When Pro-Sports Meet Washington

Josh Green on the brutal baseball hearings:

Professional sports and official Washington have much in common. Neither is a stranger to steroidally overdeveloped egos or grand displays of power. But as so often happens when the two worlds collide, yesterday's hearing was a massacreand, as usual, professional sports didn't see it coming. It looked to me as though Clemens and the many sports media types in attendance were genuinely taken aback by the primal, dog-in-heat urgency with which these grandstanding nobodies tore apart a sports legend.

The political reporters, however, were not the slightest bit phased. This highlights a crucial disparity that I think the sports world has never truly appreciated, and that helps to explain the disastrous string of recent appearances by major sports figures in Washington: sports and politics both thrive on ego, money, and power. But only in Washington is the ritual humiliation that Clemens experienced a deeply ingrained and important part of the culture.