but that was before it occurred to me that I was posting it in a thread that was sure to get shut down.
I think that the reason why those of us ‘inside the circle’ fixate on stories concerning Joe and his level of involvement is that we have seen what can happen to a person in today’s world when a story gets out of hand. A lot of us were saying back on that first weekend in November that we had no information that would sway our preexisting notions of who Joe was. We were saying (very rightly so) that the Grand Jury presentment did not contain the end-all be-all version of events. We were saying that anyone who was calling for Joe’s immediate firing was operating on assumption rather than fact.
Since then I have read countless articles and comments that are based on the paradigm of Joe being willfully blind, if not complicit in a conspiracy, for the sake of protecting his program. These items are typically peppered with inferences (if not outright statements) that Joe and Sandusky were friends, that Joe was effectively in charge of the entire University, that Police Services was not a ‘real’ police force, or any of a number of other red flags that indicate that the author’s intentions are at best sloppy and at worst libelous. These pieces have informed the majority opinion, as any objections are conveniently shouted down with claims that the objector does not care about children, or that no one could defend Joe if they stopped to consider what he would have done if it had been his grandson in the shower with Sandusky. The indelible image out of State College from the week after the presentment was released is the students protesting against the treatment of – what is in the minds of the great majority of viewers – ‘just the school’s football coach’.
Those students understood, just as many of the regulars on BSD understand, that Joe was much more than just a football coach. I’m not going to list his accomplishments beyond the football field, since anyone who is going to give a damn already knows who Joe was and what he did. The reason why those kids took to the street on November ninth, and the reason some of us will always continue to defend Joe, is that if a man of his stature can be taken down by speculation and lies, then what chance does any of us have?
I noticed that people are still reading that thread, as the number of recs seems to be increasing on a number of comments (including this one). I'm curious as to what part of this resonates with people, and whether it might play with non-cultists.