Announced today at gopsusports.com, the Penn State football team will make two alterations to their famous, classic plain blue and white uniforms.
The team will now wear a blue ribbon on their uniforms to show that they support all victims of child abuse. The second change is that players' last names will now be featured on the back of their jerseys.
The reaction to this decision by Penn State fans has really bothered me. All throughout this scandal, the Penn State fans have remained strong through all the ridicule, name calling and sanctions. The majority of the fans realized what happened in the past was a terrible thing.
The decisions made by the accused were terrible, and their actions should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. But now, less than a month away from football season, the majority of Penn State fans have turned their backs on the team.
The players voted for these changes. Bill O'Brien's official explanation for the change is as follows:
"I'm proud that our players want to be part of the University's efforts to help victims of child abuse, we hope our fans join us in wearing blue ribbons to all Penn State home games. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of children everywhere."
"We want our fans to know and recognize these young men, they have stuck together during tough times, and I commend them for the leadership they have shown. Moving forward, I'm deeply committed to honoring Penn State's traditions, while building a bright future for our football program."
The fans' reactions? And I quote; "disgusted", "not Penn State football anymore", "sad", "so much for one team, this is a disgrace". Why all this hatred? Yes I understand the legacy of Penn State football. I understand the tradition of plain helmets, no names, dress blues and black shoes but this generation and this era of Penn State has decided that they as a team, want to move forward and start a new tradition and legacy of Penn State.
Like it or not, the previous regime at Penn State ran everything that was great about Penn State into the ground. If this decision is making you not want to attend games or not support the team anymore then fine, separate yourself as far away from the team as possible, I would be ashamed to call you a fan.
The most startling remark is that this decision was made out of selfish, individual greed. No one player decided this, they as a team made this decision. Bill O'Brien is now the head coach, not Joe Paterno. Matt McGloin is the Quarterback, not Todd Blackledge.
This is the new Penn State, a unified Penn State. A Penn State team that will be composed of unselfish, team-minded players that have decided throughout all the hardship that they still want to be a part of this Penn State community.
How do you repay them? Name calling and insults? If you find yourself doing this, then you are no better than the players that decided to leave the program. You are the selfish ones that are holding on to your old glory days of Penn State. You are the ones who for whatever reason can't move on and accept that the program was filled with criminals for over a decade.
I fully support this decision and Bill O'Brien. I will always be a Penn State fan and I will always support my team. If you doubt my commitment, you can read my last article here. If you find yourself giving up on this team and this coach because of a piece of fabric being stitched onto a jersey, well then, don't let the door hit you on the way out.
We are and always will be Penn State, whether or not our jerseys are the same for 100 years or not. The jerseys don't make the team, the players make the team. And these players are fully committed to this team, the tradition and the community that is Penn State.
Stay classy Penn State fans.