Such dirty tactics
are, alas, not unusual in pro sports, where a
you-ain't-trying-if-you-ain't-cheating ethos has long reigned. Football teams
have been bending rules since the beginning. In The Best Game Ever, the book
about the 1958 NFL Championship (SI, April 28), Mark Bowden writes that the
Colts spied on the Giants in the week before the showdown: Scout Bob Shaw sat
on a roof near Yankee Stadium, watching Giants practices through binoculars.
Colts coach Weeb Ewbank, certain that the Giants also had spies, refused to
talk about plays in the locker room because he feared it was bugged.
The Patriots, as
secretive as any team in modern sports, teched-out the espionage. There is
debate in football circles about how much advantage, if any, they gained.
Still, Goodell fined them and Belichick a total of $750,000 and stripped them
of a first-round draft choice. Maybe Specter, a former prosecutor, is right,
and the punishment was not severe enough. Maybe further investigation is
warranted. But what if an investigation morphs into congressional hearings? As
darkly amusing as it might be to watch executives and coaches squirm through
Mark McGwire moments on Capitol Hill, it's time to turn to more pressing issues
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