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Riad Sattouf (1) vs. Lance Armstrong; Bruce Springsteen advances

Best comment yesterday came from Jan:

Now we have opportunity to see in the next round whether Julia is really that much better than Python!

But that doesn’t resolve anything! So to pick a winner we’ll have to go with Tom:

Python foresaw the replication crisis with their scientific method of proving someone is a witch but I fear that they would have to resort to talking about how they used to be funny. Springsteen could just bring a guitar and start playing – the only difficulty being that if you had something booked afterwards you might be a little late. Hmmm, not a particularly witty comment but still – onwards with Springsteen.

Today it’s the top-seeded person whose name ends in f, versus an unseeded GOAT. Sattouf is hilarious—but Lance does have a statistical principle named after him. So who should advance to the third round?

Again, here’s the bracket and here are the rules.


  1. zbicyclist says:

    We’re not going to get anything useful from Lance about the statistical principle named after him. He doesn’t like to talk about either his glory days or about his drugging techniques. Sounds boring.

    Sattouf does not sound boring, even if all he does is show outtakes from his award-winning film Les Beaux Gosses (The French Kissers).

  2. Rick G says:

    There is an obvious connection between Armstrong and all the villains of the reproducibility crisis. Their strategy is deny, deny, deny, because everyone else is cheating, so how can I get my [ TED talk / Tour de France win ] if I don’t do it, too? But since Armstrong is on the other side of this now, and has been for years, he could give the insider perspective on the fall from grace. That’s something we’re still not going to get from a certain Cornell food researcher, not for at least another decade. Plus, at least Armstrong was really, really good at what he did even without the cheating. It’s like if Ed Witten was a central villain in the reproducibility crisis!

  3. Daniel Greenia says:

    If Armstrong moves on – and ultimately wins – we’ll have to nervously wait 15 years to see if he recants his victory seminar.

  4. Dalton says:

    Lance Armstrong isn’t even a GOAT. Did he cheat to get included on the list at the expense of Eddy Merckx?

    If there a was a Notable Cheaters category (which if there is next round, there most definitely should be. It’ll be even better if you rehash the Eaters category, and include a Cheetah category), he’d be golden. As for this round: cheaters never win, winners never cheat.


    Chester [1] (from Cheetos fame)
    Cheetara [2] (of the Thundercats)
    The Cheetah [3] (Wonder Woman villan)
    Officer Benjamin Clawhauser [4] (Zootopia)
    Duma (Disney film of the same name)
    Eddy Merckx (Dude was fast!)
    Cheetah the chimpanzee (“actor” from the Tarzan films of the 30s)
    Cheetah (Boston Dynamics creepy death robot)

  5. Manuel says:

    Now that Wansink has a lot of spare time, who wants to hear Lance? Give Wansink a wild card and suddenly we will have someone who can really compete with the Tsunami guy in the final! Alternatively, you could give the wild card to Richard Nixon, I guess he would deliver the “I’m not a crook” much more convincingly than Armstrong. Or I guess you could advance Sattouf as default, just to keep the f’s going.

  6. Dzhaughn says:

    “But that doesn’t resolve anything!” No? Sssssooo…. Sssssssssssome would sssssssugesssst ssssssome ssssssssubtle motivesssssss behind the asssssseessssssmentsssssss. Sssssssomething ssssssssubliminable? [sssssssic] Or even sssssslightly ssssssssinisssssster, menaccccccccccccing? I ssssshouldn’t ssssssssssay sssssssssso, not sssssssssso ssssssoooooon. Jussssssst ssssssssaying….

  7. Jonathan (another one) says:

    As the unreliable narrator is now a hackneyed trope, the unreliable seminar speaker moves to the fore.

  8. J Storrs Hall says:

    Since this is in New York, I don’t think Sattouf would be very sexy.
    But he advances anyway, because Armstrong doesn’t have the balls to beat him.

  9. I notice that most of the comments are about Armstrong, and most of these refer to cheating or ethics of some sort. But Riad Sattouf would have this topic covered as well: In Volume 3 of the brilliant “The Arab of the Future,” we find Sattouf’s father as a university professor in Syria, where bribery and corruption are on full display. Everyone knows about doping in cycling. With Sattouf, we’d hear new sorts of stories.

  10. Tom says:

    As this competition advances, there must be a finite probability that one of the competitors will actually appear on these comments. Or even, be told that they might be asked to give a seminar at Columbia. So – the question you have to ask is which one of these people do you want on the other end of the phone asking what their speaker fee would be? Do you really want the Armstrong lawyers on this one?

  11. yyw says:

    Armstrong would provide unique perspective on what prior to use when estimating the probability that a GOAT is a cheater.

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