Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Something's stinky...let's eat it.

I'm sure by now many of you have heard the big news of the day.  No, I'm not referring to the story citing evidence that Levi Leipheimer may have doped during his seventh place finish at the 2005 Tour de France.  I'm talking of the dog in Grand Rapids, Michigan that chewed off his owner's infected toe after the man had passed out from a margarita bender. 

Apparently the dog's owner Jerry Douthett had a long standing infection of his toe that continued to worsen to the point that neighborhood dogs actually came and sniffed at it like a piece of rotting garbage.  Despite his wife being a registered nurse, she apparently remained ignorant to the fact that she was sharing a bed with her husband's dead big toe and Jerry himself chose not to seek medical attention.  When he finally conceded that he needed to see a doctor, he decided to liquor himself up real good on "4 or5 beers and...two giant golden margaritas" after which he proceeded to pass out.  When he woke up, his dog, Kiko, was chewing on his toe like it was a greasy pig's ear.  Not surprisingly, Kiko's ingestion of the toe led to Jerry's hospitalization and subsequent diagnosis of diabetes - a shock to them all....especially to his wife, THE REGISTERED NURSE.  So what does this all have to do with cycling you may ask?  Well, Jerry's blood glucose level was nearly as elevated as Leipheimer's "off-score" index.  An "off score" index is based on an equation considering both hemoglobin and reticulocytes (or young red blood cells).  Whereas a score of 85-95 is considered normal, a score of 133 or higher is evidence of doping.  Leipheimer's score was 132.8 according to Hans-Michel Holczer who was at the time, the team manager of Gerolsteiner, the team Levi raced for in 2005.  That year, Leipheimer finished 7th behind Lance Armstrong in the Tour and beat Jan Ulrich in the Tour of Germany.    I think I smell something else as stinky as Jerry Douthett's toe, and so did Holczer back in the day.  But unlike Kiko, he wasn't about to bite on it.

If we can gleen anything from the tale of Jerry's toe regarding the world of professional cycling, it's these two things. 

Lesson #1) Maybe dogs like Kiko could be trained to sniff doping agents like EPO and testosterone patches....however based on how Kiko tackled the sniffed toe condition, most of the pro peloton would have probably lost chunks of their nutsacks by now, as the scrotum apparently is the place of choice for testosterone patch application according to this site. 

(This dude better cut his nails before handling his boys, or else he's going to risk a nasty fingernail scratch....or maybe this is his which case she has some serious man-hands.)

Lesson #2) Much like Jerry's wife, sometimes those closest to us know us least.  Take the recent announcements by both the Contador brothers and their new director sportif, Bjarne Riis.
Riis tells cyclingnews that he wants to be a part of Contador's goal in winning the grand tour triple crown: Giro, Tour and Vuelta: "Alberto's ambition is to win all three major stage races in the same year, and I want to be part of it."

Not 24 hours later, velonation reports that Bert and Fran believe there was something lost in translation for Riis...and that they have no intention of trying to win all three.

But, just as one's man trash is another's treasure, so too can one man's dead appendage be a meal for his dog.  Similarly, we the armchair cycling enthusiasts sit back and feast on all of the diseased shit being thrown our way, feeling oddly sated.  Which is more disturbing?

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