Joe Paterno: 5 Reasons I Refuse to Write About Penn State
In a world as connected as the one we inhabit today, negative news is consumed at speeds exponentially faster than anything positive or hopeful.
The stories coming out of Pennsylvania over the last two weeks have the the entire country, and a nice chunk of the rest of the world, huddled around whatever technology they use to receive information absorbing all this negativity like a moldy sponge.
Ultimately, we have to sit back and make a distinction between news and sports. When I turn on Sports Center, I'd rather see John Skelton's last minute, game winning touchdown pass, and not an interview with a monster defending himself of charges of clear and indefensible acts. That's not to say I don't follow everything else going on in the world, but as far as I'm concerned, sports is something to be celebrated, win or lose. It's time to draw the line.
So without further ado, I give you five reasons I refuse to write about Penn State.
Mark Howe Thanks His Father
Mark Howe was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday night.
Known more as the legendary Gordie Howe's son than by his own clearly illustrious career, Mark referenced how the connection was always a chip on his shoulder.
Gordie and Mark, having once been teammates while playing for Houston and Hartford, always had a complicated relationship. Upon Mark's retirement, Gordie confessed he had always wished his son would have, just once, donned his father's jersey during a game.
Mark revealed, while at the podium, that had been the only request his father had every made of him.
So, with Gordie sitting in the front row, Mark tearfully donned his father's Detroit No. 9, shook his hand, and delivered a shaky "I love you, Dad" into the mic.
You miss stories like this when you're focused on Penn State.
Green Bay Packers
I'm not a Packers fan, but I am a fan of phenomenal football. On Monday Night Football, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers put on a football clinic.
In a 45-7 win over the bleeding-out Minnesota Vikings, Aaron Rodgers further pleaded his case of being the best quarterback in the NFL. Rodgers went 23-for-30 for 250 yards and four touchdowns, I don't imagine anyone out there, even in Foxborough or "Na'Leans" can argue against him.
Packers fan or not, I'd rather watch amazing football than hear reports of allegations of molestation.
Remembering Joe Frazier
Arguably one of the best boxers of all time died in the midst of all of this. Guess which headline won out in the media?
Score one more for Penn State.
Smokin' Joe won an Olympic Gold Medal in 1964, was the first to beat Ali and was the uncredited inspiration for all the best parts of Rocky. Unfortunately, he wasn't celebrated to the fullest because people were more focused on something else.
Just another reason I won't write about Penn State.
Okay, this is so much better than Penn State. In fact, my entire generation, thanks to YouTube, is fueled by this kind of stuff.
In the dying minutes of the Jets' 27-11 win over the Buffalo Bills, Mark Sanchez, while lined up in the wildcat formation, flinches at CB Drayton Florence's jump.
On this one, the video more than speaks for itself.
I'd rather watch this single clip for two straight weeks than hear about the crap coming out of Penn State.
LSU over Alabama
The Week 10 NCAA bout between Alabama and LSU was both the most anticipated game of the season, and one of the biggest casualties of the Penn State scandal. The news of Jerry Sandusky's arrest came out on the same day the game was played.
While you could argue it didn't impact the viewership or outcome of the game itself—to which I would agree—this scandal will for years to come be a black eye on the face of college football, as it was on any college fan's mind during the game, and all over the news after it.
Anyone that said LSU's overtime field goal to win it over 'Bama didn't live up to the hype, isn't a football fan. The game was an amazing showing of defensive excellence by two teams comprised of inspired student athletes and brilliant coaching, none of whom deserved to have their spotlight stolen by a tragedy that doesn't belong in the sporting mix.