To risk so much, for so little.
That was my first thought after reading report last week of an FBI investigation into a possible hacking of Houston Astros computer database in 2013 by rival St. Louis Cardinals in what would be a violation of federal law and was reported in The New York Times (6.16).
Right out of the chute some were making the Deflategate comparison.
It is true that with today’s trend towards shenaniganism throughout our world of tumultuous merriments, analogizing to the Patriots current plight arising from Colts 2015 late season tip-off, was fair enough to engage.
But comparing the culpabilities, the degrees of wrong in computer hacking, a federal / state offense, versus a strong hunch (Wells Report (“more probable than not (51%)“)) of a rather miniscule NFL ball-management misstep, is, in the words of “Phil Leotardo (The Sopranos),” “apples and bowling balls.” Forget about it.
And besides, given that top-dog NFL has more detractors than you can shake a stick at, or, put in other words, is on more “enemies list(s)” than were names on President Nixon’s infamous album of believed foes (20 (570+)), any tempest in NFL’s “Teapot” is bound to be over-boiled by malcontents & advocacy shills.
My second thought: I’ve seen this crazy high risk, low payoff thing before, along with those aged 50+ who still remember the 70s and President Richard Milhous Nixon.
I’m referring to the big bad one. The ignominy that gave birth to the ‘gate’ suffix today being attached to every broad-reaching malfeasance since, political and otherwise: the Watergate scandal (1972-74), named for the complex of offices, hotel and apartment buildings in Washington, DC where took place the Nixon White House‘s bungled burglary of the Democratic National offices in 1972.
The differences between these two incidents, Watergate and, let‘s term it, Sabergate (theory is that St. Louis surreptitiously sought statistical & strategy data from Houston and a former employee), are about as many as those figurative apples and bowling balls.
The contexts: sport business vs. the highest stratosphere of governmental goings-on.
The states of knowledge: one investigation, conducted largely by the Washington Post’s Woodward & Bernstein (“All the President’s Men (‘76)”), finished up long ago, the current one is on-going and this time has full federal cooperation and directive.
Comparative relevance of proven (Watergate) and suspected (STL) misdeeds:
Hacking is a serious crime, whether it occurs in private or business setting, or breaks national security codes by invasion of highly classified files. The crime’s definition aught incorporate the privacy right as well, one that has taken some serious body blows in recent decades (post 9-11), and like due process, is often an undervalued right when it’s someone else’s circumstance and not your own (See; Sterling-Stiviano TMZ tape drop).
This particular form of hackery, if factual, pales in comparison to the wrongs worked by the Nixon White House and uncovered by the Watergate inquiries.
Many today mistakenly believe the cover-up of the burglary is what did-in Nixon and his operatives. In fact, it was the extensive covert operations that his White House engaged, circumventing federal law and U.S. Constitution in the process, that rightly toppled this President whose handling of economy and declaring college football’s national champ (Texas ‘69) both lacked style, but whose actions in foreign policy seemed to have him on the road to greatness (Détente / Ping-Pong Diplomacy (China)).
Where these two do compare (if Times report is accurate and indictments are filed vs. the Cards), and even Deflategate when last season’s AFCC outcome is considered (NE 45 – IND 7), is a seemingly unnecessary need to know, or, in Patriots’ case, max-flate. In simplest term, the goofy greed.
When all was said & done with Watergate (’75), resignations given (Nixon), convictions won (Haldeman, Mitchell, Liddy, etc.) and promotions received (Ford (#38)), many scratched their heads in manner being duplicated today on this hacking report concerning a standard-bearer franchise in the St. Louis Cardinals (b.1882): Why o’ why would someone with so much power (Nixon) and yet skullduggery to cover (covert ops), so far up in polls over opposition (McGovern), feel need to risk it all and bug Democratic HQ?
Where power goes unchecked, greed, arrogance & corruption follow. A l’il dumb, too. Goal of justice requires ethics, wisdom and bravery, making it optional.
Here, the Cardinals – Astros probe is on-going.
For it to rise to Sabergate status, facts must put misdeeds in Cards’ Oval Office, as it were, beyond lower-level, eager-beaver saberheads and within purview of Owner Bill DeWitt, General Manager John Mozeliak and / or skipper Mike Matheny.
One thing’s for certain, this hacking hubbub has done little to take the edge off of Redbirds appetite for wins, becoming MLB15’s first team to hit the 50 mark.
Oh, for those simpler days when Presidents let nature take it’s course (Coolidge), cooked in “the kitchen” and never passed a “buck (Truman)” and scouts spotted “a blinder” on a tryout and without a calculator (This Sporting Life (‘63)).
Can o’ Corn
Photo Credits: J.Mozeliak, 10.30.11, wc.cca, JM.Mena; R.Nixon, wc, 8.9.74, O.Atkins, WH; Watergate-Complex, wc, 8.18.12, slowking4; J.Mozeliak, wc, d-deee, 2011; Mao-Nixon, wc, 2.29.72, WHPO; St.Louis.Cardinals, Sportslogonet, wc, 1900-19; W.DeWitt, wc, JM.Mena, 10.30.11; canned-corn.
Posted: 6.28.15 @ 7:41pm EST
Copyright © 2015 S.J. Keys