Rehashing Spygate on Capitol Hill

"I did not construct the timing of this," he said. "I would have been happy to discuss it when I first wrote the letter or when I wrote again in December. I hadn't meant to be talking about this two days before the Super Bowl."

Goodell has said that the letters came to him only this week. Specter pointed out that he sent both letters via fax and postal service. The NFL acknowledges that the fax number is theirs.

Now Specter wants to meet with Goodell to discuss the tapes' destruction. Depending on the outcome of the meeting, he may pursue congressional hearings. He said he'd like to ask about the video, why the NFL destroyed it, and how the league came up with the penalty for the Patriots. That penalty was a forfeited first-round draft pick, and fines of $500,000 and $250,000 for Patriots coach Bill Belichick and the team, respectively.

"If this is the toughest penalty in the history of the game, that doesn't say a whole hell of a lot," said Specter. He pointed out that the Patriots' losing a first-round draft pick should not have made them blink. "This is a team full of first-round draft picks," he said, noting that free agency has changed the game to emphasize which players a team can afford.

Specter and Leahy were already considering another look at the anti-trust issue, which has frustrated Specter, who apparently does not get Sunday Ticket, for some time.

There is plenty of time for both issues before next football season. Specter's season, like that of his Eagles', is already over. Asked what he's doing Sunday, he shot back, "I might play squash."

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