Monday, November 14, 2011

An Open Letter To Joe Paterno

        Dear Joe,

First I want to congratulate you on your record as a coach, and on the many honors and awards you have received over the years. I especially want to applaud your stressing of academic achievement as well as athletic ability for your players. Such an effort is an important contribution toward the goal of turning out good, well-rounded citizens.
I know that you reported what you heard to your bosses, which is exactly what the law requires. But Joe, you know that as an exemplary citizen that is not enough.
I am reminded of the attack on Kitty Genovese in 1964. She was stabbed, but managed to escape her attacker for a short time. He came back 10 minutes later, raped her, and finished her off. Reportedly, several neighbors heard or saw parts of the attack, but no one called the police - If only one person had, she might be alive today.
I know this is not quite the same, but the principal is similar. Kitty lost her life, and these young boys lost a portion of their childhood.
So what was it, Joe? Sandusky was a friend? You didn't want to get involved? You thought you did your duty by reporting it to your boss? You were afraid it would hurt the team? All of the above?
I feel as if Santa Claus was caught stuffing mom's silver candlesticks into his sack after distributing the toys. Or the Easter Bunny took the garden gnome back to his nest.
To be fair, I don't understand why Mike McQueary didn't pick up a baseball bat and beat Sandusky over the head when he came across him. Mike had to know what was going on – if one sees a grown man with his penis in a 10-year-old's butt, it's as obvious as an elephant in a sock drawer – but he walked away.
Think of it this way: Put the football team on your left and the little boys on your right. Now ask yourself which is more important in the scheme of things: (1) A bunch of big kids pushing around a bag of air, or (2) The well-being of the little boys?
It's all about the kids, Joe.
Enjoy your retirement.
My books, “There Are Only Seven Jokes” and “The Spirit Runs Through It” are available in paperback, or at the Kindle Store.

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