The masses swarm and the city swells. PSU football makes the community bigger, better, and more relevant. The chants of "We are, Penn State" echo through the nearby hills. Fans of all ages typify the eager college football enthusiast. The finest grilled meats and coldest local beers fill coolers on the hill. Tailgating reaches it's peak in a typically sleepy college town. Everyone in attendance is there for one reason and one reason only. It's a Saturday in Happy Valley and the Nittany Lions are ready to go.
On the way in, every fan from everywhere stops by the Paterno statue and pays their respects. The man built the program and the program built the fan base. On a single Saturday the crowd swells to disproportionate size. What is typically small-town Pennsylvania becomes the third largest city in the state. Everyone's dressed in white, and when the lights flicker on, the fans almost glow. It's time for another night game at Penn State.
Meanwhile, in the depths of PSU's athletic facilities, Jerry Sandusky is doing things we relegate to 20/20 and shows of that ilk. In the depths of the programs walls, there is a sexual predator lurking, almost hunting, with no restriction. The team's next in line has just finished showering with a kid who struggles with the demands of 5th grade. The coach is on the verge of facing his first Big Ten game and gets ready by taking a shower with a 12 year old...... if only that locker room had a hair dryer, this whole mess would've been swept under the rug as mom wouldn't have had her questions.
Sounds ridiculous, right?
Problem is, as much as I agree about the absurdity of the situation, it's basically what happened.
Therein lies the problem. Jerry Sandusky is a terrible human being, a sexual predator, and based on accusations, an incestuous sexual predator. That's horrific, appalling, and repulsive. We can't just dismiss that and ignore it, but we can accept it as fact. What takes this whole ordeal over the top is knowing now that Joe Paterno knew it. As I said in November, Paterno was affiliated with Sandusky almost 50 years ago. What has become an alarming reality is that Joe Paterno actively chose to hide what he knew.
Now we watch as the Paterno family clutches at any hope that the man we all considered to be virtuous is proven to be, quite frankly, an egotistical scumbag. He actively chose over multiple years to ignore the atrocities occurring at Penn State. He chose football over humanity at EVERY level. What Paterno supporters fail to recognize is that JoePa was made aware of Sandusky's behavior, at the LATEST in 1998. Conveniently, Sandusky retired shortly thereafter. To think, for one second, that Paterno was innocent and without culpability this past year, is to think that Paterno knew nothing of prior allegations. It's already been proven that Paterno was in the know and also included in the emails that chose to ignore the terrible accusations.
It's hard to believe that the Paterno family is so dedicated to inappropriately protecting Joe's name that they ignore the obvious. Everyone, from the top of the ladder to the bottom rung, knowingly disregarded a sexual predator in their midst. It's cliche to say, but necessary to put out there.... Penn State, from the top down, needs to be punished in a way we've never seen before.