Beatitudes of my life

Being grateful for everything in my life…. no matter what…

Thoughts on the passing of a legend… January 23, 2012

Filed under: Football,Parenting — beatitudesofmylife @ 9:09 am
Tags: , , ,

This weekend has been tragic.  Losing an icon such as Coach Joe Paterno was followed with much sadness,  love, and frustration.  News of his early, and unsubstantiated, demise was shocking… reporting his death in the early evening, while he was still alive, was inexcusable.  I can only imagine the frustration and anger his family felt when seeing these statements being toted as fact… commentators all trying to “get a jump on the story” but, instead, creating a need for rebuttals that the Paterno family should never had faced in the first place.  It should have been a time of peace for his family… instead, it’s been something entirely different.

To quote Sue Paterno, “After 61 years, he deserved better”…

When I learned of the scandal at Penn State,  I was as shocked as the next person.   As information was made more fully known, I was even more stunned.  My younger son was the same age as the young man (men, now) who stepped forward.  Remembering E as a 10 year old boy… thinking about what we, as parents, had permitted or done at that time… contemplating how I might have reacted if this were my son involved… and I just couldn’t go there.  You know how Mama Bears react when their cubs are threatened?  I will warn you, dear reader, that I am ten times worse than any stupid bear… I am someone’s worst nightmare when it comes to my boys and their welfare.  NO ONE will get in my way to protect them.

Yet, I cannot find it in my heart to condemn Coach Paterno.  I was not present when he was approached regarding Coach Sandusky.  I was not party to the discussions and questions that followed.  I can look back now and say what should have happened, but I cannot disgrace the legacy of all he built and all he did for the University and the students under his tutelage by second guessing his actions.   I don’t know a single person who was present during any of the situations regarding Sandusky.  Are they absolutely vile and abhorrent to me?  You betcha… but I still cannot condemn Coach Paterno.   The public outcry has been incredibly vocal… calling for the heads of everyone remotely involved to roll.  I totally get that feeling.  While I agree that changes needed to be made, I still believe that allowing Coach Mike McQueary to remain at Penn State (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_McQueary)  is a HUGE mistake… one even greater than firing Paterno.

That being said, I will not be party to small-minded people who believe that their opinions are the only valid ones.   I have friends who have had to walk paths that might be morally or ethically repugnant to others, but since I have not walked in their shoes, I refuse to come down on one side or the other.  My friends have good hearts and they made the best decisions they could, under the circumstances.  I will not play judge, jury, or executioner… and neither should anyone else…

May Coach Joe Paterno find his eternal rest…  and may we all remember the best of him.  Amen.

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