So, a man who could so deftly maneuver a racing bike through dozens of other spinning wheels, up and over mountains, through rain and sun and cold suddenly can't drive an SUV down the street without plowing into parked cars.
That's just how mightily one-time American hero Lance Armstrong has fallen.
But it's worse than that really. After Armstrong reportedly rammed his GMC Yukon into a couple of parked cars after a recent night of partying in Aspen, Colo., he threw his longtime girlfriend, Anna Hansen, under the bus to avoid being in the crosshairs of another national scandal.
Oh, Lance. You were so much once our hero.
You put a face -- a superstar face -- on cancer victims. Those plastic Livestrong bracelets were all the rage. Everyone had one, from senior citizens down to little kids.
You were a big hero to men of a certain age, a man who not only overcame perhaps the medical predicament men fear most but lived to prosper and win seven straight Tour de France titles. You even made following bicycle racing suddenly fashionable.
You were dating Sheryl Crowe for goodness sake. "All I wanna do ..." Yay, her.
We believed you again and again when others hinted that your titles were tainted by performance-enhancing drugs. You denied it more vehemently than Bill Clinton disavowing carnal knowledge. We believed.
But in the end you were a liar. And a cheat. And a phony.
And now just a pitiful shell of a fallen hero who lets his girlfriend take the blame when he apparently drinks too much and can't drive straight.
Authorities now even say after Armstrong originally let Hansen tell the damaged car owners she was driving, the couple left the scene before police arrived.
From winner to loser in no uncertain terms.
And so similar to the rise and fall of Sammy Sosa. Hero to villain.
You remember how Sammy and Mark McGwire saved baseball with their 1998 home run chase.
Then came whispers of steroid use. Sammy broke a bat and cork flew out. Called in front of Senate hearings on steroid use, Sosa suddenly lost his ability to speak English, even though he spoke perfectly well in a series of Pepsi commercials in Chicago.
And finally Sammy left Wrigley Field even as the rest of the Chicago Cubs played out their last game of the season. He has never been welcome to return.
Funny thing about us American men. We like our heroes to be real heroes.
Sorry, Lance, you can pedal a bicycle but you can't peddle phony any more.