I'm trying to get myself past this last year. I went through various stages of anger and grief. I really want to move on. But Joe Paterno was one of my heroes. He was a person who I could hold up as a role model. As someone who not only excelled at his job, but who raised a family, and never let his troubles show.
I admired that as a kid and even more so now, as a father of two.
And it seems like, every time I think I'm close to moving on...every time I begin to look forward to the blue/white game...something like this comes across my screen...
This makes me furious. This asshat has no compunction about writing an indictment of Joe. He has no problem distorting the facts to make Joe responsible for child rape. I refuse to allow this to go unnoticed.
If his former players and if the current Penn State students want to proselytize what a great man he was, they have to at least acknowledge why someone so otherwise beloved and respected had to be fired in disgrace. To just circle around the same anecdotes of leadership and courage without mentioning that his lack of principle allowed dozens of children to get raped, it's just not an accurate portrayal. He isn't Santa Claus. He is a three-dimensional, flawed human being. And yet when I watched the coverage of his funeral procession on ESPN the other day, I found myself on the verge of drop-kicking my television. Not once was the Jerry Sandusky fiasco mentioned. Not once, in a segment that featured tears and appraisals and compliments of him, was there even an inference of the scandal that got him fired. And in what was a recap of the man's life, it needed to be there. It needed to be shown that this too was a part of the man, myth and legend; to just bypass it entirely was disgraceful.
I'm not sure how to respond to something like this. It's a blog posted on SBN. And it's not okay.
I'm not sure what disturbs me more...that this person is so ignorant about the facts of the case or that he actually believes that Joe was somehow responsible for rape.
So the P.C. part of me wants to educate this writer. Explain the errors in the thesis and redirect this anger towards its rightful heir - the BOT, Schultz et al., and ultimately Sandusky himself.
But I'm tired of doing this. I'm tired of responding to hate with patience. I'm tired of facing vitriol with logic. Let me give you an example...
I was in the gym the other morning working out. An acquaintance of mine, who knows I grew up in State College, came over to express his sympathy for Joe's passing. And then, with no hesitation, he launched into a weird pedophilia story...as if because I'm an PSU alumnus who loved Joepa, I'm somehow the right audience for pedophilia stories. I didn't react badly, but it was close.
Instead, I calmly tried to explain my position. I pointed out the facts of the case. But it turns out that "morally, Joe didn't do enough" trumps actually doing what you are required. The discussion ended with a bit of heat on my part.
That's because I'm truly exhausted by other people's moral superiority. My friend at the gym and the author above are both full of it. They actually believe that their moral superiority is more important than truth.
So, how do we go forward from here? I want to get to a place where I can just root for B.O.B. and our team again. I want to be proud to be a Penn Stater again without wearing my "not a pedophile" button anymore.
I want to be able to admire Joe, without having to joust with ignorant, misinformed, morally superior imbeciles.
While I'm ready to move on, I'm not going to let these people continue to slander Joe and Penn State. I am not going to ignore this garbage just to move forward.
I'm still angry.
How do you feel?