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Requiem for Joe Paterno

Joe Paterno, quarterback at Brown 1949, a year before he took an assistants position at Penn State.

At one time no one said anything bad about Joe Paterno.

Within the last few months people could find little good to say about him.

With Joe Paterno dead all his supporters can now come out of the woodwork. Allow me to rephrase that; With Joe Paterno dead all his supporters can now be covered by the sports intelligentsia media.

The Child Abuse Scandal

The “stink” in this entire situation surrounding Penn State for the last three months is, was, and always will be on Jerry Sandusky, the Penn State administration, and the media . This story brewed and stewed for nearly a decade. The media and sports intelligentsia have all but ignored it until it became clear it could sell advertising time.

It was time to break the story; Paterno was near the end of his coaching days.

Believe this; if Penn State was in the running for a national championship this year it would have been buried deeper than Cam Newton’s college transcript and police report from Florida.

The geneses of this story starts when Paterno was past his mid-seventies in 2003. Some have suggested a man who ran an entire football program should have had the ability to report the incident (which he did); okay, he should have followed up. Suppose he did follow-up; what then if nothing was done? Go to the police; what then if nothing was done? Go to the media; (Now we’re talkin’ – sarcasm) what then if nothing was done? I got it! Take a gun and go kill Jerry Sandusky (more sarcasm). Anything short of going to the media and shooting Sandusky was not good enough (sarcasm).

Joe’s World

Paterno lived in a world of college football for all his life. It’s like a research scientists at a university; he’s consumed by his research, he hears about a professor becoming overly familiar with a student. He reports it and gets back to his research.

Paterno didn’t live in a sheltered academic environment. He lived in a world the academics disdain.

I don’t know exactly how many people were under Paterno; a dozen or so coaches, trainers, managers, recruiters, various advisors, secretaries, and at least one hundred or so immature young men. He was presumably responsible for all their conduct?

Paterno was raised in a time when bad things happened to kids you shake it off and go on. In his day there were no guidance counselors, school physiologists, trauma interventionists, abuse hot-lines, sensationalism obsessed media, publicists, sniveling hand-wringers, political and social liberal sports media, Dr. Drew, Dr, Oz, Dr. Phil or Dr. Feel-goods. You repressed things and moved on. You didn’t whine, complain, or make excuses. You didn’t point fingers, cast doubt, or blame. Not that those things are all bad or good, but that’s the way things were.

WWJD (What Would Joe Do)

I listened to the media excoriate Paterno’s statement on the abuse case as being out of touch and unfeeling. Anyone with a discerning eye, an understanding brain, and a compassionate heart need not know that Paterno was then dying and just a very old man. Shame on all those who rebuffed his words.

Those words did not go first through a media research committee before being read. They were the words from the heart of a confused old man. Until the media parsed them to death they were full of compassion and honesty.

Sports is often used as a metaphor for life. When you lose a game, you congratulate your opponent, correct the mistakes made, hold no grudges, and get ready for the next game.

There is a quality that should shine in all; we should not judge quickly or harshly (let‘s look at the game film first). There is none without defect or sin (sure you missed the final tackle, but there were a whole lot missed before yours).

There will be those who will now eat their words. If done for the right reason than they should not be judged because they judged quickly or harshly – they just made a mistake and welcomed back into the fold.

I don’t think you’ll hear “grudge” and “Joe Paterno” in the same breath. That’s the lesson.

(Link to another article.)

Joe Paterno, 2011, either holding the gate open or closing it: either way, the gatekeeper since 1966.

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Tim Tebow; He’s Not Black, Muslim, or Gay

If only Tim Tebow had a better throwing motion, then it would be his a, a, a; we'll think of something.

Why doesn’t ESPN like Tim Tebow? Simply this; he does not fit into their secular minded universe they believe in. ESPN is not alone all the others (ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox) are in lock-step, but ESPN is calling the cadence.

Let’s talk the truth. ESPN wants no one that is morally superior to them. They want to set the moral guidelines.

What would the sport’s intelligentsia’s position be if Tebow were black, Muslim or gay? They would not be able to say enough good about him.

I’m not a sports insider so I don’t know all the ins and outs;

1. Remember Ben Rothlisberger, who never met a coed he didn’t like to grope, fondle, or abuse sexually.

2. Remember Michael Vick, a barbaric dog owner who bred dogs to kill and be killed for sport and some died at his own hands.

3. Remember Brett Favre, the guy who got caught trying to “hook-up” with a sideline hotty. He cheated on his wife and kids. His philandering in the past is well-known and documented.

4. Cam Newton who got kicked out of one school because he was a thief. His dad accepted a bribe for him to go to Auburn.

They are or were the darlings of the sports intelligentsia at one time or another.

When they are caught they report the facts. Then they get behind them as if none of the former conduct ever happened. ESPN wants the power to build up or tear down.

Have the sports’ Intelligentsia turned on Tebow because he prays. Other players do it all the time. They point to heaven after a touchdown, a fumble recovery, and a killer tackle.

Could it be because he is a virgin? The aforementioned darlings have women dripping off them. Wait, wait, I got it; it’s his throwing style – right; sure it is. If he were gay they sure wouldn’t say he throws like a girl.

I don’t like it when people thank Jesus for a victory; as if Jesus cares. If he cared the Duke Blue Devils would never win. I never liked it when Catholic players did the sign of the cross before free-throws. But so what! Their actions are innocuous at best (Catholics are among the worst free-throw shooters. My money is always on the Baptists.)

A book can be written about why the sports’ intelligentsia doesn’t like Tim Tebow, but the 800 pound gorilla in the room is he is a professed out-spoken Christian; he’s not black, he’s not Muslim, and not gay.

The media fears moral codes and restraints. The very things that the world is sorely missing.


Filed under Essays