Joe Paterno, As Advertised…

If the one person you hate the most in this situation is Joe Paterno, you’re doing it wrong.

A resounding statement being echoed across national media outlets (and social networks) in defense of Hall of Fame football coach, Joe Paterno. Signs that there are at least a few intelligent sources of life left in this country. Before continuing further I want to elaborate as simplistic as possible (since I’ve discovered that comprehension is severely difficult for most following the Penn State story), that in no way do I condone the unspeakable, sadistic actions by Jerry Sandusky. I, unlike most, actually took time to read the indictment in its entirety and it made me physically sick to my stomach. For his actions, he should burn in the lowest depths of hell, and that the sole purpose of this piece is to defend the man we know as JoePa.

I have so many issues with the backlash against Joe, that I literally don’t know where to even begin. It is fair to say that JoePa is unfairly receiving all of the blame for the sickening actions of another grown man. Society, being led by the media, has labeled JoePa as an “enabler” and accused him of turning the other way, allowing Jerry Sandusky to get away with his actions. Though considering myself to be somewhat intelligent, I’m wildly lost as to how so much of the blame has been placed on JoePa.

Of what any of us know, when Joe learned of the shower incident in 2002, he immediately relayed the information on to a university official. Though what has the feathers of many ruffled is that “[Joe] should have done more.” Says who? In that instance it was then on the police and university administration. Joe did what he was supposed to. Joe Paterno is not and was not responsible for the sadistic actions of another grown man, regardless of the content. Call my views misguided if you please, but it’s the truth. I applaud Joe for reporting whatever it is he was told in the first place, because I seriously question how many members of society would’ve reported their friend of over 30 years to the authorities. But this is the United States of America after all, home of finger pointers and hypocrites.

My biggest concern with all the backlash is why it’s only falling on Joe. There are individuals involved with far more clout than he. The university president and all other school officials who undoubtedly had knowledge of the situations. The graduate assistant, why in the hell did he even go to Joe Paterno to begin with? If I was to witness child abuse first-hand, I would’ve first snapped the neck of the offender myself, but then went immediately to the police or relative authorities. Why in the hell would I go to the football coach?

So there are then those who argue that Joe Paterno is not only the most powerful man at Penn State University, but in the state of Pennsylvania. That notion may be figuratively, but in no way literal. It’s obvious he’s not too powerful if someone else has the authority to cancel his press conference, and tell him he can’t speak. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see anyone at Microsoft telling Bill Gates that he can’t do something. So there goes that argument.

For me personally, it is both devastating and heartbreaking for me to see what the media is doing to the legacy of Joseph Vincent Paterno. Although what is even more heartbreaking is to see that the victims of Jerry Sandusky are being lost in the midst of JoePa opposition and backlash – and by victims I mean only true victims. Victims who were legitimately traumatized and affected.

Joe Paterno is a great man who has devoted his life to anything and everything that is Penn State University. It kills me that he is being made the scapegoat for this entire fiasco. For him to be forced to retire after 60-plus years of service in areas transcending the football field is devastating. And for people to suggest that he not even be allowed to coach the remainder of the season, may you find the nearest cliff. There is no fully grown individual that is responsible for the actions of another, period. Notions of tarnished or asterisked, in terms of JoePa’s legacy, are the purest form of bulls–t that there is.

He is everything we thought he was.

He is as advertised. He is JoePa.

Long Live The King.

About Sirelle Carter

"The words you speak become the house you live in."
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4 Responses to Joe Paterno, As Advertised…

  1. I’ll explain it.

    Everyone knows that Joe Paterno is by far the most important and powerful man in that University, and probably for 30 miles around. He was powerful enough to tell the boss, his president, that he wouldn’t retire a few years ago, even when his team wasn’t successful.

    Now we hear that one of his friends was caught anally raping a 10 year child so loudly that McQueary heard it before he saw it and knew it was someone having sex.

    McQueary tells the most powerful man in the area because the most powerful man can get something done. The most powerful man can get the truth if everyone denies it later, including a terrified, shamed 10 year old. The most powerful man can get support from all of the proper authorities. The most powerful man has choices no one else has, and won’t lose his job, or money, or respect if he handles it right. The most powerful man brags about “success with honor”, and the world believes him.

    That poor child needed protection, and needed a hero to come save him. Paterno could have chosen to be that hero, and risked some awkward press conferences to help that child. He had the luxury of making a choice, and doing nothing is a choice.

    Instead, the most powerful man made recruiting calls or whatever a head coach does off season in March. He never did another thing for that little boy in the next 9 years. It never made his priority list to follow up, even as he saw the accused pedophile around campus with “emeritus” status for 9 years.

    This was sexual abuse of a child, and abuse of power by Paterno.

    Now he is telling the board of trustees not to spend another second thinking about him because he is staying until the end of the year.

    • I’d first like to 1) thank you for taking the time to read my work, I appreciate that, and 2) for leaving feedback. Now if I may, I’d like a turn here. See after reading your response what baffles me most is that nowhere in your thought process did you question why McQueary didn’t act immediately, that moment he saw. Again to reiterate what I said in my piece, I don’t know about you, but if I saw first-hand a child being sexually abused I would act at that very moment. Now ‘act’ can mean several different things for everyone, though for me it means exactly what I stated above. So pardon me if I can’t excuse or even make it farther than McQueary to place blame. And Mr. O’Malley, if what you’re insinuating is that you would do exactly what McQueary did and walk away, than you’re no better than what yourself & so many others are trying to make JoePa out to be.

  2. Chris Ross says:

    Sadly, the blinders are on another individual. Very sad indeed.

    • I guess one could reckon that I’m bewildered as to just how the blinders are on me!? The whole objective of this piece was to attempt to shed light on the misguided blame being placed. The way JoePa was “tried” by the American media and society was unjust. He is not the offender here, Jerry Sandusky is – and many (a vast majority) have lost sight of that, you being one of them. I read your piece. You mentioned “Sandusky” once – and referred to the animal just as so. As if the general public reading your work is just supposed to automatically know of this story. Unfortunately, many do not. And it is because of people like yourself, who hammer away at JoePa’s lack of following up, that many do not even know who is the root of this all. So it is not me sir who possesses the ‘blinders’ as you called them, it is you.

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