Senator Specter's Take on Spygate

Ken SheehanAnalyst IFebruary 18, 2008

Senator Arlen Specter is going after the NFL for the way the commissioner handled the Spygate scandal. Specter  especially didn't like that Goodell had the tapes destroyed, saying, "The American people are entitled to be sure about the integrity of the game. It’s analogous to the C.I.A. destruction of tapes."

Here's my question to Mr. Specter: Exactly why is this such an important issue to you?

I love the NFL, but should we really be criticizing Goodell for the way he handled the taping issue? Sure the commissioner could have done more, but after penalizing the team and coach Bill Belichick a combined $750,000 as well as a first round draft pick, what would you have had him do?

Goodell saw the tapes and gave the punishment he felt was appropriate. Specter, like much of the public, might want to crucify the Patriots, but the commissioner knows that would only be ridiculous.

He saw those tapes, he knows the advantage that could have been taken from them was not great, and he also knows one of those Jets coaches turned and waved to the camera. This supposed great crime was acknowledged and not thought much of.

After seeing the tapes, Goodell made his call and dealt out the Pat's punishment. And that was that until our good friend Sen. Specter decided it wasn't enough. Now this whole thing is going to get dragged out even more.

It wasn't bad enough that the Patriots' entire season was in question. It wasn't bad enough that their previous Super Bowls were questioned. As long as Bill Belichick is the Patriots head coach anything and everything they do will be questioned.

After Specter's announcement it came out that the Patriots may have taped the Rams run through before their Super Bowl. Would it have come out had Specter not picked at the Patriots scab?

More importantly does anyone really believe that all that much was gained from the possible filming of a run through? Sure, it might be true that the Rams ran some of their redzone offense.

Even more importantly: Did those plays really look the exact same on the field as they did in the conference room with many of the players in suits?

During FOX's pregame show Jimmy Johnson talked about how, as a coach, he always expected someone to be watching him. That's why he always made sure that he ran plays he had little to no intention of using during run throughs to try and fool the other team.

Did Mike Martz really run those seven red zone plays during his run through that he ran in the game and make it clear he was running them in the game? Probably not.

There is also the one point that seems to get passed over far to much: The Patriots can not be the only team that has filmed other coaches to try and get an advantage.

To think that only one team in the NFL tried to get that kind of advantage is not only naive, but foolish. The difference between the Pats and the rest of the league is that they're the only ones who got caught...and by caught really I mean ratted out, but that's another matter.

This whole issue is being dragged out far beyond what is necessary. Goodell dealt with it and the league and the public should move on, including Senator Specter, who has no business in this private matter.

It's one thing for these government officials to go after steroid users who have broken the law, but no law was broken here. The game's "integrity" has not been challenged. If nothing less, Goodell proved that he is willing to not only deal with this problem but significantly penalize it.

Basically I'm just trying to say that Senator Specter should grow up and realize that there are better ways to spend his time in office. This issue will not be resolved because he threw his hat into the ring. If anything it will only make matters worse.