Created on Thursday, 15 May 2008 Written by BCDo we not have enough problems in our country that our government now has to get involved with our professional sports leagues?
First it was steroids in baseball. I’ll admit that maybe Bud Selig and Major League Baseball needed a little nudge from Congress to get a handle on baseball’s continuing problem with banned substances.
However, I think the government is now going too far in its meddling with the sports world. U.S. Senator Arlen Specter has developed a personal vendetta against the National Football League and Spygate, the saga involving the Patriots taping of opposing team’s defensive signals.
A day after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell all but put Spygate to rest after meeting with former Patriots employee and signal taper Matt Walsh, Specter on Wednesday called for an independent investigation.
“What is necessary is an objective investigation,” Specter said in an Associated Press story. “And this one has not been objective.”
Apparently Spygate should take precedent over the many other issues plaguing our society right now.
I can close my eyes and see it now. Barack Obama is having a press conference to celebrate his winning of the Democratic nomination. During his speech he says “I promise to change our beloved country” and the crowd goes crazy. Then he pauses and states boldly, “And I promise to get to the bottom of Spygate.” Then the loving masses become hysterical.
Well, maybe that is a bit overboard. Hopefully Obama or Hillary or John McCain will be smart enough to stay out of Spygate. But if Specter gets his wish, Spygate will get thrust into our nation’s most immediate concerns.
The commissioners of MLB, NHL, NFL and NBA are paid a handsome amount of money to police their games. For the most part, I believe that all four of those major American sports associations have done a good job of keeping corruption out of their respective sport. With the exception of steroids in baseball, I don’t see an issue in pro sports that is so out of control that the government needs to be involved.
With Spygate, Specter is acting like Goodell and the NFL is turning a blind eye to the cheating scandal involving the Patriots. That is far from the case.
Goodell, who has established himself as a strict disciplinarian, hit the Patriots hard last year when he took a first-round pick away from the Patriots, fined head coach Bill Belichick $500,000 and the team another $250,000. That’s not just a slap on the wrist.
Goodell did his job, and now it’s time for Specter and Congress to do their jobs and move on to more serious concerns of the American citizens.
How about gas prices to start?