From some small-town rag called The New York Times comes word that Republican senator Arlen Specter is finally acting on the sweet nothings Gregg Easterbrook whispers in his ear every night.
Specter wants NFL (or as the Times puts it, N.F.L.) commissioner Roger Goodell to appear before Congress and explain why the league destroyed tapes showing the Patriots cheating by taping the New York Jets’ signals in September 2007.
In a telephone interview Thursday morning, Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania and ranking member of the committee, said that Goodell would eventually be called before the committee to address two issues: the league’s antitrust exemption in relation to its television contract and the destruction of the tapes that revealed spying by the Patriots.
“That requires an explanation,” Specter said. “The N.F.L. has a very preferred status in our country with their antitrust exemption. 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. Or any time you have records destroyed.”
By the sounds of it, Goodell isn’t handling this very well. According to Specter, the senator sent letters in November that were never returned; no word if Goodell came to the window when Specter stood outside throwing pebbles and blasting Peter Gabriel from a boombox. Not to sound Easterbrookian, but the more Goodell tries to keep this quiet, and the more he sidesteps it, the more guilty he, and by proxy the Patriots, appears.
“Congress? Shit. Did you tell them it’s Super Bowl week? Hmm. How much money do I have in that Swiss account?”
And maybe the Times really just believes in the issue (the article appears to me to be pretty opinionated, at least the way I read it), but quotes like this from Specter sure do sound reasonable:
“I don’t think you have to have a law broken to have a legitimate interest by the Congress on the integrity of the game.” He added: “What if there was something on the tapes we might want to be subpoenaed, for example? You can’t destroy it. That would be obstruction of justice. It’s premature to make any suggestions until you know a lot more about the matter. We need to know what’s on those tapes.”
Senator Wants N.F.L. Spying Case Explained [The New York Times]