I'm having a hard time trusting anyone these days, and it's only partially due to election-season fatigue. More recently, a couple of high-profile athletes have bombed the John Q. Public lie detector test.
One is Manti Te'o, the Notre Dame linebacker who says he was duped into believing a girlfriend he met online had died. Apparently she never existed; it was a hoax perpetrated by a friend of Te'o, or maybe Te'o himself.
While details are fuzzy, one thing is obvious: Someone was lying.
Then there's Lance Armstrong's admission — after more than a decade of denial — that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France seven times.
This has discouraged but not deterred me from seeking the truth. In fact, it has motivated me. In my research, I've discovered some shocking facts on other enduring sports tales.
Now the truth can be told.
I'm not just calling him out for claiming to have had 20,000 lovers. I'm also saying he didn't score 100 points in a game.
Wilt did score 100, but it was in a pinball game a few hours beforehand. He rang up just 19 on the basketball court, according to my sources.
As for the girlfriends, do the math.
Seriously. You think this guy averaged a triple-double during an entire NBA season?
This story was advanced by a reporter who asked the Big O what kind of burger he preferred and Robertson said, "Triple-double, every day, all season long."
Next thing you know, it was in the papers: "Big O averages triple-double!"
The Magic Man didn't really play every position during the 1980 NBA Finals. In fact, he had failed to memorize the Lakers' plays. Hence, he was running all over the court, holding up his hands and shouting, "I'm open! I'm open!" like a rec-league player.
It's a little-known fact that Magic didn't play every position; he played no position.
Basketball's best player didn't score 38 points in the 1997 NBA Finals while nursing a 103-degree fever. Well, yes he did. He racked up 38 points — but that fever?
Blame it on the Kung Pao chicken he had for his pregame meal. The stage was set.
No, the Iron Horse of the Yankees did not retire due to Lou Gehrig's disease. He retired due to Getting Too Old for Baseball disease. The man was 36 when he hung 'em up.
He also didn't say, "I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth." He said, "My hip hurts and I can't hit the curve anymore."
There was a terrible echo on the loudspeaker system that day.
The Bambino never did point out a place in the stands and then drive a home run into the same spot. My research shows Ruth was actually gesturing to get a hot dog from a vendor in the centerfield stands.
Most fans believe Aaron became the game's all-time home run leader when he hit No. 715 on April 8, 1974. Not true. That was fabricated by the people who produced "Capricorn One," a film about a fake space landing.
Aaron actually hit only 410 home runs. The rest were just counted by Bud Selig as he watched reruns on ESPN Classic.
Gibson did indeed smack a pinch-hit home run to win Game 1 of the 1988 World Series for the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, it wasn't an injury that caused him to limp around the bases to home plate.
In reality, Gibson's leg had gone to sleep while he sat dozing in the dugout.
Contrary to popular opinion, Hillary is not the first man to summit Mount Everest. Sources tell me all that hoo-ha was just the result of a few photos he took for a Coors Light commercial with a mountain in the background.
Never happened. At least not the way it has been portrayed in the media.
The actual phrase was "Miracle with Ice." The Coke dispenser in the media center had run out of ice and an unknown American named Mike Eruzione was dispatched to 7-Eleven to get a replacement bag. By the time he got back, the story was epic.
The man didn't have a bad leg when he came out for Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals. If you look at the film, it's obvious he was suffering not from a torn muscle, but from short-shorts syndrome.
Those things can really make a person walk funny.