Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Lance and Manti, You've Got a Friend

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Lance and Manti, You've Got a Friend

Article excerpt

Dear Lance Armstrong and Manti Te'o:

Phew, what a week, huh?

I don't know about you guys, but I'm pretty tired of the reporters, the headlines, the TV cameras, ESPN, Oprah, online romantic propositions and taking more and more steroids in hopes of improving my performance.

(The latter seems futile for some of us, unfortunately -- I can't type any faster now than when I started taking them.)

And that's without even bringing up last week's most disconcerting aspect -- the reminder at the Golden Globes of the curious Hollywood friendship of Jodie Foster and Mel Gibson. (Though, in fairness, anti-Semites and Yale lesbians need someone to hug them, too.)

Anyway, I'm just dropping a line -- and I AM real, Manti, don't worry for a moment that this is fake -- to suggest we get together for a beer soon to share our mutual concerns, including all of the potential endorsement revenue we've lost due to recent scandals that may or may not be our own doing.

I've got a lot of empathy for you, Lance, now that you're out of the closet as doping up in order to ride up those mountains really fast in the Tour de France. Not everyone seems to be giving you credit for your confession, late as it is in coming and without the kind of on-air sobs that would make for really good viral video. But I, too, know what it's like to feel pressure to outdo my peers, by whatever means, in order to achieve acclaim, fame and fortune.

I hope you'll watch an upcoming "60 Minutes" broadcast, in which I was grilled about the 1971 Pittsburgh elementary school regional spelling bee competition at Buhl Planetarium. It's finally been uncovered that I had surreptitiously written on the palms of my hands a dozen or so words I deemed most likely to trip me up. Unfortunately, "m-a-y-o-n-n-a-i-s-e" was on neither hand, so I never came close to winning anyway, but that doesn't mean the stinking media are going to ignore a good scandal when they see one, even one 42 years old.

By the way, Lance, I was looking for your interview on my cable, but I had no idea where to find Oprah's OWN (short for Oprah Winfrey Network -- I like that). …

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