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.
A sampling of #WeAre Tweets: Continue reading
Today was a big day for Scott Paterno. Every day is a big day for Scott Paterno. 111 of Joe Paterno’s vacated wins (and one of Tom Bradley’s) will be restored in the record books thanks to a settlement in a lawsuit brought by PA State Senator and Penn State alum Jake Corman against the NCAA over sanctions handed down to Penn State and its football program (because our elected officials have nothing better to do with their time than appease their fellow alumni). Now the Valley can be Happy again, I assume.
In a statement, the Paterno family continued being the Paterno family:
Still vacated: the dignity of Sandusky’s victims.
UPDATE: I completely agree that the NCAA overreacted and tried to save face in all of this, by the way. But maybe the Paterno family could demonstrate just a shred of awareness, restraint and humility by not calling the settlement a “victory” and acting like this is the particular truth that matters.
An ESPN Outside The Lines report details emails between the NCAA and Louis Freeh’s firm, which was paid $8.2 million to conduct an independent investigation of Penn State following the Jerry Sandusky scandal. As it turns out, they were getting some, um, guidance from the NCAA:
“I’m angry,” [Pennsylvania State Senator Jake Corman] said. “When you read the other communications we’ve seen, the NCAA is saying ‘we have an image problem.’ So it looks like the NCAA was looking to improve its own image at the expense of Penn State. And to do that, they were orchestrating an outcome with Freeh to make it happen … A lot of people were hurt by the sanctions brought down by the NCAA, and to think it was achieved possibly by this coordination by Freeh and the NCAA makes me very, very angry.”
I can’t do any of this justice. Just go read the whole thing.
pic via reader Sam
Ryan Lochte was at Penn State College this past weekend just throwing monster tips on bottle service and apparently also taking tons of selfies at Beaver Stadium. Below are just a few examples– Jeah! Continue reading
Poor Temple, they can’t even pull 2nd place in their own city: The New York Times broke out another one of their Facebook fandom maps, this time tracing each zip code’s top three favorite college football teams. As you can see strictly by color above, Penn State owns much of the state of PA, with the more western reaches being a mix and mash of Penn State, Ohio State, West Virginia, and Pitt. Locally, Penn State is the consensus number one with Notre Dame coming consistently in a distant second. Third place is all over the place though: In Delco it’s the Florida Gators, in Philly it’s Temple, Chester County prefers Ohio State, as do MontCo and Bucks County. Meanwhile, Glouster and Camden counties in New Jersey go PSU/Notre Dame/Oregon Ducks.
You can see the whole map over here and zoom way in to check the results by individual zip codes.
Because the best way to recruit high school football players is to roll up like a villain in an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, Penn State head coach James Franklin headed down to Woodlawn High School in Baltimore, MD via helicopter. His chopper landed very subtly on what seems to be the baseball fields, you know, so no one would know he was there. So the next time someone points out that college athletics aren’t a business, or that athletes shouldn’t get paid, just picture PSU’s football coach rolling up to a high school in a helicopter like he’s goddamned Mark Cuban. And for a program like Penn State, nothing says “keeping things in perspective” like building helicopter rentals into the football budget.