Sunday, January 22, 2012

Joe Paterno

I am not a Penn State student, not an alumni nor do I even live in Happy Valley any longer. I never met the man, attended only two PSU football games and was out on maternity leave when he was in the hospital having his knees replaced. I know what I have read and heard about Joe Paterno and my son was born in a beautiful wing of Mount Nittany Medical Center named for Joe and his wife,Sue. I know that he was respected by thousands of Penn State students and until a few months ago, the country. I know that he was loyal to his wife, his team, his town and the game of football.  I don't know exactly what happened during the "Sandusky years" and how much JoePa is at fault.

And here's the thing- nobody does except Mr Sandusky himself and my guess is, he will take it to the grave.

This is not a political blog, so I will keep my opinions to myself about how I would have handled things if I were in charge. But I will say what I know- which is that no amount of hiring, firing, sensationalizing news media, protests, or hateful facebook status updates can make right what was done wrong to those boys. So let's put our energy into making sure something like this never happens again on our watch. The legal part is out of our hands, so let Sandusky pay for his crimes however the court sees fit. I doubt even the most hateful of us wants to imagine what inmates think of a pedophile in the cell next door.

For today, Joe Paterno died at age 85 of cancer. And if he would have retired last season like he talked about, the country would have joined Happy Valley in mourning a legend. Put aside your confidence that you would have done everything differently if you were Paterno, Spanier, McQueary, etc and let the people who actually knew Joe Paterno the man mourn his death.

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