Penn State Proud

24 Jan

They ask me what I’d like written about me when I’m gone. I hope they write I made Penn State a better place, not just that I was a good football coach.

Joe Paterno did just that.

As I think about the events of the past few months cliche after cliche pop into my head.

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Our mother’s taught us that as small children, to look beyond the exterior of someone or something. I’d like to say, don’t judge the book by one chapter. Joe Paterno’s life was so much more than the horrible chapters at the end. It was a life of servitude. A life spent trying to make his little corner of the world a better place.

Here’s another one;¬†To err is human, to forgive divine. We are all human and we all make mistakes. To all the people who want to criticize Joe’s actions (or inactions), have you ever made a mistake in your life? The man made a mistake, albeit a big one, but a mistake none the less. He never intentionally hurt anyone…He messed up. If you’ve never made a mistake in your life feel free to throw stones.

Let’s not forget the true scumbag in this story…Jerry Sandusky.

Enough about all that, I need to get to what I came here to say.

Penn State is more than just a school. It is more than just a place you spend a few short years of your life getting an education. You do not leave Penn State behind when you graduate, it becomes part of you. Ingrained into the fibers of your being. Penn State becomes a distinguishing characteristic almost as plain as the nose on your face. I assure you, no Kool-Aide drinking is required. It’s called Penn State Proud.

Penn State is more than just a university, it is a community. It doesn’t matter when you graduate, you are forever in the Penn State family. People don’t understand that. People think we’re just a bunch of brainwashed lemmings. We Are not.

We Are a group of people proud of where we came from. We Are a community that is always looking out for each other and our university, striving to put our best foot forward. We Are Penn State.

Joe Paterno is a member of that family. To many of us he is like a grandfather, uncle, father, or brother. We don’t expect you to understand. It’s not a tangible thing that we can show you. Like any family would at the passing of a beloved member, we are grieving. This is a sad time for us whether you understand the why of it or not.

If you were grieving the loss of a family member would you want to be subjected to people saying horrible things about them? I would not deny any person the right to grieve no matter what that person may have done in life, yet I am being denied that right myself. It’s sad. If you cannot have respect for the dead, then please have resect for the living who grieve for him. I’m pretty sure that just about everyone knows at least one member of the Penn State family, show them the compassion they¬†deserve.

Regardless of the mistakes he made, he has a family, a wife, children and grandchild. He also has his Penn State family, millions strong.

I’m not asking you to like him. I’m not asking you to forget what happened to those boys. I’m asking you to please take a step back and think about how you would feel if someone you loved had lost their fight with cancer. No one can deny that Caner is one of the worst ways to go and I wish that would satisfy the people who hate Joe so much. Didn’t you get your pound of flesh on Sunday? Next, I’m asking you to stop calling the Penn State community things like brainwashed, kool-aide drinking, idiots. Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t invalidate it.


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