|Friday’s Morning Mashup: Emotionless Lance Armstrong admits being ‘flawed character’||01.18.13 at 8:06 am ET|
FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Bulls at Celtics, 7 p.m. (CSNNE, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Thunder at Mavericks, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Stony Brook at Vermont, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Fairfield at Iona, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College hockey: Harvard at Yale, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Lance Armstrong admitted to cheating, but he did it on his terms. Showing little to no emotion or contrition and offering few details, the cycling legend acknowledged during his interview with Oprah Winfrey that he cheated in all seven of his victories at the Tour de France.
“I’m a flawed character,” Armstrong said.
However, Armstrong insisted his taking performance-enhancing drugs and doping only put him on par with other cyclists.
“I went and looked up the definition of cheat,” he said. “And the definition is to gain an advantage on a rival or foe. I didn’t view it that way. I viewed it as a level playing field.”
As for all the people — especially former teammates and support crew — he attacked when they tried to tell the truth, Armstrong offered no public apology, although he said he has reached out to some of his victims. He attributed his behavior to his competitiveness.
“It’s a major flaw, and it’s a guy who expected to get whatever he wanted and to control every outcome. And it’s inexcusable,” Armstrong said. “And when I say there are people who will hear this and never forgive me, I understand that. I do. … That defiance, that attitude, that arrogance, you cannot deny it.”
♦ Notre Dame star Manti Te’o said in Wednesday night’s statement that he’s focused on the NFL draft, but the girlfriend hoax that was revealed this week might turn out to be a problem for prospective clubs.
“I think some teams will say it isn’t worth the problem,” said NFL draft consultant Gil Brandt, who has Te’o rated 19th overall following the linebacker’s disappointing performance in the national championship game.
“I don’t think anybody considered him to be a top-five pick before all this happened,” Brandt said. “In that game against Alabama, this was like a guy who was the best shooter in the world in basketball and here comes a game and he can’t even hit the backboard. His play in that game was absolutely horrible. He missed on run blitzes; guys ran over him …”
Meanwhile, a minor league baseball team in Kentucky, the Florence Freedom, announced that it would have a Manti Te’o Girlfriend Bobblehead Day in May. The first 1,000 fans will receive an empty bobble head box, there will be a pretend kiss cam for fans to kiss their imaginary friends, and there will be an imaginary food fight in the kids’ area.
♦ Al Pacino has been been tabbed to play Joe Paterno in a movie about the late Penn State coach that’s based on Joe Posnanski‘s recent biography. Brian De Palma, who directed Pacino in “Scarface” and “Carlito’s Way,” will direct the film, tentatively titled “Paterno.”
“I can’t think of a better duo to tell this story of a complex, intensely righteous man who was brought down by his own tragic flaw,” producer Edward R. Pressman said in a statement.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Jan. 18, 1973, the Red Sox signed their first designated hitter, with the position set to debut that season. Which veteran was obtained to fill that role?
|Oprah Winfrey confirms Lance Armstrong’s confession||01.15.13 at 11:34 am ET|
Oprah Winfrey appeared on “CBS This Morning” Tuesday and confirmed that Lance Armstrong admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs during their interview on Monday.
“Emotional doesn’t begin to describe the intensity or difficulty [for Armstrong] in talking about these things,” Winfrey said.
Added Winfrey: “I would say he did not come clean in the manner I expected. It was surprising to me … for myself, for my team, all of us in the room. We were mesmerized and riveted by some of his answers.”
Armstrong, once considered a heroic, inspirational seven-time Tour De France winner, now generally is viewed as a disgraceful cheater, and his seven Tour de France championships have been stripped.
Olympic cyclist Nicole Cooke said that Armstrong “robbed people of their dreams.”
Just a few short hours before meeting with Winfrey, Armstrong apologized for the long-time controversy to about 100 members of Livestrong, the charity that he founded in 1997 that helps cancer patients and their families. Livestrong spokesman Katherine McLane described Armstrong’s speech as “heartfelt and sincere.”
One of the first people to publicly accuse Armstrong of using performance-enhancing drugs was the wife of his former teammate Frankie Andreu. Betsy Andreu said of Armstrong’s confession: “He used to be one of my husband’s best friends, and because [Frankie] wouldn’t go along with the doping, he got kicked to the side. Lance could have had a positive impact if he tells the truth on everything. He’s got to be completely honest.”
Winfrey’s interview with Armstrong is scheduled to be televised in two parts, beginning on Thursday night and concluding on Friday on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
|Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Michael Vick cancels appearance on ‘Oprah’||02.17.11 at 7:50 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY THURSDAY:
NHL: Bruins at Islanders, 7 p.m. (NESN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Michael Vick pulled out of a scheduled interview on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” without explanation Tuesday night. The Eagles quarterback said in a statement: “I admire and respect Oprah and hope to be able to participate in an interview in the future.”
Winfrey had made an on-air bet with CNN talk show host Piers Morgan for $300 over which show would land Vick first. Last week, Winfrey said she was withdrawing from the bet, as apparently Vick’s representatives were uncomfortable with the player being even remotely connected to gambling following his dog-fighting prosecution in 2007. Vick was expected to talk about that, along with his time in prison, before canceling.
♦ With the Cardinals and Albert Pujols failing to reach an agreement on a contract extension before Pujols’ Wednesday deadline, St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bryan Burwell calls the team’s decision one of the riskiest gambles in baseball. At Sports Illustrated, Jon Heyman writes that it’s a rare misstep for Pujols.
♦ Historic oak trees in the Toomer’s Corner area of Auburn University have been poisoned and are dying. Federal authorities are investigating. At FanHouse, Clay Travis suspects an Alabama fan is to blame — a sports radio caller claimed responsibility late last month — and he writes about the passion of football fans in that state.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Feb. 17, 1972, which player recorded his 250th goal as a member of the Bruins?
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