It’s Only A Game

Posted: November 23, 2011 in Sports

How many times have you heard “it’s only a game” in your lifetime? I know have – too many times to count. I am guilty, however of forgetting the true meaning of the word “game.” If you want the official definition, look it up. I have discovered that in sports, a true fan can experience an entire wheel of emotion while watching their favorite team. For example, I had the pleasure of watching the St. Louis Cardinals win the 2011 World Series. In that series alone, I was excited, nervous, happy, mad, and even amazed. I cheered, I laughed, (come on, the Rally Squirrel is kind of funny), I yelled, I smiled, and I cried – if you have read my blogs, you know why I cried. When the Sooners lost last Saturday the emotion of being straight up pissed off surfaced. Yes, a sports fan lives in a world of emotion that only another avid sports fan can understand.

Joe Paterno was the head coach of Penn State football for 46 years.

Here’s something I don’t understand: Penn State University and the lack of responsibility that has been discovered. As we all by now are aware, things are not so happy in Happy Valley right now. What is happening in University Park is a disaster of epic proportion. A disaster that could easily tip a Richter scale or blow the Fujita scale right the hell away. There is no way to measure the damage this disaster has done and will still be doing for a long time after you read this. This is not a natural disaster – in fact – it is the furthest thing from natural I can think of. This disaster was man-made.

Honestly, “man-made” is not a good adjective. The monster behind the sexual abuse allegations does not deserve to be called a man at all. Jerry Sandusky has made Happy Valley look worse than the Neverland Ranch. What’s so disturbing is this thing is far from over. There are more details that surface every day and more  (alleged) victims that come forward as the investigation continues. Just today, there was a news story that one of the most recent victims – both under the age of 18 is actually a family member. The more I hear, the more disgusted and pissed off I become.

When Joe Paterno was fired after 46 years as the Nittany Lions head coach, all hell broke loose on campus. Students rioted when they heard the news. “Hell no , Joe won’t go” is what they were yelling. I watched the news thinking to myself, wow, I didn’t realize there was a special education program at Penn State. I wonder how many short buses it took to get this group of idiots to the riot site? After that question, a more burning question arose: Paterno is fired,  Graham Spaniard, Penn State President , is fired, athletic director Tim Curley is fired and vice president Gary Schultz is fired. ALL WELL DESERVED. Deserved because they turned their backs on young boys who were being abused on campus by an ogre who had been investigated for sexual abuse of a minor since at least 1998. There is no one out there that can convince me that the cast of characters I just named knew nothing about this. And then there’s Mike McQueary – the Howdy Doody red – headed son of a bitch who says he witnessed Sandfucksy raping a young boy in the shower. He thinks it’s ok to go home and tell his dad and then the next morning go to JoePa’s house and tell him. Excuse me, Mike, look the American public in the eye and try to explain that, if in fact you did see this happening, why in the blue hell you did not wrap your hands around that old perverts neck and choke him til he hit the floor and then beat the hell out of him just to the point of where he was in severe, permanent pain. Death would be too easy. Why the fuck is Mike McQueary not terminated. Administrative leave? I don’t get it, I truly don’t.  Listen up Penn State student rioters, your beloved iconic coach turned a blind eye to what was going on for YEARS. And when I say blind, please don’t blame it on the Coke bottle glasses he wears because he can barely see anymore. Doing the bare minimum is not good enough. Hate to break to you kids, Joe Paterno is NOT a saint. And it’s not just him and the others I mentioned. Every single person from law enforcement who did nothing years ago, the prosecutors, the staff at Second Mile…the list goes on and on. Everyone involved should be held responsible for this tragedy. From Penn State to the State Pen. I really hate to quote Hillary Clinton, however, it DOES take a village and apparently University Park, Pennsylvania has more than one village idiot. Look at the big picture, people – this goes way beyond the game of football.

As a college football fanatic, I understand coach worship, but I also understand ethics and being of a moral sound mind. These people were not. This is not kids going to trade a signed jersey for a tattoo. It is not a booster “supporting” players by giving them gifts and buying them dinner.  It’s a damn shame a storied football program has to be at the center of this circus. I feel bad for these players who were living the dream of playing for the great Joe Paterno and then suddenly had their mentor taken away. They will, hopefully understand why one day – if they don’t already. It’s tough when someone you admired and worshipped comes under the spotlight for their wrong doings, or in this case for what should have been done and wasn’t. I feel bad for the supporters and fans, the families who had no clue what was going on. It is heartbreaking. But – it is NOT about football. It is about a disturbed “man” who took advantage of his power to sexually abuse and rape (allegedly) young boys. The victims of these horrific acts is what this should be about. Penn State winning the Big 10 should be the least of your worries. This is not about football. Football is just a game.

As you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow and enjoy a day of football, please think about these kids if only for a moment. I find it hard to believe that they will ever enjoy a normal Thanksgiving dinner again. I hope they have the strength to make it through this without being scarred more than they already have. And while you’re at it, say a little prayer – if you believe in prayer – not only for the kids, but for the for the family of Garrett Uekman, a red shirt freshman tight end for the University of Arkansas who was found dead Sunday morning in his dorm room.  Unfortunately, more prayers are needed for the families of Oklahoma State women’s basketball coach, Kurt Budke and his assistant Miranda Serna as they are having to face this first holiday without them after being killed in a plane crash last week. Brandon Weeden, the quarterback for OSU apparently received some negative messages on Twitter after the Cowboys lost to Iowa State Friday night. His response said it best. He said Oklahoma State lost much more than a football game this week.

Oklahoma State Women's Basketball coach Kurt Budke and his assistant Miranda Serna

                                                                                     

Red Shirt freshman tight end for the Arkansas Razorbacks Garrett Uekman.

Clearly, it has been rough going the past couple of weeks in the NCAA. I have a lot to be thankful for – I hope you do too. I hope your teams win this weekend – unless they are playing mine. But most of all, I hope we can all keep in mind: it’s just a game.

P.S. There is a book out there called, ironically, Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story. Don’t buy it. If you have it, burn it.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Be thankful for who and what you’ve got. 

 

Follow me on Twitter:  @soonerleesa     email: leesa@shesaidsports.net

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Comments
  1. Nothing that happens to Sandusky will be enough. More kids have come forward in the last 24 hours and who knows how many more are still out there. Damage has been done and our hearts and prayers go out to all the innocent kids that lost a lot of their innocence to an animal.

    Nice Post!

    http://fantasyfurnace.com

  2. Thank YOU for putting your sentiments out there! It was a great read, well written, on a very tough subject.

    Happy holidays to you and your family.

  3. Shannon says:

    Well said Leesa. We protect not exploit. We love not abuse. We right a wrong and we keep on until it is so done. Respect of person, boundries, morals and the innocence of a child is paramount to the continuation of a solid god fearing society.
    A game is a game. A rivalry in good fun is a must – it makes life interesting. You toss a coin, hit hard but fair, think out your plays, play your heart out, shake hands and say “good game” then go have a beer or burger and laugh WITH your rivals and your fans. Good conduct on and off the field goes back to th “golden rule”. It’s something we learned as children and every adult needs to remember.
    I am thankful for many things my family, friends, my freedom and faith. The joy in a child’s smile and the tears I shed for those I miss. I wish for all those involved in this situation peace and justice both man made and what God deems just.

  4. aj says:

    Nice wotk, very well put, I couldn’t agree with you more.

  5. You hit the nail on the head Leesa! All authority figures involved should be punished to the full extent of the law & then they will all have to answer to God himself!

  6. Well, brace yourself, for there are other fears to be had that no walker can instill on you the dread that your own gait may unwittingly reveal something very dirty about yourself.

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