WHEN The Examiner ran its Stars of the AFL series of interviews, one of the questions asked for each player's fact box was what was the latest book they had read.
It produced four interesting results. One was how many of them had recently read a book, two was Fraser Gehrig's selection (and extensive knowledge) of Mao's Last Dancer and three was Daniel Giansiracusa's gutsy admission that he had been enjoying his girlfriend's romance novel.
However, by far the most enlightening discovery was how many of the players named Lance Armstrong's life story It's Not About The Bike.
At a conservative estimate, it was about every second respondent.
Using that as a very lazy cross- section of elite sportsmen, just imagine how many now find themselves disillusioned with their chosen profession.
Perhaps as many as half. Or one in two. Maybe even 50 per cent.
The sad legacy of all this is how many of those performers - once inspired by this amazing story of someone conquering first one of the most debilitating illnesses known to man and then one of his toughest physical ordeals - have now lost faith in the system created to filter out such cheats.
Channel Seven's US-based correspondent Mike Amor said Armstrong's long overdue admission of guilt to Oprah Winfrey this week would surely make him the most despised man in world sport.
Big call that. But good news for Nick D'Arcy.
Maybe Armstrong's lead will be followed by similar admissions from other people who thought they had got away with it.
O.J. Simpson, Lord Lucan and Ratko Mladic all decide its a good time to fess up.
Of course it was handball, says Maradona.
It wasn't really a dodgy Spanish burger, confesses Contador.
OK, it was me who said "Can't bat, can't bowl", admits Warne.
Somehow I can't see it.
Part of society doubtless wants to applaud Armstrong for finally telling the truth, but a larger part still cannot forgive him for denying it for so long, and so aggressively and litigiously, in the face of such mounting evidence to the contrary.
For me, the standout question of Winfrey's chummy inquisition was the strangely worded but simplistically wonderful, "You were suing people and you know that they're telling the truth, what is that?"
Although Armstrong has finally admitted his wrongdoings on a bike, one of his many other areas of guilt is in shattering the illusions of so many fans worldwide, whether fellow elite performers or just armchair followers.
Where the story goes from here is about as clear as an Armstrong, L 1999 urine sample, but it's fair to say it seems extremely unlikely to feature the sort of happily ever after ending Giansiracusa enjoyed.