Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I had intended to post about the inconveniences of holiday travel and a bit on the Celtics-Pistons game this evening. And then I checked email and looked at some of today's headlines. From that brief venture, I have come away with the conviction that Curt Schilling does indeed intend to seek elective office after he retires from professional sports. And thankfully, according to what ought to be the first law of democracy in practice, whatever benighted muckers elect him to represent them will get exactly what they deserve.

Schilling was recently quoted calling on Roger Clemens to give back the Cy Youngs he won since 1997 if Roger cannot clear his name in the wake of the Mitchell Commission report. I don't know if they taught Curt this one little point in any of the courses he's taken on the way to becoming the self-proclaimed voice of truth, justice and the American way, but a person is held to be innocent until proven guilty under due process of the law.

This isn't an American concept. This concept predates the founding of the United States by over 570 years. It predates the first permanent European settlement in North America by some 370 years. It comes from the Magna Carta, which (to put it in terms the average Red Sox fan can understand) is basically the OG of documents establishing the legal tradition for the English speaking world.

I will admit that I have been otherwise occupied over the last several days. Apparently, I must I have missed the proclamation which handed over ultimate authority over matters of common and constitutional law to a cat who looks like Humpty Dumpty and is one trip to the DL away from being a has-been.

So far, the chain of evidence against Clemens seems to include a former trainer who is, himself, under federal indictment and the admission of Andy Pettitte that he used HGH on two occasions. Now, I'm not a legal scholar, but it seems to me that extrapolating any illicit use of banned performance enhancing substances on Clemens' part must then rely on hearsay and conjecture. If I'm not mistaken, it can be devilishly tricky to build a case in a court of law on hearsay and conjecture, what with the fact that that sort of evidence is (at least de jure) in admissible in a court of law in this country.

Provided, of course, that the rule of law still rules in this country, there is no way a responsible court can punish Clemens. If no responsible court can punish Clemens, then there is no reason on the face of God's green earth to take the Cy Youngs back from Clemens outside of the fact that Curt Schilling has opened his mouth and spoken with the voice of God.

If Curt Schilling had an IQ sufficient to chart on any sort of reasonable test, perhaps he'd have realized by now that he does more damage to his image each time he flaps his gums on this sort of thing. Something tells me that John McCain might not be to thrilled that one of his foremost celebrity supporters just can't stop being a total douche for the benefit of the media. Perhaps Schilling should do us all a favor and abandon public life in favor of playing more Everquest.

Hell, he's already half a LARPer at this point. He might as well go all out and dress like an Orc and run around with the world's biggest tools and argue over who hit whom with what in some sort of hideous live action version of Dungeons and Dragons. The only reason I'm not demanding that he do so instantly is that it would make the CHB a very happy man, and that's not good for America.

I also find myself once again defending Terrell Owens. I think it's a good thing that TO suggested that Jessica Simpson give Texas Stadium a wide berth for the time being. Now I might be a very cynical person and a terrible human being, but I have the nasty suspicion that Jessica Simpson just might be in this budding relationship with Tony Romo to see and be seen more than out of any altruistic romantic motivations. But that's just me.

Consider this: what has Jessica Simpson done lately? Ostensibly, she is a singer and an actress. The only problem - she hasn't been in a film or released an album in a while. Of course, I could very well be wrong there. I didn't see Dukes of Hazzard or Employee of the Month, so I haven't been following her film career. I also pay very little attention to the ways and means of contemporary pop music, so she could have released 50 albums in the last year, for all I know.

What I do know is this: sooner or later, some kind observer usually finds his or her way clear to tell me when some momentous development in the entertainment industry breaks. Lately (as in since about 2004) none of these bulletins that have reached me under my rock have involved Jessica Simpson. Preening in a pink #9 jersey in a luxury box in Texas Stadium seems to be the only way she can get herself in the media, short of downing bottle after bottle of pills or turning herself into a train wreck.

As for the other side of this sordid little problem, there are those who can say that Tony Romo ought to be above this sort of distraction. It shouldn't matter how many of his celebrity girlfriends are in the stands at any given moment. But I say this, Tony Romo has really only been a celebrity for about 13 months now. It's still something he's trying to learn to live with.

Sure, Tom Brady didn't have the same type of problem with the confluence of his personal and professional life. But, at the same time, he wasn't as big as star as fast as Tony Romo has been. Dallas is still America's Team, and the Patriots didn't really get that kind of media exposure until they were well on their way to a second Super Bowl title. Plus Brady played at Michigan, as opposed to Eastern Illinois University.

Furthermore, Romo might not be a regular Alfred Einstein, but he is somewhat brighter than Brady. Where Tom Brady has barely enough grey matter to master the playbook and game plans of the Patriots, Romo is just bright enough to let the media distract him. And it's not exactly as though TO forbade her to enter the grounds of Texas Stadium. He just pointed out that she could be a distraction and wished that she wouldn't come to the games.

If any other player on any other team in the league had said this, it would have been a mildly amusing flap that would have died down within about 12 minutes. However, TO dared to be relatively quiet and blend in with his teammates as much as he possibly can this season. And for that, the media had to punish him. After all, TO's job isn't to excel on the football field, nor is it even to catch passes for the Cowboys. Rather, TO's solemn duty is to provide countless path of least resistance stories to the legion of media drones who don't want to break a sweat when they cover the NFL. And if that means mountains must be made of molehills, then mountains shall be made.

Consider this piece, suggesting that TO is responsible for the Cowboys' problems. First of all, how many teams would trade problems with the Cowboys any day? They are 12-2. They may have identical records with the Green Bay Packers, but they beat the Packers soundly, not three weeks ago. They have the inside track for home field throughout the NFC playoffs until someone takes it away from them. And yet they must be on the verge of collapse, at least until the media needs yet another new angle this season.


Ethan Michaels said...

By the way, I'm just starting a new blog.

Check it out if you've got some time and let me know if you'd want to exchange links.

thekobrakommander said...

It is worth noting that the testimony in the Mitchell report regarding the payments that former trainers received for assisting players with acquiring and injecting steroids were confirmed by phone and bank records. Yes, McNamee's corrupt and under indictment himself, but he's not pulling this stuff out of thin air. We all knew some of them had to be doping; this is not the witch hunt you're making it out to be.

I agree Clemens should get his day in court, but a reasonable person can also conclude that Clemens *will* be spending some time in court on the basis of this evidence.

All that being said, Schilling is still an Arch-Tool.