Something Much Bigger Than Football On Display At Penn State
In what has become a very polarizing topic and an unfortunate one over the last week, the scandal at Penn State is not going to die down anytime soon. There are new details that have emerged almost every day since the news broke on November 5th, and while with each gory detail, it continues to paint an absolutely disgusting picture.
Jerry Sandusky will get what is coming to him, eventually. At this point, you cannot take anything back, what happened…unfortunately happened and it is all about justice at this point. Rebuilding a University, while important and urgent for the students that attend is maybe at the forefront of many minds, trying to get to the bottom of the pain and shame Sandusky’s alleged actions have caused are what must be dealt with first and foremost.
During our show last Friday night on November 11th, Barry and I went back and forth, discussing whether Penn State should play their game against Nebraska that upcoming Saturday. Of course, they did, and Penn State went on to lose to Nebraska 17-14.
Barry didn’t think they should play the game because he thought it signified that football was and will always be king, and was in poor taste in light of the unfortunate events at the University.
I argued that it was a bit much to flat-out cancel the game, and had no problem with Penn State playing the game. I would not have been opposed to the schools agreeing to postpone the game and play it at a later date, allowing the emotions and events of the week to sink in and allow the families involved etc. to properly cope with the horrific allegations.
I thought playing that game allowed students, players and current coaches the opportunity to separate themselves from those of whom have seemingly eternally cast a dark shadow on that University and it’s programs by showing what that school is really all about.
I think the candle light vigil and the moment of silence the community gathered in the night before and the prayer that both Nebraska and Penn State players, coaches and staff shared in prior to the game exemplified one of the greatest things in life and sport…unity.
Saturday was not about a football game; Saturday was not about fighting for a Big Ten Championship or a major bowl bid. Saturday was an opportunity for both teams to show the nation what a community is supposed to do when faced with adversities, unite.
Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini said after the game, “The game should not have been played, the fact is kids were hurt. That’s a lot bigger than football, the NCAA or the Big Ten. I think it’s all about the young kids and educating them.”
There is no question that what Pelini said after the game is honorable, heartfelt and respectful.
He is entitled to his opinion.
In my opinion, it is all about the kids and educating them, but what many don’t realize and may not for a long time, is that some of life’s most important, beautiful things were learned and on display Saturday afternoon at Penn State…respect and honor are two that I saw. Perseverance will prove to be the hardest one for many, especially those individuals and families most affected by these unspeakable, alleged actions.