The Spokesmen #86 – On A Pedestal

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11 comments to The Spokesmen #86 – On A Pedestal

  • Mike Krogh

    The podcast is good, but if you can’t get people to get to a real landline with real connection, cut them off the podcast for the week. What good does a broken cell/Skype call and seconds of dead air do for anyone?
    And turn off the bloopy bleep noises. Just a little professional production quality would make this excellent instead of just good with a lot of annoying quirks.

  • Mike,

    Thanks for your comment and for listening to The Spokesmen. The show has always been done via Skype and has never featured anyone on land lines. This is simply the best way to produce a show like this, so we are at the mercy of wonky connections and other well-known limitations of the technology. Until we find something better, this is what we’ve got. Despite that, I do hope you’ll keep listening.


  • dino flintstone

    Hi David , as a listener the past 2 years i decided to listen to all your past podcast. From 2006 to the present day. Its been great to listen to the show and hear it evolve in to the show you have today. Awesome .
    In regards to your last 2 shows all i can say is…….kudos to. You. They have been fantastic.
    Keep up the great work.
    Ps one hour is never enough .

  • Kevin

    Great episode. But I’ll take the comment that things will change only when the sponsors writing the checks are accountable, two steps further. What about the media that’s followed (and made money) off professional cycling all these years, even when they knew that there was rampant doping and corruption? One step further, what about the fans that look for that ‘Lance moment’ and the ‘look at Ulrich’ in the 2001 Tour and then lament about it being a ‘boring tour’ when those moments of super-human (i.e. dope induced) moments aren’t happening.

    I’m 49 years old and have been an avid cycling fan and citizen racer for the better part of 30 of those years. My bubble burst somewhere about 2 years into following professional cycling. Talk of doping across the field is nothing new. In fact, guys I raced with in the citizen field were using banned substances up the wazoo for heaven sake! But we all continued to watch, idolize and most importantly, made purchase decisions based on what was marketed. I guess we all just took it as a level playing field (however that field was leveled) and buried our heads.

    What would have happened if the fans had en-masse turned off the tour? What if Paul / Phil had refused to commentate until the UCI corruption was cleared up? What if media just refused to report on the ‘glory’ moments and instead focus solely on the improbability of the super-human field splintering that happened in the most ‘exciting’ tours? But none of these things happened. Instead we provided some sacrificial lambs and the rest of the field breathed a sigh of relief, changed tactics and moved forward.

    And I disagree with the morally high ground statements made about, ‘well – if I was a rider’ – c’mon. I mean, yeah, I never took any performance enhancing substance in all the years I’ve raced – but I can’t claim the high ground because I didn’t have a lot riding on whether I crushed the Tuesday night TT. But I suspect none of us ever had to make such a hard decision in our 20’s that would affect 100% of our livelihoods. And then once in their 30’s – the hole was already dug and there was more than just their egos depending on whether they kept winning. Sure, most of us make moral decisions every day, and some of those decisions cost us here and there – but our overall livelihoods still persist. Who was #20 in the 2001 tour? Who were the up and coming racers in 2003 that turned away from professional cycling because of the doping? Exactly. Those guys never even made a dent.
    The problem I have with USADA right now is the focus on what happened years ago, solely to vindicate the fact that money and power trumped what was ‘just’. But the truth is that we fans were ‘ok’ with it – otherwise we wouldn’t have watched, wouldn’t have read Velo News religiously and wouldn’t have bought the products.

    To this end, I especially liked the amnesty approach suggested. If we REALLY want cycling to be clean, then let’s send the message as fans by accepting that our heroes were doping and that we were ALL guilty through the years – even if our crime was complacency. And we did it because we were entertained. The negative backlash to USADA isn’t because of the LA PR machine. It’s because as fans we’re saying, ‘Duhhh – yeah. We already KNOW this. Tell us how you’re going to REALLY change things and we’ll care’

    Let’s instead focus on the here and now and see how far that rabbit hole goes while granting some leniency to the guys that maybe have one or two more years to make a living for their families (so long as they do it cleanly).

    This is about whether we REALLY want CLEAN racing and whether we are ok with the fact that a clean tour will most likely be more about executing to a solid plan over those 23 days in July, the than drama-fueled ‘looks and moments’.

  • Kevin

    Regarding the sound quality – yeah, it’s annoying. But you guys produce a very entertaining podcast, and it’s free.

    I’m sure you guys are always looking for how to improve things, but also need to manage costs (which can be quite expensive when hosting an international panel calling in from all over the planet).

    And land lines? Do those still exist? 😉

  • Rich Kelly


    I could go along with your frustration on USADA’s “focusing on the past” if so many of those that they are targeting were not still heavily involved in day-to-day running of current pro cycling teams and organizations like Lance (team owner) and Bruyneel (team director) are.

    The truth is vastly more important than any potential punishment if they were to be found guilty, in my opinion. You need to know the truth about what happened to be able to fix it. If the same people under suspicion are still involved and still hiding the truth, how can we expect things to improve or even change?


  • Kevin


    Point taken – let me clarify. When I say focusing on the past, I was talking about ‘activities’, not people. Certainly if there are people today that are STILL participating in a culture of doping, then absolutely they should be pursued.

    My point was that if someone had ‘reformed’ then let’s not focus on their past. Let’s instead focus all of our energy on what they are doing today – and by ‘today’, I mean the last 2-3 years.


  • DonB


    Love your discussions. With regard to the quality, and with all due respect to the tireless work you put in, I would differ from you stating it is “simply the best way to produce a show like this.”

    I’m not complaining. I think the quality is tolerable. I don’t mind if you continue to produce the show the same way. Content is what matters. BUT if you want to improve the sound quality, the way hi-tech podcasters are doing it with Skype is to do the show live through Skype, and at the same time have each participant record themselves locally. Then, when the show in done, each participants will send (email/ftp/etc…) their locally recorded sound file to the producer who will line up, and clean up the tracks in post production.

    I realize that would be an extra few hours of work for each show, and again, I don’t expect it. I just wanted to let you know that there are ways to improve the quality. OTOH, if you want to give it a try, let me know. I’d be happy to help.


  • Don,

    We used to produce The Spokesmen as a “double ender,” with all of the participants sending me their outgoing audio so that I could put it all back together in post-production. To be honest, the amount of time involved (usually on weekends – i.e. family time) was more than I could afford. Skype has also improved over the years and has made it unnecessary (usually) to keep doing double enders. In this case, however, I think we just had more people on than Skype could adequately handle with each of our home Internet connections.

    As you know, we produce The Spokesmen just as if we were sitting around after a ride at a coffee house or bar, so we accept some noise. Over the years you’ve heard dogs, babies, blenders, and even DMV staffers. I do try to keep the extraneous and distracting noise to a minimum, but sometimes we exceed the standards of our listeners. Also, when we have more than about 5 total participants I find that Skype tends to throw us more curves than usual. The other thing that gets us sometimes is that our participants’ computers don’t cooperate with Skype, but their iPhones do. This enables more wandering into noisy environments.

    I will try to be increase my vigilance about noise and the number of participants on the line to try to keep the noise to a minimum.

    Thanks for your comment!


  • Randy

    Great podcast! I always look forward to it.
    I am sad for the riders who should be racing professionally, and in the Tour, but are not (were not) because they would not dope. We never got to see them race.
    Secondly, why did it take so long for all this to come out?

  • Arpinate Fox

    Moss’ accent is “chewin’ a mouthful of steak and eggs!” :0

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