There’s something innate, something inside of us as humans – we remember the bad stuff for some reason. The time you got sick on vacation, the strange gift you got for a birthday, the people that hurt you in life…
It’s sad when the great stuff in life gets overshadowed. A big fish caught is supplanted by the “even bigger one” that got away. Your favorite team’s loss instead of one of its greatest victories. But then as humans, we get second chances, third chances, a billion chances…. the chance to do what’s right no matter the costs. But do we step up to the plate and swing away at doing what’s right or do we live on our past and stay on the bench?
Today the NCAA took the Penn State matter and told the world what it thinks about it. The storied program had every Joe Paterno win from 1998 to 2011 erased. The winningest coach in NCAA history is no more. He’s down 111 wins and now former Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden is the true leader with 377 wins. JoePa now has only 298. This all because he could have stopped the horror back in 1998 when it was first brought before him. He didn’t. He died and now whatever legacy he wanted to have is cremated. It’s not even ashes, it’s gone, never to be seen again.
The day before, the University took down his statue. Officials say its locked away safe. I hope they smash it. Decimate it, much like the PSU football program is now. They lost scholarships but more than that, JoePa and Penn State officials destroyed dreams.
The dreams of little boys whose lives will never be the same due to the abuse of Jerry Sandusky. But now the lives of every little boy and high school kid who dreamed of playing for Penn State has been destroyed. Countless kids adored JoePa and the Nittany Lions, they probably still do but now their dreams are altered.
Thousands of destinies changed.
Kids who would become doctors and lawyers and people who change the world with a PSU degree now will have other colors and letters on their diplomas. JoePa and Sandusky, yes, they should be grouped together forever now, destroyed more than a football program and the lives of countless little boys. They’ve tarnished every graduate’s life.
Are you telling anyone you have an association with Penn State? If I did, I sure as hell wouldn’t today or for years to come probably. I would cry. I would mourn and I would be mad as hell that these men who had the opportunity to fix the legacy, to keep the program on the right road did nothing and paid everything.
And the children of these men have to bear the burden, pay the price for their inaction for years, decades and generations to come. This is not just a penalty to the athletic program, it’s a penalty to the entire school, the entire state, the entire alumni and fan base.
So if you get a chance to do what’s right today, turn on that road as rough as it looks, as far out of the way it seems – just do it. It’s not a road where you can make U-turns very easily.
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