Hey College Football Fans, Make Sure You're Rooting Against Penn State for the Right Reasons
By Tony Gerdeman
While you are reading the Freeh report and having all of your preconceived notions about Penn State and Joe Paterno confirmed, please don't forget to think about the horrors that actually took place.
Children were raped. Adults looked the other way; and worse, there were actually avenues constructed to make sure that even more children would be made available to the monster Sandusky.
Lives have been ruined, even as yours goes on.
Everything about the crimes and the cover up is horrific, so please keep that in mind while you are celebrating Penn State's coming reckoning.
When you pop the champagne tonight in jubilation, try to remember that children were raped and grown men in charge of leading young men allowed it to happen.
Then try to think of any reason why a human being should ever be happy that this could happen to a child, let alone children.
It's okay to want to see Penn State pay for what happened here, but don't get excited about it, and certainly don't get excited about what this means for your favorite football program.
Don't be happy that this could possibly make the Leaders Division easier to win over the coming years. In fact, don't even let your thoughts drift into what this means for your football team. This has nothing to do with your football team, so keep them out of it.
Root for Penn State to pay a penalty, but don't do it happily or hungrily. Don't do it because you have always hated Penn State. This has nothing to do with any of your previous feelings. Don't do it because of some loss from a previous year. That would make you the most callous person on the planet, save for those who committed these crimes to begin with.
Root for Penn State to pay a penalty for what happened, and do it with the crimes still in your mind. Don't do it because of how you feel about Penn State fans, or because you work with a Penn State fan who always tells you how pristine his football program is.
Don't be ecstatic that a sainted hero has been strangled by his halo, be saddened or angry that such a hero would allow this cover up to last for over a decade.
What has happened at Penn State is way beyond anything that you previously knew about the University, so you should have an entirely different basis for how you feel about the school now.
If you hate Penn State, that is fine. It is acceptable. Right now, it's inarguable. But don't revel in it. If anything, be sad that your hate for Penn State now has more meaning than it ever could have before.
Hating rival college football programs is fun, but there is no fun to be had anywhere around Penn State right now.
There is nothing to celebrate here. This is a tragedy. Everything about it is repulsive, depressing and disappointing. It transcends sports, even though sports is why it all happened.
Don't rejoice at Joe Paterno's fallen legacy. What about it could possibly bring you joy? You do realize what caused it, right?
If you are taking joy in the Paterno family's plight right now, then you are saying that child rape is an acceptable price to pay for your happiness, so long as Penn State and/or Joe Paterno finally get their comeuppance.
Doesn't that seem remarkably ironic to you, because it should.
This is a disgusting crime that was committed in the realm of college football, and because of that college football fans will have opinions on it. But please have those opinions as a human beings, and not as college football fans.
Remember that children were involved, not a rival football team.
This shouldn't even have to be said, but rivalry has no place here.
Don't let football blind you, because that's what Penn State did. They willingly let themselves lose sight of of what actually happened to these children, and then somehow found a way to ignore it.
Hate Penn State for what happened here all you want, but don't forget why you feel the way you do.
And it should have nothing to do with football.
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