829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Unhappy Valley

I'm speechless.  Penn State Football has been such a huge interest
of mine ever since childhood.  It started with my Dad being a 
freshman there in the 50's.  I automatically, to this day, check on 
Sunday to see how PSU did the day before if I didn't already know. 

Rosey Grier was a student/athlete there when my Dad was a
 frosh.  I don't know if he had acquired his love for needlepoint 
at that time yet, but he played well enough to become a New York 
Giant.  And he was held highly enough to be Ethel Kennedy's 
bodyguard.  Too bad he wasn't RFK's that night.

From what I understand, Lenny Moore, being a couple years older 
than Dad and living on the same floor of his dorm, bought beer for
Dad and his friends.  Stuff like that doesn't happen any more though.
The Baltimore Colts thought enough of him to give him a job.
He wound up getting the hang of football and had a decent career.

Franco Harris came to the restaurant a bunch of years ago and
sat in a very accessible area with a large group of people.  Toward 
the end of the evening, our bartender approached him to get his
autograph and mentioned that our chef was from the same
hometown as Franco in South Jersey (Rancocas Valley).
Way larger than life, Franco stood in the kitchen doorway
and shook all of our hands and made small talk that he really
didn't have to make.  I was amazed at his stature;  he never really
appeared on TV to be very tall, but he towered over me in person.
A couple years later I would be again dwarfed by Derek Jeter
at the front desk, but that is another story.

Penn State Football will never be the same.  More seriously,
it's a crime and a tragedy what happened with that assistant coach
and the bunch of boys just looking for some guidance and insight
from a man who was for so long associated with such a storied 
and legendary coach.  Joe had to go.  It had to happen. 
 Implicated or not, he knew too much not to put a stop to this
 years ago.  Actually that does implicate him.
Shame on you, Joe.  I'm speechless.


  1. how can I comment if I, too, am speechless? I'm still stunned.

  2. Well, I'm not speechless.

    Let's not forget that the real victims here are not a coach or a football program or its fans. The real victims are all the children that were abused and molested and raped by an evil man. And to compound the crime, many other stupid, misguided people knew about what was happening and let it go on for years and years. There are probably many more children who suffered because of this criminal conspiracy than we know about from the indictment. Disgusting! May the perpetrator and all his accomplices and enablers rot in prison for the rest of their worthless lives.

  3. Please don't anyone misconstrue my good memories of Penn State football as being insensitive of the real issue here.

  4. I understand Baydog. I wrote a post on a very similar topic a few years ago - Norm Freeman. It's very hard to reconcile horrible news like this with what was previously a very positive regard for the perpetrator or the organization involved.

    And that's perhaps a lesson for all parents. A serial child abuser is usually not someone who seem like a monster but is often the nice man who coaches your kids' sports team or teaches them Sunday school.

  5. Baydog -

    Your post was spot on. Joe had to go. As adults, we are to protect the innocense of children, and do whatever it takes to stop an evil person from preying on the innocent. Perhaps a lesson can be learned or reinforced - "evil people walk among us everyday, let no evil doer survive another day"!


  6. I agree. This tragedy has been so utterly heartbreaking for me, but it has made me vow to speak up, always. They are children. We have to be there for them.

  7. I'm stunned that no one reported it to the police...the campus police. I don't understand how all these adults could stand by and do nothing....at least kick the shit out of the abuser if you see him abusing a kid. What's up with that? A shameful failure all around.

  8. This is huge crap sandwich that Penn State will be eating for a long time. The neglect to do something,anything for the sake of protecting a child, in those circumstances is unfathomable by the standards of any sane human being. I equate this to Jones Town, but in this case Happy Valley was drinking too much of the Jo Pa Kool-Aid. The wrongs here are so immense that we will be judging culpability for a long time and that path of irresponsibility is going to lead right past Joe Paterno. Sorry Joe when livelihoods where in the balance, you made a very, very bad lapse of judgement.