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You Go Arlen Specter! Keep the heat on the Pats & the NFL!!

May 15, 2008

Mad props to Arlen Specter for keeping the heat on the NFL and the Patriots. He absolutely HAMMERED them yesterday. This really is remarkable. I don’t remember Tagliabue ever getting called on the carpet like this:

Sen. Arlen Specter on Wednesday called for an independent investigation of the New England Patriots‘ taping of opposing coaches’ signals, possibly similar to the high-profile Mitchell report on performance-enhancing drugs in baseball.

“I have documented the strong factual case that a NFL investigation was neither objective nor adequate,” Specter told on Wednesday evening. “If the commissioner doesn’t move for an independent investigation, then there will be a permanent black mark on the NFL and the Patriots’ record will be historically tainted. Depending on the public reaction, I may ask the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on the NFL antitrust exemption.”

At an earlier news conference in the Capitol, Specter put it bluntly: “What is necessary is an objective investigation. And this one has not been objective.”

The Pennsylvania Republican was unforgiving of his criticism of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, saying that Goodell has made “ridiculous” assertions that wouldn’t fly “in kindergarten.” The Senator said Goodell was caught in an “apparent conflict of interest” because the NFL doesn’t want the public to lose confidence in the league’s integrity.

“They are enormous role models for everybody,” Specter said. “If you can cheat in the NFL, you can cheat in college, you can cheat in high school, you can cheat on your grade-school math test. There’s no limit as to what you can do. I think they owe the public a lot more candor and a lot more credibility.”

In case you don’t follow these things, 3-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots have been caught systematically cheating by taping the signals of opposing teams. This explains the huge advantage the Pats have typically had in the 3rd quarter, and likely explains why they won all 3 of their Super Bowls by 3 points each. 

After the Eagles Super Bowl, several players said it was “crazy” how the Pats seemed to know when a blitz was coming and always had the perfect play called.

The NFL is clearly embarrassed by this and wants it to go away. Despite their  best efforts, “Spygate” has cover-up written ALL OVER IT. It stinks! Specter isn’t taking NFL Commish Roger Goodell’s blatant spin at face value. He’s absolutely right to question why 1) the investigation is taking so long; 2) why it hasn’t been more in-depth, including interviewing more people; and 3) why Goodell thought it was a good idea to DESTROY the tapes in question!  And he’s absolutely right to call for an independent investigation. This is a billion dollar industry that is under-regulated compared to corporations of similar size. They get away with a lot already. Cheating when it comes to that kind of money needs a closer look. 

As far as Goodell’s claim that they’ve found all evidence of wrong-doing, PLEASE! You expect us to believe that with this much smoke, there’s not more fire? With Belichick and Kraft being as arrogant and ruthless as they are? 

You go Arlen. Don’t stop till the truth comes out. (At this point, I’ll take a retroactive Super Bowl over no Super Bowls).

Here’s the link to the articles in the New York Times  and at ESPN.



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