Pants on fire!
Add Floyd Landis to the list. Another athlete who swore up and down that he did nothing wrong, how he was being wrongly accused, that he was clean. Then comes the admission -- yep, you got me, I lied, I cheated, sorry. In some ways, the cover-up based on lies is more offensive than the original crime. Because now when an athlete denies doing something wrong, the public can't help but roll eyes and say, "Yeah, right, sure you didn't.'' After all, we have history telling us we shouldn't believe anyone any more. Here's some of that history.
The 2006 Tour de France winner was stripped of his crown because he failed a drug test. Still, Landis kicked, screamed and mounted appeals with a legal team with law degrees and nice suits and everything to get back his crown. Now, four years later, he admits that he did take drugs to help his performance. And if four years of lies don't convince you he's a weasel, now he's throwing others (most notably Lance Armstrong) under the bus. Hey, Floyd, just go away now. Your 15 minutes are up.
When baseball's former single-season home run king appeared before Congress in 2005, he didn't technically lie because he kept saying he was not there to "talk about the past.'' He finally admitted in January that he did use steroids during his career. Then he blew it by adding that he took them for health reasons and that they didn't improve his game. Somehow many Cardinals fans believe him and find him a hero. Another words comes to mind: cheater.
"I have never used steroids. Period.'' That's what the baseball slugger said while wagging his finger at Congress. Perhaps, Palmeiro’s definition of "period'' is different from my definition. My definition means "end of sentence.'' Palmeiro's definition apparently is "except on the occasions when I did take performance-enhancing drugs'' as a failed drug test later proved.
This one crushed us because we actually did believe the U.S. track star when she angrily denied using steroids after winning three gold medals at the 2000 Olympics. It wasn't until she was facing jail time for perjury that she 'fessed up and gave a tearful admission. When we saw the tears, did we feel sympathy? No, more like we were punched in the gut.
Dogfighting? Not me. On my Virginia property? I never go to that property. I was the ring-leader? No, no, that's my cousin who lives there. My crime? Not knowing what my family was doing there. What do I plead? Not guilty, your honor. What's that? You have others testifying against me? You have proof? Did I say not guilty? I meant to say "guilty.'' Can I get that prison uniform in another color besides orange?
For 14 years, even after facing a mountain of evidence uncovered in baseball's investigation, Rose denied at every turn that he ever bet on baseball. Finally, in 2004, he gave in and admitted his wrongdoing. Interesting that his admission coincided with the release of his book. That took Rose from "liar'' to "sleazy liar.''
There are plenty of others. Former Blue Jays manager Tim Johnson told his team he served in Vietnam, George O'Leary lied on his resume about his education, Nick Saban swore he wasn't going to Alabama. Feel free to add your memorable liars to the list.