Wild At Heart
Despite the fact that my Cowboys had an impressive win this past weekend over the Bills, there was a lot of heartache for me this week on the gridiron. It was hard watching the Lions this week get taken down by Chicago this week. I am just hoping we can get 3 more wins so we can finish over .500. I don’t even care if we make the playoffs as long as we can notch win number 9 this year.
In college, I have been rooting for Boise St and Stanford to knock some heads together but both faced heartbreaking loses. I just hope we don’t have to see another LSU/Alabama title game. I have been very annoyed with NCAA football for a number of years when I came to the realization that the majority of the teams I root for are out of title contention after the 1st week of games even if they win. At least in basketball, we have the outside hope of a school, let’s say Oakland University, could win their division and play in the championship game. Unlikely but there is a chance if they make the playoffs. Any school, say from the MAC or Ivy League, has no chance to play for the championship which makes one wonder why they are even in Division 1 football in the first place.
But all this pales in comparison to what happened at my favorite school, Penn State. I have been listening to the radio shows and reading the newspapers, esp those from the Pittsburgh area, and trying to get a real feel for the situation. I have always been a big Paterno fan and have always admired the way he disciplined athletes on his program when similar instances on other programs went unpunished. I remember a few years ago he was criticized for making his players clean the stadium after football games after certain players ran into some issues. He made his players go out there and do this work while allowing the clubs who normally did this to receive the money due them for this job. I always respected that and you hear nothing but good things about Joe from his former players about how he made them better men.
That is why this can be painful to see Joe get in trouble for not doing enough. A lot of people have an issue with that but until more info comes out, we don’t know exactly what Joe did know. Everyone says they would do something different but it is easy to say that. I just found out today that one of my co-workers kids gets a paid discount meal plan which his mom pays into every 2 weeks. When the kid went to the lunchroom today, we was told he couldn’t eat breakfast or lunch today because his account for short 15 cents. He forgot his mother’s money at home and the school was going to allow him to go hungry all day. His mom called the school and got a curt answer from the principal saying they supported that decision. When one thinks a school would allow a kid to go hunger for lack of 15 cents, is it hard to imagine thinking someone else would handle an issue like the one at Penn State. At my place of work, we have a list of procedures how to handle various issues and for some stuff we have to report it to HR and not handle it ourselves. Paterno passed along the info to the people who were paid to handle these issues and they failed.
One even has to wonder about the DA who dropped the charges from 1998 and said there was no case or the mom who was told by the perp that he molested her child and wonder why she didn’t try to take it further. If it was just about any other coach but Joe, we wouldn’t be having this conversation but he has always been an honorable man and most of the time has done the right thing or gone beyond the call of duty. One wonders if it was because the guy wasn’t on his staff that he didn’t pursue it or if he was being told it was handled. I hate to think Joe would be part of a cover up but one has to wonder with the way it played out. Sandusky is also claiming innocence so what would happen if he is found not guilty of any of these charges again?
I look forward to keeping track of this knowing most people will latch onto the next big story and let this go when it suits them. I wish we could have kept all the bashing until we knew all the facts but most of us are not wired that way. We want to blame and act indignant until we see something harsh done and then ignore it because we become artificially statisfied. This is why big scandals are on page 1 while retractions for untruths are on page 23. Just remember the Duke Lacrosse scandal and what happened there.
Whatever happens, if you are looking for some escape, here are a few shows to look forward to this week:
Tuesday (11/15) - Ragbirds @ Majestic Cafe
Wednesday (11/16) - Mastodon @ Fillmore, LeAnn Rimes @ Motor City Sound Board
Thursday (11/17) - Tommy Castro Band @ PJ's (Ann Arbor)
Friday (11/18) - Girl In A Coma @ Magic Stick, Paul Simon & Punch Brothers @ Fox Theatre, Pop Evil @ Blind Pig, Ledisi @ Royal Oak Music Theatre, Dashboard Confessional (solo acoustic) @ Crofoot, Trombone Shorty @ St Andrews Hall
Saturday (11/19) - Sponge @ Hayloft Liquor Stand (Mt Clemens), Jamey Johnson @ Fillmore