This entire Penn State scandal is absolutely the ugliest thing I think I've ever seen in all of college football. The Freeh report that came out has been the most disturbing thing of the whole mess. How could a man, with so much integrity, and such an icon for the game of collegiate football, as Joe Paterno, have been so embroiled in such a scandal is totally beyond me. Winning is great, but at the cost of a human life, it's not worth it. Joe Pa, was a legend until last season when this all came about, and now, it is hard to watch as his legacy crumbles before your eyes. I would say it would be very similar to watching the Roman Empire collapse in fast forward. I think when this is all said and done, the positive impact Joe had on the university will be all but lost. One can only wonder, if the administrator's were telling Joe to let this one go, or that they would handle it. Still, morality has to set in at some point, and you as a person have to make the right call. That's where Joe Pa fell short...way short.
Now what about his statue? In an interview, on ESPN, Bobby Bowden made the comment that the statue should be taken down. I'd have to say that I agree with ol' Bobby on this one. I think, for the Paterno family's sake that the statue should go also. If not, the statue will become a focus of negativity before every game, because you know the media will pan to the statue sometime during the course of the game, and we will get to relive each horrifying moment of the scandal over again. It's time for Penn State to move on, and begin to heal these wounds that were left by such an evil man (Sandusky, NOT Paterno).
What the NCAA has done is an atrocity, however. They have no bearing, no jurisdiction in this case, yet they feel they must butt their noses into this and levy fines and sanctions. Boo to the NCAA in my opinion. If Penn State had any guts, they'd sue the ever loving shit out of the NCAA. I'm not trying to take away from what was done, that is an act of horror all in of itself. However, like the old saying states, "Two wrongs don't make a right". For the NCAA to punish a university, it's football program, fans and businesses that rely on Penn State football, is absurd. The university's board of trustees did its job when they fired the four men responsible for the terrible acts. Then the criminal justice stepped in and has done its job by punishing these people who covered and acted out such a horrible crime. So why does the NCAA feel the need to punish Penn State when all of this was done? Power. Plain and simple, the NCAA is exercising its muscle here, and has no ground to stand on. Even a prominent former NCAA president stated "The NCAA is on shaky ground here". What he meant was, they are overstepping their bounds.
Not to get too political here, but that's been the theme with several governing boards here lately. Hence the new health care bill and its infringement on individual liberty. Add in a corrupt judicial system and our individual liberty slowly dies a little more from some governing agency exercising more power than it was intended to have. Wake up folks, exercises your right to make change, and do so before all our liberties are infringed upon and taken away.
The SEC media days were actually quite boring to me this year. I guess the reason is that most of the coaches there are just lining up to be served to LSU or Alabama, whichever one doesn't knock the other one off on its way back to the National Championship Game. I have a hard time thinking that anyone else in the SEC West could beat either of these teams. Hell, I'm not sure the Dolphins, Buc's or Jaguars could beat LSU or Bama'. The SEC East will be the race of the least fittest, pitting Georgia, Florida and South Carolina to try and make it to the top of that mountain (which in more recent years has just been a speed bump compared to our SEC West brethren). I honestly think whoever limps into Atlanta from the East, will be completely shredded by the West, in an almost embarrassing fashion. I think it will be Alabama and South Carolina standing there in the end, with Bama' beating USC by 30 points or so.
Which brings me to my real point, isn't it nice to see the Head Ball Coach back in style again? I loved his interview with ESPN's Tennessee biased blogger Chris Low (yes that was a shot Chris) on ESPN.com the other day where Spurrier acknowledged he was the Head Ball Coach, not the Ol' Ball Coach. Too funny. You do have to admire though what Spurrier has done at South Carolina. When he first went there, I was skeptical, I mean c'mon, Holtz didn't really light the world on fire there, however Holtz did make it a better program than when he arrived at USC. It has taken Spurrier a while, but the buzz around Columbia couldn't be any louder right now, and the HBC is crowing a bit about it. I like it, and it makes me miss him even more being a Gator fan. I always loved the wise cracks and the smart ass remarks Spurrier would make, they actually made some of the games more interesting. What people don't realize, is that this is not an act. Spurrier is a very confident man, maybe not as much as he was in the 90's but he is still very confident. Spurrier has surrounded himself with great coaches, and he will be the first to admit that. These coaches have recruited well and they are putting Columbia, SC on the map.
I wonder how long the HBC will stay with it? I don't see a National Championship in USC's future, they just don't quite pull that caliber of athlete there yet. I also don't know if Spurrier can do it, and if the success will begin to erode his high quality coaching staff, like it has done so many other good coaches. You must remember that you are only as good as the people around you. I would have to say, an SEC Championship would be quite deserving of Spurrier, but I also see that as a long shot, due to the monster that has grown out of the West. Until the East can nab some of that kind of talent, the East will struggle. Oh well, one can only hope, but I will be wearing Gamecock Maroon and black if the HBC gets back there, as I'm truly a Spurrier follower. I like the man, and I like his style, always have and always will!
NFL training camps opened this week, and I must say, why is it that College and High School Football are king here in Florida, but Pro Football is so abysmal? I have no answer, but as a Buc's, Jag's and Fin's fan, I'm fully prepared to bury my head in the sand this football season. I just don't get how a state can be so good for football at the lower levels and fail so miserably at the ultimate level of football.
The Dolphins are going to be a train wreck at best this year. Really, David Gerrard? Tannehill looks good on paper, but they can't even get him to training camp on the first day due to money issues. I liked Sporano, as did the players, however upper management decided to pull the plug a bit early on the Sporano experiment. That's ok, he gets to go make Tim Tebow one of the baddest backup QB's in the league next year...suck on that Miami!
The Buc's are interesting, and I really like Greg Schiano, but still....it's the Buc's. The Buc's haven't been able to get out of their own way since their Super Bowl win (when the hell was that again, 99?). I do like the addition of Dallas Clark, but is he past his prime. Also, there's no way they win more than seven games with Freeman at quarterback, I mean what were they thinking?!
I think the Jag's are on the right track, at least the new management seems to be. I miss Del Rio though, I always liked him as a player and I thought he didn't do bad as a coach. One has to wonder if only given a bit more time what Del Rio could have done under the new management. Oh well, that is usually the way of things. I think the Jag's will have the best record in the state of Florida, however I'm afraid it will be below .500 though.
I still can't wrap my head around why the other levels of football in Florida can be so awesome, but Pro Football escapes us. Oh well, just one of those mysteries I guess!