Monday, January 23, 2012

Joe Paterno's Legacy

Let's be clear about this:  Joe Paterno allowed Jerry Sandusky to keep on molesting children.  How many boys did Sandusky sodomize in the locker rooms, or force and cajole into performing fellatio on him?  How many times?  We don't know.  The number of reports keeps growing.  Every one of those children was profoundly scarred by this. Maybe they don't even know how much.

The most horrifying thing about this is not that Paterno was not appalled - it is that thousands of Penn State students were not appalled. The President of Penn State was not appalled. 

Football is a just a game, not sacred.  It is the opposite of sacred, a ritualized combat in which we know young men get permanent brain damage being sent back into the game with concussions.  Why do women keep buying into this stuff?  This is the violence inherent in testoserone.  Women need to be the tempering force of love that says, You will not do this to my children,


  1. Heart really aches here. And so conflicted- I remember Paterno-ville the year I graduated. Hundreds of kids camped out for an old man we mostly knew from the Milano bread cardboard cut outs. Before I knew him as the coach of my college football team, I knew him as the italian bread man.

    And now I look at his pictures and I wonder what he knew, what he didn't know, what he hid- who was he?

    Scarier, what's my capacity?

    Disbelief- major schism in my interaction with what's happening-perception is deception. What do we do now? He's dead. I want answers.

    But as for football (or rugby, my taste), I actually do sense something sacred. Completely sacred for me. On the field we are honest, bleeding, trying, crying, coming together, and we are here and now. Y
    The posturing, the violence, the drinking and pub songs, that happened off the field. On the field, I loved everyone, even when they broke my clavicle, teeth, and ankle. Off the field, I disdained the way one team mate might greet me (very "bro" culture), or how he thought about the rest of the world as a game he could win, or a girl he could win.

    Everything I hate about football has nothing to do with football. It's just a venue.

    Deeply stirring post, Dalai Grandma! Thank you! Someone had to say it...

  2. I can scarcely add a thing to this, Jeanne. It's perfect just on its own. Hear, hear!

  3. Thank you, each of you. Karen, I know you're responding as a mother. If only we all had a mother's heart, a grandmother's heart. Pigasus and David, I know you're coming from deeply Buddhist practice - there is so much in this story about seeing the nature of reality, about compassion and wanting others not to be harmed. I think those who passed on the story and managed to forget it were doing what is natural to those who are not awake to reality - flinching away from discomfort. When there are no attempts to wake up, life can easily become a kind of drunken progress.