Do I really want to go here again?
Where does it come from that grown men seem to tap in to their Upper-Paleolitic brain's tribal instinct to place so much of their self-worth in to what is at its core, a sport - a game.
It can become a mass-obsession. Like all obsession, it warps reality and causes otherwise sane and good people to sacrifice the good and important things in life in order to get more of it.
In the case of sports - they want their team to be #1. It must be #1; it must get the most attention. It must dominate. As the obsessed person has put in to their team their self-worth, ego, and passion - it becomes unstable. Morals are corrupted and any long-term benefit must be drained and sacrificed for the now.
Lines in the sand are erased and moved; blurred and then removed. Requirements are changed or ignored. All must serve the greater good - and the greater good is the sport.
We have seen it - and blogg'd about it most - in relation to the US Naval Academy where the pursuit of D1 sports has caused a great American institution to change admissions criteria, physical readiness requirements, academic requirements, honor code requirements, and even drug use disciplinary procedures. It has even warped the core purpose of the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) such that smart, deserving Fleet Sailors and Marines lose slots so potential varsity athletes can get a boost.
It isn't USNA. I saw it in college in the 1980s where the functionally illiterate were admitted and kept until their eligibility was over and then disposed of like a used diaper.
Given this systemic problem caused by legions of man-boys - is anyone really surprised about what is going on at Penn State?
Bar none - the best writing on this is by Five for Fighting's John Ondrasik.
Every once in a while we hardcore sports fans are reminded of our childish immaturity.
How else can you describe adults who spend a good part of their lives watching, listening, and discussing other adults who play games with sticks and balls, hoops and pucks? Games, and only games, are exactly what they are playing.
Considering the horror that is the Penn State scandal, I find it impossible to write an article discussing my favorite hockey team, the L.A. Kings, or any other sports topic. To do so would land somewhere between offensive and embarrassing.Rape of a child is not a single act of violence - it is an act of violence that assaults the victim every day of their life. It revisits them in their nightmares, in their day to day encounters with people and situations that trigger a memory, with every act of intimacy. It assaults those who fall in love with the victim - and their families.
Can any human being care about a hockey team's losing streak after reading the Sandusky Grand Jury Report?
As I struggle with words, my mind swings between the unimaginable suffering of those children and the evil that was Jerry Sandusky and the Penn State palace guard.
I'm not a religious man, but I pray for whatever healing a victim of a pedophile can undergo. May there also be a forever ring of suffering, deep in Dante's Inferno, for those who destroy our children.
Imagine that was you as a 10-yr old. Imagine that as your 10-yr old. Imagine that is the benchmark. For the victim as they grow up, is anything "normal?"
Hat tip K-lo.
UPDATE: Via Daniel Foster at NRO, George Will gets it,
George Will’s take on the corrupted culture of college sports on ABC’s This Week: “When you graft a multimillion-dollar entertainment industry anomalously onto higher education, you produce a bubble of entitlements and exemptions, and eventually, a simple moral derangement.”