I keep meaning to refrain from writing about the cesspool that is the Jerry Sandusky/ Joe Paterno story out of Penn State, but the PSU students rioting in support of Paterno, ESPN’s ongoing snubbing of the victims and their families plus Paterno’s own callous behavior (especially his whining about getting fired by phone after practically daring the Penn State trustees to do it) keep driving me to discuss angles of the story that sportscasters don’t seem capable of grasping.
Alleged pedophile enabler Joe Paterno and his family are not the victims here. The children who were allegedly raped by Paterno’s former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky are. The families of those children are victims, too, especially of the way that Paterno, one of the adults who allegedly failed to call the cops about Sandusky’s ongoing behavior, keeps getting spitefully held up by ESPN and others as if the impact all this will have on his “legacy” is all that matters.
Today’s latest “poor little JoePa” travesty came via the plans of the Penn State Sodomy Lions football players to walk the game ball to Paterno’s house and award it to him if they had won today. (I figure calling them the Sodomy Lions instead of the Nittany Lions is no more tasteless than the players’ plans to award the game ball to the man who has helped disgrace their team. But hey, “He wishes he had done more”. At least, now that the story has become public ) The Nebraska Cornhuskers automatically became America’s Team since nobody outside of ESPN (Exclusively Supporting Pedophiles Network) wanted to see that repulsive scene unfold. (Luckily the Cornhuskers won 17-14) To be very clear about this, walking the ball to the alleged pedophile enabler’s home would have required much more effort than Paterno himself allegedly put forth to stop multiple child rapes. (Pssst! Joe! You could have called the cops!)
ESPN and the pro- Paterno crowd in College Station, PA may be doing what I was afraid they would do- try to make a scapegoat out of Mike McQueary, who was only 19 when he went to Paterno about what he allegedly saw Sandusky doing to a 10 year old boy in the Penn State showers. Yep, gang up on him, and while you’re at it why not gang up on the janitor who also allegedly saw Sandusky involved with children on Penn State property. Anything to insulate the selfish, petty and callous Joe Paterno from the criticism he deserves. And besides, as delusional as the Paterno supporters are, if McQueary had gone over Paterno’s head in the alleged coverup I’m betting the Sodomy Lion fans would have closed ranks around Paterno and Sandusky and treated McQueary and the janitor as pariahs for daring to besmirch the football program they feel is more important than multiple child rapes.
About the only thing ESPN did right today was to keep the perpetually air- headed Erin Andrews off of this morning’s College Game Day show. With her non- stop cluelessness and her penchant for ill- timed Star Wars analogies who knows what she might have said to further degrade their coverage. (“If you saw a Jedi Master raping a youngling in the shower, what would you do?”) Note to ESPN: covering a story like this requires people capable of mature human emotions. Your network’s “winning a few games excuses everything a person may ever do wrong” philosophy does not equip you to deal with events like the Sandusky/ Paterno story.
And if you can’t bear to criticize a person because of their win total, let me point out that I think this situation calls for the ultimate asterisk. Maybe all of Paterno’s victories after he admittedly failed to “do more” about the child rape situation should be vacated. If ESPN reporters want asterisks for Barry Bonds and others for much less heinous offenses there’s no reason to go easy on Paterno. Strip all victories from him from 2002 on , or if it turns out he knew about Sandusky’s actions even earlier and STILL didn’t call the cops, strip all victories from him from that point on. (And in my opinion it seems odd that Paterno didn’t know why Jerry Sandusky was allegedly being forced to resign from his staff in 1999) That way the all- time Division One wins record would revert to Grambling coach Eddie Robinson, who seems to have won all his games without once failing to call the cops about multiple child rapes.