Friday, January 13, 2012

"Whatever It takes To Win"

That's the montra in a lot of sports circles, especially amongst fans. That montra is even further evident in the realms of big-time DI-A college football. Athletic department budgets near and over $100 million, multi-million dollar coaches salaries, 100,000 seat stadiums, the best money can buy.

What fuels the need for all this? The money and revenue involved. What fuels that revenue? A crazed, obsessive (to put it mildly) nation of sports addicts who need a 24/7, 365 fix of whatever their allegiance is. They eat, sleep, work, defacate and most certainly bleed their team's/school's colors. This has made God-like icons out of the biggest names in college sports. It's suppost to be clean, moral and "for the love of the game." Well, we all now know it's far from that. College athletics are vulnerable to all of the most ghastly and immoral criminal behaviors that found on the streets of South Central LA. Last fall we got a rude reminder with the Penn State scandal.

Now in the article I am about to post, from Yahoo Sports writer Matt Hinton, it goes on to explain the sheer levels of anger and rage from PSU alumni about the firing of Joe Paterno. Now I'm not going to set the scene and preface this with 3 pages of background you already know, but JoePa (once one of my biggest idols in sports) had complicit knowledge of Mr. Sandusky's behaviors, and covered it up. It's the truth. It happened. One of the most invincible sports figures of all time was felled from his lack of moral action in the situation.

How anyone, after all the facts had come out, could be so blind and single-minded as to not only think it was wrong, but to be ANGRY that Coach Paterno was fired is beyond me. I try to think how, and it's so impossible my brain literally stops. It's un-conscionable that he would be allowed to stay. These angry alums demanding "explanations" are likely donors, some of whom exceptionally well-heeled. Regardless, the Nittany Lion fan-base ought to be hiding in fear and shame. Instead, they're mad that a man complicit in the continued of rape of an un-told number of children for years lost his job because of it. Instead of mourning the victims, the Penn State students went to the streets to riot in opposition to Paterno's firing. Well, that certainly reflects well on their moral standing, regardless of religious affiliation.

What I'm getting at here is that we've reached such a level of fan-dom and blind-ness in the face of winning, that even in the face of such an un-speakable horror as that incident some people say "Screw the victims, who cares if they were children who's innocence was ripped and lives harmed forever! I want my coach whether he's guilty or not!" It reveals a side of our fan-dom that is even uglier than we expected it could be. Dare I say that each one of those people advocating for the guilty be put to the same sexual abuse. Maybe their tones would change after...

God help and have mercy on those students and alums. As Jesus said while being slapped to the cross "Forgive them father, for they know not what they do!". Let's hope more conscienable heads prevail and apologies are given.

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