Yesterday I was eavesdropping on two guys passionately talking about the sanctions levied against Penn State, just staring straight ahead and sipping a Mountain Dew Severe while secretly listening to their conversation. And almost everything they said was wrong.
I’m not talking about their opinions, I mean the “facts” they were discussing. One of them said the football program has been completely shut-down for four years, which isn’t true. And the other one said the NCAA ordered the Joe Paterno statue removed from campus.
They went on and on with their jumbled understanding of events, and I sat there with no expression on my face, thinking, “How could two people be so lacking in comprehension skills?” Seriously. I don’t give a single dingle about college football, and only have a passing interest in this story, but know the basic facts of what happened. These two fancied themselves informed, and had everything slightly wrong.
Yes, they’re a politician’s best friend: sloppy with the details, driven by emotion, and easily manipulated.
Of course their opinions were a little questionable, as well. They were twisting themselves into pretzels trying to excuse Paterno and Penn State of everything. All the while repeating, “I’m certainly not condoning what happened…” Of course not.
And I love it when folks try to excuse bad behavior by bringing up other bad behavior. “Yeah, I did that, but what about him? He did bad things too!” It doesn’t change what you did, shitlips. What are you, nine years old?
But none of this is surprising, it happens every time. I remember when Pete Rose got caught betting on baseball, and the way people defended him.
Gambling nearly killed the sport, during the early 1900s, and is not tolerated. Everybody knows that Major League Baseball will drop a goddamn atom bomb on any player or coach involved with it. The players themselves know it better than anyone… And Pete Rose had been around professional ball since 1960. He knew the rules, and how serious an issue it was, but went ahead and broke them anyway.
And when he was banned from the sport for life, Pete Rose fans everywhere began contorting themselves and pointing to other bad behavior, like a sombitch. I loved the Reds and Pete Rose, but come on. There was no defending this. I don’t care how big of an asshole Ty Cobb was, or how Rogers Hornsby beat up a whore in 1921, or whatever. Pete Rose still bet on baseball.
The same thing is happening now. I heard someone say that Penn State and Joe Paterno didn’t “technically” break any rules. But is that really the route you want to take? A loophole defense, on the anal rape of boys?
No, the whole thing is ugly and horrible, and it’s best to just accept the consequences. And it might not hurt to learn the facts, as well.
I don’t like to write about things that are in the news here. This ain’t the Huffington Post. But I can’t stop thinking about those two guys yesterday, so we’ll suspend regular programming for a day.
What do you think about all this? Use the comments link below.
And I’ll see you guys again tomorrow.