Thursday, February 14, 2008

Roger and Roger Go to Congress

Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate, now what's going to happen to us with both a House and a Senate? ~Will Rogers

I'm not going to go over the litany of things that Congress should be doing these days instead of worrying about whether Roger Clemens got HGH shot into his butt or why Roger Goodell destroyed those New England Patriots tapes. After all, any idiot, except the ones in Congress, knows that they have better things to do. I am, however, going to indulge in one last rant about just how stupid all of this is, just because if I don't, the top of my head might blow off.

Now that I think of it, I think a case could be made about discriminatory practices against Congress: They obviously have it in for people named Roger. Oh, never mind, Congress isn't bound by its own discrimination laws.

Roger Clemens said he never took HGH or steroids. His former trainer says he shot his (Clemens') rear end just chock full of the stuff, not to mention stick a needle or two into Mrs. Clemens as well.

Frankly, Scarlett, I don't give a damn.

Let's presume that Clemens is lying. HGH, which is supposed to be his main vice, does not promote muscle mass. It can reduce body fat, which will make the muscles you have stand out better. Roger Clemens does not look like a man who has lost much body fat, but even if he took the stuff, it wasn't going to make him into Superman. More likely, if he took the stuff at all, it was to promote healing and recovery.

By the way, HGH is not illegal.

Clemens won around 360 games. While helping his injuries heal and improving recovery time from the wear and tear of pitching would have been a factor, HGH didn't improve his ability to throw a curve and probably didn't do anything to increase the speed of his fastball. More likely, the fact that he was able to sign contracts that let him take the first two months of the season off was probably more of a factor in extending his career than HGH ever was.

And, by the way, gentlemen of the U.S. Congress, what kind of a deal is it where you beat a guy to death using someone's deposition while not having the author of that deposition face the same sort of scrutiny? What sort of kangaroo court is this? Sort of makes you understand where George Mitchell (former U.S. Senator) developed the methodology of using hearsay and unsubstantiated reports as the basis for his report.
The bottom line on all this steroid and HGH use is this: If most players were (or are) on the "juice", then the whole thing evens out. Stronger pitchers face stronger batters. Stronger defensive linemen face stronger offensive linemen. The games aren't affected. It's the lives of the players that can get loused up. That's why steroid use without a doctor's care is illegal. HGH, as mentioned, is not.

Then there's Roger Goodell and the mystery of the missing tapes. Good gravy, says Senator Arlen Specter (Idiot, PA), that evil Bill Belichick has been taping since 2000? Who knew? Well, Eric Mangini, coach of the New York Jets for one. That's the same Mangini who waited a couple of years to complain about the practice (inspired not by justice, but by the fact that his lousy Jets got smeared by Belichick's Patriots). Dick Vermeil snortingly offered that everyone has been doing this stuff for years.

And remember most of all, there is no rule in the NFL anywhere against the stealing of signs. I wish someone would remember that once in a while. Belichick broke a rule against taping from the sidelines. There were ways he could have legitimately taped that would have enabled him to gather the same "information"; the sidelines were just easier and more logical.

Why did Goodell destroy the evidence? Most likely, because the "evidence" didn't reveal very much. Since he had already tossed out his heavy fine and lost draft choice penalty, he'd look pretty stupid if someone got hold of those tapes and posted one on YouTube showing lots of shots of cheerleaders.

This is all so ridiculous. Who is being hurt by Belichick's taping and Clemens (and any other athlete) taking drugs? Not the fans, because everyone cheered for Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. They'd have cheered for Bobby Bonds if he actually had a personality. The players may be hurting themselves, not with HGH, but with over-the-top steroid regimens. That's why steroids were made illegal. Baseball was way too slow in imposing penalties compared to football, but they've done it. So what's the problem?

Perhaps the betting interests are the problem. If there's one group that doesn't want hanky-panky going on in sports, it's the bookies. That is, unless they're the ones pulling the hanky-panky.

Why isn't Congress worried about the effect of gambling on sports? I don't see an investigation of the NBA official who was on the take from gamblers. Not a single Senator wanted to drag Pete Rose in front of a committee to rip him about betting on his own team. In fact, not a single savior of our national morality has issued a single care about these very real threats to the integrity of sports.

These same Congressmen haven't been particularly upset about the fact that the NBA has no testing for marijuana, despite estimates that over 50% of NBA players use weed. Last I heard that stuff was not legal.

In fact, I haven't heard anyone getting upset about these two very real problems. Not the fans, not the media, and most of all not the Lords of Foggy Bottom.

Personally, I don't have anything against legal gambling. As to marijuana, I still expect it to be legalized someday. But, it's not legal now. When gamblers start affecting the outcome of games, that has a far worse impact on the integrity of sports than steroids Combine gamblers and stoned athletes, along with a crooked official or two, and the ramifications are mind-boggling.

Pity the media, Congress, and the pious hypocrites among fans (many of whom are gambling illegally) don't think any of this is important.

Enough. I'm done with this. I only wish the sports media was.

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