The allegations around Jerry Sandusky have shocked the sporting world, there is no doubt about that. Penn State alums everywhere are tearing up, including ESPN analyst Matt Millen, about what might have happened in the Penn State football facility.But how as a sports fan am I supposed to react? The first emotion is disgust. I’ve watched shows like To Catch a Predator and breezed them off like it is some sort of fake world that these people are living in. It’s like they aren’t even real people, just actors paid to make terrible decisions. The sad reality is that these people exist – there really are people out there who enjoy presenting their deviancy to our youth. The fact that many now grown adults have to deal with the misery of what “allegedly” happened to them while they were innocent kids frustrates me to the highest degree.
If these allegations are proven true, what should happen to Jerry Sandusky is not up to me, but goddamn it I wish it was. There is not a place in the world for people like Jerry Sandusky. There is no other crime that makes me cringe more than what Sandusky is accused of, and I am someone who has seen the terror of downtown Detroit. It’s a sad world where inner city kids are killing each other because they were born on the wrong block, but it is even a sicker world when somebody in a position of respect is taking advantage of 10 year old kids. There is a reason why it’s not murderers or kidnappers, but child molesters who receive the harshest hazing in our state penitentiaries.
But the main question has been: “How will this contribute to Joe Paterno’s legacy?” As of now, I say not at all. He has been the head coach of Penn State for 45 years, and if you have seen any of his recent press conferences, I feel like his reaction is nothing but sincere. This week he announced that he will be retiring at the end of the season, and I am the first to understand his decision. This is a man who coached through serious health conditions that may have cost him his life, but his dedication was still embedded through everything. I am sick and tired of hearing people talk about how Paterno did “absolutely nothing to stop what was going on.” I never curse in my blogs, but it is bursting from my soul right now. This isn’t fucking talk around the water cooler. If Jerry Sandusky was doing what he is alleged of doing, do you really think he was running into his bosses office and bragging about it? It sickens me that people are pointing the finger at Paterno, and not at the person who was doing this unspeakable crime.
People are talking about how Paterno’s legacy is going to be crushed from this, and I don’t understand it at all. The 409 wins forgotten? All because something was going on behind his back? This is what pisses me off. If you know me personally at all, you understand that my world spins round solely because of the sporting world – it is all I care about outside of my own life. I believe that at the end of this scandal it will be shown that Paterno did not know a damn thing. Sandusky hid what he did from everyone, because he has to know in his own sick and twisted head that what he was doing was blatantly wrong.
So as a sports fan what can we do? All we can do, and remember this is coming from an atheist, is pray. Pray that somewhere, there is somebody who can help heal the boys he tortured. Pray for Jerry Sandusky, because maybe one day he will gain the sadistic courage to admit what he did. I understand these are still “allegations,” but 40 counts, and multiple people stepping up saying what happened has me brushing that word off my shoulder. As a sports writer, a sports fan, and an athlete who showered around teammates and coaches since I was about 12, these allegations affect me in the harshest of ways. I can’t even imagine the trauma that these children encountered. When I look at Jerry Sandusky, I see somebody worse than the fictional jigsaw murderer.
As for your thoughts on Joe Paterno, please have patience. Patiently wait for the truth to come out on his side of the story, because we know nothing yet. Send your heart out to the victims of the families that are being overwhelmed; however, if it is proven that Paterno knew about this and didn’t have the common decency to tip off the authorities, then please feel free to condemn him as well.
I know it is innocent until proven guilty, but to Jerry Sandusky, if you are proven guilty, may you burn, rot, and decompose in Hell.