Paul Daugherty
Enquirer columnist files news and observations

Paul Daugherty
Paul Daugherty has been an Enquirer sports columnist since 1994 and has been chronicling Cincinnati sports since 1988. He has covered almost every major sporting event in America, as well as five Summer Olympics. Along the way, he has been named one of the country's top-5 sports columnists four times, and Ohio columnist of the year on seven different occasions. Last year, he was voted 2nd-best sports columnist in the country, by the Associated Press Sports Editors.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Why Arlen Specter Isnt Wrong

Sometimes, things are written that explain an issue far better than I can, or clarify an issue in a way I hadnt thought of. This is one, Bill Rhoden's column in Sunday's NY Times re Spygate.

I didnt have a problem with Specter's zealous pursuit of the Pats, but I couldnt adequately explain why. A big part of me just took pleasure in watching B. Belichick, pro sports Ultimate Smug Man, squirm. But it was more than that. And here it is:



at 4:33 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

It is still baseball season.

at 5:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is all very sad. Cheating has become pervasive in the American culture. Steroids, filming, gambling, cash to college players, etc. In the chase for the "All Mighty Dollar" the ends justify the means. Like it or not, we live in a society that worships consumerism and we judge a person by what they have, not what they have contributed, whether that be a huge house or an NFL championship. I have always loved the competition that sports have to offer. Unfortunately the older I get the more jaded I become because of the Patriots of the world.

at 8:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post, Paul. Like you, I have an inner urge to see a pompous jerk like Belichick exposed.

"The N.F.L.’s response to New England’s spying reflects a tolerance for cheating that is unacceptable." - that says it all.

If you'll take no stand that hurts the bottom line, then you stand for nothing.

at 12:32 AM Anonymous Bearcated said...

I'm of two minds on this. One the one hand, you really have to wonder if the US Senate does not have bigger things to worry about. On the other hand, it is amusing to see a self-styled 'genius' get moved down a peg. If I was looking around for a genuius, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't go to an NFL game to find one.

at 3:31 AM Blogger UCFan79 said...

We've got a nation at war with campaigns in 2 different countries, Iraq and Afghanistan. We've got a coalition of media, investment houses, and speculators gouging all of us with oil prices. Roads and bridges are falling apart so that they're even dropping into rivers. Borders are wide open resulting in social service expenses for unplanned "guests" killing welfare and social security budgets. Veterans are denied promised care because congress can't seem to remember that expense as they argue over how much money to spend on the latest Maplethorpe art or the latest African despotic regime.

Of course, Mr Specter, football's right there at the top of the list.

at 9:39 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Arlen Specter is a fool and an embarrassment to Congress. The purpose of the federal government is not to make those whom we dislike feel uncomfortable. The government is to only exercise those powers granted to it under the Constitution. As we all should be aware, the Constitution, even stretched to its limits, does not grant Congress the power to investigate the videotaping of mere football games and practices. The rough determination that "football players are role models" does not grant Congress this authority. The same argument applies to the steroid hearings in baseball that were a constitutional farce.

All readers of this blog should be concerned about the federal government extending its reach into areas where is has no business being. I would urge everyone to contact Arlen Specter and tell him that Spygate is not subject to Congressional review. http://specter.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=contact.contactform.


at 1:59 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I laugh when a sports fan doesn't want his sport closely examined (baseball,steroids; football, cheating). The same old line gets dragged out - "Doesn't the government have anything else to worry about ? My answer is, NO, they don't. There are MANY things Congress should be conderned with -sports is one of them. Cheating in an interstate commerce/business such as pro sports IS their business. Do you want people cheating you on your taxes? Do you want people cheating by sneaking into the country? Sports may not be as important, but something needs to be done about cheating on all levels - players, coaches and owners, and they don't police themselves. They do nothing until they are caught. Some teams seem to get favoritism in the way they are treated. maybe Congress should the answers and get to the bottom of things. When the NFL Commissioner talks to the videographer and says, "Nothing new here.", why don't I believe him?

at 11:39 AM Blogger UCFan79 said...

Cheating in an interstate commerce/business such as pro sports IS their business

No it isn't. The rules of any sport are under their own jurisdiction, and they can change them tomorrow. Next week it could be entirely within the NFL's rules to videotape anything you can. There is nothing about videotaping or not videotaping that violates anything except the NFL's own rules.

Why don't they investigate out-of-bounds calls? TV reviews by the refs? Off-sides?

Because those are the NFL's own rules.

Baseball managers, Sparky Anderson is a prime example, spend their time trying their best to steal signals. In baseball, it's always been considered the sign of the smarter team.

Let's have Specter investigate baseball's sign stealing if he's going to investigate football's.

In short, go to your US Constitution and find the subsection titled: "Stealing Signs in the NFL"

Those words aren't there.

at 12:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Congress has no jurisdiction over pro sports, why do they allow baseball to have an anti-trust exemption. Congress may not BOTHER sports re: rules, but they CAN since it is interstate commerce. Otherwise, why can they subpeona anyone in sports? The entire situation stinks and the NFL Commissioner is right in the middle of it.

at 12:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In short, go to your US Constitution and find the subsection titled: "Stealing Signs in the NFL".

I guess I don't have to pay US Income Tax any more because it's not listed in the Constitution either. - Yeah, that will go over big in Federal Court.

Nearly all Congressional oversight
pertains to activities which did not exist when the Constitution was written.

I haven't researched it, but I doubt the Interstate Highway System/Federal roads/motor vehicle safety (ICC); Radio, television, satellite communications (FCC); National Parks and National Landmarks Dept. of the Interior) - none of these things existed when the Constitution was written in the 1700s. The argument about football rules not being included in the Constitution is lame.

at 7:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:32 Anon

You might wish to bone up on your high school civics. The 16th Amendment to the Constitution authorized the enactment of an income tax. To wit: "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."
The ability to pay for roads is addressed in Article I, Section 8.

I urge you to go back and read the Constitution (specifically Article I, the powers of Congress) and tell me what can be construed to give Congress oversight of sporting events. While you are looking at that, ask yourself if you want Congress to have that power.

The beauty of sports is that the games are decided on the field and immune to social niceties and polities, political correctness and interest group influence and corruption. We should try to preserve that.

Chief Justice Earl Warren said when he wanted to read about man's failures, he read the front page of the newspaper and when he wanted to read about man's accomplishments he read the sports page. With the steroid issue, aberrant behavior of NFL players, and other scandals, sports have been tarnished, but they are still one of the most pure areas of society. The extra Constitutional intrusion of the federal government will not enhance the purity.


at 7:22 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the blogger who doesn't want government to investigate cheating in sports. Who will do it? The professional leagues certainly won't. Baseball sat on steroids for years while Sosa, McGuire and their ilk cheated their way to notoriety. NFL commissioner admittedly destroyed some or all of the tapes of New England's signal-stealing. It is an interstate business and should be investigated by someone.

at 1:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:22 Anon

Why do sports need to be investigated? What happens if they are not? Is anyone really harmed?

If they do not self-police, perhaps people stop watching. Who is harmed by that other than the owners and players of that sport? I would argue no one.

If steroids in baseball bother you, or if you think that the NFL condones cheating, no one is forcing you to attend or even follow the sport. You can emotionally check out of fandom and pick another sport to follow. As stated by someone in another post on this board, tons of people have stopped following the NBA for various reasons and no one seems to have suffered for the lack of following.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is not an issue for Congress. As a society, we need to stop acting like little kids who run to mom and dad (re: Congress, the courts) every time we think that something is not fair and expect them to fix it. Sometimes, life is is not fair but we have to live with it.


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