The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 17, 2013

Mike Pound: Lance makes everything right on Oprah

By Mike Pound

— I didn’t get a chance to watch Lance Armstrong’s “confession” Thursday night on TV.

As I type this, that “confession” hasn’t aired, but I know that I won’t get a chance to watch it because Lance is “confessing” to Oprah Winfrey on her own personal network.

That’s right. Oprah has her own television network.

Why does Oprah have her own television network? Duh! Because she’s Oprah.

I used to make fun of Oprah, but I don’t anymore because I think she can have me killed. I don’t know that for a fact, but a woman who can give new cars to an entire studio audience can probably have a mediocre newspaper columnist killed.

Heck, my wife would probably help.

The other reason I don’t make fun of Oprah is because David Letterman likes her.

For years, David and Oprah had sort of a tense relationship. It mainly had to do with the fact that David used to make merciless fun of Oprah on his TV show. I remember David making a joke years ago about Oprah’s weight loss that was so funny, yet so mean, I was surprised he didn’t get tossed off the air.

But now David and Oprah get along, and if David likes Oprah, that’s good enough for me.

Sadly, though, our cable company doesn’t carry her network. At least I don’t think it does because even if I like Oprah, I can’t think of anything that would be on her network that I would be interested in watching. But I’m pretty sure our cable company doesn’t carry Oprah’s network because if it did, my wife and our 14-year-old daughter, Emma, would watch it all the time.

But back to Lance. From what I’ve read, Lance admitted to Oprah that, despite years of adamant denials, he had been cheating in the sport of bicycle racing. I know what you’re thinking: “Wait. Bicycle racing is a sport?”

For years people have been claiming that Lance used performance-enhancing drugs, and for years Lance denied those claims. He didn’t just deny them; he made a big deal about denying them. He claimed that he was able to ride his bike up and down the hills of Spain and France faster than anyone else because he worked harder than anyone else. Along the way Lance, a cancer survivor, also inspired millions and millions of people through his Livestrong charitable foundation.

Lance, through his fame as a bicycle racer, did a lot of good things.

Well, except the part about lying about not cheating and thereby letting millions of people down. But, hey, that’s just splitting hairs.

Now, after years of lying, Lance gets to come clean on a big stage. And let’s face it, there is no bigger stage than Oprah’s.

See, that’s the difference between famous people and people like us. When famous people do something dumb, they get to make a big-time apology. The rest of us have to make do with a half sincere “I’m sorry” to our spouses.

Since I didn’t get to see Lance’s apology on Oprah’s television network, I’m not sure what he said. But I’m pretty sure there were tears involved, and at some point Oprah gave Lance that look she gets when she is disappointed in someone. Then, at the end of the apology, I’m sure Oprah gave Lance the Oprah seal of approval, and before you know it, everything is right with the world again.

After that, I bet Oprah gave Lance a new car.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.