Boy, U2 got it right. Look at me now; I got myself stuck in a moment and I can’t get out of it. But enough is enough. I’m over it. The Patriots lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl and we are all going to be subjected to (at least) another year of the ‘72 Dolphins. The fantasy of going 19-0 and achieving perfection is gone, so in the words of Eminem, “snap back to reality”…
And the reality of the moment is that our US Senate is actively involved in the sports world. This is not a good thing. We are embroiled in the Spygate controversy and are also being treated to the hearings on the steroid issue as it pertains to Roger Clemens. It’s a stretch, but I don’t begrudge Congress for investigating the steroids issue as much as I whole-heartedly resent any investigation into the Patriots taping mess. And before you start saying that if it were any other team being investigated in the Spygate debacle I would support the Congressional intervention, let me dispel that myth.
My annoyance over the Congressional involvement in dredging up an issue that was dealt with stems from the rest of the pressing issues that our nation faces at the moment. It’s only a matter of technicality that we can’t officially declare the economy to be in recession; there’s this small thing called the Economic Stimulus Package that has been put together to help pull the struggling credit lenders out of the depths of despair they’ve been mired in for the last 6 months; there are a myriad of other issues I’m sure to which our Senate could devote their attention. Consider this bullet point taken from Mike Fish’s column on ESPN.com in regards to Sen. Arlen Specter’s interest in the video taping practices of the New England Patriots–”Specter is particularly concerned about how the taping might have affected New England’s games involving teams from his home state in the 2004 postseason. ” Since when can the Senate use their elected position to settle a case of sour grapes? Give it up Specter! Your Eagles suck! That’s not Bill Belichick’s doing. I don’t buy his excuse of the NFL receiving special consideration on the anti-trust/monopoly laws as the impetus for the witch hunt.
And just what is his overall vision here? What is Specter hoping to accomplish that hasn’t already been achieved? The franchise being publicly embarrassed? Check. The coach known for being a student of the game having to squirm uncomfortably in his press conferences while dodging questions about his involvement in this? Check. Both coach and team paying dearly for the frowned-upon practice? Check. So in my book we’re done. And I don’t say that from the perspective of a Patriots fan; I say that from the perspective of someone who feels the matter is closed and now it’s time to move on!
Speaking of moving on, at the moment, I feel for Andy Pettitte. He’s reporting to Spring Training today and will have to contend with the barrage of media that he is sure to face, this being his first public outing since he gave his deposition for the steroids investigation. I know Clemens is on record as saying that they’ll always be friends (this is a good thing?!) but the word strained comes to mind. Pettitte should be the example to any athletes who are implicated in the scope of this investigation. He admitted, almost immediately after the Mitchell report was released, that he took HGH to rehab from an elbow injury. The fever pitch died down. It comes out that he took it a bit more frequently than first confessed. He cops to it and once again, the questions he dodges pertain to Clemens’ use, not his own. Anyone else taking note of this point? Sounds to me like admitting what you’ve done is the way to go.
I predict that Bobby Knight takes a moment to at least consider returning to Indiana to coach the rest of the season (and possibly beyond) once/if Kelvin Sampson is dismissed. That seems like an inevitability at this point. The minute the story broke that the NCAA was charging Sampson with 5 recruiting violations, my first thought was that this may answer the question of why Knight retired so suddenly from Texas Tech. Let’s face it, that was not a characteristically Knight kind of move to quit on his team. And from what I’ve heard about the Sampson saga there at Indiana, it was known that the NCAA was going to accuse him of these violations prior to the story being formally released to the public. Coincidence? Perhaps. Who knows…maybe the House of Representatives will feel behind the times and will decide to hold some hearings on the matter.
Pitchers and catchers have officially reported to Spring Training. The Mavs and the Nets finally appear to be close to a deal to send Kidd to Big D. We’ll all be paying close attention to see if Kobe decides to have surgery on his pinkie, thus putting him out of commission for 6 weeks or so, or if he’ll gut it out and play through the pain, and what effect each choice will have on the Lakers’ chances of making the playoffs. Todd McShay just shook up his draft board (thank goodness for Insider access on ESPN!) and now shows Matt Ryan going #1 to Miami. So you see, I’ve got plenty to hold my attention without worrying about the fact that the Patriots let perfection slip through Asante Samuel’s fingers. In fact, I won’t even give it another moment’s notice.