FanPost

If you want to preserve any sympathy for Penn State, you should probably avoid their fans

The fan community at Black Shoe Diaries, Penn State's SBN site, has always struck me as closer in tone to the suspended TAMU site than to the average SBN site, but I imagine they are still a better representative of the Penn State online fan community than you would find at Scout or Rivals.

A Penn State alum, PA native, and traditional sports journalist recently penned an invited guest post on BSD where he calls on the Paterno family to apologize, concedes the 2012 season probably should not take place morally, then immediately says any lost games would levy such a financial hit on the University Park area that they should be played anyway.

He then spends a few paragraphs encouraging all Penn State alumni and former players to hold their heads high and, "set the tone for the next few decades.You’ve got to be the best person you can be in your daily life and show everyone what" Penn State did for you. It is very clear that the writer's words are exceedingly heartfelt as he encourages other alumni and sidewalk fans to focus on the good things about an institution he clearly loves.

However, the rationale behind his position on playing the 2012 season is that money is more important than doing what he believes to be the right thing. It is so obviously parallel to the sort of thinking that led to decades of allowing a rapist within the football program to prey on children that I can't help but shake my head and think, "they really don't get it."

I then read the comments and quickly recognize that the writer's simple acknowledgment that Joe Paterno and the administration were wrong was enough to make him a pariah to many BSD posters who continue to deny culpability and curse the messenger. One of BSD's contributing writers even complains about apologies emailed to alumni from the University.

A single poster (M1EK) tries to convince the others of the seriousness of their university's crimes, but most of the others cover their eyes and tell him he's wrong, call him names, or suggest he should be ignored.

Another poster echoes the very sincere and reasonable suggestion that alumni should stop trying to defend the university and simply do their best to represent what they believe to be good about the institution in their daily lives. However, most members of the community remain defiant and unapologetic for the actions of their unmasked fraud of a coach, even saying "anyone that brings up Joe's name.. loses credibility".

Though there are some Penn State alumni and fans who recognize the severity of what transpired within their football program, please note that every comment I have linked is green. The majority of fans at BSD are much more concerned with "moving on" (ie, playing more football games and pretending this never happened) than seeing any blame or consequences stick to their football program.

Keep in mind that all the writer called for was an apology. Imagine how they would have reacted to the outrageous notion of losing a single athletic scholarship. After a visit to Black Shoe Diaries, it is very easy to understand how men like Joe Paterno and Jerry Sandusky were allowed to have free rein at Penn State, but very difficult to understand why any punishment that affects the people who handed over those reins is "unfair".

Burn it to the ground.

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