BGN has a new writer named Eliot Shorr Parks. He put up a post today calling for Penn State to cancel the upcoming season. Here are a couple of key sentences:
Canceling the football season is the only way Penn State can truly show they are sorry about what happened, and are serious about changes going forward.
Football is not important right now. They need to show that for the first time in a long time, they get that.
Eliot…have you talked to anyone who is focused on the upcoming season? I sure as hell haven’t. I’m not seeing a lot of talk about PSU winning the Big Ten or looking to have an awesome year. In fact, the only thing being talked about now is the Freeh Report and cover up of the Sandusky crimes.
There is no focus on football. This is all scandal, all the time.
Will that change when the season rolls around? Yes. But that’s true with or without games. We cannot obsess on this forever. I remember hearing guys on ESPN radio a few days after 9/11 talking about how the language of sports had to change. Words like battle and warrior and other militaristic terms were going to have a very real meaning and they had no place in sports. Calling some football player a warrior was going to be an insult to the men and women of the armed forces. This wasn’t typical sports radio. It was somber. It was very reality based.
A couple of months later the world was right back to home runs being bombs, linebackers being warriors, and the stadium being the field of battle. That’s just life. It moves on. Grandiose ideas in the wake of a tragedy sound good, but they simply don’t deal with reality.
As for PSU being serious about changes moving forward…the culture absolutely has changed. JoePa was the culture. The man was fired over the phone. That night was a huge step in changing the world of Penn State. There was no ceremony to it. The move was abrupt and ice cold (appropriate, as it turns out).
Had PSU gone and hired Bob Stoops or some other mega-coach, I would worry about a return to business as usual. That didn’t happen. Had someone within the PSU family been hired, you could argue the same thing. Joe wanted Tom Bradley to get the job. Didn’t happen. It didn’t go to Greg Schiano or Al Golden. There would be no continuation of JoePa’s legacy.
PSU went and hired Bill O’Brien. If there was ever an unsexy hire, this was it. Whether he is good, average, or awful, BOB is probably the perfect guy for the job. He can clean house. He’s got no feelings toward players or staff. He isn’t a star coach that will be bigger than the program. Bill also is a smart guy and knows he’s under a microscope…an electron microscope. He won’t be cutting corners. He’ll do things the right way. He spent time at Duke so he’s not a guy from a football factory that has a win or die mentality. He’ll be a bit more grounded.
PSU football will be a distraction in 2012, not the focus of life that it was for the past 40+ years. Life has most certainly changed. Cancelling the season might feel good to throw around as an idea, but it would not help the situation at all.
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Derek from Iggles Blog feels the same way. Only he said it in a different and likely better way. That boy sure does write good, huh? Ought to start a blog or something like that.
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Doug Farrar is an NFL writer that I like a lot. He said something odd on Twitter. “If you find Penn State defensible at all, you ought to…” and he had a link for you to click. The key notion here is the word “defensible”. I think guys like Doug are backing you into a corner, almost saying “if you don’t hate everything about PSU…”.
The way PSU handled the Sandusky situation is sickening and will be a black cloud over the school and football program for a long time. I’m not going to defend Joe, Schultz, Spanier, or Curley at all. Those guys were wrong. They deserve whatever punishment comes their way. That said, am I also supposed to hate everything PSU-related? This is where I do get defensive.
Can I fondly remember Michael Robinson running over the Minnesota DB in 2005 or am I supposed to feel guilty and think of nothing but the Sandusky situation? Am I allowed to watch Navorro Bowman blow up runners and feel happy or am I supposed to feel bad in that situation?
Hate the 4 all you want. Those guys did a terrible thing by staying silent and covering up the crimes of a predator. Do try to find some way to separate them from PSU. I know Joe complicates that (and it troubles me). Everything PSU is tainted right now.
The point is that it feels like too many people are using a trick that Stephen Colbert does when interviewing. You set up an impossible premise. Colbert does it for comedy gold, but the rationale here is troubling. It feels as though the choice is: I’m anti-child molester -or- I’m for Penn State. Clearly that isn’t reality. Please don’t frame things that way.
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I’m sorry for so much PSU stuff. I’ll try to make this the last of it. I just get frustrated as I read things and can’t help but want to write.
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Fake WIP Caller has a new column up at SB Nation Philly. Lots of great Phillies stuff in there. He is truly an evil genius.
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While watching tape of Josh Gordon for the Supp. Draft, I happened to focus on Baylor’s LT a few times. That, of course, was Danny Watkins. He was a really good college OL. Danny still has very good potential. I know he was up and down last year. I’m not sure if this will be his breakout season or not, but if things do click, he can be a very good RG. He’s got the strength and physicality to be a dominant run blocker. The question with him is whether he can master pass protection. Dealing with quick, agile DTs gave him problems last year. I’m hoping to see a lot of progress this year.
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Jimmy Bama has a good note in his post today. Some writer was talking about us and Dallas fighting for the NFC-E crown, but had highly flawed logic for his pick. Check that out.
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The Eagles finally made Eugene Chung an honest man. He’s no longer the secret OL coach. He is now officially listed as the Offensive Line Assistant.
Taking over his old role of working with the Strength Coach is Travis Crittenden.
The Eagles also have Mike Coyne now as Pro Scout Coordinator. I can’t offer much on him. Will need to do some research. That isn’t a common position. I don’t know if the Eagles created it because they like him or if that’s just something new they are trying.