Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Winningest Coach

This is a very difficult one.  Sorting out the feelings about Joe Paterno.   When the story first broke earlier this week about alleged child molestations by assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, it was shocking and appalling.  Two other Penn State employees were also on the hot seat.  There was a brief sigh of relief that it wasn't going to stain the reputation of the great and legendary Joe Paterno.  As the hours and days passed, the story got worse and far more disturbing.  True, from where it stands now, Coach Paterno didn't do anything "wrong."  He passed the allegations on to others at Penn State to look into, deal with, sweep under the carpet.  Until yesterday, I was having many conflicting feelings and then I listened to an MSNBC host, Martin Bashir, who likened Penn State to the Catholic Church.  The fog lifted.  It all became clear.  The "good" people of Penn State, including Paterno, put institution, money, reputation, football ahead of the victims of alleged crimes.  

One of the mothers of the victims got relief, finally after years.  Someone believes the allegations.  Someone believes that her son was molested.  Paterno's crime is that he passed the buck and didn't follow up.  He could have been a hero if he had acted swiftly, called the police, forced the administrators to deal head on with Sandusky.  Now, he is a fallen football icon.  The winningest coach in the NCAA.  There are no excuses.  The Catholic Church scandal had already happened, so they should have learned from that.  What happens to natural instincts?  Is power, money, and blind support too much?  Does it dull down one's natural reactions?  If I heard about the possibility of sexual molestation, I would sound a horn.  I am sure it would be scary and uncomfortable, but a child's well being is at stake.  Certainly, there will be more boys coming forward.  I think they are up to 9 right now.  How many of those could have been stopped if Penn State and Coach Paterno did the right thing?
Time will only tell how many more boys were allegedly molested by Sandusky since the first horn was sounded in 2002.  Time will only tell how Paterno will be remembered after this.

Sidebars:  Rachel Crow, a 13 year old, on the X Factor is staggeringly good.  She is both adorable, likable, and deeply talented.  Her depth is far greater than her 13 years.  If you haven't seen her, youtube her.  You won't be sorry. 
Rick Perry has become his own SNL skit.  He is just handing comedians a buffet on a silver platter.  And again,  Mario Batali stepped in it when he was using Hitler and Stalin to describe Wall Streeters.  Really?  Again, why is Hitler the go to guy.  Why don't people learn from others.  In the past decade, Hitler's name has been carelessly bandied about. No good comes from it. Take Hitler out of the vernacular.

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