Gene Wojciechowski here, and I'm a certified assclown of the first degree. I can't be bothered to form complete thoughts. Who has the time for that? Like a slack-jawed moron fresh out of a COMM100 class, I write my thoughts as they enter my thick skull, with barely a pause from consideration or contemplation. My columns reflect a marginally coherent, transcribed monologue.
For more than 30 years I've made my living transcribing things I've heard about sports, with a banal brand of sarcasm. Sometimes I fall ass backwards into a witty thought. I cherish those moments.
In 2005, ESPN named me a Senior National Sports Columnist. Why? It was a tenure thing; I'd been there since '98. But it allowed me to write, uh, my thoughts on sports, cursory as they may be. I get to drive the media narrative from this perch.
This column platform, mixed with my shallow intellect, rocks because hey, it's usually just a football or basketball game. Plus, I'm writing against a deadline, so my inability to think critically is a real boon. There's nothing to hinder my feeble mind's first notion. I just spew a couple of reactions, try to throw in a quip or historical reference, and click 'Send'. The editors can hash it out from there.
Wait - I'm wandering. Okay. What I'm trying to explain are the columns I've written about the Sandusky scandal. That's why I asked for this space at BSD.
When Linda Kelly released the Grand Jury Presentment, I skimmed through it, and then blindly assumed everything in it represented the complete truth. I didn't know what a presentment was, and still don't. I just heard a bunch of loud noises in my bald head.
So I called up Barry Switzer because I respect Barry's learned opinions on pedophilia. Barry Switzer said all the Penn State coaches had to know, so that's what I went with when I wrote this column. They're all guilty, I implied, because they all had to know that Sandusky was a pedophile. And when I write "all", I mean Paterno, because I've still never heard of Ray Gricar, The Second Mile, Child Youth Services, the State College Police, or the psychologists. But I've heard of Barry Switzer. Barry Switzer, mother f***kers.
Six weeks later, Sally Jenkins got an interview with Joe, ostensibly because she contacted a pedophilia expert when the presentment came out, instead of an old football coach. Sally wrote a fair piece at that time, and she was attacked for being too easy on Paterno. With my nose in the wind after that one, I went back to the slop trough and puked up this masterpiece. Ignorance is not an excuse was the gist, and Paterno's full of crap. Like Barry Switzer said, Paterno had to know. When in doubt, trust Barry Switzer.
Just a few days later Paterno passed away. I tried to be gentle in that column because my mother said that's what you're supposed to do. I don't know if it worked. It didn't feel right. I regret the advice.
But when Louis Freeh held his press conference in July, I went ape shit again. Louis Freeh stated at that circus that there was a stunning lack of empathy for the children, which google defined for me as 'the capacity to recognize emotions in another'. Louis Freeh also said that it was a 'conspiracy of silence' and used the word 'coverup' - words which stuck with me through several columns - and that Louis Freeh interviewed 430 people and read 28 billion documents in just six months. I had no issue with Louis' math on those claims. Since I have no ability to reason, and only a marginal ability to read, I just rolled with whatever Louis Freeh said. And that's why I immediately cranked out this doozy, essentially parroting whatever Louis Freeh said. Why? Because Louis Freeh said it. Louis Freeh, mother f***ker.
Thanks to square-headed Mark Emmert, I got another easy column just 11 days later, as the sanctions Emmert announced burned Penn State athletics to the ground. It was worse than the death penalty, I wrote. And not undeserved, too. Paterno willfully allowed a pedophile to run rampant across an entire university everyday of the week for 14 years, all so he could save the school's reputation. What an arrogant prick that Paterno guy was.
Confident in my thoughts as spoken to me by Louis Freeh and Barry Switzer, I set the matter aside for the football season. I didn't give it much thought, because Louis Freeh didn't have any more press conferences after that first one. But when the Paterno family released their 'independent' report a few weeks ago, I hacked it up. How objective could Sue Paterno be about her husband, amiright? Why would I take the time to read what Sue Paterno discovered anyhow? LOL! I took those thoughts, pasted another 500 words around them, and told my readers to save their time instead of reading the report. Reading is for losers.
Given that history, I'm sure you're wondering why I'd now write a column claiming the sanctions should be commuted; Penn State should be paroled. I've managed to transcribe six columns preceding this latest gem, each which trashes Penn State and Paterno without constructing a single unique thought. Why start now? I'll tell you why.
Two words: George Mitchell. Look, I haven't changed my mind about Penn State's guilt. Barry Switzer's and Louis Freeh's words are still rattling between my ears, and LA-LA-LA-LA anything to the contrary. All I'm saying, now, is that George Mitchell says Penn State's done well implementing Louis Freeh's recommendations to prevent pedophilia. And since George Mitchell says so, then it must be correct because George Mitchell is a former Senator from Maine. George Mitchell, mother f***kers.
True, I have no idea what George Mitchell's quarterly reports involve, nor do I have any concept that Louis Freeh's recommendations have almost nothing to do with athletics or pedophilia. But George Mitchell said some nice things, so the NCAA should parole Penn State. Not all at once. Heavens no. You can't let a pack of serial rapists off the hook that easily. But in 2014, assuming they haven't raped anyone by then, the NCAA should waive the 2014 sanctions.
Now, I never considered that this commutation conflicts with the recruiting calendar upon which the bulk of the sanctions are based. Nor did I consider that it makes little sense from any perspective other than that Penn State could go to a bowl game. But by 2015, again, assuming no more than one or two child rapes, then what the heck - waive the 2015 sanctions too, whatever that might mean. They've earned it based upon George Mitchell's word. But 2016? Fuck that shit. Keep the roster at 65.
I'm Gene Wojciechowski, and I'm a certified assclown of the first degree. But I'm one hell of a transcribing parrot.
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