The case for security pat-downs
One of the biggest stories off the field in Tampa right now, is the subject of pat-downs at Raymond James Stadium. Because the Bucs' stadium is the only NFL stadium that will not have security pat-downs before games this season.
And this is not because of the Glazers, the Tampa Sports Authority or any logical reason. It's because of some moronic do-gooder liberal thinks his civil rights have been violated by being patted down before a game last season at RJS. And he won a court case stopping the pat-downs.
So without going into all the freedom of expression isses, and believe me, that silly cow from the Liberty organisation obviously didn't have any relatives in the Twin Towers, this is just the most crazy decision I have ever heard.
We unfortunately live in a world with the threat of terrorist attack. At Super Bowl XXXVII, security was simply unreal as it was two months after 9-11. But no-one minded a single bit. We all realised why it was being done, and apart from some poor Raider fan losing all his chain mail apparel because he couldn't get through the metal detector, it was perfectly acceptable.
Ron Diaz and Ian Beckles raised this topic after I reported on the Heathrow Airport story for them on Thursday, and not a single person in their three hour show had any problem with the pat-downs being re-instated at RJS.
So because of one idiot, the threat of a security incident dramatically increases. Unbelievable. If it takes an hour to get into a game because of queues for pat-downs, so what? I will be the first in the queue to have it done. Especially if Clare Grogan from Altered Images is now working the security gate at the stadium and she gets to touch me.
Setanta NASN has pretty much become the "Baseball and NASCAR" channel in recent weeks or "rounders and dodgem cards" as John Davies would describe it. NASN have lost their NFL Network programming, their ESPN content such as "Around the Horn" and "PTI" and there is no sign of pre-season games anywhere.
Unless you are watching NASN in Germany that is. They've got 11 pre-season games live. So the issue is one of contracts within the UK. ESPN already have their own sports channel here showing cracking 1976 Test Match highlights and repeats of 1980s "Match of the Day". And the NFL contract is with Sky Sports and Channel 5 for another year.
So where do we go from here? Err, if there is no kind of NFL coverage, to the mass exodus of subscriptions that NASN had around a year ago when they lost the ESPN programming for the first time.
Maurice Clarett was arrested earlier this week with four loaded weapons, a bullet-proof vest and other paraphanelia, in the same neighbourhood as the people who were due to testify against him in an upcoming court case. What a cracking exhibit he has become for Ohio State's program and why some kind of proper checking on college qualifications need to be done to keep players eligible in the NCAA.
But the highlight of the whole Clarett case has to be what his attorney said in the court hearing after his arrest. "We're very confident that there was no intent to harm anyone," Like, why else would he be driving around the neighbourhood with more weapons than your average police station in Moss Side would confiscate in a year?
Any word therefore with Clarett's problems, that the Cincinnati Outlaws, sorry Bengals, are trying to sign him for their backfield?
You've been great - enjoy Samantha Fox.
Paul Stewart, August 2006.