I woke up in an opinionated mood this morning, and now this it what you have to deal with.
This is my first and last article on Joe Paterno and the Penn State milieu. Regardless of your thoughts and opinions on his involvement in the Sandusky scandal, in the end JoePa was made up of good and bad decisions, just like everyone else. Once we acknowledge JoePa's humanness, the rest is just detail. The interesting reading this morning were the accounts of his funeral. Particularly Phil Knight's involvement, Jay Paterno's odd comment, and the presence of Billy Baldwin.
Look, Phil Knight's Money Machine has thrown a lot of cash to a lot of universities. I get it. But, do his stipends to PSU garner him a position as a speaker of honor at the funeral service? That was an underhanded bit of marketing there, Phil, but considering the raging masses, very effective; well done.
From the ESPN article:
"Later, Paterno's son Jay received a standing ovation when he declared: 'Joe Paterno left this world with a clear conscience."'
From The Washington Post article: (Joe) Paterno has said, "In hindsight, I wish I had done more."
Perhaps Joe's conscience wasn't as clear as Jay was professing. Joe did accomplish some wonderful things, but as he became the Lion in winter, at least a couple profound questionable things appeared as well. What was running through Joe's mind throughout all this, we'll never truly know. My issue is with the whitewashing of this by Joe's apologists. The canonization of JoePa continues in some areas.
From an article in The Oakland Tribune by Monte Pool:
Paterno, who was 85 when he died Sunday, would have waved off the halo painted above his head, one day after his death, on the large mural in State College. He would have wondered why the artist would do such a thing. He would have described himself as an old football coach who didn't deserve it. It's a shame that JoePa passed away, for all the obvious reasons, but also because he was denied a final opportunity to explain himself. For a man who demanded personal responsibility, Life owed him that. In spades. It's a shame that for a man who exuded dignity, JoePa was sent off by such a circus; Phil Knight opining about his belief of where the culpability lie and Jay Paterno having a lapse of some sort. As with any circus, there is a side show; enter Billy Baldwin, a D-list actor with no discernible ties to PSU, but nonetheless showed up to pay his respects and answer questions from the Press.
Regardless of your thoughts on this, and I have mine; JoePa deserved to be sent off better than this. RIP Joe.