What Number Means More to You, 112 or 45?
Is it me or have we lost sight of what's important in this country? We as fans love our sports teams, we love rooting for them, cheering for our favorite players and supporting our hometown coaches, sometimes to a fault. As sanctions fell upon Penn State University and its football program Monday morning, the overwhelming outrage wasn't for the 60 million dollar fine handed down, the four years of bowl games they will forfeit, or even the 20 scholarships they will lose over the next four years. No, the outrage was for the 112 victories that were taken away from Joe Paterno's resume.
Why are we as a society, and more specifically sports fans, so hung up on numbers and records, so much so, that we forget what number really matters. In this case, the number that should matter is 45, the number of counts of child sex abuse former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was convicted of. That number truly matters, that number truly means something, as it had an affect on a group of young boys for the rest of their lives. That is the number that everyone should to be focused on. Joe Paterno's legacy is forever tarnished and 112 wins or losses in a record book means little in comparison, nor does it change the memories or moments that those coaches, players and fans alike were able to experience over the years.
A child predator was known and allowed to be on Penn State's campus for years without consequence. That is the sadness, that is the injustice. Penn State football will regroup, they will rebuild, and they will win games again. Those little boys who were sexually molested will be forever scarred by the actions and inactions of those connected to this horrific crime. Let's not lose sight, like Joe Paterno and others at Penn State did, of what's truly important. Honesty, integrity, accountability, and the safety of those children.