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Weekend Hangover for July 25th 2010

NFL
Now that the 2010 World Cup has ended, all sports fans are focused on America's pastime, the NFL. Training camps have begun and already a new soap opera storyline has started, with Dez Bryant refusing to take part in rookie hazing. Bryant seems pretty happy to be in Dallas but when Roy Williams gave his pads to Bryant after practice, he declined. Now Bryant might get more hazing than he bargained for and it could prevent him from making the big impact in training camp.

NBA
Everybody in the NBA has already declared the Miami Heat the champions for the next season, except Boston Cetitic guard, Rajon Rondo. In an interview during a Team USA practice Rondo remains skeptical if the new big three can play and produce on the court. Rondo's transformation from quiet point guard to a floor general places Boston as still one of the dangerous teams in the NBA. Meanwhile New Orleans guard Chris Paul is now on the front line of trade rumors. Paul seems unhappy with the Hornets and has green eyes of envy towards other stars switching teams. If New Orleans looses Paul its places the team in the NBA draft lottery for years to come. Teams like the Knicks, Magic, and Trailblazers are in the running for Paul's services. Whether Paul is traded within the next week or next month, his fate will have a major impact on the league.

Tour de France
Alberto Contador won his third Tour De France over the weekend and could be the new face cycling. The event also marked Lance Armstrong last tour, stating he'll never return. Now Armstrong turn his focus on battling critics and former teammates hurting his reputation with steroid actuations.

V.19 No.29 | 7/22/2010
Betty Sprocket

Hail, Velocipede!

Trail-a-Week: Foothills Open Space

Dudes, I'm serious when I say "skinny tires." The velocipede between my legs is a single-speed street bike, so when someone suggested I get off the asphalt, I was like, ew. But then I was all, hmm. I've never been mountain biking ever. Why? It’s scary. I'm not x-treem enough. I could fall into a cholla or succumb to derailleur angst. And dirt and granite just tend to clash with my cute spandex threads.

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Sports

Lance Armstrong Will Not Win the Tour de France

At this point, that's old news. Everyone who follows cycling (and pretty much everyone who doesn't, as well) has long since come to terms with the fact that the once-unbeatable Armstrong is, at this point, old. In his own words, he's “just not fast enough.” He has acknowledged that, “ Lance Armstrong is over in about four days,” joining the rest of the world in celebrating and mourning his last race.

So why does this matter? Cycling always was and always will be bigger than just one man, right? The Tour de France this year is coming down to the wire, with a mere 8 seconds separating the current leader, Alberto Contador, from the second-place rider, Andy Schleck. The next stage, taking place in the Pyrenees on Thursday, promises to be drama-filled.

Still, at least here in America, there's Armstrong. He of the superhero name. He of the gravity-defying odds. He of the Livestrong organization. Armstrong captivates our collective imagination because of his story, because of his proto-American attitude and, perhaps, most of all, because of the way he refused to quit.

There are more than a few people the world over who do not believe that Armstrong accomplished what he did by legal or fair means. The constant hunt for him in the French press has gotten plenty of attention in the past, and just this month Andrew Corsello wrote a damning piece for GQ (which doesn't appear to be online in any version other than PDF for the iPad) where he claimed that Armstrong has lied so vehemently and for so long, he has no choice but to continue the lie.

So why does it matter that Armstrong will not win the Tour de France? It matters precisely for the aforementioned responses: People the world over, not just in America, react viscerally to Armstrong as a person and as a symbol. His story sparks people's hopes and dreams and the accusations against him spark our fears and nightmares. Beyond the overt symbolism, though, he matters as a person, too: He is a seven-time winner of the Tour de France, a feat unmatched in history. He grabbed all of his victories in that race on successive trips. And he did all of this after being diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer. When he arrives on the Champs-Élysées, it will not be as a champion, almost against our expectations. And that's worth watching.

V.19 No.19 | 5/13/2010
Betty Sprocket

Hail, Velocipede!

Eight Tacks for Trailside Tact

O, fair Albuquerque! While you were nestled all snug in your bed this winter, your Auntie Betty was out patrolling the trails on bikeback, coming home with perpetually chapped cheeks from the cold. Spring has since sprung, summer is nigh on high, and our city's Bosque and bikeways are teeming with life. It's a rich taxonomy: Cyclists can spy roadrunners and rattlesnakes and rollerblading trophy wives. Almost everyone is welcome in the benevolent eyes of Betty Sprocket, but there is one species that must be stamped out. A type of rider more pernicious than the salt cedar, more insidious than the Russian thistle. The most despicable cyclist of all: the bike punk.

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news

The Daily Word 04.29.10: Lance Armstrong, Louisiana oil spill, Hollywood's small right wing

300 acres alight in Cimarron.

Lance Armstrong is riding the Tour of the Gila, which began in Silver City.

Body found in a North Valley ditch on the street where I grew up.

Feds deploy an ad campaign to discourage meth use on reservations.

You can keep your job after 10 arrests if your dad is the Bernalillo County deputy manager for public safety.

Around New Mexico, groups prepare to protest Arizona's immigration law.

Obama's not sure Washington can pass immigration reform this year. He needs cooperation from Republicans, he says.

Massive oil spill off the coast of Louisiana is way worse than expected and could be washing up on shore by tomorrow.

Space balloon crashes in Australia.

The top psychiatric pharmies of the last decade.

Life is hard for conservatives in Hollywood.

Scared of mice? Call your lesbian friend.

News

The Daily Word 12.03.09: Sex, Books, Pot

ABQ father who shot infant in head gets attacked in court.

Comcast to buy controlling share in NBC from GE. My first thought? How will this shake out in a "30 Rock" plot?

Road rage toward cyclists escalates; man convicted of using his car as weapon against two on bikes.

New York Times releases its Best Books of 2009. Of which I've read a half. As in, half of one of these books: Jonathan Lethem's Chronic City. Honestly, I think it's so-so. But it takes place in New York, so there ya go.

Here's their 100 Notable Books of 2009. A Village Life is good. Don't read Lark and Termite. It was terrible. You can read NYT's Michiko Kakutani's review here. She loved it. She should change her name to Michiko Crack-utani.

New York lawmakers vote down gay marriage. I'm starting to lose faith in all things New York.

Update: Male athletes like to have sex with a bunch of ladies.

Clean energy in New Mexico? We don't have the technology!

Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood arrested for domestic assault. The 62-year-old had been cheating on his wife of 24 years with a 20-year-old. This report says that the young one was the victim. Also, Ronnie Wood looks like my meemaw.

Some stoner do-gooder donated a jug containing $1500 worth of pot to Goodwill.

It's Julianne Moore's birthday.

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