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Revisiting "Dodgeball"
Published on January 28, 2013 by Sara Foss

The 2004 film "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story" is one of my favorite comedies, and I decided to revisit it after Lance Armstrong confessed to doping in an interview with Oprah.

Armstrong, as fans of the film no doubt recall, has a small but pivotal cameo in the film: Peter LeFleur has just taken a bribe from rival gym owner White Goodman and abandoned his dodgeball team, who are getting ready to compete in the championship. He's sitting at a bar when Armstrong introduces himself, and says he's a big fan of LeFleur's dodgeball team; Fleur says he's quitting dodgeball. Here's how the rest of the conversation goes:

Armstrong: Quit? You know, once I was thinking about quitting when I was diagnosed with brain, lung and testicular cancer, all at the same time. But with the love and support of my friends and family, I got back on the bike and I won the Tour de France five times in a row. But I'm sure you have a good reason to quit. So what are you dying from that's keeping you from the finals?

Peter LeFleur: Right now it feels a little bit like... shame.

Armstrong: Well, I guess if a person never quit when the going got tough, they wouldn't have anything to regret for the rest of their life. But good luck to you Peter. I'm sure this decision won't haunt you forever. 

This exchange is just as hilarious as I remembered. Lance is very funny, and the fact that he's since been exposed as a liar and a cheat doesn't detract from the scene one bit, though it may add a layer or two of subtext. In fact, Lance's participation in this movie actually makes me like him a little bit better. He might have been stripped of his Tour titles, but he'll always have this great scene in "Dodgeball" to be proud of and show his kids.

The rest of the movie also holds up pretty well. After we watched it, my dad proclaimed it "one of the best movies about sports ever," which sounds hyperbolic, but might actually be true. Those scenes where Rip Torn flings wrenches at the dodgeball team and screams, "If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!" never stop being funny.

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