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Austin Licks Lance-Imposed Wounds

AP Photo

His case for redemption has been made to his associates, leaked to the press and taped for broadcast to the world. Still, one apology remains.

He was our Cowboys, our Lakers, our Yankees. In the grand symbiotic branding bargain struck between ambitious cities and their athletic emissaries, he was the face of our franchise, as much as any quarterback, point guard or pitcher in the country. His sport, cycling, ostensibly involved a team, but no one knew or asked or even cared what role those background riders served. Waterboys, perhaps? He played only away games, and it worked in his favor. He never needed, never asked for and never received the kind of tax-increment-financed mixed-use New Urbanist boondoggle so many team owners use to place eager ...

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