Letter From The Editor 


As my wife and I were driving to a party Saturday, I turned on the Memphis Tigers football game. "Whoa," I said to my wife. "Memphis is ahead by 18 points. They might actually win another game." My wife continued to stare at her phone, checking messages, unimpressed. Of course, she would have been unimpressed if I'd said, "Memphis is winning by 642 points." She doesn't care about football.

Sadly, Memphis folded like a Dollar Store suit and lost to a horrific UAB team. On the same weekend, Ole Miss (Forward, Black Bears!) was blown out by a tech school, and Tennessee was noncompetitive against Arkansas, losing by 42 points. Times are tough for local football programs.

But not as tough as they are for Penn State.

I used to live in Pennsylvania, and I witnessed the maniacal allegiance to Penn State football — and the near-cult status held by head coach Joe Paterno among the blue and white faithful. Now, Joe Pa is gone, fired along with two school officials and the university president. They covered up — or, at best, ignored — a pedophile in their midst.

After reading column after blog after impassioned letter to the editor, I finally sat down Sunday and read the grand jury indictment against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. It's stomach-turning in its detail. The grand jury heard what it deemed credible testimony from or testimony about eight separate victims who were molested by Sandusky, often on Penn State property. Eyewitness accounts were numerous. It appears now that there were two cover-ups: one by police and the local district attorney after a complaint in 1998; and one in 2002, by Penn State officials, after an assistant coach reported witnessing a rape in a shower room.

Those defending Paterno say he did what he was supposed to do: He reported the incident to higher-ups. Sorry, but no. I'm a boss, of sorts. If an employee told me about seeing child molestation by another employee on company property and all I did was tell my boss about it, I should be fired. Especially if my boss did nothing. Whether or not Paterno is guilty of malfeasance in a court of law is not the issue. Character is. Paterno made a horrible misjudgment, and firing him was the proper response.

So remember, football fans, yes, it stinks when your team isn't winning, but it could stink a lot more. Even my wife knows about Penn State football now. And, in this case, that ain't good.

Bruce VanWyngarden

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

    • Pin and Bear It

    • Blind Trust


News Blog

UTHSC Awarded Grant to Study Tobacco Use in Military

News Blog

Here Comes the 'Ikea Effect'

Politics Beat Blog

Dems' State Senate Leader Foresees Clashes with Haslam

Politics Beat Blog

Medical Marijuana Coming to Tennessee?

News Blog

MadAir Event on Saturday

Music Blog

River Records' Jerry Gibson Killed in Store

Beyond the Arc

Grizzlies 88, Trail Blazers 86: Haiku Game Notes

Memphis Gaydar

OUTMemphis Set to Host Open House for Area LGBTQ Seniors


More by Bruce VanWyngarden

Readers also liked…

  • The Death of Status Symbols

    • Oct 6, 2016
  • Why The Fuss?

    • Nov 17, 2016
  • Common Sense Pot Policy

    Unlike Bill Clinton, I've inhaled. So have 49 percent of all Americans, according to a recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Marijuana (medical or otherwise) has been decriminalized or legalized in 23 states, and measures are on the ballot to legalize it in five more states this November, including Arizona, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine, and California (where medical pot is already legal). A recent Gallup poll found that 53 percent of Americans think pot should be legalized and regulated like alcohol ...
    • Aug 25, 2016
© 1996-2016

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation