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Congress continues to sniff around NFL issues

Whenever the U.S. Congress decides to sniff around the backyard of a specific private industry, a common refrain is this.

“Doesn’t the government have better things to do?”

Given the whole health care thing and the war in Afghanistan and the economy in the crapper, it’s not a bad point.

But, still, Congress spent time this week pondering brain injuries in football.  Next week, they’ll take a look at the Minnesota statute that has provided refuge to Vikings defensive tackles Pat and Kevin Williams after testing positive for Bumetanide, a prescription diuretic that also is a banned substance under the league’s steroids policy.

As MDS pointed out earlier tonight, the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection will convene at 1:00 p.m. ET on November 3, for the purpose of conducting an inquiry into the situation, according to Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA Executive Director De Smith will testify.

It’s actually a fairly simple fix, if Congress chooses to get involved.  By passing a narrow law declaring that the terms of a collectively-bargained drug-testing program applicable to businesses operating in interstate commerce preempt any state laws that might otherwise apply, the loophole would be forever closed.

Of course, the NFL and the union could fix the situation as well, by agreeing that any state-specific statutory drug-testing claims specifically are waived by the players, whose rights will be determined by the grievance process in the CBA.

But that approach could result in the union trying to leverage the NFL, claiming that the current state of the drug-testing protocol is the league’s problem — which is the same posture the NFLPA has assumed with respect to the current system for paying rookies.  So, basically, the union would want something in return.

Thus, in this specific case, the NFL should welcome the involvement of Congress.

Our only to the league?  This time around, Goodell should be prepared to talk about Rush Limbaugh and Fergie.  And possibly Eddie DeBartolo.

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11 Responses to “Congress continues to sniff around NFL issues”
  1. snnyjcbs says: Oct 30, 2009 9:39 PM

    With all the rule changes that allow the NFL to twist a play here and a play there to push a game or a team in the direction that they would like to see them go. Congress should look at taking away the NFL Anti-Trust Exemption.

  2. DcNinerFan says: Oct 30, 2009 9:45 PM

    No different than Obama and his Cronies (read, unconstitutional “Czars”) then, sticking their ugly faces into everything, making sure that the 4th Reich comes.
    Seriously, its just insane that they are getting involved into this when its a private corporation. If the players in the NFL aren’t aware that concussions = bad, that’s their damn problem, not some government committee using my tax dollars to do some BS inquiry. Its like they are creating problems to justify their hellishly increased expenses (Liberal public option health care plan, anyone? “We’re all doomed!!”)

  3. Poo Flinging Monkey says: Oct 30, 2009 10:49 PM

    DcNinerFan says: October 30, 2009 9:45 PM
    No different than Obama and his Cronies …
    WAAAAAAHHHH! My guy lost the election!!! WAAAAAAHHHH!
    STFU.
    You could have made your point without being so partisan.

  4. Klytus says: Oct 30, 2009 11:16 PM

    The Congress is ready to serve up a watered down version of Healthcare so why not deflect attention by embarrassing the NFL. This way the Congress can be seen on television as being concerned about the health of the players while accepting considerations from the Health Insurance lobbyists.
    GO STEELERS!

  5. outamojo says: Oct 31, 2009 3:14 AM

    Get Eddie D. to buy out Al Davis.

  6. Hank says: Oct 31, 2009 4:31 AM

    Florio is starting to sweat the Coach Kick Ass and the Vajeens involvement in tampering and the fact that Star Caps was outside the the league’s list of acceptable supplements so the Williams Sisters took the risk. Only a homer judge has kept their justifiable suspension from happening.
    DCNinersfan, you typical drooler. Go see the history of “czars” starting with Woodrow Wilson but in modern times kicked into high gear with Nixon. Check out the bevy of Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Cheney czars.
    Legacy of Rush Limbaugh, yell about how stupid you are. Remember neo con dickslaps, Fergie doesn’t incite people to idiocy.

  7. tian says: Oct 31, 2009 7:27 AM

    I simply didn’t know that Rush was that powerful.
    He has the ability to make a phone call and Boom! Congressional inquiries galore!

  8. DcNinerFan says: Oct 31, 2009 9:29 AM

    Poo Flinging Monkey and Hank -
    Is it just me, or does every liberal just insult, insult, insult instead of trying to confront the issue, just like their psychotic Liberal president and speaker. Just insult, attack, and denigrate. Good job!

  9. Dryheave says: Oct 31, 2009 11:20 AM

    Hey, how is Arlen Specter making out with that “spygate” investigation???…….I haven’t heard much about it lately……LMFAO!

  10. Hank says: Oct 31, 2009 1:09 PM

    DcNinerFan, it’s just you. You got your little feelings hurt after a factual beat down. I gave you hard facts and there is nothing “unconstitutional” about appointing a specialist for specific issues, but then I guess you missed all those czars from previous administrations.
    If you were anymore transparent you would be called DcSaranFan.

  11. GRpatriot says: Oct 31, 2009 2:48 PM

    This is a scary proposition, forget Holloween!
    The Congress could kill the NFL with the stroke of a pen. Now, a couple of years ago most folks thought this was hillarious when Specter was going after the Patriots…..
    Now a few other Teams will have to go through the scrutiny and who knows how clean any team is at this point!
    All I know is, when the goverment gets involved with private enterprise, usually doesn’t end well!
    Maxine Waters was pushing her weight around in regards to the head injury policy and accussed Goodell of not taking care of the players….the next threat, the exemption…..we are here from the government and we’re here to help you, no thank you!

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