A sports radio personality here in the New York area used to use the phrase “Root for the laundry.” When he used this term, he was referring to the aftermath of recent changes in the ability for athletes to sign with other teams within the professional leagues here in the US. Most notably, football and baseball. The consequence of this is fewer kids grew up rooting for their favorite player on a team. They just supported the team since the players who wore the uniforms changed too frequently. Therefore, rooting for the uniforms or “laundry.”
Are we coming to a similar place in cycling, albeit from a different route? Will we be rooting for the jerseys? If you have not had a hero suspected of doping recently then you are a rare breed. It seems that it is getting too risky to become emotionally attached to a rider these days. Would it be better to support CSC rather than Ivan Basso? Think Phonak. First Tyler Hamilton requires us to watch as he goes through the whole process. Floyd Landis seems perched to take us on another emotional roller coaster. Wouldn’t it be easier to yell for the green and white jerseys of Phonak? With the new helmet rules, you really can’t tell the difference anymore.
This way, riders are replaceable. If they get into trouble, give the jersey to another man. Just a thought.