Saturday, December 15, 2007

Double Standards

The Jets were absolved by any wrong doing by the commissioner's office this past week in regards to their taping at Gillette Stadium last year during the playoffs based on the claim by the Jets that they had permission to film from the mezzanine in the Patriots' home field. I'm puzzled by a number of questions this brings up.

If the Jets employee had permission, what is the proof that was provided to NFL offices? I think, based on the penalties meted out to the Patriots for Belichick's transgressions, the NFL owes that to the Patriot fan base.

If said employee had permission, was he wearing the proper vest and credentials that are issued to...well..credentialled personnel?

Even if the Jets were given permission, is the NFL then saying that team permission supersedes league rules? Consider the following reported by New York Newsday -

NFL rules state "no video recording devices of any kind are permitted to be in use in the coaches' booth, on the field, or in the locker room during the game." They also say all video for coaching .purposes must be shot from locations "enclosed on all sides with a roof overhead."

Last time I checked, the location the Jets noted that they were filming from was not "enclosed on all sides with a roof overhead." At least it wasn't unless the Jets set up in one of the stadium's snack stands on the mezzanine (assuming there's one with a view of the field).

Herein lies my problem with this - the Jets admitted filming. They publicly admitted filming from a location from which they are not allowed to film. The NFL essentially said, "that's okay because (you said) you got permission." To me, this is like a team going into a game, and then repeatedly committing personal fouls with the referees letting the team get away with it, because the team committing the fouls told the refs they had been given permission by the other team to commit said fouls.

The NFL either has to mete out discipline evenly for this, or the league needs to revisit the rule.

But this uneven application brings me to a baseball point.

As I have noted before, there are a number of baseball writers, including ESPN's Buster Olney, who say that they will continue to vote for the likes of Mark MacGwire, Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemens for entry into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. The excuse put forth by these writers is, "well, it's just the era they played in, and these were the best in that era."

These are the same people that want to keep Pete Rose as a pariah "in the best interests in baseball." The same people that keep Jim Rice out of the Hall because, in some eyes, his numbers aren't good enough - in spite of the fact that, without steroids, he has considerably better numbers than MacGwire in every offensive category except for homeruns. And, possibly most importantly, these are the same people who won't vote Jose Canseco in due to his steroid use.

The hypocrisy of the BBWA is palpable in the Hall of Fame voting.

There are even those writers, and many fans that like to point out that baseball in many of those years had no rule against steroid use. This is, I think, the most laughable justification. Possession and use of steroids without a prescription is a federal crime. The argument that baseball had no rule governing it is akin to employees of an Edward Jones Financial franchise flouting the federal laws enforced by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), because Edward Jones corporate had no written policies dictating the same as the SEC.

In the case of the Edward Jones employee, that person would first lose his or her job, and then that person would go to jail for violation of federal law. Baseball players appeal to an arbitrator and keep their jobs in spite of violating federal statute. Nice double standard.

No comments: