RIP Joe Paterno

23 Jan

I didn’t really get into college football until 3 years ago when I started dating Alex, who is a huge sports fan. Even before that I knew that Joe Paterno was the best of the best. A sports legend, and someone who has changed the face of the NCAA.

Growing up relatively close to Pennsylvania helped define the legacy that is Penn State. As kids, it was one of those dream schools little boys would dream of when they all wanted to be football players and sports stars. In college hoards of us would apply to the school, sitting and waiting to see if we could make it into University Park or if we would be stuck at a different , dreaded campus. It’s still a school I respect, and regret not attending at times. Joe Paterno’s name goes hand-in-hand with that legacy, so of course it is a tragedy to have lost him.

Part of the tragedy is the bad timing of his loss, with his name having been tainted at the very end. It’s something I hate to bring up, because it is still a really sensitive thing for me to talk about as it hurt what I stood for within my career so much.

The original release of the news and reaction of the Sandusky arrest was the biggest moment of doubt I’ve ever had in my time as a journalist. It really killed me to see the witch hunt that formed from a couple of angry bloggers without enough information. To be honest, we still don’t have any real information about the situation, and to bring up such a dark and questionable time at a moment when we should all be celebrating a legend is really classless. I guess that’s the price you pay for being active in social media, but I can still be upset about it.

I hope that we can now put Joe Paterno’s name to rest with respect and with the dignity and honor that he has earned. It’s definitely a heartbreaking day.

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