Friday, February 1, 2008

Separation of Sports and State

Last night I saw a headline on about a U.S. Senator that wants to look further into the Patriots Spygate scandal. I ignored it. I skipped over it hoping maybe it wouldn't turn into anything important and perhaps I could look into the exciting future (2 days!) instead of the regrettable past. But this morning I saw this article pop up on and I felt like I had to sit down and read it. The headline read, "Senator wants answers on Spygate tapes from NFL." According to the article, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) wants to know why the NFL destroyed the tapes that the New England Patriots made when they cheated during the first game of the 2007 season. The senator apparently made several attempts to contact the NFL and no one ever got back to him. The article goes on to say, "NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, in a September e-mail to, wrote that the reason for destroying them was "so that our clubs would know they no longer exist and cannot be used by anyone."

So if the league has already explained why they did what they did, why does Specter plan on pressing the issue? I'm not sure what else the league will tell him. There may very well be a more deceptive and mysterious reason why they destroyed the tapes, but what if there isn't and if there is, does anyone really care at this point? Why does Specter, a longtime senator, care about this? Maybe that's what really should be investigated.

It seems we get our answer about halfway through the story. The article says, "Specter, a lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fan who still calls sports radio stations on Monday mornings, said he was concerned about the integrity of sports." Hmmm. Is this an issue about the integrity of sports or stale bitterness over the fact that the Pats beat the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX in 2004? Eagles’ players, including Sheldon Brown, have stepped up and claimed that the Pats win was tainted and now maybe they have the ultimate tool of revenge.

Maybe my conspiracy theory is wrong and Specter truly cares about the league itself and not just his beloved Eagles. I hope I’m wrong. I love sports, but as of late I think there needs to be some separation of sports and government. Obviously as large companies and organizations that pay taxes, they are undeniably linked. But a U.S. Senator starting the investigation of a cheating scandal in the NFL? C'mon! Let the league do what it wants to do. Is this the start of another Mitchell report? We can all see how well that turned out.

Instead of pointing fingers and setting out on personal vendettas, perhaps Specter should do what the citizens of Pennsylvania elected him to do; serve the people of his state and represent them on matters important to them and the country. I say fight for more important issues and keep sports as a discussion topic on talk radio not in Congress.


Dan Kennedy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Kennedy said...

Great graphic! Did you find it or mash it up yourself?