February 15, 2008
Investigations should unveil cheating in pro sportsFollowing the Super Bowl, the eye of the sports world has turned back to its most infamous issue: fraud.
Even before the New York Giants and New England Patriots took the field last Sunday, off-field controversy was beginning to arise.
After the first week of this football season, New England was accused of filming signals made by opposing coaches to their defensive players, a practice that is illegal in the NFL.
The controversy was dubbed spygate after the New York Jets blew the lid off the Patriots' methods.
For much of the season, the idea that the Patriots cheated was glossed over by the media and the league.
Their 18-1 record and path to the Super Bowl demonstrated how even without any sort of videotaping advantage, they were still the premiere team in the league.
The biggest concern that no one discussed however, was the possibility that they had used this spying to win their previous three Super Bowl titles. Now it appears that concern will be addressed, as well.
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) will meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss why the tapes the Patriots made were destroyed by the league.
A congressional hearing to discuss the issue could be entirely possible following their meeting.
One last accusation that the NFL and the Patriots must face is that a former cameraman employed by the team is now saying that the Patriots videotaped the St. Louis Rams' final practice before Super Bowl XXXVI, a game that the Patriots won 20-17.
If this turns out to be true, then how can we believe that any accomplishment that their dynasty achieved was legitimate?
Yes, they always had the players, and they had to execute the plays, but that would have given them a distinct coaching advantage.
The Patriots' dynasty is not the only legacy in sports that is under a microscope.
In the world of baseball, Roger Clemens is fighting for his good name on Capitol Hill.
Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young award winner, is often referred to as the greatest pitcher of his era.
That was until his career was called into question when he was named in baseball's Mitchell Report.
The Mitchell Report was put together by former Senator George Mitchell, who was hired by Major League Baseball to investigate the rampant use of steroids in baseball.
Baseball has had a black eye on it for a number of years now, thanks to a steroid scandal that just seems as though it will never go away.
However, the naming of a figure as eminent as Clemens is a milestone.
Furthermore, the importance of it is amplified because Clemens has done more than other players who deny that accusations; he is fighting the charges in court.
It was his former trainer Brian McNamee who said Clemens used steroids. Now Clemens has taken his case to Congress and is suing McNamee.
What is clear is that one of the parties involved is lying. In time, we will know the truth, and one of two possibilities will unfold.
Clemens will either preserve his legacy as one of the greatest pitchers the game has ever known, or like so many others, his achievements will be forever tarnished.
Unfortunately, these are the top stories in the sports world this winter, and the public is forced to tough it out until legitimate sportsmanship is clearly presented in athletics.
Football season is over, the Daytona 500 is right around the corner and the NBA and NHL seasons are in full swing, but the possibility of us having been deceived as fans is still very much at the forefront of the news.
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