Otherwise, I went to Cascadia to drop off a screen this morning and then dropped the thumb drive we found last week at the Evangelical Chinese Church in Ballard. I mailed it but it came back postage due, so I just took it over instead. Then I, errrr, hit a couple of Goodwills looking for stereo stuff. Nothing really: one Pioneer receiver (15W) for like $40 (uh-uh) and a single Advent 2002 (pass).
Once I got home I just worked on the Calvary report the rest of the day. I did the section on inscriptions and broke down at one point; not because they were making me sad of themselves, but it's been building up the last few days. Felt better afterwards.
And at 4 I watched the first college football kickoff! S. Carolina @ Vanderbilt. Admittedly, I'm not all that gung ho about college football this year, probably because going to Egypt cuts out half the season. But I plan on watching as much as I can before I leave.
I won't be rooting for Penn St. this weekend and it has nothing to do with "the victims". Here's why:
Since the NCAA sanctions came down there are two arguments that have really bothered me. The first is that the sanctions will be punishing people "who had nothing to do with the Sandusky scandal"; and second, that the program didn't gain any competitive advantage "on the field" from Paterno et al.'s silence. I profoundly disagree with both of these arguments for the following reasons.
There were a *lot* of people who contributed to the notion that Paterno and his program were somehow sacrosanct and above reproach. Active players. Former players. Alumni. Boosters. Fans. Not to mention local and national media. There were very few dissenting voices. There is little question in my mind but that this created an atmosphere that allowed Paterno and his staff to believe that they really could do no wrong and led them to protect that reputation -- and success on the field -- at all costs.
Of course they benefited "on the field". That sterling reputation certainly helped in recruiting better players. Do you really think they would have gotten as many top notch players had they gone into people's living rooms admitting they had a child molester in the program? And this culture of silence certainly helped in fundraising and television revenues. The team benefited, the program benefited, and the community of fans and assorted hangers-on benefited from maintaining a sterling reputation.
Now, you may argue that not many people knew about Sandusky's activities. While that may be true, there were certainly plenty of other signs that Paterno had too much power. ESPN's own reporting suggested that players in trouble with the law or in trouble with the school were getting preferential treatment (e.g., http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/otl/news/story?id=3504915). But hey, it was JoePa, he'll take care of it, he's got a sterling reputation, remember?
One might also ask why no one in the sports media bothered to question why an apparently talented defensive coordinator like Sandusky -- and in line to be the next head coach at Penn St. -- all of a sudden dropped off the map. . . .but still had an office on campus? Maybe no one asked because, well, Penn St. had such a sterling reputation, remember?
Admittedly, blame is hard to assign in these instances. People have been arguing over the culpability of the German people during Hitler's rise to power, the culpability of the American people in the institution of slavery, etc. But I think that it is impossible to argue that this whole culture of near-worship over Paterno and his program didn't encourage their behavior and led people to not ask serious questions about how the program was really run.
So no, I won't be rooting for Penn St. this weekend. I may not be rooting against them either, but I will admit that I wouldn't mind seeing Penn St. lose a few games to MAC opponents or even a few Division II schools in the coming years as a little recompense for all those years of looking the other way.