I stand by my position that Lance Armstrong was not ready for the interview.
He might have been "prepared" from a public relations standpoint, but he is not there personally -- in my opinion.
The observation that best supports my position is that Armstrong is still mad at himself for coming out of retirement. Not because he was unable to compete the way he had during his performance-enhanced yellow jersey days, but because he might not have been caught.
At various points during the interview it seemed that he was still more bitter about getting busted than we was angry at himself for cheating.
It has been my view that the beleaguered cyclist must speak personally to some of the people he harmed. At one point he suggested that he attempted to speak to a few people before the interview, including Emma O'Reilly, his former masseuse.
Betsy Andreu, the outspoken wife of Frankie Andrea and former friend of Armstrong, told Sports Illustrated that Lance contacted her Sunday to offer an apology. The two reportedly spoke for half an hour.
She seems willing to forgive her husband's former teammate and compatriot, "healing and forgiveness is a process, it's not a switch that you flip. It takes a long time."
In a previous piece I described Lance as "one of the biggest control freaks in history." It came out in the interview time and time again. I'm pretty sure that he wishes that forgiveness could be switched on.
Armstrong did a few things well in Part One.
For one he did a good job of keeping the discussion focused on him. When Oprah tried to bring in other people, other cyclists, or the sport itself, he sheepishly acknowledged his lack of credibility on the issue and stated that he preferred to speak only about himself.
His tone was measured -- he avoided a meltdown or emotional outburst -- though I know some would have preferred this, even if only for the fact that it makes for better entertainment.
As I said, saying he's sorry is the easy part. Discussing what's next will be tough and it's what I hope to see more of tonight.
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