Outside magazine has the story of temporary 2006 Tour de France champion Floyd Landis and his anti-Lance-Armstrong Tweeting collective. Right now, they're holding court at @GreyManrod.
Grey Manrod would be a silly fake name, but the truth is even stranger than that: Landis set Grey Manrod up as a fake law firm. According to the phony firm's website, Grey Manrod has offices in New York, Baghdad, and Djibouti, and focuses on "Vegetable Rights Abuse Advocacy and Pronunciation Mediation," among other areas of interest. There's a brief mention of Tyler Hamilton's 60 Minutes interview on the site.
Landis says the Grey Manrod persona and Twitter account tries to combat a myth-making mission by Armstrong's people, that it's spreading the good word.
But here's Outside's take on Landis's ostensibly harmless fun:
That's the high-minded explanation, anyway. Down on the low road, it's obvious that @GreyManrod-a handle Landis says he shares with about ten other people-simply likes giving Armstrong a hard time. For example, after Armstrong's recent run-in with Hamilton in an Aspen bistro, Manrod poured fuel on the fire, tweeting and retweeting rapid-fire insults. "He's practicing being in peoples faces to protect his backside to prep for prison," said one of the messages. Another, a retweet, observed: "Soon Jeff Noviztky [sic], a ‘Good Friend' of @Ty_Hamilton is going to toss @lancearmstrong out of the bistro called freedom."
It's tempting to write this stuff off as mere towel-snapping by a disgruntled jock and his online pals, but Landis's cyber-heckling could seriously backfire, particularly if he's called upon to testify in court. Reportedly, Landis is a plaintiff in a federal whistle-blower lawsuit filed against Armstrong and his former U.S. Postal teammates, and he's a potential witness for the government should a current grand jury investigation of Armstrong result in fraud or perjury charges. (The inquiry began shortly after Landis accused Armstrong of cheating in 2010, allegations that were made public after The Wall Street Journal obtained a letter Landis had written to cycling's governing body, the International Cycling Union. Armstrong has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing.) Landis also says he's the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation into fundraising activities by his Floyd Fairness Fund.
With litigation on the table, leaving a trail of hostile tweets might not be the brightest idea.
We concur, but we'll laugh along anyway.
The Twitter War On Lance Armstrong [Outside]