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The History of Joe Paterno and Hindsight

Hindsight is 20/20. So goes the saying. We've seen Joe's statement "In hindsight, I should have done more" (paraphrase? I'm too lazy to look it up) treated as an admission that not only did Joe KNOW that sex abuse had occurred, but that he had actively encouraged it.

I thought that it would be worth noting that Joe has a history with hindsight. We heard, after Michael Robinson became the effing man in 2005 that Joe "probably should have" played MRob more before that year. Then, in 2008, we heard the same about one fist-pumping stud who needs not be named.

What can these instances of hindsight teach us about the current scandal? A lot, I think. First, they reiterate the point of the saying: hindsight is 20/20. MRob and DC17 were two of the better QBs in the B1G in the past 10 years, and probably could have been even better with more experience under center. However, there's a more important point to take (which, albeit is related, is significant here), after the jump.

So, what do Joe's two prior statements teach us? It's that he does what he thinks is right at the time. Does ANYONE think that Joe thought "man, this Morelli guy is terrible compared to this Clark kid, but I'm going to play Morelli instead"? Absolutely not. That's ludicrous. Instead, Joe played the kid he thought gave us a better chance at winning. Or, put in football coach speak, he made the decision he thought best at the time.

Once all the events have played out, there are often better options than the one exercised. But that does not mean the one chosen was wrong - even if it led to 55 defensive touchdowns against OSU. However, Joe made the right call, as he saw it, at the time.

This leads me inexorably to the conclusion that we saw somewhat play itself out last Friday: if McQueary had come out and said "Joe, I saw anal sex", Joe's route is clear. Not to ignore the enormity of the situation, but this is the equivalent of Tom Brady informing Joe that he has one more year of eligibility: picking Morelli (covering up) over Brady (dealing with the issue) is clearly wrong, and nobody would do it. On the other end of the spectrum is McQueary saying "I saw a high five." Somewhere in the middle is a judgment call. That's what Joe did.

Anyway, them's my thoughts on hindsight and Joe.

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