Lance Armstrong Tweets Strange Cell-Phone Number, Starts Great Sports Mystery

Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterSeptember 14, 2012

ASPEN, CO - AUGUST 25: Lance Armstrong finishes the Power of Four Mountain Bike Race on Aspen Mountain on August 25, 2012 in Aspen, Colorado. (Photo by Riccardo S. Savi/Getty Images)
Riccardo S. Savi/Getty Images

What chu talkin' bout, Lance Armstrong?

The greatest cyclist to ever sit on a bike recently lost most of his good standing with the fans when he was stripped of his titles and banned from the sport by the USADA. 

Just weeks after that momentous news, Armstrong is back causing a stir—albeit for much smaller proportions. 

On Thursday, the former cyclist tweeted out this to the masses.

Hey - you bet. Happy to help. Call my cell 778 384 7520. Take care, L

— Lance Armstrong (@lancearmstrong) September 13, 2012

Oh, dear. Another athlete forgets how to use Twitter and now we can all laugh in his general direction. #LOL. 

It turns out that this wasn't his number, which we will get to in just a moment. A few hours later, he tweeted this out to his followers.


— Lance Armstrong (@lancearmstrong) September 14, 2012

Aside from bringing the word "psych" back into the American pop-culture lexicon, there still isn't much to boggle the mind. 

Well, Barry Petchesky of Deadspin did some digging and the story just gets weirder with every linguistic shovel of dirt. 

It seems the Deadspin sleuth called the number as I am sure hundreds did as well. As you would expect at this point in the story, the number doesn't belong to Lance Armstrong. 

The 778 area code is attributed to British Colombia, Canada and Armstrong is in Austin, Texas. So there was reason to be incredulous before a call. 

Nonetheless, the filled voice mail belongs to Tyson Laidler. The Province called the same number and found that the line had already been disconnected. 

We know enter the Scooby-Doo portion of the day. Here is how Petchesky explains the befuddling mystery. 

It was the voicemail of one Tyson Laidler, who a quick search reveals to be a recent graduate of the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver. (The 778 area code is a BC exchange.) But wait. A tipster points out that the exact same phone number was tweeted in July, by one Ty Laidler. And this Ty Laidler claims to be a member of the Canadian Air Force. (He's also a gem; he thinks "Toronto dance floors smell like immigrant" and told Tim Tebow he hopes he gets paralyzed.)

Links placed by Deadspin. 

And so we are left with a mystery we haven't the brain power, man hours or will to solve. We really just wanted to start the day with a nice cup of coffee and a breakfast burrito, but Armstrong lobbed the equivalent of brain teasers and a Sudoku puzzle at us. 

Either Armstrong is completely puzzled by Twitter and the correct sequence of his own cell phone number, a scenario that seems pretty implausible. 

Or he wanted to pull a fast one by tweeting out the number to some stranger, which seems like a jerk move. 

Or, perhaps there is a glitch in the Matrix

Seriously, if anyone knows what's going on here or the whereabouts of my brain cells, please sound off. 

The Twitter of Ty Laidler Deadspin reports tweeted this same number back in July has been closed. 

I hope I have a Dave Kujan moment at some point, but Lance Armstrong will be half way to Mexico by then. 

And he will have got away with the perfect crime. 

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