“When we stood at childhood’s gate / shapeless in the hands of fate / thou didst mold us, dear Old State … May no act of ours bring shame …” From the Penn State alma mater
I’m writing this quickly before I forget, fueled by anger and disbelief. Here you go: Joe Paterno is an utter failure as a human being who should spend his remaining years making amends to Jerry Sandusky’s victims. And to think that he’s a father and grandfather who put the football program above the safety and welfare of children?
I used to know a couple of people in prison, one at Lorton (25 to life) and one at Sing Sing (10 to 15, probably out now); according to them, the code of honor inside made child molesters automatic candidates to be the alpha dogs’ collective b***h. They will take turns doing to him what he used to do to defenseless children. Who but Jerry Sandusky would be more deserving of that horrific fate?
And to the Penn State students rioting because their precious Joe Pa can’t coach another game? Have you even been reading or watching the news, you mouth-breathing wastes of oxygen?
When I first read about the pedophilia in the Catholic Church ten years ago, even as a former Catholic, it didn’t impact me as this case does, because I wasn’t a father then. I’ve been to Happy Valley for a home game, and it truly is a thrill, but how does winning a football game trump Ethics 101 or Morals 201? I get it, I even used to coach a Pop Warner team, and even at that level it can be a soul-swallowing endeavor like Gollum and his ring. I spent countless hours researching, drawing out, then photocopying, plays for my boys when I wasn’t working. You must, as a coach, have a deep-seated sense of in loco parentis, especially if (as in DC in the late 90s, or among many Division I football players now) you are their one and only parent figure. That is a responsibility and a duty that no coach worthy of the title should take lightly. Unless you’re a monster who uses that as a cover to victimize the most vulnerable, children who look up to their coach.
But don’t worry about it, let the university system handle it, because you’re on track to become the winning-est coach in Division I history. “In retrospect… I regret I didn’t do more.” In retrospect, Joe? I won’t call you Coach, not in this blog, not if I meet you in person, because that’s a title a person should earn. The board of trustees “should not spend a single minute discussing my status” as head football coach. Really? Have 46 years so warped your ego that you believe you are Penn State, that you are above reproach, even when you failed to follow up Mike McQueery’s disgusting allegations with the university and local police? Were the allegations not serious enough to make you think that, it’s been a month since I told them and nothing’s happened, I should circle back with the administrators and the police.
I’m thankful that this horror didn’t even remotely affect my family. I shudder to think what would happen if it did, or what I would do. I would probably use skills I haven’t used in years, but inflicting pain can also be a form of muscle memory, just remembering where to strike for maximum effect. For now, my family are still sleeping, safe, unharmed. May it always be that way for them.