Doping admissions, outings and life-time bans have hit in the past weeks, some with a big explosion some quietly. In his book, The Secret Race – Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs, Tyler Hamilton recounts his and his team’s years of doping.
“I think everybody who wants to judge dopers should think about it, just for a second,” Hamilton writes in his book. “You spend your life working to get to the brink of success, and then you are given a choice: either join in or quit and go home. What would you do?”
The same sentiment was repeated in Jonathan Vaughters‘ op/ed piece in the NY Times. In it he wrote, “And think about the talented athletes who did make the right choice and walked away. They were punished for following their moral compass and being left behind.”
American Adam Myerson was racing and trying to move up to the pro level in the United States at the same time. Doping wasn’t just in Europe and it impacted Myerson’s career. Myerson made the choice to race clean.
“Bike racing meant something to me and that’s why I never attempted to cheat to do it because the minute I did that I would have ruined this dream that I was pursuing.”
He retired at age 26.
Myerson, who returned to racing at the age of 30, is not shy about expressing his feelings via Twitter, including one ‘rant’ last Thursday. We caught up with Myerson on Friday evening to get his thoughts which we bring in their entirety recorded during a one-hour conversation.
Myerson wears many hats. Now 40 years old, the SmartStop-Mt Khakis rider races on the road and cross with and is the president and head coach of Cycle-Smart, Inc as well as managing UCI cross series in the USA.
What caused the rant yesterday (Thursday) on twitter?
Things are cascading right now and it just seems that every day there is bigger news. Yeah the Lance stuff is fine, that’s not something that those of us in the sport didn’t know about or maybe we didn’t know the details of how or the extent. But with Tyler’s book coming out, a lot of that stuff just corroborating the rumors about people that we’d always heard about, people who were on the outside, but then Vaughters’ editorial in the NY Times was important and then probably more important was his followup interview and that really struck me. I was grateful for it, maybe it has consequences to it but obviously it is stirring up a lot of things for me because I was trying to turn pro in this period, I actually lived through this and it is finding out how much it impacted me, more than I even thought that it did. So for me, it’s discovering things about my own life, that’s what it feels like, it’s hard to not feel personal. So when Vaughters on cyclingnews – through the forums and the article that followed – was actually speaking openly about Zabriskie, Vande Velde and Danielson, that for me was really big because here is a team director talking about his own riders openly and basically being supportive of them at the same time. But it was a degree of openness that we hadn’t encountered yet. It was a step over a line that no one had crossed yet, not Tyler, not Landis, no one had gone to that degree of openness. Again I really appreciated that from Vaughters. I might be criticized, I know that not everyone is happy with him, I consider myself a supporter of Vaughters in the way he is handling the current situation despite of having differences with the choices he originally made. I’m very strongly in support of the way he is trying to make amends now because of other people in that generation.
So what prompted the rant was thinking about how someone like Danielson comes to doping. And who his coach might have been at the time and what the rumors and suspicions were about that particular coach and other athletes who have tested positive who have worked with that coach. And the rumors and gossip that goes on, as well as the clean riders who work with that coach and that is what is difficult about it. You’d think there would be guilt by association but I know that’s not necessarily always the truth. So part of that was resonating along with the guys in that era saying they didn’t have a choice or that was just the way the game was being played at the time. All those things just finally added up because that wasn’t my experience and I started to think about all the circumstances I had where the other choice was clear and available. Then I started thinking about myself in a position of power as a coach where I had athletes who came to me, who for one reason or another felt open to doping, had also been told that that’s the way the game was played, and for one reason or another had come to accept and were prepared to take that step. How easy it was for me as a coach to, let’s say, rescue those athletes. And as a team manager now, as a captain, as a coach, we have a lot of power to change the sport and to influence the riders in the sport. So that frustrated me. If you are a coach you don’t have to be the one supplying the drugs to be guilty of continuing the system, if all you’re doing is enabling your athletes who are doping, if you know that they are doping, again you’ve accepted that that’s the way the game gets played, even if you’re just monitoring their health or whatever, you’re part of the problem. And there’s just no reason to do it, there’s just no reason to be part of the problem – no one needed to do any of this. So that frustration, over the course of a 100-mile bike ride and being in my own head for six hours, sometimes I just come home, Twitter is my digital diary and I had to write in my diary, basically.
I was reading that and I sensed anger, or maybe more bittersweet emotions after all the news that’s come out. What are you feeling? Like you said, it’s your life.
My feelings about it for me have been evolving. And one thing that is important is, I know we’re talking a lot about it now, but for me it’s not a crutch, it’s not an excuse, I’m not using it to say this is why I’m not a better racer. And I think sometimes it can sound that way or that maybe I’m using the fact that I’m clean to promote myself somehow and that’s just not the case. The case is, it happens to be what we’re talking about right now and I happened to have been in the middle of trying to be a pro bike racer in the time that all this was going down and so I have a lot of experience and I have a lot to say about it and people are interested. I don’t want people to get the wrong idea or to misrepresent myself; I’m not the only clean guy out there. Lots of riders from my generation did make other choices who are less vocal so I’m not alone out there, I just might be the one who has a bigger microphone let’s say, maybe I can speak for the group of us to some degree but really I’m just trying to speak for myself.
When Vaughters’ NY Times editorial came out, it was really crushing for me emotionally. It really was confirmation for me that the system had kind of been rigged and I was more naïve about it at the time than I could have imagined. That was hard to take because I dedicated so many years of my life to trying to get to a level of the sport that I ultimately decided that I wasn’t good enough to get to.
I was 26 when I decided to retire and it was 1998; my results were good, my performances were good, I had already shown that I was good enough to do it but for some reason…. I could list all the reasons and doping is just one of them. There were a lot of challenges to turning pro, doping wasn’t the only one, it really was just one of them. Think about that now, retiring at 26, just about the year that it was – it was 1998 – that was my last year, think about everything that was going on in 1998. But I was wrong about being not good enough and doping was certainly part of that. So the more news that comes out, both the worse I felt about it and also the better I felt about it. I was a little bit reassured, that I was better than I thought I was and I was working against the system that was more rigged than I realized it was.
But the other continuum in terms of emotional response to the situation is that I feel so validated right now with the career that I did eventually get to have, that started when I was 30. In 2003, when Vaughters came back and raced that half a year on Prime Alliance as a pro in the US, that was the year that I finally turned pro, at 30. So that intersection, he talks about making 15 grand his first year as a pro in ’95 in Spain, I was making $5,000 a year as a criterium rider on Breakaway Courier Systems, I might have still been on Mengoni then, 1996 is when I started on Breakaway Courier Systems. I was making about five grand about racing crits in the US, clean. So, if I look at everybody’s situations now, what everybody’s lives look like now, I was able to show myself in the last decade that I was good enough to reach a level that I wanted, I’ve been a solid and moderately successful US pro criterium rider, it’s not a bad way to make a living racing bikes. And I was able to do it clean and I feel that I’ve been able to have an impact on the sport, but over the course of this past year, the response I’ve gotten from the public, the support, the re-enforcement, the thank yous, the appreciation, especially in the past week…. I’ve always known that I’ve made the right choices but now I feel that I’m actually being rewarded for it in a way that I never anticipated. This is where I wanted to end up and it blows me away that I actually did still end up here. (chuckles) “I had a career as a bike racer,” – I’m talking about it in the past tense, but I’m not done!
Let’s go back to 1998 and the years prior to that. Did you wake one day and say OMG all these people are doping? Was it gradual? How did it come in your sphere?
I don’t know when I first heard about doping or knew that there was doping. I feel like my first encounter with it was probably when I started going to Superweek. I guess the first time I went to Superweek I was 19, I was a first year senior. That’s where all these European riders who weren’t racing the Tour de France but were all on Tour de France level teams, like RMO and the smaller Spanish teams would come over and these guys would be out of their minds at the start lines. We didn’t know what pot Belge was at that point but we all knew what amphetamines where and it was pretty obvious who was on them. Guys with just their eyes bulging out their heads, running around crazy before the start, someone let me know, “oh that guy is lit up.”
And that’s where I started to learn the lingo too, that guy is “charged,” that guy is “lit up,” that guy has some “special preparation,” and there was a wink and a nod that went with it and I was like “whoa, really?” So I guess that’s when I first got exposed to it and realized that I was in bike races with people who were doping. And then just weird things would happen in races. Lots of people remember this one Superweek stage where Greg Oravetz and Dave Mann were about to lap the field in a Superweek criterium and then they announced drug testing during the race, and those guys quit the race from the front of the race. The two had pretty much lapped the field and they just stopped. That was really damning, I guess everybody understood why they stopped but at that point they weren’t necessarily testing randoms, they were only testing the podium so they were out of there. That was telling to me.
But where the door was opened to me I guess, you used to have to be only good enough to be offered drugs right? So when we talk about like oh you have to get to the European professional level before your first encountered doping or that’s how good you have to be before it’s worth taking drugs – Vaughters talks about it being the last two percent, and it’s not the last two percent for everybody. I had a lot of other limiters like I said other than doping. I had financial considerations and the fact that I also tried to go to college and I didn’t have family support. I could point to a lot of other challenges that I had to overcome and have that be why it took me a lot longer to get there than it did some other people, outside of doping. But when he talks about it being the last two percent, there were plenty of guys as we’re finding out more and more who were doping down at the level that I was at which was either to get that first contract or maybe simply try to make a living off of prize money on the US pro circuit. Guys like Alan McCormack who had been on big teams, had made a lot of money in the years previous but who were in the twilight of their career and didn’t have other employment opportunities, didn’t have an education but knew how the system worked and how to do what they needed to do to make money, so there were plenty of people doping in the US crit scene that I was racing in in the mid 90s and that’s where I first became exposed to it.
I was racing on a National Cycling League team with Alan McCormack and Steve Speaks, Gary Mulder, and those guys basically sat me down and told me what the story was. They told me what the deal was. The thing that Speaks specifically said to me was ‘I take recreational drugs, I take drugs to party, so why wouldn’t I also take drugs that would make me go faster? That’s just how it goes’. I just couldn’t believe it, these guys were my heroes, these guys were all 10 years older than me, that were teaching me the sport of bike racing at this point. I had a lot of mentors over the years but in this period, I think it was ‘94, these guys were guys that I really looked up to and they were going to show me how to race bikes. But Alan would come up to me, and this was when I think he was on Guiltless Gourmet, he was really living off his prize money, those guys were not getting paid and those guys really liked me, they took me under their wing and so Alan would come up to me, even though I was on a different USA Cycling team, and say “Oh Jazzy you have to follow the old man, I got a little special preparation, a little 20cc of special preparation.” I’d be like “why are you telling me that?!” I loved this guy. I idolized this guy. In his mind, he cared about me and wanted me to be successful so even though I wasn’t doping, and he, to be sure never offered it to me, he was letting me know that when we showed up to this $10,000 criterium, there wasn’t going to be testing, he was charged to the gills and he wanted me to know so that I could follow his attacks. If I wanted to be in the breakaway I should follow him because he was going to be in the breakaway and that’s how it would go. And I had this essentially secret knowledge of the doping he was doing, he was trying to allow me to benefit from it. Those guys never offered me anything, they just simply let me know this is what they were doing and it was clear that it was available to me whenever I was ready.
That’s a pretty tough thing, you’re young and these are the guys you idolized. How come you never did it (dope)?
For me it was really easy. And I know that other people think of themselves in that situation, think “I don’t know what I would do.” And I understand why they feel that way and it’s fair right? They don’t want to go back and condemn anyone for making that choice when they’re not sure what they would do in that situation. And if you look at my life at the time, when I got to college and lived in the dorms, the quality of my life improved. For the first time I lived in secure housing, where the electricity wouldn’t get turned off, where the phone always worked, where there was always food, those are the things that I didn’t always have growing up. So getting to college and putting myself through college actually improved my quality of living from where I had come from in high school and growing up. I was the first one to go and I was paying for it myself. But I also wanted to be a bike racer. And I had no safety net but I had no fear because I had never had a safety net. So it allowed me to do things like go away to Tucson for the winter to train after the semester was over with $250 in my pocket and no savings, $250 to my name and everything I had with me was all of my property in the world – because I had never known anything different, there was no risk there. I ended up getting a job working at the body piercing studio when I got to Tucson to make ends meet while I was trying to train for the new season. So that was what my life was like at the time.
Meanwhile the sport is really suffering in the 90s, good riders are racing for free in “pro” teams because there just wasn’t any sponsorship, the dollars were gone, the economy was bad. So if you weren’t on Coors Light or LA Sheriffs or eventually Saturn, eventually maybe Montgomery, there were usually only two paying pro teams at the time. A team like Shaklee; I got offers from Shaklee multiple years in a row to turn pro with them but always for free, there were zero dollars contract and I had a five grand contract as an amateur with Breakaway Courier Systems and from GS Mengoni before that. So I was going to have to take a pay cut to turn pro,and I really lived off of my prize money. So when these guys are telling me this is how it works and if you want to make more money essentially this is what you need to do, why wouldn’t I do that? I was a prime candidate for it.
Well for me the reason why I wouldn’t do it is because I never really raced bikes for the money. I was trying to make enough money off of it so that I could continue to do it, I had a dream that I was trying to achieve, but I could have just gone back to college. I knew I was intelligent enough and resourceful enough that I didn’t have to do it that way. Bike racing meant something to me and that’s why I never attempted to cheat to do it because the minute I did that I would have ruined this dream that I was pursuing. I knew perfectly well what the consequences of doping to get those results would have been. I would have sooner quite racing and gone back to riding my skateboard everyday where there were no contests, at least I wasn’t entering skateboard contests, that’s not why I rode my skateboard. A skateboard contest for me is a ridiculous concept, are you going to judge the guy that’s having the most fun? Does that guy win? The guy who feels the most alive while riding his skateboard, is that the guy that wins the contest? So that’s the spirit that I brought with me to bike racing. Even though obviously the guy across the finish line first was the winner and it matters and there is a competitive aspect to it; that wasn’t what drove me.
And what’s even bigger than that, at this point I’m coming from the punk scene into bike racing. The family support that I had, and where I got my moral code, sure it might have been being raised in a religious household, making all my sacraments, my dad was Jewish, my mom was Catholic, I went to church growing up, I made my confirmation, I made my first communion, things like that. But it was really from punk and in particular from Straight Edge. I was Straight Edge. So I had already made this commitment to not drinking, not doing drugs, I was a vegetarian already at this point and I was making all those choices for moral reasons. I was trying to live a life of integrity already, I had already picked that path, it had nothing to do with bike racing. So when those guys are telling me that they do party drugs so why wouldn’t they do performance enhancing drugs? I had exactly the opposite position, “hey man I don’t even do recreational drugs so why would I ever cheat to be successful at bike racing, that’s not why I’m here.” And so the choice was easy for me. Even if it was frustrating, even if I knew that I was limiting myself, I guess what I had convinced myself of at the time was if I race clean, I still believe that I’m talented enough to get a pro contract and race as a professional in the United States. At the time what we told ourselves was 90 percent of the guys in Europe were dirty and 90 percent of the guys in the US were clean. I no longer believe that ratio to be accurate based on what’s come out recently, I think it’s probably still 90 percent in Europe in that period but it was more like 50 percent in the US, there were way more guys, at least in my races, I don’t mean the sport as a whole, guys that were racing pro/1/2 national level in the US. It seems like it was 50 percent not 10 percent of guys who were actually doing something. I can’t believe the guys, peers of mine, friends of mine, guys that weren’t even that good, who’ve come out in the past couple of months and said the things that they were doing.
That story you just told me. Did you follow him (Alan McCormack) when he attacked? Did you somehow benefit from having teammates or friends that were doping?
It was a huge moral quandary because I knew that if I followed him and I benefited from being aware that he had an extra gear that I was benefiting from his doping. So in a sense it was a burden that he put on me by sharing that information with me, he created a moral crisis for me in terms of I’m not doping and this guy is so nice to me, this guy clearly cares about me but he’s cheating and I’m opposed to what he’s doing.
I say all the time, we know that nice guys dope. Tyler Hamilton, we’ve known each other since we were 16 years old, Tyler Hamilton is the nice guy that everybody thinks he is, nice guys dope, nice guys make bad choices, nice guys can be deluded or narcissistic or mentally ill or greedy or whatever. There is no correlation between… we thought that we could pick up a type back then, everybody knew that Gaggioli was dirty but his behavior also demonstrated that he was probably dirty. We were wrong, that’s bullshit. Again plenty of nice guys were doping.
So to answer your question, did I benefit from it? No not necessarily because it’s not that easy to cover an attack from a guy who is taking amphetamines. You don’t have that extra gear, he can attack 10 times and you can maybe follow half of them. Did he affect the races? Sure. Was I aware? Yes. Did my results improve because I was aware that he was doping? No it’s just not that simple. If something like that happened now, there would be a way to deal with it. USADA has a hotline, if I’m serious about stopping doping in the peloton, these days I feel that you would share that information. There was no way to do that back then, nor did it even occur to anybody, it was just something that we lived with. You were not obligated to do it but there didn’t seem to be any way to stop other people from doing it necessarily.
You’re still racing. You are a team captain, a coach, and lot of other hats. Is it better now? If it is, how much better is it?
In terms of how much cleaner?
Yes. And a lot of these guys that doped in the past are still racing but is it getter better?
It’s definitely getting better. Is it fixed? Of course not. Are the guys that were doping in the past still benefiting from the doping they did then, is part of the question that you asked? Yes.
That’s another one. After doping so many years, even if you stop, you benefited from being able to train while doped.
You’re benefiting from it in a whole different way. You’re benefiting yes because there was training that you were able to do, a level that you were able to reach that yes maybe you may not reach the same level but there is training that you completed, there are changes that your body went through and may make it easier to get back at that level more quickly. It also means that while you were doping, you got results and contracts and opportunities that clean riders didn’t get. And once you get into the system… let’s back up to the mid 90s where I was banging my head against the wall and simply could not yet pass the level I was at, I was getting results, again there were not a lot of teams to go to but at that point, I was probably making when I stopped close to $10,000 a year with prize money and everything just enough at that point to live. I was a 12K dreamer like the rest, I thought if I could just get paid a thousand bucks per month, I could get rid of all my other responsibilities and do the training that I needed to do and the 12 grand a year was what would allow me to use my physical potential. I realize that there is a lot more to it than that now, but that’s what we thought at the time.
If let’s say that I had doped in that period, enough to just break through and get that contract that I was trying to get; there were three separate times where I had a pro contract or I had an offer or got on a team that was going pro and something went wrong for one reason of another. But if any of those had panned out or let’s just say that I had, through doping, gotten the results that I needed to get onto that next tier of teams. Then once you’re in that pool, you’re looked after better, you’re getting a better salary, you’re doing better races, essentially you have the potential to get better just by default. When I stopped, I stopped because I couldn’t bump up out of that tier that I was stuck at, I banged my head against that ceiling for so many years, and in those last couple of years I stopped improving in the same rate I had been. The year that I quit was the first year that I didn’t improve from the year previously and I thought well shit, if this is as good as I’m going to get, this isn’t as good as I wanted to be and this isn’t good enough to continue. And that’s why I decided to stop. That year I was 26 was the first year that I wasn’t better that the year previous so that was it, I chased the dream for long enough and that was the answer that I needed and so I stopped.
So when you see these guys are on the big teams now, how did they get there? How did Danielson get rescued? We all know how talented Danielson was, winning all those NORBA nationals when he was a junior, if I recall he was undefeated on the NORBA circuit as a junior. You don’t do that without talent, no one is disputing his talent. He lost his way and was sort of re-discovered and put back on track but put back on track obviously in more ways than one. And so the opportunities that are presented to him now have come to those riders as a result to some of those choices. They got to a certain level clean and that showed how good they were, a lot of guys got to higher level clean than I did, those guys are better than me. I have to be clear about that, I never want to overstate what I thought my potential was. Lots and lots of guys went much further than I did clean so it’s not just about doping. But was the career that I thought I was capable of possible? Yes absolutely. And with a couple of lucky breaks or if things had just bounced a different way I might have still achieved it clean. But again, as I said earlier there were other limiters than just doping. But could I have had that career dirty? 100 percent. Especially someone like me who has a hematocrit in the high 30s, occasionally low 40s. The margin for improvement for someone like me, Vaughters talks about this, is huge. I’m someone that would have responded even more than someone who rides around naturally at 48 or 49 percent, I would have gotten even bigger benefit from it. When people say things like you can make a racehorse out of a mule, it turns out that you can to a certain degree. Some guys benefit more from doping than others. It’s not a level playing field. When everybody is doping it’s still not a level playing field.
What would you like to see moving forwards? Do you think a truth and reconciliation approach would work?
I do like the idea of a truth and reconciliation approach. I think that the thing you have to remember is that there is nothing special about cycling, there’s nothing extra-dirty about cycling. It’s still just people, we’re still just dealing with a bunch of people and cycling happens to be our field so that’s what we’re talking about. At the same time, if we were all involved in real estate or if we were all involved in finance, if we all part of a trade union and we were working in labor, we’d have to deal with the corruption and shortcuts people take in whatever the field is. Cycling sometimes has a bad reputation, I think – and I know that I’m preaching to the choir here – but we’re trying harder to clean up our area than they are in other fields. Is college football trying to solve its doping problem? No, no it’s not.
So a truth and reconciliation type of approach would, I think, be helpful because I think it would really help us understand what was happening, how to fix it. I know people don’t want to focus on the past but we can’t keep it from happening again if we don’t fully understand what was going on at the time. Again, also while I agree that people, including Vaughters, are in the positions that they’re in now because of the doping that they did in the past whether they were caught or not, the difference for me with someone like Vaughters is what are they going to do – not just about the confession, the confession is very helpful – what are you going to do to repair it? What are the reparations you are going to make to the sport in exchange for the success that you had in it as a result of the doping that you did? And one of the only people, I think, doing that openly right now is Vaughters. So criticize him all you want, Vaughters is fixing the problem that he previously contributed to, he might have been a part of it, he is clearly repairing it now and affecting change in the sport that means guys like Andrew Talansky will never face the choices that Vaughters did and that my whole generation did.
What about people that were outed but have not admitted anything, like Danielson and the others. And then you have coaches, trainers, DS, all these people that are still in the sport, they might not be doing anything now but they never came clean. Should they admit? It’s a complex situation.
Yeah. I do think there is a difference between doping done by a rider and people who enable the doping. I would need more time to think about this. My first reaction, is, if you were a coach in that period and you were enabling the doping, or supplying the products, you were a criminal. That’s criminal behavior and I don’t think those people should be allowed to remain in the sport.
One of the hardest problems I have even with Tyler’s situation is, he’s banned from the sport and according to the ban it’s supposed to include coaching. He’s not supposed to be involved as a manager, as a mechanic or as a coach as well as a rider. That doesn’t get enforced in the United States because you’re not required to get a coaching license in order to coach by your federation like you would be in a European country. You can coach without a USA Cycling coaching license. I don’t want Tyler to have a horrible life, more and more I’m thinking of all these people as human beings, I want people to heal from whatever damage they caused to themselves and others and find some kind of peace. From the outside, it looks like Tyler is arriving at that place and so I’m happy for that, I’m genuinely and sincerely happy for that, I don’t wish ill necessarily on any of them. I want people to be responsible. I think the spirit of Tyler’s ban means that he’s not supposed to be coaching and that’s how he’s currently making his living. You see how even now he is benefiting financially from the doping that he did in the past. Why is he someone that is qualified to offer people coaching advice? Well because he reached a high level in the sport and learned a lot about bike racing at that level. Well how did he get to that level? He got to that level through doping. So now he benefits still, he’s a sought after coach as a result of his experience that he had in cycling but he gained that experience through the doping that he did. So he’s not in my opinion honoring the spirit of the ban. (pause) And I have a problem with that obviously.
Fans are also impacted. Any time you see a performance that is amazing, you go ‘mmmm’ and that’s a bit of a shame.
Or something unbelievable. I’ve been watching the Vuelta and there’s been some unbelievable performances in the Vuelta and I have to take a deep breath. Even I have to take a deep breath and say wow that was unbelievable. When it’s unbelievable I’m not sure if I believe it. But even worse Lyne, if I’m out in a training ride right now, I pass a recreational rider who is riding at 16 mph, and I happen to be riding tempo and I go by them at 22 or 23 mph, I have the feeling now that I’m being judged. That that recreational rider is watching me, a professional, ride by them 10 mph faster than they are going and thinking to themselves “those assholes are all on drugs.”
I’ve heard it repeated often. All pro cyclists are on drugs.
We were at a cyclocross training race on Wednesday night at a city park and in this park, there’s a roller hockey rink in the middle of it that guys play bike polo. While we were doing our cyclocross race, we were heckled by the bike polo guys for being dopers. Of course, the bike polo guys are all getting high and drinking while they play bike polo so those guys are actually dopers and it didn’t feel like they were being funny. Why was that what they were heckling with? That really bummed me out. It’s impacting all of us.