May 18, 2008
"Say it ain't so, Joe!"
The words spoken by a young boy to his idol, White Sox player, "shoeless" Joe Jackson in the movie about the fixed 1919 World Series. (Time and space won't permit the real story of Mr. Commisky, Judge Keenasaw Mountain Landis...but I digress.)
Somehow, as Senator "waffle" from Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter said, and I'm not making this up, "The NFL and its athletes are enormous role models for everybody." No kidding, he said that but he could not stop there. Say it ain't so Arlen!
"If you can cheat in the NFL, you can cheat in college, you can cheat in high school, you can cheat on your grade-school math test. There's no limit as to what you can do. Hell. You could become a United States Senator and take contributions from team owners, Comcast, and others." (OK. I made up the U.S. Senator bit.)
The Patriots apparently spied on opposing coaches. And...? Arlen says the integrity of the NFL is at stake. Lemme see. The NFL, the institution that slipped the merger of the NFL and AFL through Congress by giving a franchise to New Orleans to "appease" Hale Boggs and Russel Long is the model of integrity? Could we call that "honest graft"? Or is he thinking about the half-century of the NFL's color barrier, antitrust violations, the refusal to help the old-timers who built the NFL, and broken promises to local stadium authorities? Memo to Arlen--get a grip.
Back to real Patriots:
This week will probably end the Clinton campaign.Out of money and too far behind, she--indeed we--have a chance to come together to wtite a new book on America. Not just a chapter although I can imagine a chapter on race relations; one on Barack and JFK's call to our young people to "ask not..."; I see a new chapter on diplomacy first, war last; I can see a chapter on mutual sacrifice if war becomes necessary. And a chapter on a more humble America.
But racism has not only reared its ugly head, it has become fashionable for the cable guys to accept it as fact not illness. We must do better and demand better. Racism is unacceptable.
We have a chance--let's not blow it.
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