Joe Palease

Listening to talk radio can be useful for two reasons. 1. If you are having a day where you have forgotten how much Republicans and Democrats bicker like little school mice, then talk radio will quickly remind you of this. 2. If you would rather spend your television time watching reruns of friends instead of Sportscenter, then sports talk radio will keep informed of whats happening in sports, and your dudeness will remain in tact for chit chat around the weight room and at barber shops.

Sports talk radio has been all about Penn State recently. For good reason mind us all. We all know what happened. Horrible. Gross. Despicable. etc…

On air the other day, they interviewed a writer of television shows who was also a big sports fan. They talked about the show he was writing that is currently airing on ABC (The Shield? Never heard of it), and then asked him about the Penn State saga, specifically Joe Paterno.

His answer was amazing. I have heard so many people talk about this, but this dude’s response was by far the most insightful.

He said if he had to write the story of Joe Paterno he would depict his situation concerning Jerry Sandusky as a man who was torn between a decision between wrong and wrong (as opposed to right and wrong).

Joe knew that no matter what decision he made it would impact someone or something in a very negative way. He had to however, weigh his negatives by only using what he knew up to that point.

Penn State had had a few down years and people were calling for “No more Joe.” If it came out that his best coach was a pedophile then the people would get their wish and there would be “No more Joe” and probably no more National Championship runs.

Joe was the head football coach in a town that lived, breathed, and absolutely loved football. I think Joe’s ability to perceive what was truly important had been masked by years and years of praise and pressure to win more. To him this was the most important thing. Winning is what got him where he was. Winning Winning Winning! That is all he cared about, because that is all he was supposed to care about.

Championships are everything to a football university. EVERYTHING. That is what the people want. If Joe turned in Jerry then no more Championships for Penn State.

What is interesting is that in hindsight we see, that Penn State only had a few good years past the now infamous cover up. The highlight being probably winning the Orange Bowl in 2006. Yay.

Joe did not know this though. He turn in Jerry and the football program be sqaundered into oblivion making for thousands and thousands of upset fans and leaving him without a job. Or he cover it up, pretend it was not happening, and like an ostrich sticking its head in the sand, keep on being old and powerful and trying to win more championships.


1.Jerry goes and Penn State goes.

2. Jerry stays and Penn State has a chance.

We have decisions that we make between wrong and wrong too. It is an interesting dilemma we all face. Choosing the “wrong” wrong can result in terrible things. Choosing the right “wrong” can also result in terrible things, but not nearly as terrible as choosing the “wrong” wrong can. It is all about perspective.

Take the perspective off yourself and what you think is important, and place it on others and what they think is important.

I think one of the great lessons we can all learn is that our decisions impact those around us, often times greatly. Decisions made out of selfishness can be ugly, even if the ugly doesn’t show its face until many years later. Our perception on what is most important in life, can often times be thrown way out of bounds due to outside pressure on us to perform a specific way. But. . .

A selfish decision is the wrong decision every time.

Don’t make selfish decisions.

See things through the eyes of others.

And for goodness sake, PLEASE take down this statue already!

“I once had the blues, because I had no shoes. That was until I met a man on the street, who had no feet.”



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3 responses to “Joe Palease

  1. lisa

    Once again Ross-man I enjoyed the blog. Interesting perspective on the wrong and wrong decision. I totally agree about a selfish decision is always the wrong decision.
    A general rule for me when making a decision, that I have found works, is “how will this decision or which decision will affect the most people positively”.
    I don’t know how I could have applied that rule being Joe Paterno. But then I would not have had to ask myself that question. Because Jerry would have been turned over to the police immediately. There was at least one child involved, that is so wrong so quick for me; no need to question!
    Keep on writing,

  2. Hmmm…too much grey with a “wrong and wrong” approach. It is black and white in my opinion. Weighing losing some football games against children being sexually molested is no way a wrong and wrong decision. I highly doubt that Joe would have been ousted after turning over Sandusky…he would have been praised as a hero- by the legions of Penn State fans as well as the parents of the children who were molested or had the future chance of being molested. No one ever looks negatively on a person who turns in a child molestor – I don’t think Joe turning in Sandusky would have had any impact on winning or losing football games.

    You say we are all faced with “wrong and wrong” decisions. Evidence please!

    The statue should be removed and a new one erected in memory and reminder about the kids who were molested and should be a lesson to everyone to never look the other way, especially where kids are involved.

  3. Donna Moffitt

    The whole thing shows the worst side of humanity! Football, money…child rape…hmmmm…which will I choose? Ugh!

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