Senators changing country, one television set at a time

Commentary

December 23, 2007|By PETER SCHMUCK

News item: Sens. Patrick Leahy and Arlen Specter are threatening to lift the NFL's antitrust exemption if the NFL Network and the major cable providers do not settle their differences so everyone can watch the historic season finale between the New England Patriots and New York Giants.

My take: Once again, it's good to see the federal government has its priorities in order. Apparently, poverty, the mortgage crisis and a variety of other serious national problems were solved while we weren't paying attention.

News item: Terrell Owens warned actress Jessica Simpson to stay away from the Dallas Cowboys after her appearance at last weekend's game against the Philadelphia Eagles coincided with boyfriend Tony Romo's worst performance of the season.

My take: If this is really a problem, Jessica is welcome to watch the game at my house. I'm not a handsome NFL quarterback, but I've got DLP.

News item: Orioles president Andy MacPhail implied Friday that Erik Bedard might still be around to start on Opening Day.

My take: That's great, especially if it means the O's have a real chance to sign him to an extension. Now, about the seventh inning ...

News item: Boston Red Sox reliever Jonathan Papelbon claims his dog ate the baseball that was caught for the final out of this year's World Series.

My take: The guy might be the best closer in baseball. You'd think he makes enough money to buy the pooch Iams or Science Diet.

News item: Though Alex Rodriguez negotiated his latest contract with the New York Yankees himself and reportedly is not on speaking terms with his agent, Scott Boras apparently still will receive a 5 percent commission for the deal, which likely will be worth more than $300 million.

My take: It doesn't take a mathematician to figure out Boras will get about $15 million to dislike A-Rod, which is pretty impressive considering millions of baseball fans do that for free.

News item: The replay official admitted he blew a key call that seriously disadvantaged Navy in the fourth quarter of Thursday night's Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego.

My take: Nice of him to own up to it, but everybody with a television set and any understanding of football rules could have made that call correctly. I'm starting to think the whole replay thing - both in college and the NFL - is more trouble than it's worth.

News item: Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts admitted Monday that he injected himself once - and only once - with steroids several years ago.

My take: I'm willing to take him at his word, especially now that we know he wasn't named in the Jason Grimsley affidavit.

News item: Roger Clemens continues to insist he never used any illegal performance-enhancing drugs, despite testimony by his former personal trainer to the contrary in the Mitchell Report.

My take: Can't really think of a reason Brian McNamee would lie about a thing like that, but the new Grimsley revelation will provide the Rocket just enough cover to get to Cooperstown on the first ballot.

News item: Barry Bonds went to court Friday to ask a judge to let him keep his legal team, despite concerns that two of his lawyers might have a conflict of interest after representing other clients in the BALCO prosecutions.

My take: The decision is pending, but Bonds could have helped his case by pointing out how difficult it would be to find new counsel who believe him.

News item: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell turned down an appeal from the NFL Players Association to reduce the season-long suspension of Adam "Pacman" Jones.

My take: Since Goodell made the original ruling, it was no surprise that he was upheld on appeal.

News item: Bill Parcells spurned an offer from the Atlanta Falcons to sign a huge four-year deal to rebuild the miserable Miami Dolphins franchise.

My take: Guess it's time to change his nickname to the "Big Porpoise," though I doubt Falcons owner Arthur Blank would be so kind.

News item: Pete Rose said in an interview with Dennis Miller on Versus that he feels baseball players who have used steroids and human growth hormone are "making a mockery" of baseball.

My take: I'm not sure, but I think right after that Rose went off to referee another professional wrestling match.

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon most Saturdays and Sundays.

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