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Governmental Interventions

I realize that I very well might get a lot of people angry by saying this, but I really wish that the congressional meetings on sports-related issues would just stop.

I know, I know. The Mitchell Report probably would've never been commissioned without the push from our federal government riding Bud Selig like a mechanical bull. We might all still be keeping our green and gold heads in the sand about Mark McGwire if they didn't drag his butt in there (OK, not really, but I'm sure some A's fans wanted to give McGwire the benefit of the doubt).

But we've now got Sen. Arlen Specter from Pennsylvania climbing all over the New England Patriots about their tendency to play sex, lies and videotape on opposition teams' practices, games and showers. Yeah, that last part is made up, but hell, would that really shock you all that much?

I know that these leagues are so very powerful in our culture. They do affect our youth greatly. Sports are still the great escape for a huge percentage of Americans. Yes, there are other distractions now like American Idol, video games and You Tube. But kids do still look up to these sports idols. So yes, it is of grave importance that they get cleaned up and not set an image of acceptable cheating.

Maybe wanting the media coverage to just die makes me as guilty as the guy who decides to shoot up steroids so he can win more than 300 games or as guilty as the guy who orders the video taping of opponents' signals. But I guess my problem comes because to me the image of these sports are already seriously hurt. I honestly used to be willing to give the benefit of the doubt to almost anyone. But I'm at the point now where it really wouldn't surprise me to hear that anyone in baseball is using roids or HGH. I also believe, as Bill Parcells and Jimmy Johnson have both publicly stated, that video taping opposition is common practice in the NFL. These are guys who should know as they've had the experience. So many former baseball players now talk about all the guys in baseball who juice.

I know this is all so cynical to say. And it doesn't necessarily feel like me. But maybe it's because I want to just enjoy the game in blissful ignorance. The A's reported to camp yesterday. I want to look forward to reading stories about how Rich Harden is finally going to give the A's hope and that Carlos Gonzalez is going to be a monster. I'm so very tired of seeing Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee and Harry Waxman.

The thing is, so many of us turn to sports to escape our every day lives. We want to get away from the problems and scrutiny that is pervasive in every other media. War, terrorism, a sinking economy. All of those things are everywhere. I retreat to sports to get away from talking about the serious issues and perhaps that's why I'm so very fatigued on this stuff.

I just want people to get back to talking about the game. But apparently that isn't interesting enough for the ESPN properties. Am I alone in that? Should we continue to care enough that our government officials hold these leagues accountable because really, who else will?

I've attached a poll so you can give your opinion.