Monday's closing arguments in the Senate's impeachment trial for President Donald Trump had absolutely nothing to do with sports.
... Until Ken Starr stepped to the podium.
Starr, a member of President Trump's defense team, managed to shoehorn in references to both Deflategate and Major League Baseball's latest sign-stealing scandal while making his closing argument.
"It's fundamental fairness. It's playing by the rules," Starr said Monday in the Senate chamber. "It's why we don't allow deflating footballs, or stealing signs from the field. Rules are rules. They are to be followed."
We're not sure what inspired Starr to bring up Deflategate -- the allegation that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady used deflated footballs in the 2015 AFC Championship Game that eventually led to Brady's suspension -- or the recent sign-stealing scandal that already cost Red Sox manager Alex Cora his job and could implicate Boston in addition to the Houston Astros.
A trial that could lead to removal of a U.S. president doesn't seem like the best platform to rehash New England-area cheating scandals.
But Starr -- the former Baylor University president who resigned in 2016 amid the school's mishandling of rape allegations -- apparently chose those two examples as a means to question whether prosecutors properly followed impeachment proceedings after the Senate rejected Democrats' call for witnesses at the trial.
"Were the rules here faithfully followed? If not, the prosecutors should not be rewarded," Starr added.
Regardless of how the impeachment trial plays out, the Patriots can't seem to stay out of the news -- sports-related or otherwise.
Did Ken Starr take a shot at Patriots during Donald Trump impeachment trial? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston