Friday, September 14, 2007


This is my chance to say "I told you so." This is my chance to enjoy a bit of schadenfreude. I was really mad when Ty Willingham was canned by Notre Dame after his third year. I thought it was a disgrace to a university that was supposed to value integrity. And I pointed out that all of Charlie Weiss's success came with player recruited by Willingham. Now in his third season (his seniors were still recruited by Willingham), Weiss is winless. They have no offensive touchdowns. The great genius is faltering and, I'll give you a hint, after this weekend at equally winless Michigan, the Irish are going to be 0-3. Gloat Gloat Gloat Gloat Gloat.

I'm happy that ESPN is putting this Patriots thing in perspective. They did a great report the other day on how cheating is as much a part of sports as sweat and cheerleaders. Let's face it: as Levit points out in "Freakenomics," when there is great financial incentive to cheat lots of people will do so (in super high paying endeavors like sports, it's safe to say most people will do so). Regular readers of this page will know that I've been saying this for years, and that in the great scheme of things it makes good copy but is not that big a deal (because if everybody is cheating then nobody is). ESPN even brought up hall of fame cheater Gaylord Perry and future hall of fame cheater Sammy Sosa. Good coverage.

Not that cheaters shouldn't be punished. They should. If cheating is part of the game then getting caught is part too. I think Bill Belichick should have been suspended, especially considering the commissioner's high profile crusade to clean up sports through the suspension of players. But his half million dollar fine and the draft pick or picks they will loose is still pretty stiff (the $250,000 the team was fined is a joke).

But get this: this week McClaren was assessed a Dr. Evil fine amount of $100,000,000--that's ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS!!!!!!!--for spying on rival Ferrari and obtaining one of their technical manuals. That's more than the GDP of many third world nations. As a fine!!!!!!!! We're in Microsoft territory now. F-1 understands the nature of incentives. I'm not sure McClaren (whose drivers are 1-2 in the standings and were not docked any points) can survive that sort of thing. Of course it is F-1, where they spend as much on a single car as on a whole team in NASCAR.


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