That Thing that happened at Penn State.
So, you know, I would completely understand if you skipped it.
I've wondered whether I should even write about it but I have so much rage about this. So much. No, I didn't go to Penn State. No, I didn't grow up in Pennsylvania. No, I don't understand the worship of Joe Paterno. I acknowledge that I will see this situation somewhat differently than those who have but I did graduate from a Big Ten university with a large football program - a university that gave out far more athletic scholarships than it ever dreamed of giving to the smarty pants academics.
So I do kind of get it.
And then I consider all the things that had to happen, all the people who turned away and shut their eyes and mouths, and I stop being able to understand at all.
That's when the rage hits.
I don't care how many games of whatever sport you've won. I don't care what good you've done through charities. I don't care if the man you see doing terrible things to children is someone you respect or even love. I don't care if you think you have a university's reputation to protect.
The very last thing any adult should be thinking about in this situation is any of those things. The second that they do, the victim and what happened to them gets lost and they learn a terrible lesson. They learn that adults can't be trusted, adults won't help them, and, even worse, that they are somehow not WORTH anyone's help.
THAT is the tragedy in this situation. Not job loss, not reputations ruined. It's children forever damaged while people sat back and pretended it wasn't happening. How would any of the people involved in perpetrating this horror feel if it was their child so horribly damaged? I do not understand how any of these people can look themselves in the face and justify their actions or inactions. How does the one eyewitness in the case look at his 2 year old daughter and find a way to live with what he didn't do? It is simply incomprehensible to me and then I just want to see all of them get everything the law says they deserve.
But more than anything else I think about the victims and I hope and pray that they have found some kind of healing and peace. I hope that they know that they are, and were, worth someone's help and worth far more than any sports program or reputation. I hope they know that it was never their fault.