. LIARS: The tall tales and truth about Manti Te’o, Lance Armstrong: Notre Dame’s football star and the defrocked Tour de France icon were in the news for all the wrong reasons as Te’o was exposed for a bizarre tale about an imaginary girlfriend, and Armstrong at long last admitted to doping. The good news? The liars and cheats allow the rest of us to feel better about ourselves than we probably should.

5. HURRICANES: UM men host Duke in major ACC test: On your short list of biggest college basketball games ever down here, include this Wednesday night as the surging Hurricanes host No. 3 Duke. Miami is 13-3, has won five in a row, is 4-0 atop the Atlantic Coast Conference, and yet is nowhere to be found in the Top 25. Is that understandable caution by voters or are Canes grossly overlooked? We’ll know in three days.


gcote@MiamiHerald.com

Wistfully I recall the olden days of lying in sports, back when things were simple, straightforward. A coach — let’s call him “ Nick Saban,” to use a totally random, made-up name — might deceive about his intentions and later be found to have lied. Remember how outrageous that seemed, once?

Now about the worst we could call that guy is a rank amateur, a man so clearly underdeveloped in the potential of lying and of what a fine art it truly can be in the right hands and minds.

So thank you, Lance Armstrong, and bless you, Manti Te’o, for raising the bar, for imbuing your tall tales with such gall (Lance) and such creativity (Manti) that future liars surely have their work cut out.

You both are first-ballot entries in the Hall of Making Stuff Up.

Lance, you reinvented chutzpah by looking America and the world in the eye for all those many years and indignantly denying whispers and reports that you won all those Tour de Frances by cheating. Oops, but then the evidence crashed in and so you did the Oprah mea culpa and finally admitted the whole thing was “one big lie.” (Now it turns out you may have lied during your Oprah Winfrey confessional. Perfect!) Livestrong? Liestrong, my friend. Liestrong.

Manti, you have brought verve and flare to an otherwise pedestrian art form. You were the star Notre Dame linebacker who tragically lost your girlfriend to leukemia this season. What a heartwarming human-interest story! Also, what a steaming mound of [bleep]. You even kept talking publicly about your girlfriend even after being told privately she didn’t exist. Turns out you may have been victimized by a hoax, by a lie begetting your lies. Perfect again!

So many of sports’ accomplished liars surely are genuflecting their respect.

Seasoned liars like Marion Jones and Pete Rose must be queuing for Manti’s autograph. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, on behalf of baseball Steroids Era, can no longer compete.

Tiger Woods’ serial infidelity seems so mundane.

All former Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton did was hide her double life as a prostitute. (That isn’t so much lying and simply not telling.)

Coach George O’Leary only lied on his résumé. Amateur!

“Thank you,” Jeffrey Loria is somewhere thinking. “Now I don’t seem so bad for saying a new ballpark would mean highly competitive payrolls and then scrapping that after one failed season.”

Meanwhile, Jerry Sandusky and Nevin Shapiro rot in separate cells, lamenting that all of their prolific lying went so grossly unrewarded.

Almost forgot. A few years ago there was a Nevada high-school lineman named Kevin Hart who staged an elaborate news conference to reveal he had accepted a football scholarship to Cal. Which would have been fine had Cal — or any other school — actually recruited him.

We can only speculate that perhaps a young Te’o, of a similar age, may have heard of that story and been inspired by the boundless magic of imagination.

• Dolphins are seeking tax dollars to help pay for a $400 million stadium-improvement plan, but owner Stephen Ross assures he’ll pay at least half. Ross’ public relations strategy might be summarized in four words: I’M NOT JEFFREY LORIA!

•  Giancarlo Stanton was named to the U.S. team for the upcoming spring World Baseball Classic. Hope he doesn’t take a tip from Cuban athletes and use the event as a chance to defect from the Marlins.

• Miami Hurricanes continue to await NCAA Notice of Allegations in Shapiro case. I don’t wanna say this has dragged on and on (and on), but I hear investigators have had trouble conducting interviews because so many of the former players involved have died of natural causes.

•  LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were voted in as starters for the upcoming NBA All-Star Game. In other news, the sun rose and the NRA said President Barack Obama is attacking the Second Amendment.

• A judge dismissed the Bountygate suit against NFL commissioner Roger Goodell brought by the Saints’ Jonathan Vilma. Goodell celebrated excessively and fined himself.

• The Cleveland Browns hired TV analyst Michael Lombardi as VP of player personnel, mistakenly thinking they were hiring Vince Lombardi.

•  Mario Chalmers tied a Heat record with 10 three-pointers at Sacramento. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were disappointed, as it severely hindered their opportunities to yell at Chalmers.

•  Al Pacino will portray Joe Paterno in an upcoming movie. Hopefully, they’ll take a little creative license and have Pacino beat the crap out of Sandusky.

• In an upcoming episode of TV’s Law & Order, Mike Tyson will portray a convicted felon who had a tough childhood. Typecasting? Isn’t that sort of the role Tyson plays in life?

• Bankrupt Curt Schilling is selling his infamous bloody sock at auction and it is expected to fetch at least $100,000. Heck, Curt, why not blow your nose in the sock and double the price!?

• Answer: A suit filed in Miami-Dade claims the Spurs resting starters against the Heat in November violated Florida’s fair trade practices law. Question: What do you mean Americans are overly litigious?

•  Donald Trump landed in a helicopter with TRUMP painted on it to survey the Doral Golf Resort he purchased and renamed Trump National Doral. Know what I love most about Trump? The modesty.

•  Parting thought: Tiger Woods missed the cut last week after a two-stroke penalty for taking an improper drop. Woods previously had been penalized on several occasions for taking an improper mistress.

Visit Greg’s Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog daily atMiamiHerald.com and follow on Twitter @gregcote.

Read more Greg Cote stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
LeBron James cheers as he holds both trophies after the Heat won Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida on Thursday, June 20, 2013.

    In My Opinion

    Greg Cote: Element of doubt makes this Miami Heat quest intriguing

    This time it feels different, doesn’t it? The Heat in the Big3 Era always has found a way to keep things fresh and keep us fascinated, and now that means trying on a role unlike any the team has played in the previous three seasons. This time, for the first time since LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade, Miami enters a postseason seeming a bit vulnerable — something close to the unlikeliest of underdogs.

  • In My Opinion

    Greg Cote: Now we find out if waiting for Dwyane Wade was worth it

    Dwyane Wade had earned a new nickname. It wasn’t all that flattering. Heat fans hoped it was temporary, like a press-on tattoo. But, until Saturday night, it fit:

  •  
Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade sits the game out as the Heat hosts the Indiana Pacers in a pivotal matchup at the AmericanAirlines Arena for the number one playoff seed in the Eastern Conference on April 11, 2014.

    In My Opinion | Greg Cote

    Greg Cote: For Miami Heat, it’s a numbers game — No. 1 and No. 3

    The Heat’s game against the Pacers here Friday night understandably was billed as the battle for No. 1 — for the top conference playoff seeding as the NBA postseason fast approaches. It was supposed to be crucial because it would determine who would have home-court advantage in a deciding Game 7 in these teams’ inevitable Eastern finals rematch. Nice, neat little story line.

Get your Miami Heat Fan Gear!

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category