So it's time this site went first class. And to that end, I am introducing the latest in Podium Cafe trademarked concepts:
Here's the idea: Each day or so, as information comes on line, we will use the Dope-O-Meter to track who is winning the colossal struggle to save the sport of Cycling from doping. While the meter may not assign precise numerical values to forces as amorphous as doping or the sport's survival, the graphic will nonetheless give you a sense of where things are headed.
Here's an example: today there were stories about how Jan Ullrich is being blackballed out of the Pro Tour because of his Operacion Puerto connections, and a look at Bjarne Riis's anti-doping program, one of the more proactive efforts around. So, assuming the two forces started the day in a dead heat and that there is no other negative news, the meter would show that Cycling has edged into the lead today over Doping.
Here's where you come in: I suck at making graphics. Okay? There, I said it. I hope you're happy. But out there in our community is a vast wealth of creative talent -- I know, I've seen it. Add to that the fact that anyone stuck at work in the next two weeks may be looking for something to pass the hours, and you've got...
The First or Second Annual Podium Cafe Doping-Related Graphics Design Championships!
Please, help me out and come up with a design that will grace these pages every day for the foreseeable future. The width possibilities are something like 150 for a sidebar version, or 350 for a post; the former would be preferred. Also, I would need a few different versions showing the different positions (cycling ahead, behind or tied), or perhaps a single image which is malleable enough for a late-Ape creature like me to manipulate safely.
The contest will go on until we have something nice, though at least until January 2. Winner gets the next pile of Cycling swag to come across my desk. And as always, many thanks!