An Open Letter to The Internet about That Guy

Nov 9 2011

That Guy

That Guy, way back when he was news
/ by Ciclismoaldia, pd

Dear Internet,

Let’s all stop talking about That Guy.

While the phrase “that guy” has a coloquial meaning (and That Guy has most certainly gone out of his way to be “that guy”) I’m actually referring to a specific person, here. A former cyclist. You know the one I’m talking about, probably because Cyclingnews ran an article about him yesterday. That Guy is a polarizing figure, and once that article was published, the Twitters (self included), and a few notable blogs rose up, with disappointing predictability and fervor, to take the bait.

Regardless of your opinion on That Guy, that was the wrong response.

The simple fact is that That Guy does not deserve mention at present. Not on Cyclingnews, not on your blog, not on Twitter, not anywhere. He has done nothing—good or bad—of any relevance in years. Whether to crucify him or to facilitate his redemption, any mention of That Guy as things currently stand is unwarranted, and you undermine your own efforts by bringing him up.

If you do not like That Guy and would like to see him “in a ditch” (in the colorful and I hope figurative words of one Twitterer), I suggest you email CyclingnewsDaniel Benson directly, saying that you do not feel That Guy is a newsworthy topic right now. I would be polite, well-reasoned, and succinct in your email, and I would avoid linking to the piece or clicking on any ads or paid offsite links on the article page. I would also avoid addressing or defaming That Guy on any of your online presences.

If you do like That Guy, I would email him directly, or leave a comment on one of his blogs, expressing your support. He has a track record of emotional fragility, a dark past to atone for, and could likely use some support. That said, I would still avoid mentioning That Guy directly on Twitter, or linking to his blog, web sites, or any news articles on him. He has shown many times that his thirst for the spotlight outstrips his desire to do good, and if he can have the first without the second, he’ll do it in a heartbeat.

If That Guy is—as he claims to be—truly interested in reform and advocacy, he will, of his own volition and without incentives from law enforcement or attention from the press, begin taking steps to advance that goal. Conversely, if he is—as many others seem to think—pure, unmitigated evil, he will turn to darker means to regain notoriety. If and when he’s done something noteworthy, we should once again feel free to voice our opinions; until then, let’s see if we can’t avoid feeding this particular troll any more than we already have.

Thanks for hearing me out on this, Internet.

Sincerely,

-Cosmo

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9 Responses to “An Open Letter to The Internet about That Guy”

  1. Marc Silberman, M.D. 9 November 2011 at 9:37 pm #

    Drugs can make a donkey (that guy) in to a race horse, but once a donkey, always a donkey.

  2. cgb 10 November 2011 at 9:38 am #

    amen.

  3. Ben 10 November 2011 at 7:25 pm #

    Well said, that guy needs to disappear.

  4. Paul 11 November 2011 at 1:09 am #

    I read the cyclingnews article, and have read others on different sites about him, but I don’t understand the hatred directed at him. Has he done more than written? Is he worse than all the dopers that have been caught and come back clean? Can we not believe him? Could someone explain? BTW, I would not put myself in either the like or dislike camp.

  5. JBV 11 November 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    Well said

  6. cosmo 12 November 2011 at 10:53 pm #

    @Paul, it’s not that dopers can’t come back clean—David Millar is a good example, and Ivan Basso also seems to have made the transition. The thing with That Guy is he hasn’t come back. He hasn’t raced—at any level I can see—since 2006.

    What that guy HAS done is, in 2007, insert himself into a very high profile doping case entirely unrelated to his own, in the name of (and this is a direct quote): “helping the next generation of cyclists understand they have a choice”. At that exact moment in time, he was actively making income by selling drugs to cyclists.

    Now—after doing nothing but wait to get sentenced for the past two years—CN runs an article on him calling him an “anti-doping advocate”. To my knowledge, all he’s done is cooperate with authorities after being caught breaking the law and talk about doping with the media. As someone who’s worked for and with a variety of advocacy organizations, that hardly fits the definition of the term.

  7. Stilo84 17 November 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    uhhmm who is that guy?

  8. Anonymous 8 December 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    Wait a second. They guy is giving the rest of us as clean a look into the doping practices and behaviors of the pro peleton and he’s somehow irrelevant?

    While he’s by no means an anti-PED champion, and he’s clearly in the wrong for taking/selling PED’s, it doesn’t mean he’s not of use in the fight against doping. He’s suffered plenty, and continues to bear the punishments of his misdeeds.

    Tyler Hamilton, Basso and others are figures to be admired, but somehow this guy is scum.

  9. Larry T. 9 December 2011 at 11:16 am #

    “He has shown many times that his thirst for the spotlight outstrips his desire to do good, and if he can have the first without the second, he’ll do it in a heartbeat.”
    I thought “THAT GUY” was the fellow from Texas. He’s someone I’d not care to read about unless it’s actual news like an indictment or even a decision to not file charges against him and his alleged confederates. I found the cyclingnews article on the “THAT GUY” you describe to be rather interesting. Sure, he’s a flawed character but he’s doing far more to illuminate doping practices in sport than the fellow from Texas.

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