First off, how about them NY GIANTS! Wow!! Never did I think that the game would turn out like that. I'm really surprised about how well the Giants played and am feeling if we can keep that up I can't wait to see them play the Pats in the Super Bowl. And yes, I'm picking the Pats next weekend against the Ravens. I just don't think Joe Flacco has the chops to beat New England. Niners Giants should be a hell of a game if their playoff history is any indicator.
While enjoying the football weekend I had the opportunity to correspond with lots of people regarding the Penn State child abuse scandals. It is somewhat surprising to me how many apologists for Joe Paterno and Mike McQueary there are! I'm going to assume that the vast majority of the people I have had accuse me of hating Joe Paterno, or Penn State football are themselves Penn State alumni or current students. Much like when the Catholic Church priest rapists were being defended by people blinded by their own faith in the infallibility of their church and called me anti-Christian. That was quite a surprise to me as I was raised Catholic and by and large consider myself Christian today. Quite frankly I could give less of a damn about PSU football, or any college sports for that matter.
However with the realizations of the similarities between the reactions it occurred to me what was actually happening. We weren't watching the fall of a football program or a university, we were watching the fall of another type of church. One where belief was absolute and allegations were made against the faith, not just against the perpetrators of criminal acts or conspiracies of silence.
A few statistics from the John Jay Report which was based on over 10,000 allegations against over 4000 priests spanning 52 years.
- 81% of the victims were male
- 22% were 10 years old or younger
- 149 priest were responsible for roughly 3000 victims
- The 4000 priests represented roughly 4% of those practicing during those 52 years.
- $2.6 BILLION dollars have been paid out in abuse related costs since 1950
- $615 MILLION was paid out in 2007 alone.
- Bernard Francis Law, archbishop of Boston, was forced to resign after evidence of participation in the cover up of abuse by priests in his archdiocese.
- The Archdiocese of Boston was forced to close 65 parishes in order to pay out roughly $120 million in civil claims.
In fact college football is probably the most widespread religion in the United States today! On a Wikipedia list of largest stadiums one has to go to the 16th entry to find the first professional stadium which is MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford NJ where BOTH the NY Giants and NY Jets. play. The top five college stadiums combined seat over 500,000 people! I wonder how many Catholics go to church every week. I would wager that between all the 120 Division 1-A schools more go to a college football game in a year than go to church. According to Forbes, Penn State's football team generates $100 million in revenue and an amazing $53 million in profit. PER YEAR!!
The defenders of Mike McQueary, the assistant at PSU who initially discovered the abuse, and Joe Paterno have universally expressed the same opinions being "What did you want them to do" and "They did what was required by law." Well I'm sorry but this type of argument is absolutely pathetic and it really gets the ANGER rolling.
I want all my Angry Angels to tell these pinheads the same thing. I want them to protect these kids!!
But what is the price of protecting kids? Is it one coaches status as a legend? Is it too costly financially to run investigations? Or is it the fear that our beliefs and institutions surrounding them won't stand the test of scrutiny?
Joe Paterno's legacy is destroyed. No matter how many wins he had, no matter how long he coached or any of his other accolades, he will be remembered as the man who turned a blind eye to child abuse happening right under his watch. Mike McQueary is even worse. He witnessed the abuse, reported it to Joe and dropped it. One particularly angry JoePa defender made the moronic comment that I wanted him to wear a cape and be a superhero. No. I wanted him to pick up a fucking phone. Don't need a cape for that. Call the police, call the DA's office, call a newspaper reporter for all I care but DO something. Two men had the ability to do something and did NOTHING! Don't give me that shit that they did what was required by the law. Fuck that law that absolves them from responsibility. What kind of person hears about this happening, a crime being perpetrated by one of his assistants and hands it off without doing anything? What kind of person WITNESSES it happening and does NOTHING? Reporting it to your boss? And then? These people were supposed to be responsible to their community and they shirked their duties. Joe Paterno's legacy isn't destroyed because of Sandusky raping those kids. It's destroyed because he had the opportunity to change the outcome of those kids lives, and he did nothing.
Is he as bad as Cardinal Law of Boston? Absolutely. They are both guilty of allowing their actions to perpetuate the abuse of children. While Joe and Mike's guilt is different from Law's in that theirs were sins of omission compared to sins of commission by the Cardinal, children were still abused. Whatever the means were, the ends were the same.
Now we have seen the sheer numbers associated with the fallout from the Catholic Church scandal. Quite frankly it is mind boggling the dollars that are spend on settling claims, not to mention the damage done to the "brand" that the Catholic Church represents. College football and athletics represent an equally HUGE amount of branding revenue. Kristi Dosh, a sportswriter, had a fantastic website called Business of College Sports. While she has moved on to other sports endeavors, I am going to link to a study she did regarding the top 50 profitable college sports programs here: http://businessofcollegesports.com/2011/06/20/which-football-and-basketball-programs-produce-the-largest-profits/ These 50 programs represent at least $500 million annually!
That is a ton of money! Now I don't know if Kristi or other researchers at Forbes have included tv revenues which Roger Pielke Jr at the New York Times has estimated at $10.8 BILLION dollars! http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/11/24/how-should-college-athletic-conferences-be-organized/college-football-is-a-competition-for-tv-contracts We are talking some serious money here!
Everyone involved in college sports has an interest in this pie. Even a tiny slice of a gigantic pie is still a lot more money that we will see in our lifetimes. So like the Catholic Church protecting their pie, the NCAA has got to be wondering what is going to happen to their pie!
But there is a bigger pie that we all should be worried about. That pie is our humanity, integrity and responsibility. And we really have no-one to blame but ourselves.
For a very long time, we as Americans have been ceding our responsibilities to our communities to state and federal government entities, most specifically child welfare services. So now that the feds and the state have responsibility for our children's welfare what do we have to do? Do we just make them and let the government worry about their success or failings as children? Or do we let the government protect them from predators like Sandusky? Paterno and McQueary put their faith in their higher ups and the government to do what was right and look what happened. Do we trust government agencies where our kids are concerned? In 2010 the Deputy Director of New Mexico's Children, Youth and Families Department, that's the guy who is second in command, was arrested by the FBI for trading in Child Pornography!! Mark Edwards admitted to trading and downloading child porn for at least 10 years!! What the fuck?!?! How many others are out there? Remember 4% of all priests in the Catholic Church were implicated in abuse and that translated into over 10,000 allegations in 50 years. That's 200 a year average. I bet the NCAA is shitting bricks hoping that Sandusky (and possibly Bernie Fine in Syracuse) are as far as this goes.
This is where we have come to? We have learned the helplessness that Big Government and Big Church have so long encouraged. And now we are going even further in the apologists defense of a legend of Big Sports. The NCAA will investigate their schools and come up with recommendations. The DA's offices who aren't hamstrung by Big Governments ridiculous statute of limitations will do their investigations and hopefully file criminal charges. Big Government will help Big Sports protect their pie in exchange for tickets to games, or maybe a practice facility named after them. And we will all tsk tsk and move on with our lives, comfortable in our community of one.
And that makes me really dammed ANGRY. "Why?" you ask my dear Angry Angels...let me tell you why.
Because with that mentality we will NEVER be successful. With that mentality how can we hope to better ourselves or our communities by giving the responsibilities to someone else? How, when we can clearly see the results, can we allow this to continue? Big Government, Big Church, Big Sports, Big Charity all exist BECAUSE of us, we don't exist because of them. They owe us. And if they don't change their ways and be held accountable to us, we either have to move them along or bear the blame for what we let happen. We ALL have to get angry and take the responsibility BACK!!
We the people are angry. Very ANGRY. Let the word spread.
Great session today!