Your Government at Work: Saving us from the Perils of Spygate

05/25/2011 12:25 pm ET
  • John Ridley Emmy-Winning Commentator and Writer for Esquire

This just in: the New England Patriots are big fat cheats. No, seriously, they're really big fat cheats. Cause, apparently, this fetish they have for taping other teams signals wasn't limited to the Jets, or only this season. They've been up to their shenanigans since the turn of this century.

Now, clearly, if the baseball/steroids mess has taught us anything it's that when a minority of grown men are caught cheating in professional sports the government has a responsibility to drop whatever its doing and get involved.

Spygate, meet Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter.

On Wednesday Specter met with NFL Commish Roger Goodell to read chapters one and two of the Riot Act. The abridged version goes like this: if the NFL doesn't step up its investigation into the Pats, there's a real possibility the Senate Judiciary Committee -- which Specter is the ranking member of -- may open its own investigation into the matter.

As an aside, Specter compared Goodells destruction of the Pats tapes of the Jets to the CIA destroying tapes of Camp X-Ray detainees being waterboarded. What a shame Senator Specter isn't given to hyperbole.

Now, nobody likes the New England Patriots. That's just a fact. Even New England Patriots fans wish they lived somewhere else so they could back a good team. But is there really a need for government get involved in Spygate? Shouldn't investigating the NFL fall somewhere slightly behind rebuilding New Orleans and handling the sub-prime mess?

Oh, and it would be nice if they finally got around to nailing Osama.

Like my mother used to say: After you eat your vegetables you can have desert. Same with the government. After you end poverty in America and shelter all the homeless, then you can go after the NFL.

But ending poverty and sheltering the homeless is hard. Grabbing headlines by going after star athletes... Easy peasy nice and cheesy.

Enough Federal men! You've already had a good year. You got Michael Vick, you got Marion Jones. Other than that, the spin of the pro-sport universe has a way of self-correcting.

A serious fine against the Pats from the NFL would be nice. But having the Giants hand them their backside at the Super Bowl...? Priceless.