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Lance Armstrong Does An Elway Exit

Lance Armstrong, unofficial American cultural ambassador and potential future governor of the state of Texas, won his seventh and final Tour de France (registration required). His victory last year tied the performance of previous greats like Jacques Anquetil, a Frenchman; Eddy Merckx, a Belgian; Bernard "The Badger" Hinault, another Frenchman; and Miguel Indurain, a Spaniard. But by adding a seventh victory, Armstrong has done what few athletes have done. "Elway Exit" apparently means "one who leaves at the top of his/her game". (It has absolutely nothing to do with the number '7' - which is coincidentally both the number of Armstrong Tour de France victories and the number of former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway.)

I didn't coin the term - credit goes to Daniel Ritchie, former chancellor of the University of Denver, who was the first to use the term "Elway Exit" in an interview which appeared in the June 27 Denver Post. Maybe Jim Saccomano, Denver Broncos media relations guru, or Kathy Hatch, longtime Elway assistant, might be helpful in determining the term's origins. After all, a media- and sports-obsessed blogosphere continually adds new words to the zeitgeist. "Blog"? "Podcast"? Why not look to sports for other highly descriptive terms? Like ...

Camby v. To reach things at will – grabbing some, swatting others away. As in, "You ever see Clinton work a cocktail party? He could Camby like nobody's business." (Marcus Camby, Denver Nuggets)

Ginobili adj. Dexterous, deft, versatile. As in, "Jeffrey Wright's performance in 'Angels in America' was perhaps the most Ginobili turn by any working actor in the last 10 years." (Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs)

Posey v. To vanish off the face of the earth. As in, "Alice doesn't live here anymore; she Posied." (James Posey, Memphis Grizzlies)

Thanks, ESPN!!

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