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Smug Armstrong's Lying Inspires Hatred

Jake Schoellkopf/AP

After last week's big confession, I've got one of my own to make: Over the many articles I've written over the last 10 years about Lance Armstrong, I've never quite understood the near-worship that surrounded him.

This might be because, like most American sportswriters, I don't know a thing about professional bike racing. I couldn't name a single pro racer before Armstrong, and I doubt if I'll remember the names of any who come after him. He was a superstar champion, and allegations—now shown to be true—against him related to performance-enhancing drugs had parallels in other sports. That's why I paid any attention to him, and I suspect I'm not the only one.

But it took me until part two of Oprah's interview with Armstrong to truly get why so many Americans,...

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