Showing posts with label Joe Paterno. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Joe Paterno. Show all posts

Monday, July 23, 2012

Well, duh!

Yeah. Um hmm.

It's confession time for Rick Reilly. If confessing the obvious is a confession at all.

Yeah, him and the entire American sports "journalism" establishment. Him and whoever is behind the team "features" aired during game-day broadcasts.

"Forgive us, Father, for we've fed the beast, constructing inspiring "narratives" out of -- if not whole cloth -- at least out of the fertile imaginations of university sports-information directors and PR staffs."

The acclaimed sportswriter came clean on about a week and a half ago, right after the Freeh Report set the record straight about what "doing things the right way" really meant at Penn State.


What a fool I was.

In 1986, I spent a week in State College, Pa., researching a 10-page Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year piece on Joe Paterno.

It was supposed to be a secret, but one night the phone in my hotel room rang. It was a Penn State professor, calling out of the blue.

"Are you here to take part in hagiography?" he said.

"What's hagiography?" I asked.

"The study of saints," he said. "You're going to be just like the rest, aren't you? You're going to make Paterno out to be a saint. You don't know him. He'll do anything to win. What you media are doing is dangerous."

Jealous egghead, I figured.

What an idiot I was.
THESE TWO THINGS are clear, and always have been whenever we didn't have our fingers in our ears while screaming "Neener! Neener! Cancelcancelcancel!"

One, we like to hear what we want to hear. Two, the big business of major-college athletics loves lies almost as well as it does money -- lies grease the skids for "narrative" and narrative is what sells a product nowadays. Things can get ugly when reporters don't stick to the official narrative, which almost always causes them to fall back into line.

In other words,
"What you media are doing is dangerous."

Sunday, July 22, 2012

'Diese Schandtaten: Eure Schuld!'
('These Atrocities: Your Fault!')

Ever been on a plantation tour in the South and heard all about the lost glories of the Old South -- that idyllic life the planter class enjoyed prior to the martial unpleasantness that brought it all to naught?

Were you amazed at how little you hear on some of these tours about the slaves upon whose backs was built this life of privilege and beauty for the few . . . the proud . . . the wealthy and white?

Ever turned on the TV and seen one of those stories about post-Soviet life in Russia, where you always see some raggedy protest by old pensioners with hammer-and-sickle flags and pictures of Lenin and Stalin, lamenting the passing of the dictatorship of the proletariat and all its attendant glories?

Were you amazed at how the gulags and captive nations never quite fit into the narrative of nostalgia for Soviet greatness?

Yeah. Me, too.

REMINDS me of all that. And the warped, warped culture of idolatry and denial surrounding Penn State football and pervading State College, Pa., needs to follow the Old South and the Soviet Union into the ash bin of history.
Cloresa Turner drove to central Pennsylvania from Virginia to see the statue of veteran Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.

When she arrived in State College on Sunday and saw that it was gone from its place outside the university stadium, she clasped her hand over her mouth.

"He's done so much for this university. It's sad," said Turner, of Martinsville, Va. "To wipe it all away is like he meant nothing."

Construction vehicles and police arrived shortly after dawn Sunday, barricading the street and sidewalks near the statue, erecting a chain-link fence and then concealing the 7-foot-tall statue with a blue tarp. Workers used jackhammers to free the statue and a forklift to lower it onto a flat-bed truck that rolled into a stadium garage bay as some of the 100 to 150 students and other onlookers chanted, "We are Penn State."


The Paterno family issued a statement saying the statue's removal "does not serve the victims of Jerry Sandusky's horrible crimes or help heal the Penn State community." The family, which has vowed its own investigation, called the report by former FBI director Louis Freeh the "incomplete and unofficial" equivalent of a charging document by a prosecutor and said the only way to help the victims "is to uncover the full truth."
NO, THEY'RE not s****ing you.

It's not an act for the tourists like proud faux Confederates re-enacting Pickett's Charge
or drunken Kappa Alphas getting their Ashley Wilkes on in hopes of making some Southern belle swoon like Scarlett. This is the kind of true-believer devotion to Baal that gave us the Ku Klux Klan and Jim Crow laws, because Reconstruction wasn't thorough enough and didn't last nearly long enough.

"Look away, look away, look away . . ." JoePa fans.
Some who came out to watch the statue's removal were angry that it had been done with so little notice that many missed it - "It was under cloak of darkness," said Diane Byerly, 63, of Harrisburg - and worried that stiff sanctions from the NCAA would punish the innocent while possibly destroying businesses that rely on the commerce from the tens of thousands who flood State College on game days.

"I think there's ways you can punish the parties involved without affecting all of State College," said Richard Hill, a 1967 graduate from West Chester.

Chris Stathes, 40, a lifelong Penn State football fan who has a daughter at the school and manages two State College breakfast eateries, said shutting down the program would devastate area businesses.

"Football season, that's our moment. From the time we open our doors in the morning until kickoff, there's a line out the door," he said.

Philip Frum, 24, who works on research projects for Penn State, said he hoped the statue would be erected elsewhere, such as at a nearby Penn State sports museum.

"This statue was a symbol of all the good things he's done for the university,"
Frum said. Any NCAA penalty that shuts down the football program "will be just as bad as taking down the statue," he said.
LinkOH . . . I hope it's much, much worse.

A culture that throws its children into the flaming pyre for the sake of Baal -- also known as "our peculiar institution," "the dictatorship of the proletariat" and big-time college football -- deserves every bit of divine wrath it calls down upon itself. It needs to be obliterated for the sake of the world . . . and for the sake of those under its thrall.

In Germany after World War II, we had a name for a similar effort. "Denazification," we called it.

Today, let the "de-Paternofication" of the Pennsylvania State University begin.

UPDATE: The Philadelphia Daily News just posted this story. Good grief.

Where is the Red Army when you really need it? What's next, tales of Penn State faithful barricaded in their man caves with the little woman, a 9 mm Luger and a couple of cyanide capsules?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bowing down before the Nittany Lion

Let's get one thing straight right now.

The entire sport, culture and establishment of American college football is not worth the innocence of a single child.

Fans, coaches and administrators at Penn State thought -- and likely still think -- otherwise. That is why Jerry Sandusky was allowed to keep on raping young boys for years and years after pretty much every coach and administrator at the university knew he was the worst sort of degenerate -- the felonious pinnacle of pedophilic perversion.

If the man were in Texas, he easily would fall under the banner of "needs killin'."

Anywhere else, I would hope that, at a minimum, not one person would think that the son of a bitch should ever again see the light of day. It's a no-brainer.

Let me amend that. It's a no-brainer everywhere but State College, Pa. In State College, Pa., the former defensive coordinator of the Nittany Lions was allowed to befriend, groom and sodomize underprivileged and at-risk boys for at least 13 years after people at Penn State first realized there was a problem --
and a big one -- with Jerry Sandusky.

THIS WAS all in the name of preserving the good name of Penn State football. Of preserving the big, big business of Penn State football.

Ultimately, the indifference and the cover-up caught up with Coach Joe Paterno, President Graham Spanier, Athletic Director Tim Curley and senior vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz. And when the university board of trustees fired Paterno, effectively closing the stable door after all the horses had made a run for it, thousands of Penn State students responded by rioting in downtown State College.

And it was out of fear of the mob that the board balked at reneging on the lucrative "go away quietly" package it had negotiated (as all hell was beginning to break loose) with Paterno -- who now, after the Grim Reaper caught up with him, too, stands before the highest court of all. Turns out that people don't take it well when their false gods and warped culture come under attack, no matter how justly.

SO NOW the NCAA gets the ball on downs. And in this interview Monday night with PBS talk host Tavis Smiley, NCAA President Mark Emmert refused to rule out the "death penalty" for Nittany Lion football.
Emmert said he's "never seen anything as egregious as this in terms of just overall conduct and behavior inside a university." He added, "What the appropriate penalties are, if there are determinations of violations, we'll have to decide."

The last time the NCAA shut down a football program with the so-called "death penalty" was in the 1980s, when SMU was forced to drop the sport because of extra benefits violations.

"This is completely different than an impermissible benefits scandal like [what] happened at SMU, or anything else we've dealt with," Emmert explained. "This is as systemic a cultural problem as it is a football problem. There have been people that said this wasn't a football scandal.

"Well, it was more than a football scandal, much more than a football scandal. It was that but much more. And we'll have to figure out exactly what the right penalties are. I don't know that past precedent makes particularly good sense in this case, because it's really an unprecedented problem."

sports-law expert put it last week, “Let’s face it, a football coach raped kids and he did so facilitated allegedly by another football coach and athletic officials, and some of the crimes occurred in the Penn State showers. I think that’s sufficient nexus to the team.”

Given that, I was glad to hear the death penalty for Penn State is on the table. God willing, it soon will be off of the table and into effect.

As a rule, false gods need to be sent packing. When the worship of college football and the corruption of the big money made off of it leads to university officials tolerating child sexual abuse by someone associated with the football program -- as the by-then retired Sandusky obviously still was -- that particular false god needs to be killed, its graven image melted down and the ground it once stood upon plied with salt.

I DON'T give a damn that people will lose their jobs. I don't give a damn that motels and hotels in State College will lose money. I don't give a damn that players will have to scramble to find new teams.

No job, no business and no full-ride scholarship for any "student athlete" -- and the fact I felt compelled to put that in quotes is part and parcel of the corrupting influence of this particular false god in all too many cases -- is worth the innocence of a single child.

Penn State football can go to hell. And all the people who fed the monster, who bowed before the false god that it became, need to spend a few years of quality time with the Real One, making amends and doing penance.

I don't know whether or not Jerry Sandusky "needs killin'." But Penn State football sure as hell does.

Just do it.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The tragedy of Joe Paterno

Joe Paterno is dead, and his tragedy is complete.

Now all that is left to do is attempt not to speak too ill of the dead, and for some to urge us to remember the good of the fired Penn State football legend's life -- not just the inaction that doomed God knows how many young people to a fate scarcely better than death. Or perhaps worse than death, I cannot say for certain.

As it turned out, negligence, shame and humiliation turned out to be the final chapter in the story of JoePa's life. In the movies, even Darth Vader got the opportunity to redeem himself in the end. The old coach did not.

In the unblinking eye of history, his legacy will forever rest somewhere on the Dark Side. For every million dollars he gave to Penn State, for every heartfelt tribute by a former player, for any number of lives he impacted for the good -- for all these things there will be the damning counterweight of young lives wrecked and childhood innocence stolen because the most powerful man in State College, Pa., behaved as a befuddled coward when it really mattered.

THE MYTH of virtue and greatness crumbled into ignominy, and then a disgraced old man died.

Star Wars, the dark lord got one last chance to make a crooked path straight and forsake the shadows for the light. Darth Vader got one last chance to argue for posterity -- for himself and through his actions -- that the sum of his sins did not exceed the good that remained. That, ultimately, Anakin Skywalker could not be subsumed.

That's Hollywood for you.

Real life often isn't so kind, even to a football legend. Joe Paterno never got to make a crooked reputation straight once more. It is left to his surrogates to beg history for mercy on his behalf.

Let us be careful with every chapter of our lives. We never know which will be the last.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

He seemed like a real nice guy

Coach Paterno will go down in history as one of the greatest men. Most of you know him as a great football coach. I've had the privilege and honor to work for him, spend time with him. He's had such a dynamic impact on so many, so many — I'll say it again — so many people and players' lives.

-- Tom Bradley,
Penn State interim coach

President Clinton was so darling to me, and as loyal and faithful a man as you can find. I remember he was so sweet about a blue dress I used to have. Before it was evidence. He said I was so pretty in it. He was always considerate of others that way.

-- Monica Lewinsky,
former White House intern

Richard Nixon was always concerned about the law. Also, he was such a faithful and religious man. He was always talking about God and Jesus. I remember how it'd just pop out of the depths of his soul -- like, he was always telling me "Jesus Christ, Henry!" Or, "Goddamn it to hell!" He was always eager to see more divine justice in the world.

Once, in the Oval Office close to that unfortunate day, he even begged me to pray with him. Such a spiritual and holy man, he was.

-- Henry Kissinger,
former secretary of state

Dolphie is a great, great man. He makes the trains run on time . . . and the autobahn! It's to die for.

Der Führer is such und sweethearten, auch! He always tells me, "Eva, Sie werden
nie haff to worry at alles about beink senten to den Konzentrationslagern. We will be together for as long as we live."

Und he likes puppies, auch.

-- Eva Braun,
(March 1945)

'We are . . . Penn State!'

Oh, goody.

I think I've just located the one generation s****ier than my own.

That would be my generation's children. As a Baby Boomer, I'm so proud . . . not.

If we had any honesty and shame about us, we'd clothe ourselves in sackcloth and
cover ourselves in ashes at the sight of the Neanderthal darlings we've so carefully taught on the prowl at Penn State, rioting against the reappearance of rectitude in its besoiled halls.

Of course, The New York Times has all the news that's fit to weep over, as America dies a little more every day:
“I think the point people are trying to make is the media is responsible for Joe Pa going down,” said freshman Mike Clark, 18, adding that he believed Mr. Paterno met both his legal and moral responsibility by telling university authorities about Mr. Sandusky’s alleged 2002 assault on a boy in a school shower.

Demonstrators tore down two lampposts, one falling into a crowd of students. They also threw rocks and fireworks at police, who responded with pepper spray. The crowd undulated like an accordion, with the students crowding the police and the officers pushing them back.

“We got rowdy and we got maced,” Jeff Heim, 19, said rubbing his red, teary eyes. “But make no mistake, the board started this riot by firing our coach. They tarnished a legend.”

An orderly crowd first filled the lawn in front of Old Main when news of Mr. Paterno’s firing came via students’ cell phones. When the crowd took to the downtown streets, it’s anger and intensity swelled. Students shouted “We are Penn State.”

Some blew vuvuzelas, others air horns. One young man sounded reveille on a trumpet. Four girls in heels danced on the roof of a parked SUV and dented it when they fell after a group of men shook the vehicle. A few, like Justin Muir, 20, a junior studying hotel and restaurant management, threw rolls of toilet paper into the trees.

“It’s not fair,” Mr. Muir said hurling a white ribbon. “The board is an embarrassment to our school and a disservice to the student population.”


Greg Becker, 19, a freshman studying computer science, said he felt he had to vent his feelings anyway.

“This definitely looks bad for our school,” he said sprinting away from a cloud of spray. “I’m sure Joe Pa wouldn’t want this, but this is just an uproar now, we’re finding a way to express our anger.”

As the crowd got more aggressive, so did police officers. Some rioters fought back. One man in gas mask rushed a half dozen police officers in protective gear, blasted one officer with spray underneath his safety mask and then sprinted away. The officer lay on the ground, rubbing his eyes.

Paul Howard, 24, an aerospace engineering student, jeered the police.

“Of course we’re going to riot,” he said. “What do they expect when they tell us at 10 o’clock that they fired our football coach?”

OF COURSE they're going to riot, for they're a bunch of overindulged, self-centered moral black holes. Just like my generation raised them to be.

Because the board trying to clean up a child-molestation scandal "
is an embarrassment to our school and a disservice to the student population." And because it's important that collegians find "a way to express our anger.”

Not only do we find that in a world without God, "everything is permitted," but that it most certainly will happen if you take away people's false gods as well.
Like Joe Paterno and Nittany Lion football.

The narcissistic little goons of Penn State are the spawn of my narcissistic generation, which majored in idolatry back in the day and called it "the New Morality." We were looking for hope, but settled for peacesexdope, then raised a Millennial tribe poised to settle for even less.

How very devo -- D-E-V-O -- is the over-educated mob that's not only become living proof of de-evolution, but also has made prophets out of a kitschy New Wave aggregation from the late '70s and early '80s. Naturally.

Jocko homo, y'all.

Here's more proof of our present de-evolutionary state. The parents of Penn State's precious little Visigoths used to do this kind of stuff to protest a bloody and unnecessary war in Vietnam. Their children, however, do this kind of stuff to protest trustees firing a football coach who cared more about keeping up appearances than about stopping an alleged child-rapist when he had the chance. A man who loved to talk about "character" but lacked the guts to exhibit even a little of it when it counted.

"We are . . . Penn Rape!"

That would be truth in advertising for the barbarian hordes of Happy Valley.

HOW FITTING that the carefully constructed illusion of Penn State as some sort of honorable, model institution would come crashing down along with the carefully constructed illusion that was the man who built it -- Joe Paterno.

Cry me a river, you little bastards. More tear gas, please!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

JoePa knew. They don't care.

JoePa knew.

In 2002, according to a Pennsylvania grand jury, a graduate-assistant coach, then 28 years old, told Penn State's living-legend football coach, Joe Paterno, that he saw former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky anally raping a little boy in the locker-room shower. That sounds bad -- anally raping. A little boy, maybe 10 or so.

It's not nearly as ugly as the reality of such a thing. If I were more explicit, this post would be pornographic and you would be right to run screaming into the street and never to this cyberspace return.

JoePa knew.

JoePa's reaction? He kicked the matter upstairs. He didn't call the cops or any other civil authority to report what he'd heard.
He then, apparently, washed his hands of the matter.

Paterno spent the next nine years doing nothing as the alleged raper of little boys kept an office in the football complex. Participated in youth football clinics. Ran a foundation devoted to at-risk youth (little did parents know how at-risk their youth might have been). Kept showing up at Nittany Lion practices with little at-risk boys he was "mentoring."

SO THAT'S what they call it now. "Mentoring."

JoePa knew. JoePa washed his hands of the matter. You know, like Pontius Pilate washed his hands of that little Jesus Christ matter and sent Him off to Golgotha. Beaten. Scourged. Mocked. Crucified.

But at least no one ever anally raped the Savior of the world and left Him to live with the aftermath.

At the Pennsylvania State University, Pontius Pilate could be a reformer --
a change agent.

This is what Joe Paterno obviously did. This is the man Penn State students in the above videos are rallying to save. It's like a pep rally for evil.

"We have no king but Caesar! We have no god but football! No savior but JoePa!"

The idiotic mob outside the Paterno home -- the ones wilding across campus and through State College, Pa. -- are nothing more than idolaters, violators in extremis of the First Commandment:
I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them.3

It is written: "You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve."
TO THE chanting rabble of much education and no perspective, Penn State football is a modern-day golden calf. The idol pushing not only God out of their hearts, but also justice and rightly ordered compassion.

JoePa knew. They don't care.

Back in the day, the Lord had a game plan for dealing with those who forged the golden idol and fell down before it while Moses was otherwise occupied receiving the Ten Commandments. God was going to kill them all and start over, bringing forth a new chosen people out of Moses himself.

Moses argued and pleaded on behalf of his unfaithful charges, and the Lord ultimately withheld His wrath.

I don't know about you, but I don't see a Moses amid that whole wicked bunch in State College. I don't see one anywhere else across the fruited plain, this vast land of countless false idols.

And as JoePa's little pagans dance around the golden calf of Penn State football, that inconvenient truth is something the legendary coach won't be able to wash his hands of.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

All in all, it's just another brick from the wall

There's a thread tying together the events, large and small, that make for a narrative of the world I was born into almost 51 years ago. It can be expressed in a single word -- delegitimization.

The only world I know is one in which the center has not held. Our institutions are bankrupt. Our heroes have clay feet. Our legal, economic and political systems, we find, comprise a gigantic craps game, and the swells are shooting loaded dice.

We no longer can depend on jobs that will support our families. The family itself is less an societal cornerstone than a demographic moving target. Equal justice under the law is just another Ponzi scheme. Afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted have, in these times, become sure signs of a communist plot.

And judging by the corruption and decay surrounding -- indeed, engulfing -- us, you have to wonder whether singer-songwriter Don McLean was onto something in "American Pie" when he wrote,
"the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, they caught the last train for the coast."

As we sit here, more than a decade into the new millennium, let me ask you something. Whom do you trust? Really and truly.

Really and truly, what do you trust?

Are you sure about that?

WHAT institution in your life -- in our lives -- do you really trust? Would you trust it with your life?

Do you really trust your government? Do you really trust you'll get a fair shake under the law? Do you really trust you're not going to get screwed by your bank . . . by the free market . . . out of a job?

Do you really trust the church with your soul anymore? Do you trust the church with your kid? Would you let Junior go on a youth camping trip organized by Father Dan?

Would you let
your prep-star son go play football for Penn State? Would you let your junior-high kid go to a Penn State summer sports camp? Do you think that local group of do-gooders is there to help your at-risk child . . . or do you suspect some of those do-gooders are just helping themselves to your at-risk child?

If you can't trust Joe Paterno to call the cops when an ex-assistant is allegedly raping 10-year-old boys in the football shower room, whom the hell can you trust?

When you can't believe in college football -- and that was about the last thing we Americans did believe in -- what's left but the abyss?

Deviance, destruction, dysfunction and distrust are the four horsemen of legitimacy's apocalypse. And legitimacy's apocalypse will become our own soon enough. When every institution we used to trust --
in which we used to believe -- has been bulldozed by corruption, what fortress (or offensive lineman) will stand between us and the devil himself, once he rounds on us?

JUST SINCE 2001, Americans have found that they were manipulated into a pointless, devastating war in Iraq. That the one in Afghanistan has, by negligence and hubris, quickly become just as pointless. We have found that we learned nothing from the pointless Vietnam travesty, four decades earlier.

Likewise, you can't even depend upon entire swaths of the Catholic Church to evidence belief in a righteous God, much less fear Him. Or bet that many Protestants are any better in that respect.

You can't even trust conventional wisdom -- that if we let priests marry, they wouldn't be having sex with kids. Too many married clerical and non-clerical perverts have been getting on the molestation merry-go-round for that one to fly.

Also in the last decade, we have learned that you can't trust a sure thing . . . or your too-big-to-fail bank. Or Wall Street. Especially Wall Street. We've learned the hard way that if you keep your nose clean and play by the rules, all you're likely to get is poorer -- and, ultimately, the shaft.
Oh, and there we were all in one place
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again
So come on Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
'Cause fire is the devil's only friend
And as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage
No angel born in hell
Could break that Satan's spell
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died
ALL MY LIFE I have watched the pillars of society crumble. The lesson seems to be this: If you believe in something, if you put faith in a person or an institution, you will live to regret it. You ultimately will feel like a chump.

Amid the wreckage of institutions and society, our "Do Not Trust" list has expanded to encompass God and country. Amid the general carnage of the last decade, and amid the particular carnage within the Catholic Church, I battle despair to agree -- still -- that McLean's lyric, "the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, they caught the last train for the coast," remains among the most cynical words written in the king's English.

Yonder lies nihilism, after all. The ongoing collapse -- the onward march of institutional decay -- catechizes us in unbelief and alienation. Such is the nature, and the toll, of delegitimization.

The end result of corruption is also the mechanism of corruption -- a feedback loop of alienation and atomized commonweal . . . a disordered sense of radical self-interest.

When an athletic department like Penn State's can receive allegations that prepubescent children had been anally raped on university property by a former coach and -- allegedly -- decide that suppressing a scandal was a greater priority than stopping a predator, you have just witnessed the death of the common good. You have just witnessed the return of tribalism.

The ethic holds that outsiders -- for example, little at-risk children -- are of no concern relative to defending the PSU Athletic Department tribe's status quo . . . and financial bottom line. Ditto the robber barons of Wall Street. Ditto the sort of clericalism that hushed up sex abuse in the Catholic Church at the expense of the faithful's children.

It sucks not to be One of Us. There's no "I" in "team," but there's no "you" in it, either. The center will not hold, and any expansive sense of society cannot long endure.

This was supposed to be a post about the sex-abuse scandal engulfing not only Penn State football, but the university itself. But this latest horror show is just an old story told in a new context. It's just one more institution brought low by the individual and collective wretchedness of this (and every) age.

Scandal-ridden Penn State is just another brick knocked out of the wall. The real story is that, lacking many bricks, the wall slumps precariously.