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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Posnanski book preview - Joe Paterno’s Last Season

Scott Paterno was the first in the family to understand that the Pennsylvania grand jury presentment that indicted Jerry Sandusky could end his father’s career. This wasn’t surprising; Scott tended to be the most realistic—or cynical, depending on who you asked—in the family. He had run for Congress and lost and along the way tasted the allure and nastiness of public life. He had worked as a lawyer and as a lobbyist. He would sometimes tell people, “Hey, don’t kid yourself, I’m the ####### of the family.” When Scott read the presentment, he called his father and said, “Dad, you have to face the possibility that you will never coach another game.”

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 15, 2012 at 11:48 AM | 525 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, off-topic, ped, posnanski

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   101. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: August 16, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4209640)
And this is coming from a guy whose whole family pretty much went to PSU-hell

Is this was one of the satellite campuses?


Yeah, disguised as PSU Behrend (Erie) when I went there in 69-70. 7 miles outside of Erie, 2 miles from nearest pizza shop. Frosh not allowed cars. Buses ran hourly to Erie up to 6 or 7 PM. 400 on campus. They opened up visitation to opposite sex dorms, alternating bi-weekly 2-4 PM on Sunday with doors open.
Only entertainment was getting a keg and partying back by the gorge -- the campus did have 100s of wooded acres. Besides the gorge, the only other positive was that NY State was 20 miles away and had a drinking age of 18. 2 AM on Saturday or Sunday morning had the interstate filled with 18-20 year olds driving back, rip-roaring drunk. Somehow, no one died.

The concert highlight (Like the only one): the already faded from memory, one-hit wonders, The Lemon Pipers (Listen while I play-yay-yay-yay-yay, my green tambourine).
   102. GregD Posted: August 16, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4209641)
When people read what Joe P has to say about Joe P, they will

FLIP
   103. robinred Posted: August 16, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4209658)
I am a UCLA grad who comes from KY and has relatives in Louisville, Lexington, and rural KY, so:

UCLA has had some booster scandals, etc. I knew a few jocks--not very well--and I would guess (but don't know) that they got some special treatment. The difference is that the city and school are so huge, sprawling and diverse, and there are so many other diversions there that while people care about the teams, hoops in particular, it is just not nearly as intense as it seems to be in small college towns. If some UCLA football players trash a bar on Sunset, well, they might get some booster help with the cops, but it is quite possible that the bar owner would be a transplant who wore a Yankee cap on the weekends and didn't give a shitt about UCLA athletics.

In KY, yes--pretty much everybody who doesn't live in Louisville and didn't go there roots for UK basketball. Tayshaun Prince, the Pistons' forward, is an LA guy who who was thinking about UCLA or Kentucky. He picked Kentucky, in part because of how hoops-crazy he could see they were on his visit. Many guys do the same.
   104. robinred Posted: August 16, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4209665)
PSU: What STEAGLES is saying is a more reasonably-framed variant of the hardcore BSD line: Paterno and the football program are taking the hit to cover up a big scandal involving pols, power brokers, etc and the BOT is to blame. What I don't get about that is that Paterno AFAIK has not been accused of a crime in the legal sense, and I am not sure there is agreement among even his harshest critics that he committed a crime in the legal sense. His failings were moral, ethical and institutional. So, ISTM, and people should correct me If I am wrong, that even if there is some huge scandal reaching all the way up to Rendell and Corbett and PSU trustees, that really won't change things for Paterno. This is also why I don't see how the Paterno Family's "investigation" will do any good from a pro-Paterno POV. BSD types are framing it as getting "justice" for Paterno, which to me makes no sense.

As to the book, my view remains the same on that, in that I think even if Posnanski had world enough and time to write "the book that needs to be written" he is not the man for the job. He is not a serious researcher or investigator; he gets close to his subjects and tries to present the best side of them. That is the exact opposite approach of what is needed here, and I think the only people who will like the book are PSU people hungry to see Paterno presented sympathetically and interested in details of his early life.
   105. GregD Posted: August 16, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4209667)
I am a UCLA grad who comes from KY and has relatives in Louisville, Lexington, and rural KY, so:

UCLA has had some booster scandals, etc. I knew a few jocks--not very well--and I would guess (but don't know) that they got some special treatment. The difference is that the city and school are so huge, sprawling and diverse, and there are so many other diversions there that while people care about the teams, hoops in particular, it is just not nearly as intense as it seems to be in small college towns. If some UCLA football players trash a bar on Sunset, well, they might get some booster help with the cops, but it is quite possible that the bar owner would be a transplant who wore a Yankee cap on the weekends and didn't give a shitt about UCLA athletics.

In KY, yes--pretty much everybody who doesn't live in Louisville and didn't go there roots for UK basketball. Tayshaun Prince, the Pistons' forward, is an LA guy who who was thinking about UCLA or Kentucky. He picked Kentucky, in part because of how hoops-crazy he could see they were on his visit. Many guys do the same.
To agree with statistics:

Home basketball attendance per game 2011-2012

1) UK 23,721

...

84) UCLA 6,353


Undergraduate enrollment
UK 20,163
UCLA 27,199

Combined Statistical Area population
Lexington 670,000
LA 18 million

Obviously last year was an outlier for UCLA as they were weak but UK has always been 1-2 in attendance even in weak years and there has been talk of building a 30,000-seat arena because demand outstrips Rupp Arena's supply. Pauley PAvilian holds under 14,000.
   106. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: August 16, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4209673)
I think the only people who will like the book are PSU people hungry to see Paterno presented sympathetically and interested in details of his early life.

Which describes my sisters and their husbands. They can't wait to read it. :(
   107. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 16, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4209681)
BSD types are framing it as getting "justice" for Paterno, which to me makes no sense.


It's a delusional cult desperate to find someone or something to blame other than St. Joe. The Board of Trustees didn't "stand up for the university," the NCAA didn't afford the university or Paterno "due process," et cetera, etc.

And your broader analysis is spot on. If it turns out that Paterno got caught up in only a small piece of wider criminality, that renders his inaction more culpable as more would have been accomplished had he acted.(*) Instead of merely stopping Sandusky, he could have stopped the wider criminality. The BSD freaks don't see this because they're delusional.

(*) And it's possible that Paterno was aware of this purported wider criminality; at the very least, there's no reason to assume he wasn't.
   108. robinred Posted: August 16, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4209687)
UCLA actually didn't play in Pauley last year--it was being remodeled. Your point bascially holds, but with the high-profile recruits and going back on campus, attendance will spike this year. But there were always some games with a few empty seats when I was there.
   109. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4209692)
that really won't change things for Paterno.


Assuming he stays dead, you're very likely correct.
   110. steagles Posted: August 16, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4209695)
Even if all you say in #68 is true, Steagles, there was one man in Pennsylvania who knew what was going on, or at least knew enough abut it, and was powerful and influential enough to stop it. Not only did Paterno wake up every morning for at least 13 years and make the decision to allow the child-rape to continue, but he made sure that Sandusky continued to have credibility of PSU football next to his name. Paterno could have ended Sandusky's reign of terror with the snap of his fingers. He chose not to, most likely because he thought it would reflect badly on the football program. Spanier, Schultz and Curley chose not to because they were scared of Paterno.

That's unacceptable regardless of what the politicians and other monsters of this case did.
i absolutely do not think paterno's hands are clean. the extent of his involvement here really should have been to say "why are you telling this to me?" and since that is pretty clearly not what he said when approached by mcqueary in 2002, he's on the hook for...something.

but at that point, the verbage matters. what exactly was paterno told, and what exactly did paterno think he was told? was he told that sandusky was physically holding a child against the wall of the shower and raping him? was he told that sandusky was sodomizing the boy?** was he told that the two were horsing around?



**that's also an important phrasing, if you take this exchange (from posnanski's book) at face value:
“You realize that the people out there think you knew about this? They think you had to know because you know about everything.”
“That’s their opinion!” Paterno shouted. “I’m not omniscient!”
“They think you are!” D’Elia roared back.
According to D’Elia’s recollection of watching Paterno read the presentment, the former coach asked Scott, “What is sodomy, anyway?”


even if you assume the rosiest possible account of paterno's actions in 2002, the fact that sandusky continued to rape children for another decade is a very large turd in the paterno punchbowl. there is no getting past that.

PSU: What STEAGLES is saying is a more reasonably-framed variant of the hardcore BSD line: Paterno and the football program are taking the hit to cover up a big scandal involving pols, power brokers, etc and the BOT is to blame. What I don't get about that is that Paterno AFAIK has not been accused of a crime in the legal sense, and I am not sure there is agreement among even his harshest critics that he committed a crime in the legal sense. His failings were moral, ethical and institutional. So, ISTM, and people should correct me If I am wrong, that even if there is some huge scandal reaching all the way up to Rendell and Corbett and PSU trustees, that really won't change things for Paterno. This is also why I don't see how the Paterno Family's "investigation" will do any good from a pro-Paterno POV. BSD types are framing it as getting "justice" for Paterno, which to me makes no sense.
i linked to this in the college football thread:

out of 1000 people polled, 28% thought that joe paterno himself had been accused of child molestation and another 15% weren't sure.

if you consider it just for ~1/4 of the population of this country to think of joe paterno as a child rapist, then yeah, paterno's supporters really have nothing to gain.

   111. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 16, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4209711)
“What is sodomy, anyway?”

Joe was willfully ignorant. He chose not to know.

One thing I keep coming back to.... If this happened within the program when Joe was 45 years old, not 98 years old, do you think Sandusky would have survived? No farkin way. Joe would have squashed it.

   112. robinred Posted: August 16, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4209712)
if you consider it just for ~1/4 of the population of this country to think of joe paterno as a child rapist, then yeah, paterno's supporters really have nothing to gain.


A lot of these types of polls were quoted at BSD as well. Some people being wildly misinformed about big media stories/public figues is nothing new, and I do not consider such polls to be a big deal in the larger picture--sort of along the same lines as people thinking that Barack Obama is a Muslim or thinking that Barry Bonds is in prison for using steroids. Given the nature of this case, that is offensive for Paterno supporters and in general, but it just is what it is and what the family wants to do won't change that, either.

Also, I am pretty sure that the goal of the Paterno Family is not to convince people that Paterno didn't rape kids--the goals I assume are to restore his name, get the scholarships back, get public apologies from media people, beat the NCAA in court, refute the Freeh Report, restore the vacated wins, get the statue back up, etc. If Paterno were accused of a specific crime and it could be shown that he actually didn't commit that crime, then it would make more sense to me. As it is, it doesn't.
   113. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: August 16, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4209746)
A lot of these types of polls were quoted at BSD as well. Some people being wildly misinformed about big media stories/public figues is nothing new, and I do not consider such polls to be a big deal in the larger picture--sort of along the same lines as people thinking that Barack Obama is a Muslim or thinking that Barry Bonds is in prison for using steroids.


There was a famous 1999 Gallup poll that found that about a quarter of the population didn't believe that the earth goes around the sun. I've always taken that to mean that 1-in-4 is a baseline for cluelessness, stupidity, confusion, insanity, and paranoia. IOW, if 40% of Americans believe something stupid it means that 20% of the people who are smart enough to know better believe it. If only 25% of Americans believe that Paterno raped children then the American public is about as well-informed on the topic as one can hope it will be.
   114. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 16, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4209751)
There was a famous 1999 Gallup poll that found that about a quarter of the population didn't believe that the earth goes around the sun. I've always taken that to mean that 1-in-4 is a baseline for cluelessness, stupidity, confusion, insanity, and paranoia. IOW, if 40% of Americans believe something stupid it means that 20% of the people who are smart enough to know better believe it. If only 25% of Americans believe that Paterno raped children then the American public is about as well-informed on the topic as one can hope it will be.

This.
   115. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 16, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4209761)
just reading the quotation provided by steagles shows another version of the same thing, joe was fully capable of picking things to use as excuses.

he browbeats and bullies leadership into keeping his job but then when confronted with this situation states he reported it to his superiors.

he manages every element of the program and the school with the eager media in tow talk about how the guy is physically old but on top of every detail, etc. and then he wants to state he is not omniscient

it is best that he passed away. a prosecutor in his/her base form is a debator and they would have killed him in any interview.

paterno, with prior coaching from legal, would have had to present himself as distantly removed from the program and all but a figurehead who was handsomely compensated to be anything but. it would have been awful for him and his admirers to see paterno have to state on the record that he was just an old man shaking hands of alums and hanging out on the sideline for show

perhaps not as awful as the current state. but still a very unpleasant situation
   116. ASmitty Posted: August 16, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4209764)
it would have been awful for him and his admirers to see paterno have to state on the record that he was just an old man shaking hands of alums and hanging out on the sideline for show


I seriously doubt he could have actually managed to do that. I've seen men far less egomaniacal than Paterno implode on the stand.
   117. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 16, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4209765)
asmitty

quite possible. but it's that or potentially make him more directly culpable. he would have had to take the 'uncle leo' approach as folks like to refer to old guys hiding behind their age as a buffer
   118. bigglou115 Posted: August 16, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4209782)
Am I the only one who would be far more interested in the original book than the one that's actually coming out? I think the disharmony between the man in the book and the man we've come to realize Paterno had to have been would be fascinating.
   119. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4209812)
I've always taken that to mean that 1-in-4 is a baseline for cluelessness, stupidity, confusion, insanity, and paranoia.


See also: The Crazification Factor.
   120. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4209814)
Haven't seen this linked:Posnanski: Paterno Offered A Complex Challenge

From TFA:

Nobody would argue — and certainly my book does not argue — that the good Joe Paterno did in his life should shield him from the horrors of his mistakes. Some would argue, especially in the white-hot emotion sparked by the latest revelations, that Paterno's role in the Jerry Sandusky crimes invalidates whatever good he might have done. My book does not argue that either. My book, I believe, lets the reader make up his or her own mind. When people ask me if Penn State was right in tearing down Joe Paterno's statue in light of the Freeh Report's conclusion, I ask a different question: "Should they have built a statue to him in the first place?" When people ask me if the NCAA was right in unleashing draconian penalties against Penn State, I ask a different question: "Should they have held up Joe Paterno as a paragon of purity and virtue for more than four decades?"


"This is the story of a man named Joe Paterno, who in his long life was called moral and immoral, decent and scheming, omniscient and a figurehead, hero and fraud, Saint Joe and the devil. A life, of course, cannot be reduced to a single word, but …"
But … what? That was my book. There was the bloated superhero of Nov. 4, the savage villain of Nov. 5 … and I searched for the human being in the middle. I believe most of us live somewhere in the middle.
I suspect I will never have a more difficult task as a writer — I've been told by several authors that no biographer in American history has had a book change so drastically in the course of reporting. I suspect that's not right, but it is right that I was feeling my way through the dark. I was pushed and pulled, accused and derided, and that wasn't much fun. There were hundreds of questions, none of them with easy answers. But I had come to write a true book. That was what mattered. I have done my best to do that.


No, I don't feel about Joe Paterno the same way I did when I started writing the book. But I don't feel about him the way his most blistering critics feel. He was a human being, filled with ideals and flaws, honesty and hypocrisy, charity and selfishness, modesty and the refusal to abdicate his throne. There was little simple about him. I chased the complicated story of a man and his long life. I hope that is the story I wrote.
   121. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4209816)
According to D’Elia’s recollection of watching Paterno read the presentment, the former coach asked Scott, “What is sodomy, anyway?”


Maybe instead of jaw-droppingly naive, Paterno was just really bad at flirting?
   122. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 16, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4209821)
scott

tdf provided the link on the other page.
   123. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4209828)
That crazification seems low, something like 30-50% of Americans believe in ghosts. Nearly 50% believe in young earth (i.e. less than 10000 years ago) creationism. Anyone who believes in either of things is ignorant, crazy, or completely irrational.
   124. robinred Posted: August 16, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4209829)
Not used to quoting Jeff Pearlman, but:

I scrap it.

I do. I scrap the whole thing. I put it aside, maybe wait a year or two, then—when the dust clears and the implications are more understood—I return and write a real biography. Joe is a wonderful writer and, by all accounts, a good guy. I love his blog, and his pieces on infomercials are some of the funniest things I’ve ever read. I can’t say this enough times—Joe is terrific. A genuine wordsmith.

But there is no possible way, one month removed from a report that details Joe Paterno’s knowledge of a pedophile roaming the Penn State campus (and his refusal to do anything about it, when he clearly could/should have), a proper biography can be released. No. Possible. Way.


...By all accounts, Joe Posnanski’s biography was—until relatively recently—a love letter to Joe Paterno; an ode to a legendary coach and the men he inspired. Well, that no longer works. Like, not partially doesn’t work—doesn’t work at all.

...Which is to say, instead of promoting a book as “the heartwarming story of Joe Paterno’s rise …”, it becomes “an explanation of Joe Paterno’s life, and ultimate demise.” Does the content of the book change? Somewhat, but only as little as humanly possible. It’s the strategy, not the actuality.


Pearlman wrote this a month ago. I cut/pasted a bit, so there is more. But I agree wth Pearlman here.

http://www.jeffpearlman.com/posnanski-and-paterno/
   125. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: August 16, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4209831)
Is "What is Sodomy?" the title of Posnanski's book? It should be.
   126. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4209832)
My bad, I did a short search and didn't see the link.
   127. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4209840)
Is "What is Sodomy?" the title of Posnanski's book? It should be.


I still think "Rape and a Man: The Joe Paterno Story" rolls off the tongue more smoothly.
   128. smileyy Posted: August 16, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4209843)

That crazification seems low, something like 30-50% of Americans believe in ghosts. Nearly 50% believe in young earth (i.e. less than 10000 years ago) creationism. Anyone who believes in either of things is ignorant, crazy, or completely irrational.


There's a spectrum of the impact of "ignorant, crazy, or completely irrational" beliefs. The young earth creationist who raises ignorant children, or who wants to ban the teaching of science is markedly different than the person who wants to believe that grandpa is still out there somewhere looking down on them, but with no other impact on their or anyone else's lives.
   129. Greg K Posted: August 16, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4209845)
the former coach asked Scott, “What is sodomy, anyway?”

Maybe Paterno was just ruminating on the ambiguous definition of that word in the 17th century.

And agree that that would make an excellent title for the book.
   130. robinred Posted: August 16, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4209847)
The original title was The Grand Experiment: The Life and Meaning of Joe Paterno.
   131. smileyy Posted: August 16, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4209848)
Shouldn't Jeff Pearlman know that Posnanski has probably already been paid for the book in advance, and is contractually obligated to deliver something, or pay the advance back?

At the same time, I have a hard time believing that there wouldn't be a clause in the contract about something like this, where after doing all of that work, one realize that the book asked for cannot be written. It seems ludicrous that an author would have to pay an advance back for that, but the publishing world is probably as screwed up as every other business in the world.
   132. Eddo Posted: August 16, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4209857)
Shouldn't Jeff Pearlman know that Posnanski has probably already been paid for the book in advance, and is contractually obligated to deliver something, or pay the advance back?

At the same time, I have a hard time believing that there wouldn't be a clause in the contract about something like this, where after doing all of that work, one realize that the book asked for cannot be written. It seems ludicrous that an author would have to pay an advance back for that, but the publishing world is probably as screwed up as every other business in the world.

Not to mention that with that advance money might already be spent, or factored into life decisions made by the Posnanski family. I would imagine it's insanely difficult to give back a large sum of money when one has two young daughters he provides for.
   133. SoSH U at work Posted: August 16, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4209862)
I still think "Rape and a Man: The Joe Paterno Story" rolls off the tongue more smoothly.


Fiefdom, Sodomy and the (Back)Lash.

   134. robinred Posted: August 16, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4209867)
Shouldn't Jeff Pearlman know that Posnanski has probably already been paid for the book in advance, and is contractually obligated to deliver something, or pay the advance back?


The advance was 750K, and I have heard that Posnankski has already spent part of it moving etc. so those are legit points. OTOH, Pos is a big name and Simon and Schuster is a big operation, owned by CBS, so I think that something could have been worked out, but maybe not. Also remember that the original pub date was July 2013--S/S moved it up.

According to the NY Times, S/S has scaled back promotions, and the book tour etc although Posnanski will still be hitting some bookstores.
   135. GregD Posted: August 16, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4209868)
the former coach asked Scott, “What is sodomy, anyway?”
I have no truck with Paterno apologists but don't find the confusion over the word inherently impossible. I'm 40 and remember looking it up a couple of times and being baffled. I knew what all the sex acts were but the definitions were so vague as to leave me to ask somebody to just tell me what counted as sodomy and what didn't.

I would though, I hope, have known what to do if someone reported the shower incident to me. It doesn't require any definitional hairsplitting to understand that.
   136. zonk Posted: August 16, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4209873)
I sense a new BTF meme, so at least we've got that going for us...

What is WAR, anyway?
   137. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: August 16, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4209882)
133- the previous title was "Fairytale of State College"
   138. smileyy Posted: August 16, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4209883)
I have no truck with Paterno apologists but don't find the confusion over the word inherently impossible. I'm 40 and remember looking it up a couple of times and being baffled. I knew what all the sex acts were but the definitions were so vague as to leave me to ask somebody to just tell me what counted as sodomy and what didn't.


Hopefully with the passing of the unconstitutional "anti-sodomy" laws (whose definitions were multitude) the future can settle on an easy meaning of sodomy -- butt*($#ing.
   139. robinred Posted: August 16, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4209886)
Father's Day 2013, actually, not July, I think.
   140. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: August 16, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4209887)
What is butt($#ing, anyway?
   141. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4209889)
Buttfucking, how does it work? (sup dawg, I heard you like memes so I put this meme in your meme so you can read this additional meme while you think of more lame memes!)
   142. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: August 16, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4209890)
What is WAR, anyway?


"What's so civil about war, anyway?"
-Axl Rose
   143. smileyy Posted: August 16, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4209920)
[141] Don't believe anyone who claims to know how magnets work. They're lying.
   144. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: August 16, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4209924)
"What is Sodomy?"


This can be a difficult question for historians, because "sodomy" has meant all things at all times. Sometimes when Bernardino of Siena is ranting about the sodomites he's upset about homosexuals and sometimes he's upset about men who perform oral sex on their wives. Hell, sodomy laws that have been on the books in my lifetime have been used to prosecute everything from bestiality to heterosexual adultery to married couples not being vigilant about pulling the blinds down.

That crazification seems low, something like 30-50% of Americans believe in ghosts. Nearly 50% believe in young earth (i.e. less than 10000 years ago) creationism. Anyone who believes in either of things is ignorant, crazy, or completely irrational.


There's a big difference between believing in something with deep cultural roots and believing in something that nobody actually believes in. I mean, no one actually believes that the sun orbits the earth or that Joe Paterno raped children, it's just that 1 in 4 people are so clueless or crazy or confused or whatever that they'll think that they believe it and will tell that to a pollster. Young earth creationism may be ridiculous, but it has a long history and is a part of the cultural fabric. Same with the belief in ghosts and so forth. It's possible to *actually* believe in them, which goes beyond the 1-in-4 rule and starts getting into real issues of public knowledge.

EDIT: A better way of explaining this might be to say that you could probably get 25% of people to say they "believe" in a wrong answer to a geometry problem. They don't actually believe that geometry isn't true, they just don't have a clue.
   145. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 16, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4209927)
"What is Sodomy?"

Anything that isn't two married white protestants in the missionary position.
   146. bigglou115 Posted: August 16, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4209931)
Anything that isn't two married white protestants in the missionary position.


You know, I get what you're saying because that is exactly what the anti-sodomy laws were getting at. That said, I think its pretty clear that there's a modern connotation to the word that Paterno definitely had to have been aware of. More importantly, whenever I hear a word I haven't heard before I immediately assume its a sex act.
   147. asinwreck Posted: August 16, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4209932)
From Posnanski's USA Today piece:
In the last months of Joe Paterno's life, I met with him on several occasions and talked with him at length when he was perhaps the most sought after interview in America. I was granted access to his personal notes, and there were many. I talked to some of the people closest to him and also some of his harshest critics. I also talked with child sex abuse experts and legal experts to offer background and context. I read anything and everything that might give me some insight into who Joe Paterno really was. I reviewed inner-office e-mails (the same ones used in the Freeh Report), documents and timelines. I searched for what is real.


Obviously, how he interprets these sources in the finished manuscript is important, but his described research does not make this book sound like a cut-and-paste job of splicing the Freeh Report into a finished hagiography. If he still holds onto the idea that "a single, hazy event" (as he wrote last January) tarnished JoPa's halo, that's going to mar the book. If the narrative of this book is the narrative of that obituary, it will be terrible. I suspect -- and hope -- that the Joe Posnanski who submitted the final manuscript is more clear-eyed than the Joe Posnanski who eulogized Paterno in January.
   148. zenbitz Posted: August 16, 2012 at 05:33 PM (#4209935)
One cannot simply buttfuck a magnet into Mordor.
   149. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 16, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4209936)
When people ask me if Penn State was right in tearing down Joe Paterno's statue in light of the Freeh Report's conclusion, I ask a different question: "Should they have built a statue to him in the first place?" When people ask me if the NCAA was right in unleashing draconian penalties against Penn State, I ask a different question: "Should they have held up Joe Paterno as a paragon of purity and virtue for more than four decades?"


When people ask if it was right to contract for a Paterno book that would feed the myth, I have 750,000 reasons why the answer's yes.
   150. robinred Posted: August 16, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4209943)
I suspect -- and hope -- that the Joe Posnanski who submitted the final manuscript is more clear-eyed than the Joe Posnanski who eulogized Paterno in January.


We will see and you may well be right. But while the practical points raised about shutting the book down and giving the money back were totally legit, and I (and Pearlman) should have mentioned them, it still seems to me that

a) Posnanski is too close to the Paternos to approach the topic in the way that IMO it should be.
b) Posnanski's whole style/ethos are not suited to the subject as it is now anyway.
c) Too soon. I think a bio of Paterno in light of the scandal would be better undertaken 2-3 years down the line.

C) is partly just me. I like to read bios of presidents, but never while they are in office or even recently out of it. I am only now starting to read about Reagan, for example.
   151. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 05:45 PM (#4209946)
I mean, no one actually believes that the sun orbits the earth or that Joe Paterno raped children, it's just that 1 in 4 people are so clueless or crazy or confused or whatever that they'll think that they believe it and will tell that to a pollster.


Also note that there will be a certain percentage that will misunderstand a poll question, or give the wrong answer out of mischievousness or brainfart (how many of us when giving directions have said left instead of right). I think about half of the 15-20% who give "nonsensical" answers fall into this category.


E.g. "Q: Do you believe the Sun revolves around the Earth? A: Of course it does! (Who doesn't know the Earth revolves around the Sun?)".
   152. bigglou115 Posted: August 16, 2012 at 05:48 PM (#4209949)
Also note that there will be a certain percentage that will misunderstand a poll question, or give the wrong answer out of mischievousness or brainfart (how many of us when giving directions have said left instead of right). I think about half of the 15-20% who give "nonsensical" answers fall into this category.


I do this all the time. Making sure that no answer on a poll could possibly have 0% makes me feel good. Maybe I should get that checked out?
   153. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 16, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4209955)
I think your compassion for underused answers is admirable, Lou.
   154. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: August 16, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4209957)
But I agree wth Pearlman here.

As a general rule, that's a sign that you should seriously rethink your position.
   155. Greg K Posted: August 16, 2012 at 06:05 PM (#4209959)
This can be a difficult question for historians, because "sodomy" has meant all things at all times. Sometimes when Bernardino of Siena is ranting about the sodomites he's upset about homosexuals and sometimes he's upset about men who perform oral sex on their wives. Hell, sodomy laws that have been on the books in my lifetime have been used to prosecute everything from bestiality to heterosexual adultery to married couples not being vigilant about pulling the blinds down.

You're telling me! Couple that with the term "homosexual" being an anachronism in the 17th century and I've got a whole chapter of my thesis devoted to sorting out what the words I'm using in the chapter mean.
   156. robinred Posted: August 16, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4209966)
As a general rule, that's a sign that you should seriously rethink your position


Sure, and as a general rule, BTF luvzzz us some big helpings of JoePoz. This situation is an outlier.
   157. Greg K Posted: August 16, 2012 at 06:10 PM (#4209968)
It wasn't a poll but I did come up with a fairly non-serious answer to a person who stopped me in the street for a charity.

His opening gambit was "What do you think about child abuse?", presumably leading into getting me to take some action to follow up on my thoughts. I was planning on carefully deliberating, then answering "they probably deserve it". But I just didn't have the heart for it. So after about 10 seconds of deep contemplation I just said "I suppose I'm against it". I regret that decision, as it would have created a moment of awkwardness, but would have given that fellow an anecdote to tell friends at the pub that night.
   158. villageidiom Posted: August 16, 2012 at 06:29 PM (#4209977)
After reading the excerpts, and the comments here, I'm getting the feeling that Posnanski's Paterno book will be in line with the early consensus about it to the same degree as the Moneyball film was in line with the early consensus about it.
   159. steagles Posted: August 16, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4209986)
a) Posnanski is too close to the Paternos to approach the topic in the way that IMO it should be.
i'm not exactly sure what someone means when they say this. noone is ever going to get paterno's account of this--that's lost forever. if you're writing a book about joe paterno, that's really the only angle that's left to write about, and it's a metaphysical impossibility (at least until some journalist gains access to a tardis).


then you get to the fact that sandusky was arrested just 9 months ago, and since multiple peripheral investigations are still ongoing, there is no way that posnanski can write a book that will remain relevant for even just a calendar year. something, somewhere is going to come out and when it does, it'll almost completely render this book meaningless.


so what's left? if you're looking for a scathing castigation of all things paterno, posnanski is really the last writer that you would expect to be willing to write that book.



personally, i don't really see any value to this book being released. the scandal isn't far enough into the rear view mirror that you can actually get a feel for its historical impact (which at this point, really is none. a football coach lost some wins, a football program was knocked to its knees for a few years, a pedophile was arrested and jailed. none of that is historically significant), and as mentioned, paterno's account will never be told.


i really don't see any way in which this book can be a meaningful account of this situation. it really should just be lost.
   160. bigglou115 Posted: August 16, 2012 at 06:54 PM (#4209992)
i really don't see any way in which this book can be a meaningful account of this situation. it really should just be lost.


I disagree. I cannot for the life of me understand the cult of personality that formed around Paterno. If Pos can give me some understanding of what makes people defend the man so vehemently then its worth a read. I imagine the book will do that, even if its unintentional.
   161. robinred Posted: August 16, 2012 at 07:14 PM (#4209999)
I'm getting the feeling that Posnanski's Paterno book will be in line with the early consensus about it to the same degree as the Moneyball film was in line with the early consensus about it.


Totally different situations in several different ways. Two obvious ways: Moneyball underwent a lot of changes as a movie project and was delayed--Soderbergh dropped out, Sorkin was brought into write. This thing was AFAIK still just Poz and his computer talking to people in State College and the publication date has been moved up.

i'm not exactly sure what someone means when they say this.


Caro wasn't a family friend of the Moseses or the Johnsons. This is the authorized bio. Nothing wrong with that, but that and the scandal make for some very odd juxtapositional calculus.

noone is ever going to get paterno's account of this--that's lost forever.


Well, Poz is saying that he spent a lot of time with Paterno at the end of his life and talked to him about everything, including Sandusky.

When I quoted Pearlman about scrapping the book, I meant from Poz's POV strictly as a reporter/writer in terms of his relation to the subject matter and his reputation. As a commercial venture for its publishers, as a matter of contractual obligation and simple economics, and perhaps as a cultural artifact and piece of writing, the book will arguably have its value.

   162. robinred Posted: August 16, 2012 at 07:43 PM (#4210014)
cannot for the life of me understand the cult of personality that formed around Paterno.


Based only on BSD and a couple of encounters with PSU grads IRL, some people associated with the school seem to see it as a Very Special Place, different from other universities, in that it has great academics, high old-school moral and personal standards, and an ass-kicking football team. It sort of combines, they seem to think, everything good about both UC Berkeley and Bedford Falls with the football prowess of a uni like USC or Alabama--without the negative ethical acoutrements thereof. And they call it Happy Valley.

And they see Joe Paterno as having embodied and created almost all of that, and for some of them, they seem to have derived some of their own self-esteem from it and don't like that being taken away.

There are of course I am sure many, many, many people around/from PSU that do not think about it like this--I assume BSD represents the far end of the Bell Curve.
   163. Rob_Wood Posted: August 16, 2012 at 07:51 PM (#4210021)
Sorry, what is BSD?
   164. bigglou115 Posted: August 16, 2012 at 07:56 PM (#4210023)
Sorry, what is BSD?


Black Shoe Diaries. Joe Paterno apologists.
   165. robinred Posted: August 16, 2012 at 08:02 PM (#4210029)
BSD is the SB Nation Penn State fan site, and is known for having the hardestcoriest of the hardcore, and as such has drawn some net attention during the scandal.
   166. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 08:08 PM (#4210035)
cannot for the life of me understand the cult of personality that formed around Paterno.


He was a beloved elder statesman who won "the right way" and pretty much built the program from the ground up. What's hard to understand about that? It's like asking why Knute Rockne was such a big deal in Indiana.
   167. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 16, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4210043)

It's like asking why Knute Rockne was such a big deal in Indiana.


Before my time, but if then was anything like now, he was a bigger deal in Chicago, New York and Boston than he was in the Hoosier State. Notre Dame runs a distant third among favored universities in the state.
   168. bigglou115 Posted: August 16, 2012 at 08:31 PM (#4210046)
He was a beloved elder statesman who won "the right way" and pretty much built the program from the ground up. What's hard to understand about that? It's like asking why Knute Rockne was such a big deal in Indiana.


A better way to put it would be that while I understand why he was canonized, I don't understand why that persists. I can imagine a situation where I'd back an idol in the face of allegations, but not once allegations of this level are more or less uncontested.
   169. robinred Posted: August 16, 2012 at 08:41 PM (#4210051)
allegations of this level are more or less uncontested.


Well, the argument there is basically that Paterno found out about it, and reported it, and it's not his fault that the admin guys and the campus cops didn't do anything substantive about it. He is getting taken down, they say, as a scapegoat of corrupt, scared pols and lower-level power brokers and due to people's desire to see idols brought low. I don't agree, but that seems to be the position.

Like I said in the other post, Paterno was not accused of, much less tried for, any specific crime. So I can sort of see how someone who admired or idolized him would explain his behavior away or minimize it.
   170. AndrewJ Posted: August 16, 2012 at 08:50 PM (#4210057)
i really don't see any way in which this book can be a meaningful account of this situation. it really should just be lost.



I disagree. I cannot for the life of me understand the cult of personality that formed around Paterno. If Pos can give me some understanding of what makes people defend the man so vehemently then its worth a read. I imagine the book will do that, even if its unintentional.

Don't know how many of you recall Michael Sokolove's book Hustle, a Pete Rose biography as much about the making of the Charlie Hustle myth as it was about Rose's gambling downfall. I'd be interested in reading a Hustle-like account about how the national media fed into the Paterno=God concept over four decades and how so many commentators -- not just Posnanski and Bill James -- defended him until it was too late.
   171. bigglou115 Posted: August 16, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4210063)
Don't know how many of you recall Michael Sokolove's book Hustle, a Pete Rose biography as much about the making of the Charlie Hustle myth as it was about Rose's gambling downfall. I'd be interested in reading a Hustle-like account about how the national media fed into the Paterno=God concept over four decades and how so many commentators -- not just Posnanski and Bill James -- defended him until it was too late.


But by its definition that would have to be written by someone who didn't defend him. I want to know what Poz saw before the Sandusky stuff, what made Paterno the perfect person, out of every coach in the NCAA, to be made into the myth of perfection. That book can't be written now, too much damage has been done. Poz's first draft might have been close, but his final draft will probably be the closest I'll ever come.

Maybe its some personality quirk of mine, but I never have understood that kind of hero worship. I could understand a politician like JFK to an extent, although I'm too young to know if the allegations against him had a similar effect, but for a football coach?
   172. robinred Posted: August 16, 2012 at 09:03 PM (#4210070)
Football is a big deal in Pennsylvania; that is part of it as well.
   173. bigglou115 Posted: August 16, 2012 at 09:10 PM (#4210073)
Football is a big deal in Pennsylvania; that is part of it as well.


Football's a big deal in Arkansas too, didn't stop us from running Petrino out of town for something far less serious. I know its not the same thing, but there wasn't even a debate here. No matter how much you love sports there has to be a line, I guess I just can't imagine how Paterno's conduct didn't cross it.
   174. robinred Posted: August 16, 2012 at 09:19 PM (#4210079)
In Caro's Moses bio, a pol says, "You don't fire your father."

Comparing Petrino and Arkansas to Paterno and Penn State is sort of like comparing Kelvin Sampson at Oklahoma to Mike Krzyzewski at Duke. Also, Paterno did, remember, get fired.

There are some people who are 100% irrational about the issue, but if you look at Paterno's history there, I don't think it is that hard to understand it. That doesn't excuse it.
   175. bigglou115 Posted: August 16, 2012 at 09:29 PM (#4210087)
Paterno was our hope. Our chance to get back what we felt we'd been denied since Ole Miss fed false rumors to high school players and crashed our program. Arkansan's feel their legacy was stolen and Petrino was their chance to get it back. That said, your right in that there is no comparison, I just feel like your undervaluing what it meant when the state collectively turned its back on Petrino. Keep in mind, it took a decade of abuse from Nolan Richardson before we got tired of his ranting and he hadn't tried to win a game in years.

I don't think Krzyzewski would get the support Paterno has gotten either, but then maybe they would surprise me.
   176. steagles Posted: August 16, 2012 at 09:45 PM (#4210100)
I don't think Krzyzewski would get the support Paterno has gotten either, but then maybe they would surprise me.
wasm't there a whole big thing at duke just a few years ago, where the entire campus rallied around some athletes who were accused of raping a stripper?

   177. bigglou115 Posted: August 16, 2012 at 09:53 PM (#4210107)
wasm't there a whole big thing at duke just a few years ago, where the entire campus rallied around some athletes who were accused of raping a stripper?


The way I remember it, the University abandoned them and wanted to cancel the season. Also, there was no evidence and the driving force behind the prosecutor seemed to be a washed up former ATL prosecutor who was almost disbarred and got her own TV show somehow. They were real quick to rally around them after the charges were dropped though.
   178. zonk Posted: August 16, 2012 at 10:00 PM (#4210113)
]Sorry, what is BSD?


You mean it's not online fetish abbreviation?

BSD is the SB Nation Penn State fan site, and is known for having the hardestcoriest of the hardcore, and as such has drawn some net attention during the scandal.


Oh, so it is an online fetishist term... just not the one I thought.
   179. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 10:10 PM (#4210119)
Football's a big deal in Arkansas too, didn't stop us from running Petrino out of town for something far less serious. I know its not the same thing, but there wasn't even a debate here. No matter how much you love sports there has to be a line, I guess I just can't imagine how Paterno's conduct didn't cross it.


As an Arkansas native, I'd say a far better comparison would be if -- god forbid -- Frank Broyles had been implicated in a Sandusky-esque scandal. And if Broyles had coached the Hogs twice as long as he did. And been even more successful than he was.

Keep in mind, it took a decade of abuse from Nolan Richardson before we got tired of his ranting and he hadn't tried to win a game in years.


Yeah (though memory tells me it was more like a half-decade for Nolan), but look at the buffoonish Houston Nutt's inexplicably long stay as head football coach despite his steadfast commitment to mediocrity. And even then, the university gave the fool tons of money to go away. Ole Miss, of all schools, had better sense & cut his worthless ass loose in fairly short order.

   180. bigglou115 Posted: August 16, 2012 at 10:13 PM (#4210124)
As an Arkansas native, I'd say a far better comparison would be if -- god forbid -- Frank Broyles had been implicated in a Sandusky-esque scandal. And if Broyles had coached the Hogs twice as long as he did. And been even more successful than he was.


You know, I thought of that. I just didn't know if it'd translate sense its been so long since Broyles had coached.
   181. AndrewJ Posted: August 16, 2012 at 10:26 PM (#4210134)
Maybe its some personality quirk of mine, but I never have understood that kind of hero worship. I could understand a politician like JFK to an extent, although I'm too young to know if the allegations against him had a similar effect, but for a football coach?

JFK was before my time, too (I was born in 1968), but it seems that "the allegations against him" didn't get widespread mainstream media attention until a decade after his death. Judith Campbell Exner was the first mistress to come forward, around 1975 or so.
   182. bigglou115 Posted: August 16, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4210145)
JFK was before my time, too (I was born in 1968), but it seems that "the allegations against him" didn't get widespread mainstream media attention until a decade after his death. Judith Campbell Exner was the first mistress to come forward, around 1975 or so.


I have to think that even in 75 he would have been thought of just as highly, especially considering the manner in which he died.
   183. villageidiom Posted: August 16, 2012 at 11:01 PM (#4210150)
Totally different situations in several different ways. Two obvious ways: Moneyball underwent a lot of changes as a movie project and was delayed--Soderbergh dropped out, Sorkin was brought into write. This thing was AFAIK still just Poz and his computer talking to people in State College and the publication date has been moved up.
One one of your "totally different" situations, from my point of view it's exactly the same. Although the movie project changed considerably, nobody had an accurate view of what the movie would be, and early opinion was colored by what little we knew. What we knew of the Paterno book early on was the hero-worship aspect surrounding Paterno, plus Posnanski's bizarre defense of Paterno after the scandal; the excerpts suggest, to me, none of this.
   184. robinred Posted: August 16, 2012 at 11:16 PM (#4210151)
the excerpts suggest, to me, none of this.


I think Harveys Wallbangers was a little rough on Poz, but he made some good points about this issue on page 1 of the thread.

As to the rest, I think you are focusing too much on BTF rhetoric and not enough on the differences between movies and books and the nature of the subject matter. One similarity, I suppose, is that Lewis admires Beane and Poz admired Paterno and both of them had serious access. But there are massive differences on the one hand between trying to make an entertaining movie about baseball analytics and on the other hand, finding out about what is probably the worst scandal in the history of American sports involving a serial child predator at the tail end of writing a bio about a guy that was going to be a monument to his life.

I said early on that I thought it would be tough to make a successful mainstream movie based on Moneyball, but they picked the right actor and had the right guy write the script. Poz may surprise me as well, but there is really very little to compare about the two projects other than that a lot of people at BTF are down on both of them pre-unveiling.
   185. Andere Richtingen Posted: August 16, 2012 at 11:49 PM (#4210157)
quite possible. but it's that or potentially make him more directly culpable. he would have had to take the 'uncle leo' approach as folks like to refer to old guys hiding behind their age as a buffer

I don't think it was an age thing with Paterno (not JVP using it as an excuse anyway -- certainly others have done so). I think it's more about fear and disgust. I have no problem with the idea that JVP was too squeamish about the concept of "sodomy" to give it much thought. I don't believe for a second that he didn't know of "rape and a man" or whatever it was he claimed, and I believe that he did use this as a convenient excuse, even if it was based on the kernel of truth that he didn't know much about it because he refused to let himself think about it.

There is an interesting homophobic undercurrent in this whole thing, of course. One might speculate that his homophobia was his true downfall here, that it kept him from doing the right thing, because doing the right thing meant acknowledging that this kind of thing happens. His defense, if not encouragement of the despicable Rene Portland might provide another data point to consider.
   186. Andere Richtingen Posted: August 16, 2012 at 11:56 PM (#4210160)
But there are massive differences on the one hand between trying to make an entertaining movie about baseball analytics and on the other hand, finding out about what is probably the worst scandal in the history of American sports involving a serial child predator at the tail end of writing a bio about a guy that was going to be a monument to his life.

This is why I bought the book. You can't make this stuff up. We'll see if I can get through it.

I'm still amazed at how most want to make this a thumbs up or a thumbs down on Paterno, either the statue stays or the statue goes. I don't understand why it's so hard for most people to acknowledge the good things the guy did and the strengths of his character along with the errors, acts of egomania, and the weaknesses.
   187. JJ1986 Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:12 AM (#4210164)
Also, there was no evidence and the driving force behind the prosecutor seemed to be a washed up former ATL prosecutor who was almost disbarred and got her own TV show somehow.


However awful Nancy Grace is, Mike Nifong is much worse.
   188. bigglou115 Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:13 AM (#4210165)
There is an interesting homophobic undercurrent in this whole thing, of course. One might speculate that his homophobia was his true downfall here, that it kept him from doing the right thing, because doing the right thing meant acknowledging that this kind of thing happens. His defense, if not encouragement of the despicable Rene Portland might provide another data point to consider.


Interesting take. I don't think its accurate, but its interesting. Personally, I think the ubiquity of homophobia in sports actually makes this less possible. The active suppression of the idea of homosexuality in sports is so widespread that it actually becomes its own issue, which to me makes it unlikely that anybody in a higher position with a sports organization hasn't confronted the idea of homosexuality.
   189. bigglou115 Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:14 AM (#4210166)
However awful Nancy Grace is, Mike Nifong is much worse.


I would agree, but only because he allowed himself to be taken in by "Gracethink." The fool who follows is always the bigger fool.
   190. smileyy Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:26 AM (#4210170)
However awful Nancy Grace is, Mike Nifong is much worse.


I don't want to watch to find out, but I didn't know that was possible.
   191. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:33 AM (#4210176)
However awful Nancy Grace is, Mike Nifong is much worse.


Nilfong, while horrible, never hounded anyone into committing suicide.
   192. bigglou115 Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:41 AM (#4210180)
Before I entered law school and was allowed to watch legal dramas without being ridiculed I used to love Boston Legal. The best part was the Gracy Jane parody. At one point there was this pull string doll of her that said "kill, kill, kill." I thought that summed her up perfectly. William Shatner's character used to keep one of the dolls in his pants.
   193. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:43 AM (#4210182)
wasm't there a whole big thing at duke just a few years ago, where the entire campus rallied around some athletes who were accused of raping a stripper?


For the record: The accuser was pretty clearly lying, as per the evidence. See here.
   194. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 17, 2012 at 01:39 AM (#4210207)
most want to make this a thumbs up or a thumbs down on Paterno, either the statue stays or the statue goes. I don't understand why it's so hard for most people to acknowledge the good things the guy did and the strengths of his character along with the errors, acts of egomania, and the weaknesses.

We can say thumbs at 40 degrees or -35 degrees or whatever, but we'd need a rather modernist statue to represent that judgment.
   195. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: August 17, 2012 at 01:45 AM (#4210211)
Mike Nifong is a piece of crap. Nancy Grace is an even bigger piece of crap. Her murdered fiance was lucky to have been killed rather than marry her.
   196. JoeHova Posted: August 17, 2012 at 01:46 AM (#4210212)
Nancy Grace is an even bigger piece of crap. Her murdered fiance was lucky to have been killed rather than marry her.

Damn!
   197. jingoist Posted: August 17, 2012 at 03:21 AM (#4210222)
Well this has certainly been an interesting and frankly, rather absorbing 2 hours as I sat and read all 196 previous postings at one sitting.

I gather that $750K would be a substantial amount of money for the Poznanski family to even consider returning.
From an earlier posters remarks it seems that some amount of that money is already spent so returning the advance would be a difficult if not impossible option. I'm sure that is a reality Poz wrestled with when confronted with writing a very different book than the one he thought he would be writing

Then we are left with the only real next step....to read the book and draw our conclusions.
Of Poz and Paterno and Happy Valley and its demoralized citizens.
It cant be a happy time for anyone associated with PSU or State College.
Even the most heartless soul cannot possibly enjoy a sense of schadenfreude from what the PSU community is going through.

Having grown up in PA and now being in my late 60's, I remember Joe Pa taking over as head coach from Rip Engle in 66, the year I got married.
Penn State was nicknamed Cow College in the 50's, as only jocks and animal husbandry types went there.
The really bright kids went to Pitt, Penn or CIT.

Cow College morphed into a true powerhouse as the university system spread throughout Pennsylvania during the 70's and 80's with many regional campuses.
And football was not far behind; as Joe's level of success and longevity grew, the reputation of both the school and the man far exceeded any dispassionate reality.

The phrase "power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely" was never more apt for a situation. How a board of trustees could be buffaloed by an 80 year old football coach in 2004 when it was "strongly suggested" that Joe's time had come and gone is almost beyond credulity.

I'll be most interested in the BTF community's comments after we've had a chance to read and digest Poz's book.

Lastly, I wonder if anyone will have the guts to go after the real story about the who/what/when/how of the big-wigs who have been associated with Sandusky's charity.

That's the tell-all story I really want to read.
   198. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: August 17, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4210300)
For the record: The accuser was pretty clearly lying, as per the evidence. See here.


A bunch of faculty wrote a letter asking to cancel the LAX season and decrying the cult of personality around the athletics. The players were louts, but not criminals. I don't remember Coach K saying anything about it, though.
   199. AndrewJ Posted: August 17, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4210313)
Cow College morphed into a true powerhouse as the university system spread throughout Pennsylvania during the 70's and 80's with many regional campuses.

You certainly hear a lot about how Paterno's tenure coincided with PSU's growth and development... but never forget that every state college/university in the United States rapidly expanded in the 1950s-60s. Credit the baby boom and the GI Bill, not JoePa, for that. The SUNY schools flourished in New York during the same period, and they were explicitly anti-Top 20 football/basketball.
   200. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: August 17, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4210318)
One (of many differences) between Paterno and friends / Penn State v. Duke Lacrosse is:
Happy Valley appeared to have placed an inordinate amount of trust / their self esteem / etc... in PSU football / Paterno -- whereas the Duke LAX case fed on divisions between privileged and less privileged communities (w/in Duke and the school versus the surrounding area).
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