New findings are out today in the Penn State investigation. It seems as though everything is pointing towards Paterno knowing about the 1998 allegations when he had said that he didn't. Nike has announced it is taking his name off of one of their buildings due to this. Which is the right thing to do. And Nike was right to wait until the investigation reached this point to do it, in my opinion.
I have not made my feelings about this whole issue secret, I blogged here when it first was breaking and I blogged here when Sandusky was found guilty. I think the school was wrong in the way they handled it from the start. I think Paterno was wrong. I think the administration was wrong. And I think it was the sort of wrong that really could be called evil. But here's the thing that is bugging me right now. A lot of people are taking this opportunity to do a lot of "See? I told you so" and it bothers me.
It bothers me because the people they are "I told you so"ing are dealing with their own grief today. And we need to let them grieve. I blogged here about the same sort of issue when the world didn't end last year. I don't approve of being a jerk. And you sitting smugly in your warm safe house telling your friends who went to Penn State that the man they looked up to for years was evil and you had told them so all along is being a jerk.
Losing a hero is hard. Losing a hero because you see that they did something that was not only not heroic but just flat out wrong is even harder. And to those that now say, "This is why I don't do hero worship." To you I say, "Fuck you, stop being a smug bastard (or bitch as the case may be)" We have all had our share of hero worship in our day. Athletes, musicians, fireman, astronauts, political figures, family members...who ever it was that you looked up to. What ever field it was that you wanted to go in to and thought, "They are the best, I want to be like them." We've all done it. And to lose a hero is a hard thing.
I'm not asking you to ever feel sorry for those that knew what Sandusky did and did not stop him. I would never ask you for sympathy for Sandusky. But just stop and think about the people who knew nothing about it, who never had a chance to stop it, who it was hidden from who are also dealing with knowing that it was their hero who did part of the hiding.
End of lecture, you can carry on with your day now....