02/03/2008 03:55 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Post-Game Warm-Up

Three hours before kickoff may be a little soon to write a Super Bowl wrap-up, but I'm making a preemptive strike. I'm going in with what I know at the time, which I think is enough. I believe I will be greeted as a liberator. By whom, I haven't quite figured out yet. But I'm sure they're around. Maybe they're just out picking flowers for me.

People like to use sports as a metaphor for our culture at large, and the 2007 sports season could not mirror the past decade any better. Today we have a football team in the Super Bowl that got busted for cheating this season. And yet they're in the Super Bowl. And they're undefeated for the season. And it looks like they may have cheated in the past, which should come as no surprise to anyone, seeing as how they got busted cheating against the New York Jets. Because cheating against the Jets is like cheating against a junior flag football team.

But nobody cares about all this. At least, not enough to really do something meaningful about it. Sure, the team got fined and scolded and I'm sure Roger Goodell's ruler really stung on St. Bill's deified knuckles. But then they started winning. A lot. And then nobody said jack. Everyone fell in line and reported on how amazing it was that this team could win so much, as if the reason wasn't staring them in the face. They could have made a stink, but come on, the Patriots are in the middle of making history. This is no time to discuss trite matters like rules, honesty, or truth.

The same thing's going on in baseball, too. Of course, this is much more documented, but nothing meaningful is happening. The records stand. Those who broke the rules still play (and get paid), and they'll all wind up in the Hall of Fame. Commentators agree to look the other way. Because everyone loves home runs. And they are so much more fun to talk about than subcommittee hearings and legal proceedings.

This sounds like America to me. Our government (the Patriots) cheated in the hopes of reaching The Big Game (war), and when the evidence surfaced that the season was rigged, we suddenly learned that there was no time for that. What's done is done. We're in the middle of the season now. We're on our way to the Big Game. This is no time for review. It's time to get on board and root for the Pats. Sure, there was a little reprimand (midterm elections), but certainly not the kind of judicial house-cleaning that this kind of infraction of everything we stand for merits. After all, the Patriots are still in the Big Game, and no one's been ousted. This isn't much of a surprise: if we can't reform sports, how could we expect to reform government?

Congress and the media have the power to do a house-cleaning, but they don't want to because they're all tied up in it and, let's face it, house-cleanings are hard. They're messy. They take forever. They suck ass. And no one makes any money. At least, not the kind of money you get from televising home runs. That stuff's exciting. Have you ever tried watching CSPAN? That crap is weak.

But people do have the will to demand otherwise, provided that they have the will to sacrifice home runs for truth, spectacle for substance.