Thursday, July 12, 2012
Okay Mr. Freeh . . .
Sorry I doubted you. I said a few days ago that I did not expect the independent investigation of the Penn State horror to be truly independent since Louis Freeh knew darn well who was paying him a million dollars. But from what I and everyone else can tell, he pulled no punches.
Alright then. What can I possibly add to the Niagara of commentary? Only this. Sometimes people -- mostly men, so far anyway -- get into positions in which their status become a far more concrete social reality than their person. Joe Paterno was an example. It was far more important for everyone associated with Penn State to protect the myth of Joe Paterno than it was for Joe Paterno to be worthy of it. And his myth was embedded in the mythology of the football program. He understood that just as well as the president and athletic director.
If his assistant coach and defensive coordinator -- the guy with the office next door -- was serially raping boys, then there was no such thing as "Joe Paterno" and "Penn State football," there was just a guy and a football team. That couldn't happen. The universe would end.
Well, now it's much worse than that.