Wednesday, November 16, 2011

REALITY BREAK

Here is the thing about Jerry Sandusky… at some time in the ‘90s he was once considered the ‘head coach-in-waiting’ at Penn State.  What that meant was whenever Joe Paterno had chosen to retire from coaching Penn State football that Sandusky, then Assistant Coach and Defensive coordinator, would have been elevated to the position of head coach.  This is not that unusual for a long tenured head coach to hand-pick a successor.  It happened most notably at Florida State University, where ‘Jimbo’ Fisher took over for Bobby Bowden.  What makes the Sandusky case interesting is the timing.

When they go into the investigation of all the ‘who knew what and when’ stuff, I wonder how insulated Paterno is from culpability?  It is VERY unusual for someone to be designated a head coach-in-waiting, to coordinator, and from there to outside of the program, and then to be regulated to a satellite affiliation with Penn State football.

As a child, I was always a little suspicious of adults.  No real reason why, that is just the way I am cut, I guess.  Stuff like the types of candy that people would give out also explained why their kids were so crappy in school, or why they were so mean when a ball went into their yard.  I keep saying that I am so very cool being alone and I am glad that Ken was able to visit and confirm for himself that I am in a comfortable situation.  While I don’t often feel the need to validate myself, it still feels good to have a witness, if you will, to my claim.

Oh, and one more thing… it feels good to know that others are really concerned about a brother!  This is not to say that there are not people who have shown that I matter to them or are willing to help a cat, but it is the definitiveness that I have found a little questionable.  Anywho…

Back to Jerry Sandusky.  In the interview he had with Bob Costas, he simply sounded like a generic child molester/pedophile caught beneath the bright glare of light trying to scurry around like the vermin he is.  His lawyer is also caught up in someunderage trouble with a teenage girl.  When I heard about that, my next thought was to wonder if they were not part of an underground group of child molesters and that is why Sandusky is being represented by him. 

The entire affair made me reflect on my childhood and I tried to remember when I was small and vulnerable.  Would I have been ‘hung up’ by a cat like Sandusky and taken advantage of as well?  I am certain that at least one of the young man he took advantage of came from a broken home.  In fact I think that prolly was a point of emphasis for his involvement with the Second Mile organization.

My Mom made sure that I understood what a ‘bad touch’ was… not that she used any of the current jargon to make me aware of potential predators.  Not only that, I would learn as an adult that she went behind me and spoke to several of the males who were in my life as a young boy, having the conversation that let them know that she was aware and that I wasn’t some random boy that wasn’t cared for.  Now I am not trying to insinuate that wasn’t the case for any of the boys that Sandusky molested… but I know that my Mom took a proactive and involved approached with the males who were in and out of my life. 

Sometimes I think the stress of being a parent in our society makes it possible for a parent to make the ‘right’ choices and still set their child up for this kind of abuse.  Many people still don’t realize that children’s organizations are one of the areas that predators flock to and where they do most of their damage. 

This scandal is going to cost Joe Paterno his name in history, I believe.  It isn’t going to be ‘a shame’ because he nurtured this monster for at least 20 years.  If Paterno is a God-fearing man, I wonder how he dealt with knowing about Sandusky when I believe that he first learned about his abuse of young boys.  Why did his loyalty to his friend or whatever, mean more than doing the right thing?

5 comments:

Jonthy, Alice the uppity white cat's babysitter said...

Mark,
I have no sympathy for anyone involved in this atrocity or its coverup. I think all young people are at risk when it comes to dealing with adults as authority figures. I don't give a damn about Joe's losing respect. As I said before, I think we have just seen the tip of the iceberg on this one. I speak from experience about these kinds of monsters.

Lovebabz said...

Regardless what we as parents try to teach our children good touch/bad touch, they are very vulnerable. It is easy to prey on children. They are threatened easily. They are protective of those they love so they can hold onto secrets that are not theirs to keep.

I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and exploitation. All it took was for someone to say "I will kill your family if you tell". That is a huge burden on a child. Children don't have the words to tell when sexual assault happens to them. They are confused, scared and if the person who is molesting them a person who is well liked and respected then it makes it hard for children, because they often want to protect the abuser.... that is the capacity of children to love beyond pain.

We ought to make it safe for children to tell by letting them know that if someone threatens us (the caring adults in their lives) to get you do something, TELL! Let them know that you are not afraid.

I know there will be more children coming forward as this moves forward. My heart goes out to them and I hope they get the help they need to move on from this with a sense of understanding that they...the children did nothing wrong.

tony said...

The Story Has Been Big News Here In The UK Also. (It's A Bit Like All The Catholic Church Scandals...)The Child (rightly) Thinks Who Is Going To Believe My Little Word...... Power Corrupts Always.

FrankandMary said...

I have reality breaks all the time(not that I nec. want to, but...).
I am still suspicious of human adults. I think many earn that suspicion. Give me non-human animals & human kids instead. My trust factor goes way up.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

You know how I feel, we talked about this several times.