Almost two weeks passed with no federal probes into sports. What, we asked, was Congress up to? After all, it was that sharp left turn into sports that made the hill a hotspot again:
ESPN cameras elbowing C-SPAN as congressional aides learned the split-finger fastball; Henry Waxman whapping his steroid gavel. Arlen Specter plumbing "Spygate" with a zeal unseen since his days on the Warren Commission. It was so inspiring. And then it just ended...
...Until now. Wednesday brings all new sports hearings. Rah. What's more, according to occasionally reliable sources, the near future holds a slew of other sports-related probes:
-The Senate Select Committee on Meaningless Statistics will hold hearings regarding the increasing amount of feats by professional athletes that "don't show up in the box score." A legal advisor to the panel, speaking on condition of anonymity because he told his wife he worked in the private sector, said, "Americans put in long hours at the workplace and often a box score is all they have time for."
The committee hopes to pinpoint exactly what is being left out and why. As the legal advisor added, "If, between innings, say, Kevin Youkilis of the Red Sox discovers a new way to harvest stem cells, shouldn't that show up in the box score?"
-The House Sub-Zero Committee on Jingoism will investigate if our Olympic athletes are really "playing for their country." One house aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he didn't know how to go on the record, said, "If LeBron James plays Pervez Musharraf one-on-one for possession of nuclear materials, that's playing for his country. Otherwise, it's just lip service."
Reportedly, committee research has already determined that Gold Medal winners who cry on the victory stand during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner, would be similarly moved by the playing of Aqualung.
-The House Pseudo-Quasi-Infra-Committee on Snubbing spent the last six years and and "between two and eight hundred million dollars" investigating why legendary Washington Redskins' wide receiver Art Monk was never elected to the Hall of Fame. Then Mr. Monk was voted in on the eve of the hearings and the committee, having already put a deposit down on the hearing room, had to scramble. Finally, the committee settled on probing the question, "What's the big deal about the Hall of Fame?"
A committee insider speaking on condition of anonymity because he hates being quoted, said the committee will launch a two-pronged inquiry: "First, the major sports Halls of Fame are located in crappy little towns with few voters so really, who cares? Secondly, for all the hoopla, the inductees get little more than a bust of themselves and trust me, these busts aren't exactly sculpted by Rodin."
-The Senate Committee on Puzzling Cliches will look into the question, "Is the double-play the pitcher's best friend even if he has a dog?"
This probe is expected to be so explosive, no one is speaking on or off the record. Due to it's sensitive nature, the committee is planning a closed-door hearing unless the weather is unseasonably warm.
-Finishing off the congressional session, the Bi-Partisan, House Pre-Selected, Sub-Compact Committee on Ultimatums plans a hard look into sports television's promotion of every play-off series as "It's win or go home."
One Congressman on the committee, speaking under the condition of anonymity because he's an illegal alien, said, "We don't see the downside of the post-season if you lose and get to go home. Who doesn't like to go home? The committee hopes to draft legislation forcing playoff losers to spend a week in Canton or Cooperstown."
And that's just this session. After that, look for hearings on:
Is "basketball IQ" an ethnically biased concept?
Does Tiger Woods ever just stop in his tracks and think to himself, "Holy shit! I'm Tiger Woods!"?
Was Dick Vitale's need for throat surgery proof of God's existence?