Armstrong Is Emotional in 2nd Part of Interview
Chicago — Lance Armstrong finally cracked. Not the way anti-doping authorities hoped or as disillusioned fans wanted, while expressing deep remorse or regrets, though there was plenty of that in last night’s second part of Armstrong’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.
It wasn’t over the $75 million in lost sponsorship deals, nor when Armstrong was forced to walk away from the Livestrong cancer charity he founded and called his “sixth child.” It wasn’t even about his lifetime ban from competition.
It was another bit of collateral damage that Armstrong said he wasn’t prepared to deal with.
“I saw my son defending me and saying, ‘That’s not true. What you’re saying about my dad is not true,’” Armstrong recalled.
“That’s when I knew I had to tell him.”
Armstrong was near tears at that point, referring to 13-year-old Luke, the oldest of his five children. It came just past the midpoint of an hourlong broadcast, a day after the disgraced cycling champion admitted using performance-enhancing drugs when he won seven straight Tour de France titles.
Critics said he hadn’t been contrite enough in the first half of the interview, taped Monday, but Armstrong seemed to lose his composure when Winfrey zeroed in on the emotional drama involving his personal life.
“What did you say?” Winfrey asked.
“I said, ‘Listen, there’s been a lot of questions about your dad. My career. Whether I doped or did not dope. I’ve always denied that and I’ve always been ruthless and defiant about that. You guys have seen that. That’s probably why you trusted me on it.’ Which makes it even sicker,” Armstrong said.
“And uh, I told Luke, I said,” and here Armstrong paused for a long time to collect himself, “I said, ‘Don’t defend me anymore. Don’t.’”
Cards Turn to Arians
Tempe, Ariz. — After nearly 38 years in the business, at age 60, Bruce Arians finally is an NFL head coach.
And he’s made it clear that he’s ready to run with it.
Arians was introduced as head coach of the Arizona Cardinalsyesterday, promising to build a team that’s “smart, disciplined, fast and physical — accountable, no excuses.”
The man who went 9-3 as interim coach in Indianapolis after Chuck Pagano left to be treated for leukemia choked up when he talked about his family, saying of his wife “this is our 15th move.”
Arians will call the offensive plays himself, although he will bring in someone with the title of offensive coordinator.
Jets Hire GM
New York — The New York Jets hired Seattle Seahawks executive John Idzik to be their general manager yesterday, ending a search that included 10 candidates and lasted nearly three weeks.
Idzik, the Seahawks’ vice president of football administration, was selected by owner Woody Johnson and team president Neil Glat over fellow finalists Pittsburgh executive Omar Khan and Jets assistant GM Scott Cohen. The Jets, who fired Mike Tannenbaum on Dec. 31 after seven seasons, announced the hiring of Idzik on their website.
Vermont 81, Stony Brook 73
Burlington — Candon Rusin scored a career-high 25 points and Clancy Rugg added 19 with 15 rebounds as Vermont defeated Stony Brook to move into the America East Conference lead.
The Catamounts (12-6, 5-1) have a half-game edge over Albany and the Seawolves (13-5, 4-1), whom they defeated in last season’s conference tournament final.
Rusin scored eight points during a 12-0 run early in the second half that gave Vermont a 44-29 advantage.
Stony Brook, after trailing by as many as 18 points, got to within four, 65-61 with 2:48 left, after a dunk by Tommy Brenton. But Sandro Carissimo responded with a layup and two free throws on Vermont’s next two possessions for an eight-point lead.
Woods, McIlroy Miss Cut
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates — Tiger Woods missed the cut at the Abu Dhabi Championship after being penalized two shots for wrongly thinking he had a free drop after his ball became entangled in vines.
Woods joined top-ranked Rory McIlroy in making an early exit. McIlroy struggled with his new Nike clubs and had a second straight 75.
It’s the first time the world’s top two players missed a cut in the same tournament since McIlroy and Luke Donald at the 2012 U.S. Open.
Woods thought he was safe in finishing his second round at 1-over 73. But he was advised by the European Tour chief referee Andy McFee of the penalty, giving him a 75 and 3-over total of 147. The cut for the top 65 plus ties is projected at 2 over.
McFee said he warned Woods on the 11th tee of the penalty, which was a result of his taking a free drop when his ball was embedded in sand. It’s not allowed.
USGA Head to Talk Long Putters
Jacksonville, Fla. — The PGA Tour has invited Mike Davis of the U.S. Golf Association to speak at the mandatory players’ meeting next week at Torrey Pines.
A proposed rule that would ban the stroke used for long putters is on the agenda. The USGA and Royal & Ancient Golf Club announced in November that anchored strokes would be banned in 2016 under the new rule.
Davis says he will explain the ruling and how the governing bodies reached their decision, and he would take questions.
One issue for the professional tours is whether to adopt the new rule before it takes effect. Davis says that’s one area he would have no input.
He says he has purposely stayed away from talking publicly about the proposed rule during a 90-day comment period.