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Arlen, Are You Kidding?

May 15, 2008 - John Whittaker

Let me say, in the interest of full disclosure, that I'm a New England Patriots fan.

And, before you jump to the conclusion I'm a bandwagon fan,let me tell you that I've been a Patriots fan since I was 13, when the team was in the midst of a 1-15 season, coached by the immortal Rod Rust and quarterbacked by Marc Wilson, Tom Hodson and Steve Grogan (who only played six games and was at the end of the line. What can I say, I liked Steve Grogan).

I've seen the tough times. I've been known to refer to the Patriots as "we" and wear my lucky throwback Steve Grogan jersey during big games. Or, if we're playing poorly, switch to my Deion Branch jersey (from the Super Bowl MVP year) or my throwback Pat Patriot hat (generally good mojo) to change the team's luck.

Ask the News Gal -- these things do happen. 

There are some that would say I take sports a little too seriously. Apparently, though, I'm not the only one -- yes, Arlen Specter, this is my pot calling your kettle black.

You're a U.S. Senator, for Pete's sake.

You have a say in running a world superpower, with budget authority over the world's mightiest military and research to help cure diseases like cancer. You have, at least partially, the welfare of a nation in your hands, and you're wasting our time calling for an investigation into the Patriots' taping of other teams defensive signals.

I'm insulted, not as a Patriots fan, because we did indeed break league rules and were punished by the league. There will forever be a cloud over one of the best stretches of football a fan, of any team, will ever watch.

I get that, admit it, and am moving on. We've taken our 40 lashes with Roger Goodell's wet noodle.

I'm insulted, though, that a Senator is wasting the public's time with this nonsense. I understand two of Specter's home-state teams -- the Steelers, who were taped as part of the Spygate mess -- and the Eagles -- who the Patriots beat in the Super Bowl a few years ago -- are part of the issue.

But, this is only sports, after all. It's a game. If the teams involved have a problem, let them pester the NFL for a more complete investigation. If not, let the issue die.

Either way, Mr. Specter, it's time to move on to the country's business and the business of your constituents.

Or, maybe, we should launch investigations into why Donovan McNabb, good Syracuse boy he is, couldn't run a two-minute drill in Super Bowl XLII or why the Steelers couldn't keep Drew Bledsoe from coming off the bench to throw a touchdown pass in the 2002 AFC Championship Game that put the game out of reach.

Kinda silly, isn't it, Mr. Specter.


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Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania greets Matt Walsh on Wednesday.


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