Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Credit Crunch explained

As a coach I get asked all sorts of questions. When should I attack in the race, which wheels should I buy, which is the best energy gel and most recently how did the credit crunch come about.
So for those of you that are a little lost by the advent of the crunchers this is how it all started.

Basically big banks sold mortgages to people who could never pay them back, as is shown by this transcript from a interview between Big Big Bank and Billy Bob and Cleatus.

Big Big Bank: Hey guys, would you like to own your own home?
Billy Bob: Duuuuh, yesss, I live in a chicken shack.
Big Big Bank: No problem, we can lend you $200,000 to buy that chicken shack.
Billy Bob: Duuuuh OK.
Big Big Bank: But in order to protect ourselves we have to know that you can pay it back, what do you do for a living?
Billy Bob: Duuuuh, I make jewellery out of cigarette buts.
Big Big Bank: Great, just sign here and the money's all yours.
Billy Bob: Duuuuuh, What's sign here mean?
Big Big Bank: Oh, in that case just put an X here.
Billy Bob: Duuuuh, What's an X here?
Big Big Bank: Er, Can you dribble on this sheet of paper?
Billy Bob: Duuuuuh.
Big Big Bank: Thank you. Now you sir?
Cleatus: Duuuuh.
Big Big Bank: Hold your horses there boy, no dribbling yet.
Cleatus: Duuuuh.
Big Big Bank: So Cletus, what do you do for a living?
Cleatus: Duuuuh, I work for my invisible friend, he tells me to put dirt in my ear.
Big Big Bank: Great, here's $200,000.

That's pretty much it. City boys, who are pretty much at the same evolutionary point as Billy Bob and Cleatus played a game of my Bank is bigger than your Bank and now some other City boys have lost their jobs, which wouldn't be too bad, but apparently as a result we're all buggered. There is a moral for the future here, if you own a Big Big Bank don't employ people who dribble for a living.

Talking of dribbling for a living Mr Landis is all geared up for a return to racing next year. It seems that the route for the majority of Unrepentant ex dopers is either Portugal or minor US teams.
I am a firm believer in bans of at least five years, which in many cases will effectively end a career, but not just career ending bans, I favour contracts stipulating the repayment of all monies earned and won whilst in the current team. Banning riders from using certain specified doctors and coaches, the UCI insisting on a policy of anti doping awareness to be carried out by all National Federations (which the UCI will pay for) with failure to comply resulting in a ban from all Rainbow Jersey awarding events, a percentage of all sponsor revenue going to a dope detection programme and the total removal of racing licenses from any teams that did what Rock Racing did at California this year.
Coupled with this I would launch a PR offensive asking why other sports don't have similar measures in place?
Now of course I don't run world cycling and I suspect that if I was offered Uncle Pats job I'd start at 9am and by 10am I would be ordering ambulances to take the first batch of victims away, so maybe I shouldn't have it after all.

Having said all this about life bans etc., I full accept that there are mistakes and errors, we are after all on a planet that is run by humans and not Rabbits. So in order to get round the possibility of errors of samples being messed with I introduce a get out clause, this would take the form of letting riders off Scott free if they can come up with a suitably ridiculous explanation for their failed test. 'They were for my dog', just doesn't wash nowadays and as for 'it's the whiskey I had last night', for God sake, just how barking do you think we are? No, the rider concerned will be allowed off with a warning if he or she can go one better than the Tyler Hamilton I am my unborn twin argument. Love or loath the man, you have to admit that he's got a sense of humour.

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