Never let it be said that the English don’t know how to kick a man when he is down.
Former cycling hero Lance Armstrong added another indignity to the long list he has been forced to endure this month after being outed as one of the greatest cheaters in the history of sport.
Apparently being stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles, losing all his sponsors, having to resign from the board of the cancer charity he founded and losing all his sponsors was not enough punishment for the disgraced hero according to the people of Edenbridge in southeast England.
After considering a crowded field that included notable names such as George Osborne, John Terry and Jimmy Savile, that the average American won’t recognize (all you need to know for perspective is that the deceased Savile was a beloved children’s entertainer who has now been accused of being a prolific pedophile) – the Edenbridge Bonfire Society decided that it is Armstrong who they will burn in effigy during its Guy Fawkes celebrations Nov. 5.
For those of you that didn’t pay attention in school and kept wondering why Agent Smith had taken to wearing that funny mask whilst administering both verbal and physical lashings to the unfortunate blokes that crossed him in “V for Vendetta,” Guy Fawkes Day or Bonfire Night commemorates Guy Fawkes’ failed attempt to blow up the British Parliament in 1605. People celebrate the king’s escape from assignation by lighting bonfires, popping fireworks and if they’re anything like they’re American cousins when we celebrate our independence – getting right tipsy.
Back in the day effigies of Fawkes, who was only one of several conspirators by the way, were burned, but over the years more modern figures in government, sporting and pop culture have been used to fuel the thirst for new smoke.
So, how did Armstrong beat out a field that included an alleged child molester and a terrorist (radical cleric Abu Hamza) for what basically amounts to the worst person in the world award? In addition to the fact that many young children are expected to attend the event bonfire society spokesman Mark Young said , “Lance Armstrong is certainly the biggest villain in sport, with fans across the globe feeling cheated by a man who was thought to be whiter than white.”
Celebrity Guy Latest: Lance Armstrong finished the betting at 15/8 from an original 2/1.“Lance Armstrong is… fb.me/2fekU2GRz
— Bonfire Boy (@TheBonfireBoys) October 30, 2012
It’s telling when a statement like that can be made about a man once so revered by much of the culture with a straight face. In America, where many still sport Livestrong bracelets and sing his praises along with the organization’s it’s a particularly hard pill to swallow – after all being “whiter than white” has traditionally been one of the best ways not to get burned on a bonfire here.