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Mahler: Lance Who? Armstrong Much Ado About Nothing

So tell me — this is an American hero?

What is our obsession with lying crud like Lance Armstrong? Why are we wasting so much angst over a man who deserves only our derision and spite?

Is it like rubbernecking on the interstate when you pass an accident? You just gotta look? People ask me, “What do you think of Lance Armstrong?” I tell them: I don’t think anything about him. Not a damn thing.

He doesn’t deserve our thoughts. He lied, cheated and deceived for over a decade. He hurt the people around him and those who blindly supported him. This is someone you want to care about?

His victories are tainted, his reputation is ruined and his relevance is neutered. I say throw him out like yesterday’s garbage. Waste no more time caring or considering.

What more do you want to see or hear? A confession?

Like that will make things better? Like that will absolve him of his betrayal of trust all those years? I don’t think so.

And even after he did apologize, can we believe its sincerity? Not after all those years of denial and obstruction.

We wanted to believe because we believed for so long. Now we just should say good-bye, good night and good riddance.

Let him stew in the silence of his own irrelevance.

So who are these people that we should care so much about them? Armstrong rides a bicycle for a living. That’s it. What other redeeming quality does he have? We need to realize that people with so little to offer are just so insignificant in our world compared to people with other more benevolent pursuits and meaningful successes.

It’s our fault we made these charlatans so popular and important. But we can change all that with a little attitude adjustment.

There is so much more we can devote our time toward that will make a more positive imprint on the sporting landscape.

Take what happened last week at Hartford High School. With the unbelievable support of the local community — along with help from around the state of Vermont as well as nationally — the Hartford football team will be recognized as the most popular and best supported team in the country.

With nearly 160,000 votes — or computer hits — Hartford trounced the opposition by twice the margin. Now that’s something to be proud of; something to point to as a positive accomplishment.

Then there was the activity last week where disabled veterans from around the region came to the Upper Valley to take part in winter recreation. These men and women who were injured while volunteering to serve their country, spent time playing sled hockey at Campion Rink while also hitting the slopes at Mount Sunapee for ski and snowboarding instruction as part of the New England Winter Sports Clinic for Disabled Veterans.

And all the teaching and guidance was donated by local volunteers who gave of their time to honor and give recognition to people who were true heroes on a different field of action.

Finally, don’t forget this happens to be Martin Luther King weekend. Why not celebrate the values of civil rights and the man who gave his life in that pursuit instead of hyping the achievements of flawed and hollow men like Lance Armstrong who, in a calculated manner, cheated and lied his way to fame and fortune.

I say we deny their access to our hearts and our consciousness from this day on. We have better things to do and better people to care about.

Let’s look for heroes more worthy of our devotion next time.

Don Mahler can be reached at dmahler@vnews.com or 603-727-3225.

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Letter: No Redeeming Qualities?

Friday, March 1, 2013

To the Editor: On Feb. 26 Don Mahler wrote about several Upper Valley schools jointly raising an estimated $10,000 toward cancer awareness during this basketball season, a commendable effort worthy of praise. What I don’t understand, however, are his comments (Jan. 20) about another ongoing effort that has raised more than a half billion dollars to benefit cancer victims and …