This was posted by reader Ron Amar as a comment to another post. I thought it deserved better visibility than being buried in a comment thread.
Submitted on 2011/11/11 at 1:04 am:
Ok, I have many mixed emotion about what’s happening at Penn State Right now. So, here’s what I think…..for whatever it’s worth.
The actions of our beloved president, coach, and athletic director have shaken our program to the core and have threatened our faith in humanity.
We’re shocked that someone we idolized could have done something so stupid, so selfish, so infuriatingly contradictory to the values he spent decades promoting. To watch someone you admire, who did more good in a week than most of us do in our entire lifetimes get publicly shamed, and forced out under the cover of darkness is hard to take. To see a legacy irrevocably stained and treasured accomplishments tarnished. To have one person’s mistakes drag our university’s good name through the mud. To be labeled an accomplice to the crime by virtue of our fan allegiances, is horrible.
As I was driving to work this morning, I heard one of our own call in to a radio show and explain that he didn’t know how he was going to unapologetically put on the Blue and White and sing “Fight On, State” this Saturday. He’s not the only one to express that sentiment.
This is what I want to say to you. We are not Joe Paterno. We are not Tim Curley. We are not Gary Schultz. We are not Graham Spanier, and We are sure as hell not Jerry Sandusky.
We are…….PENN STATE!
Their alleged sins are not our own. They may be the most recognizable faces of our beloved program, but they are not Penn State. They are not a 156 year old center of higher learning. They are not a century of football tradition. Their flaws cannot eclipse the innumerable scientific, artistic, and humanitarian contributions our university, and its 44,000 students and 570,000 living alumni have made and will continue to make to the world at large.
The spirit of a program, of a university, and of a state is so much bigger than any one person.
So do yourself a favor, and stop thinking about Joe Paterno. No amount of discussion can change what happened, and his bed is made for better or worse. Recognize that only time can tell how he will be remembered. (For what it’s worth, I hope beyond hope that the facts turn out favorably for him.) Say a prayer for the children, and on Saturday, put on your Silas Redd jersey, brave the cold, and cheer your ass off for our team.
Not because you support the coaches, because you support the men on the field. Not because you endorse the administration, because you believe in the University as a collective whole.
Penn State University has always been (and will always be) about one thing and one thing only: making life better.
It’s not just a motto, it’s a mission. And we’re still a part of that.
Fight on State!