by Aubrey Bruce
For New Pittsburgh Courier
The New England Patriots will meet the Baltimore Ravens for the AFC Championship this weekend. There is a kind of “un-poetic” injustice in this matchup. The first being a coach (Patriots Bill Belichick) continuing to prowl the sidelines after being exposed sanctioning his staff to illegally video record the opposition’s practices and signals therefore winning numerous regular season, playoff and championship games by cheating, cheating and more cheating. Now the current or past Ravens (formerly known as the Cleveland Browns) players had nothing to do with the late Browns’ owner Art Modell backing up the moving van in Cleveland at 12:01 am on a Saturday night when everyone was drunk and watching ESPN reruns and “snuck” his team, for a small fee down to perform in the crab cake capital of the East.
I’d like to give you a few examples of whether the punishment should fit the crime. I will leave the final judgment up to you. Let’s hit rewind and go back to the doping scandal of former track icon, Marion Jones. In a Jan. 2008 AP story prior to Ms. Jones being sentenced for doping and a check fraud scheme, Jones said; “she was scared.” And that; “she was sorry [but] her young sons needed her.” She also added; “I ask you to be as merciful as a human being can be.” Did Marion Jones rob, shoot or assault anyone? The answer is hell no! Was she dealt with like a common thug treated like she was involved in a drive by? Hell yeah! And let me add an historical perspective leading into Black Mystery Month, oops I meant Black History Month. The handling of her so-called crime reminded me of the ‘Roots’ character Toby, a.k.a. Kunta Kinte being captured and returned to the plantation after a few nights of “R&R” running about the countryside side…you diggg. U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas who sentenced her had the nerve to say; “”I don’t think the criminal conduct can be written off as a momentary lapse of judgment or a one-time mistake, but instead a repetition of an attempt to break the law.” We wouldn’t be here today talking about the possibility of incarceration if Ms. Jones-Thompson had told the truth. [A prison sentence might make others] think twice before lying. It might make them realize that no one is above the obligation to tell the truth.”
Well what was repeatedly and illegally recording your opposition’s practices and signals? A day at the beach?
Bill Belichick allegedly lied, destroyed or ordered others to destroy evidence but still had shrimp scampi or lobster gai que with his family the evening after he received his “slap” on the wrist from the NFL or did he eat “crow?” The only court that Belichick violations were presented before was the “kangaroo” court of the NFL. We will never know. Even the late Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter tried to bring light to the situation concerning the “competitive advantages” of Belichick and his cronies but his efforts were squashed like an Obama sponsored bill at a Republican “filibuster” dance.
The New York Times published a story written by Tyler Kepner titled: ‘Bonds (and Everyone) Strikes Out’. Kepner says; “In the most resounding referendum yet on the legacy of steroids in baseball, voters for the Hall of Fame emphatically rejected the candidacies of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens in [the] balloting results [for this year’s class.] Kepner also pointed out that; “In their first year on the ballot, Bonds and Clemens, perhaps the most decorated hitter and pitcher in the game’s history, fell far short of receiving the necessary 75 percent of votes from baseball writers. Bonds, the career home runs leader, received only 36.2 percent, while Clemens, who won a record seven Cy Young Awards, did slightly better, with 37.6,” even though neither was given a pass to baseball’s “hallowed hall” There is no freaking way that any MLB club would even be allowed to consider signing Barry Bonds in any capacity, whether it be a coach, designated, hitter, spitter or sitter. If Bonds did use illegal steroids, he was an everyday player, get my drift? Although some of you may argue that although Roger Clemens only pitched an average of every five days he was required to throw an average of over 100 pitches during every single outing. But you know what? Last August Clemens actually signed a contract with the Sugar Land (Texas) Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League and started a game at the age of 50.
Why was he given the opportunity to even sign a performance contract? Was it because he was formally “acquitted? In the common law tradition, an acquittal formally certifies that the accused is free from the charge of an offense, as far as the criminal law is concerned. Are you getting this boys’ and girls’? Free from the charge far as the law is concerned. See there is the law lowercase for us small folk, then there is the “Law” for the big folk, the upper crust the top one percent. When it comes to them there is a different or at least a different interpretation of the law. It’s not what you do, it’s who you are…peace
(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: email@example.com or 412-583-6741.)