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And Another Thing


Misguided play

It's usually not a good sign when you preface something by saying you don't mean to sound cruel, because that usually means whatever comes next is going to sound cruel.

This Joe Paterno thing, for instance.

If you have any sort of human molecules rattling around inside you at all, you have to feel some sympathy for the man these days. He's battling lung cancer, an ugly and implacable foe. And it comes on the heels of being toppled as an American icon in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child-abuse scandal at Penn State.

No one would wish that lion's portion of misfortune on anyone, least of all a man who's done so much good for so many over the years. However ....

However, his son Scott does him no favors by saying his dad's firing "was not handled well." Perhaps it wasn't, but are we really supposed to feel sorry for Paterno because of that?

Look, it's enough of a break that he hasn't been touched legally by any of this, so, please, no whining about how badly his firing was handled. Hard as it might be for Nittany Lion Nation to admit, he was as culpable in failing to protect the kids involved in this as anyone else.

And so no matter how badly he or his son feels he was treated in the endgame, it's compared to what Sandusky's alleged victims were subjected to, with the knowing or simply thoughtless complicity of the university.

Ben Smith's blog.