Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Spygate Over?

-When did this country turn over the investigation of potential wrong-doing to the people who are accused?

I keep seeing that the Spygate controversy is over after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's meeting with Matt Walsh and a subsequent announcement by The Commish to that effect. Well, what did you expect would come out of such a meeting? I suppose Goodell was supposed to come out and say..."Yeah, he's got the goods on us. All of that video definitely fingers the Patriots and Bill Belichick as cheaters. And, furthermore, that undoubtedly ruins the credibility of our league and my office. I can't see how we can deny it. So, we'll just have to put some rules in place to make sure it doesn't happen again. And we will ban Coach Belichick from the sport and any potential entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame." Yeah...that's what you expected him to say wasn't it.

Well, of course he's not going to say that. What he might have said in such a meeting with Walsh is..."OK Matt, you've got some damaging stuff there. What do we have to do to make this whole thing go away? You know we can't have any of this stuff getting out." Then Walsh's attorney presents Mr. Goodell with a monetary demand. The league attorneys respond with a document that they want Walsh to sign that ensures his silence on the matter forever and ever. They sign. A transfer to a Swiss bank account is completed....and it's 'til death do us part. Of course all of this actually happened before the "real meeting" between Goodell and Walsh which was just for show.

Goodell is the protector of the league's assets. Parting with a mil or two to make Walsh find a desert island to live out his life is a lot easier than allowing the Patriots legacy to be damaged for all time. Not to mention how much doubt all football fans would carry around for decades about the integrity of their sport. Goodell's bosses, the owners, will dole out many slaps on the back and goodly bonuses if Senator Arlen Specter gives up his effort to get to the bottom of Spygate with no success. Specter threatens to open up the NFL anti-trust exemption for discussion if he doesn't get some satisfaction. Good for him. Here's Specter's stance from a wire story--
WASHINGTON -- Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter called today for an independent investigation into the Patriots' illegal taping practices, citing what he called an obvious conflict between the interest of the NFL and the public interest.
"After a lot of consideration it's my judgment that there ought to be an impartial investigation, an outside investigation, like the [steroids] investigation that baseball had with former [Maine] Senator George Mitchell," said Specter at a Capitol Hill news conference.
Specter, who is the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, stopped short of saying the government would conduct an investigation if the NFL didn't do so, but didn't rule out Congressional hearings to look into the matter, if action wasn't taken.

I really don't have any interest in seeing the Rams awarded the Super Bowl championship that got away from them on Adam Vinatieri's last-second kick. But I am one who believes that you should be able to watch a sport without having to think about who's cheating....on the field or off.

Spygate shouldn't be over just because the Commissioner says so and got the Boston Herald and the guys at ESPN to believe it.

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