There is nothing like Valentine's Day to get people feeling the love.
No place was the love more clearly felt than in the hearing room of U.S. House of Representative's Government and Oversight Committee on Wednesday. There legendary baseball pitcher Roger Clemens found himself being contradicted by two old friends. One friend, trainer Brian McNamee said he gave steriods in the form of human growth hormones to Clemens and his pitching friend Andy Pettitte. Pettitte basically admitted his use of steriods and, via written statement, took sort of a "Roger did it as well," approach. The looks on McNamee and Clemen's faces in the photo from Reuters summed up the love in the room.
I have about the same amount of love for the committee of the House that convened the hearing. The economy is ailing, there is a war going on, there are problems with the healthcare system, energy costs have soared, and this committee takes time to worry about who got juiced playing baseball.
Don't misunderstand me. I love the game of baseball. But, one of the reasons I love it is because it is an escape from the world of politics. Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton, and I can root for the Cubs to win the world series. That is probably about all we would agree on.
I want the game cleaned up, and I think it is Major League Baseball's duty to show to us fans and consumers of their product they are giving us an honest show that we can have kids proud of.
However, politics would not allow Major League Baseball to clean up its own act and let the market decide. Instead, Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman of California, the Chairman of the House committee that held the hearing Wednesday, had to score his own poltiical runs. Waxman's aggressive nature towards Clemens showed that Waxman was a man on a political mission.
That mission was to make sure a great white player got the same steriod taint as Barry Bonds.
With considerable poltiical pressure on the left in regards to Bond's prosecution and situation, Waxman did his base's bidding. Other committee members were skeptical of all of the witnesses due to the contrary testimony, but it was clear Waxman had an agenda and carried it out. (Perhaps Clemens did use steroids, but the truth of the matter did not appear to be what Waxman was after.)
Not to be outdone by Democrat Waxman, Republican Pennsyvania Senator Arlen Specter lobbed charges Wednesday that New England Patriots football coach Bill Belichik was illegally taping other teams since he took over as coach of the Patriots.
The reason for that? Simple. It is an election year. Pennsylvania's has to NFL teams. The Steelers fans hate the Patriots for all those playoff defeats. The Eagles fans hate the Patriots for the beating the Eagles in the Super Bowl a few years ago.
Since the Panthers lost to the Patriots in a Super Bowl as well, it would not surprise me if Lindsey Graham joined Specter in going after Belichik.
Politicians and their operatives have invaded the sports world because their old way of getting through to voters has changed. No longer can a politician buy some ad time through the local broadcast stations and hope to get through. So, they put their fingers in every aspect of life that they can.
The late old great Democrat Tip O'Neil once said that he never had his presence announced at sporting events he attended because people would boo. He contended the reason for their booing would be that people do not want to think about serious things like politics when they are watching a game.
To me, Tip's remarks are right. Sports is an escape. Yes, it teaches valuable lessons at times, but most of the time, for me, and for millions of others, it is so called "brain candy." I guess that is why I am feeling the love for the politicians who want to make sure we know about them and their issues in every aspect of our lives. By making sure they get into the sports world, the politicians, like Glen Close in Fatal Attraction, are screaming out to us, "I will not be ignored."
Happy Valentine's Day.