On Friday night, Penn State’s men’s hockey team wore stickers that read “409” on the back of their helmets in honor Joe Paterno’s restored win total. Sandy Barbour, Penn State’s athletic director, called the move “inappropriate and insensitive.” She later backed away from that statement and called her own Tweet “inappropriate and insensitive,” just to round things out. But that wasn’t the end of it. Keith Olbermann, who makes a career out of ranting on stories like this, ranted. His diatribe came as a result of the countless Tweets he undoubtedly received – conditioned responses that come any time anyone dares to say anything negative about the Blue and White (but in this case at the urging of Onward State’s Kevin Horne) — after criticizing Penn State.
The Penn State portion started a little after the four-minute mark in the video above, but here’s what he had to say:
“Is there something about this that you at Penn State — literally at Penn State or just figuratively — just do not get? Joe Paterno was not a victim here. The University was not blackmailed. Nobody was out to get you. Your critics were not jealous. There is no larger context.
‘409’ is not something to make stickers for. ‘409’ is not something to mention out loud. It will be decades before Penn State lives this down, and fighting back and demanding moronic, trivial, irrelevant things like the restoration of wins to the record of a despicable man who did not act while one of his proteges raped children, that will only increase the length of the purgatory and only make you all look even more like those idiots who still insist O.J. Simpson was framed. Your institution is associated with childrens’ terror. If your naive fan blindness does not let you see that, just ask any outsider in the real world. If you want this to go away ever, maybe in 20 or 30 years, sit down, shut up, and atone.”
In response, Horne offered a rebuttal that should take you right to the end of the week if you start reading it right now. Horne’s big issue (and there are several) comes from Olbermann dealing in black (blue?) and white instead of shades of grey [Editor’s note: God I was so far out ahead of this story]. And while he’s right — ignoring shades of grey is kind of Olbermann’s thing — it’s the same thing nearly every voice speaking out in support of Penn State and Joe Paterno is also guilty of.