Hearne: The Ridiculous Divorce Between Sporting Kansas City & Lance Armstrong

lance laffsTo characterize Sporting Kansas City‘s naming rights deal with Lance Armstrong as ill-conceived would be a laughable understatement…

Does anybody really believe Sporting was completely blindsided by the breakup with Livestrong? Clearly the end was near, Livestrong merely beat Sporting to the PR punch.

Big surprise.

 Sporting never should have let itself get suckered into the deal to begin with.

And as first reported here, Sporting was in a heated debate about extricating itself from the ill-advised naming rights deal with Livestrong with a final decision expected within two weeks.

Somewhat obviously, Livestrong read the tea leaves and decided to strike first by bailing and accusing Sporting of not living up to its financial agreement.

Lance_Armstrong_Anna_Hansen_Max_Armstrong_pregnant Classic case of “I quit,” getting the jump on “You’re fired.”

Thus ends the deal – made not two years ago – that tied the world’s most disgraced athlete to Kansas City and our local soccer club.

 For anyone who  following Armstrong’s downfall – and admittedly not many people around here were until quite recently – it was obvious Armstrong was up to his eyelashes in some pretty nasty stuff when Sporting made its deal.

Threatening and menacing teammates who’d testified that they’d doped with Armstrong. Lying unconvincingly when the evidence against him was mountainous.

 What was Sporting thinking?

Not much, is the painfully obvious answer.

And how classy was it that the head of Livestrong – a cancer charity for crying out loud – went before congress and lobbied to have the U.S. Anti Doping Agency’s funding taken away.

What does fighting cancer have to do with covering Lance Armstrong’s butt?

Even after the release the USADA report that brought Armstrong down, Livestrong head Doug Ulman went on record last fall that Armstrong was “our biggest advocate and always will be.”.

He then went on to say that Livestrong’s 2009 endorsement of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act was more of a problem for Livestrong donors than Armstrong’s doping charges.

I say, good riddance.

People make mistakes and Sporting committed a huge one by hopping in the sack with Armstrong and Livestrong when it was obvious that something was amiss.

Unfortunately, Livestrong beat Sporting to the punch on the public breakup and left our guys sputtering to ESPN last night about how we were the ones breaking up with Lance, not the other way around.

no livestronIn any case it’s done, time move on.

No longer will Kansas City be the poster child for all things wrong with modern day sports. Well, not much longer anyway.

Oh, and they even got the sign down last night already!

(photo by WHB’s Nate Bukaty)

 

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60 Responses to Hearne: The Ridiculous Divorce Between Sporting Kansas City & Lance Armstrong

  1. smartman says:

    If the post breakup spin is going to turn into a public relations match I’ll take the Cerner boys and give 20-1 odds. Livestrong is a Big Wheel compared to the Cerner/SKC boys being the new 2013 Cervelo S5.

  2. Comminatu says:

    Hearne, what are the ridiculous details of the demise of the glaze from kc com?

    Anything to do with someone “using” somebody else’s writing? I happened to stumble across such a situation dealing with a posting regarding that female newscaster….. .Do you know what I am talking about?

  3. harley says:

    yes hearne….tell us what has happened to glaze.
    This apparent scandal is not playing out well. Glaze has been the heart of
    this website (I’ve been the soul)…and if glaze isn’t returning we need to know
    asap.
    My sources are telling me what’s happening but all loyyal kcc readers want
    to know what’s going on.
    Please inform us where glaze is…whathis position is….when he’s coming back
    …..why he’s not posting scores with such big playoff games at hand…what’s
    going on with his love life…is he for or against the raising of the debt ceiling..
    how he feels about the nra and the arn andthe ncra…
    thanks…we miss hearing his side of these stories and we’re getting
    anxious….
    this scandal could be bigger than lewinski/clinton…
    smile everyone…its a beautfiul day!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    thanks…
    hahahaha.
    i could not imagine kcc without the glaze!

    • admin says:

      How about without Greg Hall? Tony?

      • harley says:

        HEARNE…noone equals the glaze…
        glaze adds some fun stuff to the kcc site.
        if he no longer is on this site (which i hope isn’t true) you
        can count on me to make a big hit with your readers.
        we are now starting a “BRING BACK THE GLAZE” petition
        at law4life1000@yahoo.com. I suggest all the kcc fans
        go there to voice their disapproval at glaze no longer being
        a part of kcc. Just leave a short message and I will forward
        it to our leader hearne. thanks.

        • Craig Glaysure says:

          Please don’t soil my reputation by connecting me in any way to you. It’s bad for my image.

      • Super Dave says:

        Good Point

  4. hollister says:

    Yes, we want to know, where is Glazer? Didn’t realize how much I missed him unitl he was gone.

  5. the dude says:

    I want my flea ridden dog to kick around back, bring back teh galze.

  6. Jimbo OPKS says:

    Forgive Lance for Juicing, yes. They all do it.

    Forgive Lance for going on Oprah, never. Grow a pair man. Oops, poor choice of words.

  7. balbonis moleskine says:

    Sporting got what they needed out of Livestrong. No major KC company was interested in naming rights at the price they were offering.

    So they donate the item that nobody really wanted to buy, take the full value deduction (undoubtedly an average of other MLS stadium naming rights), and now you have something out of nothing.

    I wonder if they’ll get a corporate audit for that. There has not been another major league professional sports team that has tried this scheme in the US yet.

  8. Darren says:

    GLAZER IS THE SOUL OF THIS SITE WITHOUT HIM. NO OFFENSE. BORING.

    • zip says:

      Of the people I’ve been directly exposed to in my life, the Glaz guys (including Redd) have been the most despicable. Hating on Craig is joyous and rejuvenating! As one of Craig’s loyal haters, I urge you; Bring him back!

      • harley says:

        zip….noone hates anyone.
        you must be new here.
        we throw insults…we throw words at each other…and
        we do it to entertain the readers… and ourselves.
        smarmyman…chuckles…mikey even my close friend and
        mentor wilson…we all go at it andthey come at me with full
        barrels….but its not personal anymore.
        some of the stuff is funny…we jab each other…but we all
        knowits fun and games. As far as glaze…what you see is
        what you get…no phony b.s. with glaze.
        he’s controversial…he’s funny..he’s an ego maniac…he’s
        out there onthe front lines every day…and without him
        kcc is no fun. If he drops out…i’m the only one to attack.
        don’t get carried away….we’re in this for fun and
        entertainent….no hard feelings…so calm down.

  9. Darren says:

    PEOPLE IN OFFICE ARE ALREADY SAYING THEY WILL NOT READ THIS SITE MUCH ANYMORE CAUSE GLAZER IS THE REASON THEY GO HERE. REALLY. I STILL LIKE IT JUST HAS NO BIG BANG WITHOUT THE CRAZY GUY.

  10. Paul says:

    What do you think this will do to Joe Posnanski’s current book project, “Lance Armstrong: Man of Integrity”?

    • the dude says:

      An appearance on Costas where he defends his milquetoast depiction of a man of integrity in a den of snakes and demons.

  11. Whiskey_Tango_Foxtrot says:

    This is whats wrong with the world you have guys like Ray Lewis who are celebrated for his career as a football player. Then you have Lance Armstrong who is villainized for cheating. (Rightfully So)

    However you have one man who participated in the murder of 2 people (Or the cover-up of the murders) vs a man who created a philanthropic organization that has raised over $400 million dollars for cancer.

    It may be a case of the lesser of 2 evils but it was a fricking bicycle race that 1 in 50 people really care about and that virtually everyone in the sport cheats in.

    • admin says:

      Some good points but…

      I doubt that even one in 50 people in this country give a fig about cycling other than when a US dude wins top honors.

      And again, the everybody cheats is not only a cop out, it’s inaccurate, experts say. As well as an over simplification of how they may have cheated. Not all cheaters were created equal!

      But if your point is, two wrongs don’t make a right, I’m with you

  12. Matthew Donnelly says:

    I wonder if Sporting will remove the yellow chair from the Victory Suite. It was said to be “Lance’s seat” and was used to feature cancer survivors on the big screens at half time.

    • the dude says:

      I already called dibs on the golden chair!

    • admin says:

      And I’m wondering if they’ll continue to enforce that ultra-strict policy that nobody is allowed to smoke on the outer grounds of the stadium even once they cross the street from the parking lots

  13. paulwilsonkc says:

    I can’t imagine Lance’s appearance on the Big O was anything more than a future defense strategy. It’s rumored he’s taken up to $30M in personal gain from the USPS deal. If successful in their upcoming suit, they would get treble damages if the suit is found in their favor. For those of you without a solar calculator handy, that’s $90M he would have to repay! I don’t think his pockets are that deep.

    Also, I understand his main fight is to regain the ability to ride in triathlons! Could there be any truth to that? Are there still people who would pay an appearance fee to have him ride in a local/regional event?

    • harley says:

      wilson….you understand business so whoever was his lead p.r. guy
      was an idiot. Hadhetaken his hit….asked for renewal and forgiveness…
      taken his shots two or three yearsago and by now would have been
      in decent shape.
      Now he’sapologizing on oprah (bad choice.)….and oprah says she
      was surprised by his answer.
      he should have hired a reputation management company…done his
      apologies early…not been a jerk and continued to deceive..
      but as i said..when he gets to the pearly gates…will god remember that
      he wonand gave back all those trophies and awards…or that he did an
      immense amount of good helping people fight cancer.
      hopefully the guy gets things straightened out…might want to call
      bill clinton for advice!

      • paulwilsonkc says:

        I’m a firm believer in the greater good, no matter what, even if taken to the extreme. The Gentile Bible says, paraphrased, regardless of the messenger, the message goes forth. Hence, Jimmy Swagart did some good, preaching against the demons of sex, drugs and drink; all while he’s spanking $20 hookers, the message went forth and no doubt people benefitted along the way.

        I feel the same way about Lance, and again, purely from the opinion of a self claimed sports agnostic. He did a great deal of good for cancer research and victims of. You have to take people on balance as every single person has a skeleton or two or closet FULL they would just as soon not have exposed to the public light of day, all while maybe doing great good in other areas of their lives.

        I do not subscribe to the “everyone was doing it” logic, even though it seems every one truly WAS doing it! For some reason the truth is hard to come by and lying is always easier, upfront.

        McGuire, Bonds, et al, all willing to stand on oath and claim they never injected it, Bill never spanked it or inhaled it, and Martha never WAS on the inside track of insider info. In the end, the lie is worse than the crime. Truth, no matter how difficult, makes things easier in the end.

        The medicine of truth may taste worse….. but the taste goes away faster if you just swallow hard and chase it with a drink of water.

        • the dude says:

          McGuire was at least smart enough to take the 5th and not say anything at the congressional testimony. People gave him crap back then but ask Bonds or Palmero if it was smart to lie under oath.

  14. Jim says:

    This whole issue involves two sports. Cycling and soccer. Yawn. A professional athlete cheated and then lied about it? Holy cow!

    SKC worrying about their “image” taking a hit? Oh, please. Go outside the 4-state area and ask 100 people on the street what the name of KC’s MLS team is. My guess is 85% to 95% haven’t a clue. It’s Kansas City. It’s soccer. Nobody (sans Sam Mellinger) cares.

    Anybody remember a little company called Enron? Remember how many people were completely bankrupted in that whole deal? Remember Enron Park? The Astros organization seemed to survive that scandal and that was MLB!

    Much ado about nothing……

  15. jon says:

    If not Craig why not Stan? The Glazer bunch. Now there’s a website from hell.

  16. Markus Aurelius says:

    Hearne apparently got bit by the same over-reaction bug that bit Sam Mellinger at the Star. Two articles – both over-reactive hyperbole. I think they are the only two people that give a rip whether SKC fired Livestrong or Livestrong quit before being fired. It’s a distinction without a difference.

    Hearne and Sam’s separate suggestions and inferences that SKC is inexperienced are absolutely laughable. Despite being a second tier sport nationally and, at best, the third place pro team locally, this ownership and management built the #1 sports venue in the city and now has the highest percentage of season ticket sales of any local pro sports team. It’s as if both Hearne and Sam can’t stomach a winner in sports and/or business and if they can’t find something worthwhile to criticize they’ll choose something not worthwhile to criticize about the franchise.

    • harley says:

      right on marky mark….i don’t read sams articles…boring and
      retreads…..
      hearne is like many of the woe is me crowd…negativity abounds.
      soccer has done incredible here in kc….give the people credit.
      great business strategy!
      I didn’t follow them…but whatever cerner boys/skc did it worked!!!!
      now…after obamacare money runs out will they go after
      the royals…..stay tuned………………….

    • Marty says:

      uh, front page on ESPN.com, I think there are some people who are interested in this story.

      • admin says:

        Agree. Actually they did a better job of telling the story than the Star’s main news story today that spun things a bit in favor of Sporting

      • Markus Aurelius says:

        I didn’t say no one was interested in the story. I said that Hearne and Sam’s takes on it seemed to be overreacting to certain facts. Other news outlets have done a MUCH better job of reporting on this. That being said, I’ll give Hearne credit as he called this a LONG time ago.

    • admin says:

      Easy, Markus.

      In case you haven’t noticed KC Confidential has been a strong supporter of Sporting Kansas City. And before that, I wrote about the Wizards at the Kansas City Star enough that at one point the general manager of the team told me he suggested to then sports editor Mike Fannin that I become the Wizards beat writer!

      Obviously, the team has done many things right but they dove into a more than half empty swimming pool without even looking first on this one.

      • Markus Aurelius says:

        I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. We differ in that I think they DID look before they jumped into the half empty swimming pool and I think they knew exactly what they were doing. Were they optimistic that it would work out? Absolutely; however, good business people generally are. I’m sure you shared a similar optimism about the viability of this website when you started it. I just think it’s way off to suggest that the ownership group and management went off half-cocked with googly celebrity eyes when it came to the naming opportunity. They tried something pretty unique and it backfired as a result of one man’s willingness to perpetuate a lie for more than a decade. There are a LOT of people and businesses whose decision to associate with Lance Armstrong backfired as soon as the truth became known. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean all of those businesses and people were inexperienced or used bad judgment.

        I’ll give you credit though – you called this a LONG time ago.

        • admin says:

          Thanks again.

          I don’t know that I’d characterize them as “googly” eyed – although I like that expression!

          But there was so much teammate testimony against Armstrong when they made the call to hook up with Livestrong that somebody had to be a little giddy to run that risk.

          I hate to repeat myself, but…

          Even Mellinger NOW says that Lance was acting weird and not taking questions at the grand announcement. He looked like a wanted man, a fugitive from justice – which is exactly what he was.

          There were just too many reasons for Sporting to take a pass. Would they have signed up Barry Bonds a year or two before the you-know-what really hit the fan? Doubt it.

          All the facts weren’t in – but like Armstrong – the handwriting was on the wall.

          Look, they’ll be fine. And in a way, they hooked their star to a little bit of history by inserting themselves into the Lance Armstrong debacle.

          Nobody will care much down the road, but it will always be a historical footnote.

  17. Chester Drawers says:

    What some of you are forgetting is that the ENTIRE field at the Tour De France and other major races, was doping! They couldn’t have kept up with the pack unless they were, and Tyler “the rat” Hamilton said so on 60 Minutes! He admitted he doped all through his professional career.

    The results of the last 20 Tours should be stricken from the record books. The last place finisher was dirty as well as the winners on the podium!

    • admin says:

      Sorry Chester, but that’s a myth that most all of the experts following the Armstrong story have debunked.

      And since you watched the 60 Minutes special, you know that many of the riders who doped were forced into it or pressured by their teams or coaches.

      Another nuance that’s come out is that all dopers were not created equal. Not everyone had the state of the art experimental drugs the US Postal Team used. And / or they were unable to replicate the sophisticated means of getting the drugs to their riders that Armstrong and company employed.

      No argument on the records, other than how many years was it going on?

      I’ve even heard talk that cycling may be taken out of the Olympics because of all this

      • Markus Aurelius says:

        It most certainly is NOT a myth. For example, take a look at the NY Times chart of the Top 10 finishers in the Tour de France from 1998 to 2011 to see how many doped. This doesn’t even include riders like Beloki who is not highlighted on the chart even though he finished third in 2000 and is widely regarded as having blood doped (was involved in Operation Puerto).

        Also, don’t act like the other riders that doped had guns held to their head. They are all big boys and could have declined if they wanted to. Some of them did – Frankie Andreu being one of them.

        • admin says:

          The top guys may have doped because that’s what it took to win but that certainly was not the case with the also rans who did not finish in the Top 10, many of which dropped out of the sport.

          • Super Dave says:

            To be honest I could really care who did or didn’t dope. I am burned out on bike racing and the people in it. I as well have been told of some funny business with the money collected here by the bike rides done for Livestrong here in KC and was a reason this past fall I wasn’t a volunteer for it. Lance ruined many things for many people and he did it all on his own. Then he has to lie about it, but then come out trying to be truthful about it. So I hope the USPS breaks his ass all the way down to the poor farm.

            I have gotten so tired of promoting or giving money to causes to only find out they rob that money for private parties and celebrations of what they did instead of giving it all to those who it was being collected for. Want to have a party afterwards then everyone chip in and have one but leave the money collected alone.

  18. smartman says:

    Based on the crowd sourcing I’ve done Glazer is not missed. So let us enjoy this Valtrex period because it is just a matter of time before he flare’s up again.

  19. Hot Carl says:

    I miss Glaze. I just don’t miss his horrific abuse of the English language.

  20. ThinkAboutIt says:

    WhereIsCraigGlazer.com

    ” Classic case of ‘I quit,’ getting the jump on ‘You’re fired.'”????

  21. Rick Nichols says:

    So some of you want to talk about Glazer,
    And some of you want to talk about soccer …
    Now it may well be the case that I’m no longer as sharp as a razor,
    But is there any chance a few of you may have fallen off your rocker?

    • craig glazer says:

      most of the comments here are me with bogus names. i have been doing absurd things like this all my life.

    • craig glazer says:

      most of the comments here are me with bogus names. i have been doing absurd things like this all my life.

  22. Craig Glaysure says:

    I for one miss Craig. He was the last of the outlaws! I swear to god, I, I mean HE will go down in history with the likes of Jesse James and not that wanna be motorcycle riding one, I mean the outlaw Jessie James!
    I ran into that morning rock jock the other day, Johnny Dare, he said he quit reading KCC when I, I mean Glazer stopped writing.
    I miss his stories about getting laid; I live vicarry us ly, or how ever you spell that big word, through him. He’s one lucky SOB and Jesus does he look like a million bucks in those sleeveless t shirts and shades. I can only dream of being him.
    I sure hope his movie gets made, that’ll show you losers just how big he really is; then he’ll go down in history with the likes of Jessie AND Francis Ford Cupulo or Paul Newman, both of which would love to get laid as much as I, he does!
    You won’t have Craig to kick around any more.

    • craig glazer says:

      im just never going to be like pacino deniro brando newman coppola. i try to play like i am with dum whores, i just try to play the part. sometimes when girls have an iq below 60 or 70 they sometimes really think i am a movie star. it makes me feel so good when they do that. theres more out there than you think everyone!

  23. Blaster99 says:

    Every rider in the Tour was doping to some extent, and the results should be forever erased from the record books. They couldn’t have possibly kept up with the pack for three weeks without enhancements…plain and simple.

    Lance and Tyler the rat were dirty and so were the guys at the tail end and those that didn’t even finish.

    • admin says:

      That contention is not in evidence but there is testimony from riders who did not dope. Some of whom were effectively forced off the US Team.

      Broad generalizations that are largely unfounded and anecdotal are fun to toss around. But extremely unreliable.

  24. harley says:

    I’ve met lance several times including in austin for his road race.
    I was at the announcement when he became spokesman for a great kc company.
    I’ve worn his yellow band for years. I’ve got over 80 of them in the closet
    that he had sent to me when the order i put in never arrived.
    Ive supported his charity financially. I’ve followed his career as he was
    an underdog and a role model to millions of americans who survive and fight
    cancer every year. Read his book.. Given it to several friends who are fighting
    cancer. Lost at least 8 close friends…my mom…several aunts…one of my lifelong
    friends to cancer. Defended him against attacks for the “good” he did.
    Watched him on oprah the other night.
    THE COKSUKER CAN ROT IN HELL. ALL THE GOOD THINGS HE DID
    MAY SOMEDAY OUTWEIGH THE LIES HE TOLD. BUT THE WON’T RIGHT
    NOW! HE LOOKED TERRIBLE ON TV WITH OPRAH. ABSOLUTELY WORTHLESS!!!! WHAT WAS HE THINKING? ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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