We are…losing grasp on what is important

November 10, 2011

After all the events that transpired since the weekend and then the 10:00 news conference last night, I am, like many, saddened.

But not like most die-hard Penn State fans. Not like the ones who are crying foul that their beloved head coach has been treated so poorly by administration, media, and some fans; that he himself has faced a criminal act. No I am sad that people are placing a higher value on the game of football and a coach, than the true criminals who hurt and abused countless little boys in University facilities.

How can anyone lose sight that the real issue here isn’t an NCAA violation, it is the violation and vile acts against innocent children? Sure, I am bitter. I spent 35 years cheering for a man and program that up until last week I would have defended like my own. And the weight of feeling cheated and let down is crushing.

I can see why people can’t let go and acknowledge this was indeed the right thing to do. In a world that seems to get more violent, disgraceful, disgusting, and selfish every day; there was a man whose values rose above those acts; a man who single-handedly changed a game, a city, a University, and even a culture.

And it just that reason why I feel no sympathy or sadness for Joe. Had he truly been the man above, he would have used that idol status that so many in central PA and around the country anointed him, to do the right thing. To go above and beyond a protocol, to tirelessly defend those who can’t defend themselves, and selflessly, not selfishly put himself out there at all costs.

Everyone makes mistakes and ironically the biggest mistake this icon made, might be the best lesson he inadvertently taught. As a society, we all fail, when we sit idly by and hope someone else will make things better. All 6’5 and 230 of Mike McQueary could have been used to stop a stomach churning event and helped a little boy who God only knows how much he has suffered and sadly will probably always continue to do so. Instead he cowardly left, he left the facilities. He talked to his father and then to Joe and they left it up to someone else, who then left that repulsive excuse for a human, back into their facilities until last week.

I hope as a society we all take back responsibility, accountability, and respect in ourselves so that we feel empowered as individuals to make a difference and do the right thing, especially when those decisions and actions impact the world’s greatest gift, our children.

I’m not sure if I will watch this weekend. I so badly want to move on and cheer loudly for the 125 young men who want nothing more than to escape on the football field and do what they love. They have done nothing wrong. However, at this time cheering for a game seems wrong and almost inappropriate in light of what has happened. I’d rather cheer knowing that those guilty will never see the light of day again and for any victims who have overcome this. It is their strength, comfort, and peace I pray for.



  1. Great thoughts Ike. I was wondering how you were holding together through all this…

    I’m not a Bob Kravitz fan, but one thing he said in his column really stuck with me. “Would Paterno have left his children alone with Sandusky? How about one of his 17 grandchildren? Of course not. These kids weren’t his kids. But, damn it, they’re our kids.”

    Take Care–

    • Hey Adam!

      Thanks for the comment. It is a true shame that it all had to go this way and an even worse crime that these man didn’t stand up and do what was right. I just don’t think people realize the magnitude of the situation.

      Hope all is well buddy,

  2. I could not have said it better myself. This is exactly what has been going through my mind and I was confused why no one else had said it. Yet here you are…so thank you for validating my own feelings and for having the guts to say it.

    • Thanks Karen! Really pathetic situation there.

  3. Well said, Ike. I thought of you when this story broke. It’s just a disgrace and so very, very sad for all involved.

    • Thanks Mary. And agreed. Disgraceful all the way around.

  4. Well said Eric. What truly gets me fired up is when someone says, “well, you don’t know how you’d respond if you were in their shoes.” Excuse me? Yes, I DO know how I’d respond. If I was in Mike McQueary shoes, I would have risked my life to stop what was happening to that child. (And I’m half his weight and height.) If I was in Paterno’s shoes, I would have called anyone and everyone who would listen. Screw protocol! It’s disgraceful that these “born leaders” were not moral leaders. And, to those who argue they “made a mistake-good people make mistakes” I say this; if you were the mother or father of a child this happened to BECAUSE someone didn’t report previous events. How would you feel about this “mistake”?

    • Thank you for the comment! And yes, as a father of two it is disgraceful and disgusting.

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