Saturday, February 02, 2008

Arlen Specter Reads Gregg Easterbrook?

Or so it seems, otherwise the esteemed Senator from Pennsylvania would have followed the rest of the country's lead and let the Patriot videotaping scandal and the subsequent dodgy behavior drop.
Specter is going to get killed in the media for this one, and not for the right reasons. (The right reasons, incidentally, are that any Senatorial investigation of the matter would be a Devin Hester kickoff return out of jurisdiction, and that the country really has other things that senior Senate members should be working on.) Unlike other Capitol Hill sports-related grandstanding hearings, this is stuff that No One Wants To Know. With the baseball steroids stuff, there's the creepy fascination of finding out whodunnit, and the moral indignation of Saving The Children.

But the real reason this won't work is that nobody wants to know if the NFL is dirty. Nobody wants to know if the games are rigged, or if those perfect Pats cheated, or if one side has an unfair advantage. Nobody wants to know if pro football players are scarfing down chemical cocktails that make backup cornerbacks bigger than Barry Bonds. More to the point, the NFL fanbase aggressively wants to not know, because then they have to look long and hard at what they're rooting for, and start asking themselves uncomfortable questions about what they're actually watching. And of course, there's too much money tied up in the NFL, which means too many people invested in not letting it look bad.

So Senator Specter's quest is doomed, and it's going to make him look like a jackass. The same media outlet that gleefully held up Mets clubhouse sleazebag Kirk Radomski as a credible witness on steroids is already at work tearing down the credibility of the guy who could potentially be a star witness against the Patriots.

It's sad, really.

Then again, what's really sad is that the attention will be focused on this, and not on the burgeoning concussion issue that seemed to fizzle out mysteriously mid-season. Andre Waters probably would have had a few choice words on Patriotsgate. That is, if he could have remembered them.

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