Did he or didn't he?

Updated: August 5, 2006, 12:43 AM ET
By Tom Keown | ESPN The Magazine
We all think we can tell if someone's lying by watching their hand movements or blinking patterns, but my first thought when I saw Floyd Landis' post-accusation press conference channeled my father. Watching Landis behind a bouquet of microphones, I thought, You'd have a better chance of getting people to believe you if you turned your cap around, young man.

I don't know whether Landis cheated to win the Tour de France, but I wanted him to make a good impression. I wanted him to come up with something better than a Jack Daniel's defense or a my-body-is-different defense. I knew he couldn't -- he's fighting a spreadsheet -- but I wanted him to explain it all away and throw in a few good one-liners in the process.

My second thought was to recall a day I spent with Landis in Southern California in late May, reporting a story for The Magazine. He was posing for photographs in his eye-glazing yellow-and-green Phonak uniform while he stood along a hillside road in a rural area near his home in Murrieta. It was an odd scene, and it prompted Landis to request a disclaimer: "Under the caption for this picture, can you mention that I don't normally stand around dressed like this? I would appreciate it."

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