Monday, January 16, 2012

Paterno's Priest Law

Happy Monday to all my Angry Angels!  I hope you had a fabulous weekend and are looking forward to a new week of Anger Management sessions!

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.
  1. 81% of the victims were male
  2. 22% were 10 years old or younger
  3. 149 priest were responsible for roughly 3000 victims
  4. The 4000 priests represented roughly 4% of those practicing during those 52 years.
Some other statistics not related to the John Jay Report
  1. $2.6 BILLION dollars have been paid out in abuse related costs since 1950
  2. $615 MILLION was paid out in 2007 alone.
  3. 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.  
  4. The Archdiocese of Boston was forced to close 65 parishes in order to pay out roughly $120 million in civil claims.
 Granted Penn State doesn't have the wealth of the Catholic Church, but it does have a $1.5 billion endowment and roughly 95,000 students system wide.  It's Beaver Stadium, where it's football team the Nittany Lions play, seats over 107,000 people.  Sounds like a pretty big, and rich church to me.

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:  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!  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!

Tomorrow: Rats!!



  1. Dear Sir,

    Let me start by first saying I grant you my respect for your opinion, and for your candor in posting your thoughts and opinions on subject matters that are polarizing and controversial. Conversation is a hallmark of intellect, and under that premise, I would like the opportunity and respect that goes along with it to refute your condemnation of one Joseph Vincent Paterno and the stance the National Media has also taken on him.

    What the vast majority of Americans understand about the situation is only what they have seen through the eyes of the National Media. I'm NOT saying that is inherently incorrect or wrong; but what I am saying is that the national media is biased due to, as you would say, BIG MONEY.

    Those of you who think Paterno didn't do what he was supposed to do: He reported to Tim Curly and Gary Shultz the next day. You say "administrators", I say Gary Shultz was also the De Facto head of the University Police, which under Pennsylvania State Statue of Law, the University Police at PSU are "...the equivalent of a municipality in power and jurisdiction." (See #5, which states according to PA State Statue 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 89 Subch. D, the University Police has all the power conferred pursuant to a regular municipal police force).

    To be continued...

  2. So, in all actuality, Joe Paterno reported his friend of 28 years, with second-hand information, given to him by a fellow teacher (McQuery) to the head of police (Gary Schultz) in which the Jurisdiction is clearly theirs. And according to the Police in all municipalities and even the state troopers of PA and most other states (ask any of them, I dare you) they will all say that educators are not allowed to follow up on cases that are already under investigation unless they are contacted by the authorities in order to be interviewed/questioned or asked to be a witness to a crime. To do so may be considered obstruction of justice.

    Finally, take into consideration if you will that when Paterno had first heard of such allegation (from McQuery), it was 2002. Jerry Sandusky had not been employed by PSU for 3 1/2 years, but was still a tenured member of faculty. Jerry was NOT within Joe Paternos' control, and the decision to allow Sandusky to use the facilities was a decision of the BoT and Administration.

    Those of you who think Paterno had any control whatsoever, or point to the media stating that the $100 million a year the football program rakes in every year that that is the reason why Paterno had all this power to control everything within and around him... stop deluding yourselves.

    $100 million from the football program is NOTHING compared to the money that comes through that university from the government and private contractors for research and development. Nearly $4.6 BILLION dollars every year. Joe Paterno had control of the football program and that is it. He did everything he could have actually and legally done. Hindsight IS 20/20. His statement about doing more is just that, he wishes he could have. There was nothing else he could have done.

    You should all be asking why the BoT and administration sat on their hands, and why Gov. Tom Corbett only put 1, ONE police officer on the investigation initially and then stepped aside so he could run for Govenor of the state of PA, and then also take hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Second Mile Foundation to run his campaign to become the next Govenor of the state of PA.

    I appreciate your time in reading my refutation of your condemnation of Joseph Vincent Paterno. I hope that what I have show here, through my careful research and consideration of variables that likely were not presented to others thru the media will open your eyes as to the truth of the situation, and that you all, reading "Angriest Man Alive" or whatever, can understand that we lost one heck of a good man recently. Joe Paterno's good name will live on through the hundreds of thousands of people who have gone to Penn State, and the impact that institution has had in every aspect of life you can imagine, the world over.



  3. Great comment and thanks for taking the time to write your position.

    Here is where my anger stems from.

    Was Joe a great coach? By longevity standards yes.

    What really sets me off though is that there was an opportunity for both Paterno and McQueary to DO MORE.

    We whine and bitch and moan that nobody DOES anything in situations like this. Why not? We have ceded responsibility to others. Hiding behind legalities is a cowards way out.

    I agree with you regarding the administrators etc doing nothing, and believe me if they were the subject of as much media attention right now I would be railing against them as well.

    It is my sincerest hope that everyone reading this blog, Angry Angels and others alike, will take a lesson from what Joe has done and what he didn't do.

    Mankind is OUR responsibility. If I can get one Angry Angel, or Nittany Lion, or ESPN reporter, or every day citizen to change their lives to "I did more" rather than "I wish I had done more" I will consider that a small success.

    But a success nonetheless.

  4. Respectfully, you cannot equate the actions of Mike McQueary and Joe Paterno. Joe felt as you do: mankind is our responsibility and he successfully mentored and shepherded millions (if you count the ripple effect) throughout is long career. As an employee of a university in Pennsylvania, he was strictly bound by the protocol of the school which is that unless he is a witness to a crime in progress, he must report any allegations up the chain of command. He is not even LEGALLY able to follow-up. Yet he did. Mike McQueary, on the other hand, was allegedly a witness to a crime in progress if not a very questionable act. He should have immediately dialed 911 in my opinion (which would have summoned the campus police btw). Of course, we all like to think we would react properly in every given situation. And hindsight is 20-20. While this situation was an epic failure across the board (district attorney in 2002, Penn State president, etc.), it was not Joe Paterno's failure.

  5. This site absolutely sucks. I would be very confident in saying that the majority of educated people out there do not blame Paterno for what happened. The person to blame is sandusky.

  6. Once again hiding behind legalities and protocol is a cowards way out. That shows to all of us, ESPECIALLY the educated ones you fucking twit, that he placed more personal value on his job than the lives of children.

    What is the value of his legacy? That he won 400+ games? Or that he failed to do something when he had the chance? I would have put the statue up myself if he had half the wins and said "Fuck the rest, I'm going to do something about Sandusky"

    And yeah Sandusky deserves to spend the rest of his life dying the most painful death imaginable, but he was the villain. Joe could have been a real hero and didn't.

    You can complain all you want but the simple fact is he chose a game over a life. If that's the type of person you choose to idolize then you are flat pathetic and need to reevaluate your priorities.

    1. Alright what jock used to beat your ass up everyday at school? Sounds like you still have some issues there.

    2. Joe Paterno...did just enough to satisfy the law. Hooray for Joe.

  7. Lame response. But since you asked I have a few varsity letters and now, decades later, I train with Angry Woman who is a decorated martial artist. And to my anonymous amateur psychologist, I do have degrees in psychology. So quite honestly, I'm not someone you want to fuck with on the field, or off.

    1. Spoken like a true fool. Quite the tough guy. I can "train" with my son's soccer team...that doesn't make me a soccer pro. Take your "degrees" and your lame opinions that nobody cares about (except of course Angry Female who obviously has her own issues for staying with you) and shove them up your inflamed angry ass.

  8. Hahahaha. Let me guess. You are a Penn State Grad who can't take his idol being knocked down a few notches. You are totally pathetic. Rather than critically look at your JoePa you resort to personal attacks. The only thing that inflames my ANGRY ASS is pathetic attempts from apologists like you who turn a blind eye.

    Let me ask you a question...if it WASN'T JoePa, would you be defending him so vociferously? If it was your son's soccer coach abusing kids, or worse YOUR kids being abused, would you be so defensive? What if he was the winningest soccer coach in your rec league history? Would that make a difference? If your son was at risk would you go to every length you could to protect him? Would you demand to know why the people who had knowledge of crimes against your kid didn't do all that they could?

    Since you seem to want to focus on personal attacks rather than the points at hand I will predict that you would be the impotently raging Dad on the sideline expecting someone else to do the right thing.

    I'm sure at the end of your life we will be able to sort you with the "Wish I Did More" crowd. How sad and empty for you....and your son.

  9. This blogger nails it. The correlation with the Church and its blind supporters is apt. I have no dog in this fight. I admired Paterno's public persona for years, and rooted for Penn State against everyone but Oregon. When crimes against children are involved, it's time for everyone to stand up and there actions be held for reckoning. We need to shame those who fall short and idolize those who rise above. This way, our human race grows better. Whitewashing does no one any good. Be angry. Ask tough questions. When it's your hero, just face it. I think Pete Townshend's a fantastic artist. Did he lose face with his brush with child pornagraphy? He did. Is he accountable. Yes. Does it hurt for my musical hero to lose face. Sure. It is what is.

    1. I know the difference between "there" and "their" too. My mistake.