Thursday, July 26, 2012

the other shoe

the gifted journalist and author  , in this chilling essay in yesterday's daily beast, offers a perspective and insight on bigtime college football that  few of us have the wisdom, insight, or courage to view.    with just a few facts changed, much the same could be said of institutions on our state.
""The statue of Joe Paterno has been removed, covered in a blue tarpaulin and carted off into the dust and dark of storage. There was always something strange and eerie about that statue, the smiling and bespectacled presence of the legendary coach emblazoned into bronze, as if Penn State wasn’t an academic institution at all but a kind of football theme park, Welcome to JoePa Land.Photobucket

Penn State Abuse Football
Penn State students react as the NCAA sanctions against the university's football program are announced on July 23. (Gene J. Puskar / AP Photos)

Click to learn more...
A man of lesser ego would never have permitted a statue to be built of him. He would have seen the wrongful idolatry of it, a living monument in the way that despotic leaders insist on being living monuments. But as we all know now, Joe Paterno had no lesser ego. He was all ego behind the tattered sweater on the sidelines and the studied avuncularity off the sidelines that too many thousands mistook for accessibility. Quoting Virgil does not make you a learned man, just as saying hello to students does not make you a man of the people. It would seem that college coachesshould say hello to college students on their college campus. Except in America.
Joe Paterno was the dictator of Penn State, the more football wins he accrued, the greater his invincibility. There is something sad and absurdly American about that, this insane notion that football actually serves some societal purpose beyond bread and circuses for the distracted masses. It is only in America that a football coach would be honored like that, molded into immortality. Such worship isn’t the way the country should be. It isn’t the way higher education should be."

No comments: