Sunday, July 17, 2005

Where is the Yellow spirit?

Something that I've noticed this year, compared to two years ago or even last year, it doesn't seem that Austin is that excited about Lance Armstrong and the Tour de France. A few years ago all you heard was the Tour. People wore yellow all the time, there were signs in people's yards, and shoe polish on cars proclaimed support for Lance. This year, not so much. In fact when Tammy and I were at the Tour watching party, we were two of the few people in yellow. After, we stopped by BookPeople to replace a poker book for Doug that the dogs ate, and still no yellow.

Yes, number 5 was big for Lance, as that Tour was a struggle for him and people wondered if he would pull it off. By winning 5, Lance did something that only a few others did. Then there was last year, by all accounts, a much better year for him. Of course, he was breaking a record, so number 6 was special to watch.

This year you are just not seeing the Yellow spirit around Austin. Maybe it's because he's in such a commanding lead, but part of me wonders if folks are just taking it for granted. Lance comes, he wins. I don't think people are realizing that this year is historic as well. Lance is breaking another record -- 7 wins in a row -- and I doubt that we will see that again in my lifetime. But more importantly, this is the last Tour that Lance will ride in. It is his last race and the end of his professional career. He's not going to do a Michael Jordan and un-retire several times. As of next Sunday, whether he wins or loses the Tour (and it looks like he'll win), Lance will be hanging up his yellow jersey and coming back home to Austin to be with his kids and work with cancer survivors through the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Very seldom do athletes go out on top and Lance is doing it with grace and style. This is something special to be watching and all of Austin should cheer him on.

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