This week in sports has been in a word, delicious. And this is not just because of the triumph of the New York Football Giants in Super Bowl XLII. This has been such a wonderful week in sports as I see it because it has combined two of my favorite things in the world, sports and politics. Or to be more precise, sports and political grandstanding. I love it!
But of course this week we were treated to not one, but two stories involving the intersection of sports and politics. We have the continuing and newly expanded saga that is SpyGate, involving the New England Patriots and their never ending attempts to cheat. Within the last week or so, the story about the improper videotaping conducted by the Patriots that was born late last summer was given new life as the senior U.S. Senator from the state of Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter, decided that it was time for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to come on up to Capitol Hill to answer a few questions. Oh joy!
However, this story is lame as far as I'm concerned. First of all, I don't believe for a second that the Patriots were the only team that might have been illegally videotaping competitors, and I do question what level of advantage was even really provided by these actions. Also, since the Patriots did not win the Super Bowl (the New York Football Giants won the Super Bowl, in case you were wondering), whether or not they had been cheating does not really matter to me.
Enter now the other collision of sports and politics. And this collision would be none other than the Major League Baseball steroids scandal. It's more like a soap opera at this point than anything else, I would say, only with better actors and plotlines worth following. The fabulous recent developments worth noting are that Roger Clemens provided a deposition before Congressional lawyers on Tuesday at which he reportedly denied using steroids or human growth hormone (HGH). However, Brian McNamee, Clemens's former trainer and a witness on whose testimony the allegations against Clemens are based, reportedly provided physical evidence to federal prosecuters that McNamee's attorneys claim refutes Clemens's story. This is getting juicy! Obviously, the beautiful thing about these developments is that since both men were presumably under oath, at least one of them is likely to face jail time because it seems highly impossible that both could be telling the truth. And if given a choice of which one I'd like to believe (and which one I actually do believe), I would certainly have to side with McNamee.
As intimated already, McNamee is no saint, but it seems to me that only the most diehard of Yankees fans, or clear Yankees apologists (or those who are a combination of both, if it is at all possible to separate them into two categories), would side with Clemens on this one (excluding his family of course). Do you want to know who would not side with Clemens? Mets fans. I'm a Mets fan and thus will thoroughly enjoy observing this if it is ultimately going to lead to where I hope it will. And that would be with Clemens in jail. And that would also be with the countless sportswriters and commentators who have gone absolutely ga-ga over Clemens's accomplishments ("Oh, Roger Clemens is so awesome!" "He's the greatest pitcher of this generation!" "Roger Clemens may be the greatest pitcher ever!") when rational people suspected something might be fishy, having to explain why they were such fools.
So sure, while I think it is an absolute waste of time for Congress to holds hearings about matters that are as inconsequential as steroids in baseball, if the hearings are going to happen, I might as well enjoy them. Bring on the hearings!