Skip to comments.In defense of the "Paterno people"
Posted on 01/03/2014 4:08:31 PM PST by FlJoePa
By now, youve probably read Patriot News columnist David Jones rabble-rousing piece outlining some of the reasons behind Bill OBriens departure specifically quoting OBrien during profanity laced tirade against so-called Paterno people that supposedly drove him right out of Happy Valley. If you havent, you should.
I couldnt help but feel compelled the first time I read the story Tuesday night. On the surface, it has significant shock value and information you wont find anywhere else. But then I read it again. And again. And now, three days later, I find myself reading it for the dozenth time and growing angrier and angrier at an ill-conceived quote that went viral and once again damaged our collective identity for no good reason.
Before I explain, let me make two things clear:
1. Joe Paternos legacy has no bearing on the ridiculousness of this story and OBriens comments. Its a complete non sequitur to the negative impact of this story as far as Im concerned. Lets not distract the point with those arguments.
2. Im actually a big fan of David Jones. I dont always agree with his opinion, but hes one of the most eloquent and well-connected writers on the beat and I have immense respect for his work. No matter how angry you might be at Jones for this one, dont let this incident devolve into ad hominem.
Now, to the story. Heres an excerpt of a conversation Jones had with OBrien in early December, which he left unpublished until Tuesday:
OBriens ire also was raised that day by my suggestion that a faction of Joe Paterno-era loyalists seemed to me to be miffed by Vanderlindens departure or dismissal, depending upon their view, and that they might want some sort of explanation. The former linebackers coach had been the second-longest-tenured member of the staff, dating to 2000, one of only two remaining staff members hired by the legendary coach. This really got OBrien going:
You can print this: You can print that I dont really give a - what the Paterno people think about what I do with this program. Ive done everything I can to show respect to Coach Paterno. Everything in my power. So I could really care less about what the Paterno faction of people, or whatever you call them, think about what I do with the program. Im tired of it.
For any Paterno person to have any objection to what Im doing, it makes me wanna put my fist through this windshield right now.
This entire exchange is just a head scratcher. It was doomed from the beginning, starting from when Jones made the false assertion that Paterno loyalists specifically were miffed about the Vanderlinden dismissal. Ive heard very few people mention the Paterno connection as a reason to be upset about Vanderlindens departure. No, people are confused about the Vanderlinden dismissal because he was a great coach, independent of his Paterno affiliation.
Is OBrien really so thin skinned that he cant understand why fans would want answers about why one of the best position coaches in the country was fired? I dont know why Vanderlinden was dismissed, and I trust that OBrien had a good reason for his dismissal. But to fault fans for questioning a decision to let a coach go, with no explanation, who seemingly developed Pro Bowl-caliber linebackers year in and year out? That has nothing to do with Joe Paterno, and theyre fair questions to ask.
The second part of the exchange is just as absurd: So I could really care less about what the Paterno faction of people, or whatever you call them, think about what I do with the program. Im tired of it.
This is coming from a man who was one of the most ubiquitously loved college football coaches in the entire country. In two years, I can count the number of Penn State fans on one hand Paterno loyalist or otherwise who did not support Bill OBrien. To claim that Paterno loyalists were in any large number against OBrien or what he did with the program is a lie. OBrien was adored at Penn State by essentially everyone in the community I suspect only a handful of coaches would have a higher approval rating at any level of football.
Sure, some of the more traditional fans were upset about OBriens decision to put names on the jerseys and a few other small decisions. They have a right to be, because for many people, tradition is important and change is hard. But even the fans upset about those relatively inconsequential changes almost always supported and loved OBrien.
Obviously, OBrien had plenty of valid reasons to leave. Coaching in the NFL is the top of the profession, and he made no secret that it was a dream of his. Hell undoubtedly be making more money. Now he can just coach football instead of being forced to act as an ambassador for he university, something he never really embraced. But, to tell David Jones that the reasons for leaving Penn State are fans questioning a high-profile coaching change and fans being unhappy with the direction of the program? The former is reasonable; the latter is simply untrue.
I wouldnt be surprised if this was an instance of confirmation bias David Jones, after all, coined the term JoeBots to describe the folks that are still fighting to restore Paternos legacy. Jones asserts Some of his frustrations revolved around what he saw as the lack of leadership at Penn State but offers no flippant quotes or insults about that nugget. And then again, maybe OBrien does actually harbor some deep-seated hatred for any fan who dare question the departure of the best linebackers coach in the country. I dont understand it, but it could be true.
So why do I care? If this was just a typical Jones column that gets passed around for a day or two and then falls into the abyss, as most things tend to do on the Internet, it wouldnt really matter. But telling Joe Paterno loyalists to fuck off was, of course, too much for the national media to pass up.
More than 41,000 articles now show up on Google that include the terms OBrien and Paterno people. Almost every national outlet picked up the story ESPN, USA Today, Yahoo, Fox, Daily News, Washington Post, Sporting News, Philadelphia Magazine, and Chicago Tribune just to name ten. Of course, the articles didnt mention the fact that almost every Penn Stater loved and embraced OBrien that we believed in him almost unequivocally and that, ultimately, he had honest NFL aspirations all along. No, that quote and those articles paint a picture of a crazy Penn State cult that ran OBrien out of town like a bunch of lunatics, a situation that couldnt be further from the truth. Its an incredibly damaging narrative, and theres no going back at this point.
Steve Jones had similar things to say on his radio show yesterday. Jones dedicated the first 15 minutes to discussing the article, saying I dont think (Dave Jones) had it quite right.
I think more context was needed beyond everyone just picking up this story, Jones said. You cant paint with a broad brush unless you come to the table with a full palette. Dave needs a fuller palette to give perspective on what this actually means.
Just another day at Penn State, where one off-the-record, fallacious quote paints the entire community as an insufferable cult. Heres to a new coach and a new era.
Vanderlinden coached the top 2 tacklers in the NFL this year (Posluzny and Bowman) and it would have been the top 3 if Sean Lee wouldn't have been hurt all year.
There are reasons that PSU is still rightly referred to as "Linebacker U". And a lot of them have to do with Ron Vanderlinden. I hope Coach Golden (or Coach Whoever) brings him back.
Let me see if I have this correctly: some fans are concerned about tradition, but shall not be called “Paterno people?”
There’s the f word in there, that was kind of shocking.
Paterno was a great guy and a great coach. In order to protect his legacy, young boys should be proud to have been buggered.
There’s a legacy for you. BTW, coming to a school near you very soon thanks to the Democrat Party and their LBGT agenda.
I’ve read through your twice and the comments once.
I found the article ridiculous and the comments...why did you ever post this?
What difference does any of this make to a Free Republic?
There will be moments of hyper sensitivity at Penn State for years to come. I’m actually surprised that the name Penn State, or the details about the Team mascot, uniform numbering system, was not changed in some manner after all The Troubles. I have wondered about Sandusky’s wife and family still in that town. Are they ostracized, or is that first freeze out now easing? Does she volunteer her time in community events as before, and is her time accepted? Some will move to a new time zone after such a hellish year, others will stay put because the house is paid for and most the kids are out.
Coach Joe Paterno was a great man and great coach. Nothing anyone can say or infer will ever take that away from him.
In my opinion, Paterno could not conceive of the evil which lurked inside of Sandusky. Since Paterno could not conceive of the things Sandusky was capable of, it did not exist for him. Paterno was Nittany Lion football and Penn State University, through and through. Nittany Lion fans and Penn State people understand that about Paterno. His legacy and what he meant to the university, the players, the fans, the students can never be soiled nor diminished.
When Coach O’Brien came aboard, we chose to support him 110%. We chose to support the players and student body and move forward, trying to make sense of the evil perpetrated and perpetuated by certain ranking officials at the university. Coach O’Brien and the team overcame the horrors and proved to be resilient. They won and lost with dignity. It is unfortunate that O’Brien may have felt some animosity towards Paterno admirers, but we have always wished coach O’Brien the best of luck at whatever he chose to do. We knew of his long term goal to be an NFL head coach and accepted that his time in State College may be short. He did wonders in his two years and his contributions will be remembered and respected, as they should be.
I hope O’Brien burns in hell. Like Sandusky, he just f***ed a lot of innocent kids.
I’m beginning to think you have a poster of Paterno on your wall.
I think the point of the article is that support of Bill O’Brien and the football team as well as support for the TRUTH about what happened - which includes Joe’s legacy as well as the ridiculous prosecution of GS/GS/TC are mutually exclusive.
Only the media (and some haters on forums like this) could be dense enough to think they are not.
O’Brien made it clear from the beginning his goal was to coach in the NFL. He interviewed for a job after his first season and renegotiated his contract. In his second year he got his buyout lowered significantly and then landed a NFL gig. I have no problem with any of that but he did b.s. some high level recruits/players that he’d stay through Hackenberg’s (freshman qb) college career which seems a little greasy.
Really, he was always going to be a transition guy and although the transition was a little shorter than I’d originally hoped for it might actually be good timing for everybody involved. He saw Penn State through a very rough patch and did a good job of it. It’s quite possible his replacement will be both a better coach and one that will bring more stability to the program.
As for the “Paterno people” thingy, I immediately thought he was putting on a show for a columnist who’d buy in hook, line and sinker. “Boo hoo, the ‘Paterno people’ make it tough.” I think it was an attempt to give himself an excuse and at the same time cast himself in a sympathetic light. It wasn’t necessary but I will say it made him leaving easy to take. Thanks. . .bye
I could do a lot worse. Joe was a great man. You should seek the truth about his life and his legacy if you have enough interest to make a smart-assed comment on this thread.
Pretty much how I see it Hayride.
He did a good job and he did want to go to the pros. Remember,he’s another apostle of Belichick!
I think the “haters” on this forum are as petty and small as any other ignoramus who knows nothing about any subject yet still pontificates about things that are far beyond their ability to comprehend. That and jealousy of a man who accomplished more in his life than they could ever dream of doing on their own. It is the cacophonous howls of the pack dingoes at work. Over the years, I have seen the lemmings pile on when divisive issues of all sorts have arisen. If not to see their screen names printed for digital eternity online, their insignificance would be assured.
They can hate Paterno and Penn State and Happy Valley all they want. I simply pray for their addled minds and that their eyes become unpasted. Like praying for a delusional Liberal, it will always piss them off.
Why didn't the author spare us the rest of the article?
*Shrug* You post fairly often about the man. If you don’t expect unfavorable comments, you’re not being realistic.
And no, I’m not interested enough to “seek the truth about his life and legacy.” Good grief, who do you think he is? Jesus?
What a stupid comment.
“Who do you think he is? Jesus?”
Really. Is it not the calling of all Christians to be more like our Savior? No one can ever BE the Lord, but we can ALL strive to be as CLOSE to His example of being an apostle of the faith that He brought to us.
Joe Paterno happened to be a great Christian man. If you took the time to know more, you’d be less likely to make idiotic and snarky comments about someone you can never match as a valuable member of society.
That response goes a long way toward proving: insufferable cult.
>> Joe Paterno happened to be a great Christian man.
A great Christian man does not look the other way while his assistant repeatedly rapes young boys in his locker room, to preserve his job, his football program, and his legacy.
Don’t bother trying to evangelize me about Paterno.
BTW, I can say this....I don’t claim to be anyone great. Far from it. But I can honestly say that I’ve never turned a blind eye to the buggering of children.
That’s a great piece of fiction you’re working on there. Tell me more!
Neither did Joe - or ANYONE at Penn State. But don’t let that stop your uneducated indignation.
Paterno was never charged, nor accused of such.
do YOU have any evidence of Paterno’s culpability or involvement in the crimes? If so, you are duty bound to forward that evidence to the proper authorities. Since the investigating and prosecuting authorities never accused, charged or tried Paterno or any involvement in the crimes, your “evidence” would be a bombshell.
If you DON’T have such evidence, and it is merely your “opinion”, then your comments are given the appropriate and equal weight of any other theoretical vomitus presented by the clueless and dimwitted.
I thank you for your “contribution” to the discussion.
What bothers me more than anything is what’s being ignored or brushed under the rug. And nobody seems to give a damn. All they’re worried about is the stupid G-D football program. Sandusky was just the tip of the iceberg. The Second Mile Foundation is a well-organized, well-funded network of pedophiles involving high-level politicians, judges, and other very influential people. I wish someone would start connecting the dots already. But they won’t because it would expose very powerful people to allegations of unspeakable crimes.
Nice to see the pedophilia supporting wing of FR checking in this early in the year.
Burn Pedo State to the ground. Dig up Paterno and feed his rotting corpse to wild dogs.
How do I know you haven’t?
For all we know, you have turned a blind eye while dozens of children have been raped, sodomized, assaulted, filmed and photographed.
At least Paterno was in the glare of competent investigators who made the determination he had no culpability.
He has exonerating investigations on his side. You don’t.
“Joe Paterno happened to be a great Christian man”
Yea, Jesus loved those who failed to protect children from pedophiles.
Satan is buggering Paterno right now and I hope he does it for 10,000 years.
You describe the media very well in that post. But not PS4RS or Ray Blehar, Franco Harris, John Ziegler, and thousands of PSU alums. They want the truth and they know it runs from the second mile to the Hershey School to Harrisburg to Philly.
Ray has done the most work on this and, as an experienced federal investigator, has pointed new AG Kane in the right direction.
The problem is that Kane is just another self-serving pol that used PSU much the way O’Brien used them - to advance herself politically and professionally.
Paterno died before he could be held accountable (in this life, anyway).
Only a fool, a pedophile, or a member of the Ped State Football Uber Alles cult could suspend enough disbelief to say with a straight face that Paterno was not aware of the crimes committed against innocent boys on his watch.
The rest of us, who weren’t born yesterday and find homosexual pedophilia disgusting have examined the ample evidence of his awareness and attempted cover-up and drawn the inescapable conclusion.
Typical Liberal bullshit. Make an incendiary accusation and hope it sticks.
How has a Troll like you survived on FR so long?
one of 0bama’s NSA buttboy, choom smoking minions burrowing into the territory of good Americans?
He’s a pirate!
I refer you to post 31.
Put up or shut up, Troll.
Since you have no evidence, your BS is as worthy for consideration as 0bama’s BS.
What part of Frank Fina’s (the lead prosecutor in the case) comment don’t you understand? You need someone to read it to you reallll sloooowwww?
Please. “Scoutmaster” conjures up the suspicious possibility that transference is in effect here.
I mean, what better way to get close to little boys than that? And to cast aspersions on others while being stridently ramrod straight edge is classic subterfuge.
You see, making outlandish claims without facts is easy to do and is the hallmark of an Alinskyist mentality.
The enemy is among us.
At least Paterno was in the glare of competent investigators who made the determination he had no culpability.
He has exonerating investigations on his side. You dont."
Thumper, I understand that you can't bear to hear denouncement of the object of your cult of personality. I see that you respond with hysteria and irrationality.
I would advise you to take some kind of calming medication and lie down.
You have a good night, now.
Upon Further Review, San Diego, CA, Sat. 1/11/14 1000AM Hilton-Bayfront
Franco Harris will host UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Hilton San Diego Bayfront 1 Park Boulevard San Diego, California Featured Speakers:
John U. Bacon, author, Fourth and Long, the Fight for the Soul of College Football
Steven Fink, CEO, Lexicon Corporation, Crisis Management and Communications
Ryan Bagwell, Penn State Sunshine Fund
Ray Blehar. Analyst/Investigator notpsu.blogspot.com)
Anthony Lubrano, PSU Trustee
John Zieger, FramingPaterno.com
On the contrary. You make the charges, now back them up with evidence.
If you can’t, well......what does that say about your ability to think rationally and with clarity?
You are as the baying hound, joining in with the other baying hounds. Calling to the Moon, an object you cannot grasp the reality of, yet wish to make known your presence to.
So, prove you are NOT an aider and abettor to child abuse and be found innocent of such....as was Paterno.
Bite me. Penn State should be burned to the ground and land sown with salt.
I do believe that a large number of “FReepers” are Liberal moles, either knowingly or unwittingly. Their ignorance and vacuous posts belie their presence.
Witness the absurdity of the “insults”. If you do not follow their lead, you are pro-pedophilia, a cultist, an apologist for child abuse, etc.
I deal in facts. Not in emotionalism or the the flavor of the day parade.
Feeling a bit guilty about your own perversions, eh?
Better you deal with your own demons and latent feelings of guilt than wish that others be erased from existence.
I do hope you seek some sort of therapy for that irrational hate you harbor for an innocent man. Try to accomplish something with your life, as he and his family have. It certainly will make you a better human being.
Hear, Hear. Spare me from the weirdo, jock sniffing, pedophile ignoring supporters of the old senile selfish egomaniac strange little man Joe Paterno.
This is where they always stop commenting on these threads because they realize they’ve been confronted with irrefutable FACTS, and they just move on to something else.
The gusty fart blew in too late to have much effect.
Multitudes have and always will respect Paterno the man.
Sticks in your craw, don’t it?
As they say, deal with your disappointments. It will make you stronger.