Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Say it aint so, Joe

***This is not a fitness story***
My x-mas list has been the same since I can remember. 
“Anything blue & white.”
I have book ends, picture frames, clocks, every book the staff has published, their coaching manuals, DVDs, and postcards.  I have socks, boxers, t-shirts, sweat pants, coffee mugs, calendars, pictures, old rosters and jerseys.    One year (when I had a Velcro Penn State wallet) I thought it would be funny to add a formal picture of Joe Paterno to the others.  I would show off pictures of my daughters and then "Hey, whats this guy doing in here?"  Even though they usually stink, I still draft one Penn State player in my fantasy football league to be silly and say "I have a strong locker room leader." 
When I was little younger, I had the chance to meet the staff and later on would receive scouting materials for whatever school I was coaching, so you can imagine, this was basically a dream come true to be on Fran Ganters, Larry Johnsons and Ron Vanderlindens (members of the staff) mailing list.  An open invite to come up whenever I wanted to work with their strength & conditioning staff and be involved with their training was obviously even better. 
Every year, I would influence the linebackers I coached to go to their football camps and to work with their staff.  So much of what I learned about coaching, I learned there. 
I will never, ever forget the very time I saw Coach Paterno in person, just a 100 feet away, at a coaches clinic maybe 8 years ago or so.  I was his shadow for as long as possible.  Followed everywhere he went and listened to everything he said.  He'd walk from drill to drill and bitch out kids 5x his size for not using a proper technique.   
Penn State couldve showed me a water boy who said "Drink water like this, its better this way," and I would've done it.  I trusted every single syllable that the staff and most importantly Joe Paterno uttered as absolute gospel. 
I was wrong.
Joe Paterno had an opportunity to save kids, not just give them a scholarship, but to save them from an absolute monster.  An absolutely disgusting human being that was empowered by one of the most prestigious football programs in the country.   He enabled a monster to use the platform that he built for over 45 years to dominate, bully and terrorize under privileged children. 
Those who willingly stand by and watch a crime being committed are not guilty but they are far from innocent.     
They say its a privilege to play football and to play sports, but its more of a privilege to coach and to be around young athletes and their energy.  Its a privilege just to have an opportunity to be in a position to help kids grow and evolve and learn.  Joe Paterno and his staff no longer deserve that privilege.  They lost it when they decided to stay quiet and not give a voice to those who needed it. 
Every single coach or staff member, from top to bottom should step down because none of them deserve to wear blue & white. 

This Is Blue Chip