For the past six months the NFL has been embroiled in what is called Spygate, where the New England Patriots are accused of filming the other teams as they signal in plays during NFL games. This is against the rules. The NFL punished the Patriots through fines and taking away draft picks. This is not the first time, nor the last, that one team tried to steal the signals of the other. At most this is an internal matter for the NFL and should be confined to debate on sports talk shows.
I would guess that ninety-nine percent of all Americans either could not tell you what Spygate is or if they did know, could care less about how it might have affected the outcome of a NFL game. The only ones who probably care are the teams who played against the Patriots, bookies, and fantasy football geeks.
Yet for some reason Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) is getting involved. Probably because the Philadelphia Eagles lost to the Patriots in 2005 Super Bowl and Specter thinks it was the Patriots cheating that won the game.
Senator Specter, where in the U.S. Constitution does it say it is the responsibility of the federal government to be concerned with the rules of the NFL? The government has a lot of other things to worry about—like the need to reform social security and Medicare. What’s next, will a congressman from Long Island call for hearings into Bobby Thompson’s home run in the 1951 playoff game between the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers? It is alleged the Giants were stealing the Dodger’s signals. I do not have a problem if a senator—as a private citizen—wants to call for more investigation. What I have a problem with is Specter uses taxpayer funded media tools to promote his desire for additional investigation and taxpayer funded staff to do all of the leg work.
Then again this is the fault of the Republicans. In 2004 then Rep. Pat Tomey, a staunch conservative, ran against the Democrat in everything but name Specter in the Republican primary. Yet the Republican national party, President Bush, and Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) all endorsed Specter over Tomey. They felt with Specter on the fall ballot, it might be easier for Bush to carry Pennsylvania against Senator Kerry. A lot of good that did, President Bush lost Pennsylvania and we are stuck with Specter.
Senator Specter has indicated he will run for re-election in 2010. Hopefully the Republicans will have learned their lesson and encourage and endorse a true conservative to run against him.