By Tim Baffoe–

(CBS) It seems that Joe Paterno will always be alive. For some, in their hearts, swelling to the point where it takes over for a compromised brain and causes a person to act like a fool. For others like me, in their lower intestines, like a polyp.

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Some of the former group got together and attached their names to a new attempt to return a statue of Paterno — he who knew of assistant coach Jerry Sandusky’s child rape and did little to curtail it — outside Beaver Stadium in Slaphappy Valley. More than 200 former Nittany Lion football players grouped by decade of graduation going back to the 1950s (it looks more cromulent that way) and eight former staff members signed a press release.

It demands the statue and players’ wall be put back and the school make a formal apology to Paterno’s wife, Sue, she of the $13.4 million state pension inherited after her husband’s death before he had to answer to most of the Sandusky scandal. The letter was also sent to every trustee at PSU, because they’re a collective group of vermin that eat this crap up.

It’s bad and stupid and sad and really ripe to be picked apart and mocked, and because stupid grownups like these Penn State zombies really deserve public shaming, especially when they try really hard to sound smart, what say we FJM this bad boy, eh?

First up is are some words of the captain of this team of turds, Brian Masella, a 1975 grad and effing punter. He organized the letter.

We have been told during the last four-plus years that the board and administration are waiting for the appropriate time to repair the damage they created.

That damage being you took away a statue that represents our sense of self-worth because we’re that strange slice of humanity that defines itself forever by the school it attended because not much we did afterward fulfilled us. If Penn State achieves in sports or academics, we alumni are great by some warped transitive property. If Penn State fails, say, in the biggest sexual assault scandal in sports history, then we’ll tantrum our way to further pushing victims of sex abuse and violence everywhere to staying silent.

Now is the appropriate time. Enough is enough!

A hard and fast rule is that when a person types exclamation points and isn’t writing dialogue they are conveying to the reader that (s)he, the writer, is very emotional to the point of yelling at a piece of paper or computer screen. This is a good way to let people know you are rational and smart, a la using all caps.

Our program has always been one of integrity, honesty and respect.

Except when a coach was raping kids and other coaches knew about it but that coach was able to keep raping kids on campus and at school-related functions — for decades. Other than that, this is pretty spot on.

Under Coach Paterno, we strove for academic excellence and made an ongoing commitment to becoming better men.

Great men pushing back against proper repercussions for decades of kids being raped and the cover up.

We deserve to have that respect reciprocated by Penn State and its leadership.

Because we went to your school, we demand satisfaction. In the form of putting a statue back. Which is respect. To us, the very normal people sending this letter.

Then there’s the statement the 200-plus men of quixotic Sparta stamped a hoof twice for yes on.

We, the undersigned, are united by the common bond of having been a member of the Penn State Football Team.  

They capitalized Football Team because it’s important — like “more than conspiring to be hush about a coach raping kids in school showers” important. They are also “united” in having played for the same football program, conjuring up a special mythology involved in what makes playing amateur sports the greatest accomplishment of a vapid life. We happy few.

We state, unequivocally, that our program has always been one of integrity, honesty and respect.  

Didn’t … didn’t Masella already say this?

Under Coach Paterno, we strove for academic excellence and made an ongoing commitment to becoming better men.

Masella couldn’t get three lines into his press release without repeating lines from the letter. So this should be deep.

We remain saddened that the Penn State Administration and the Board of Trustees thrust our program and coach into an undeserved negative media frenzy in 2011.  

When a former member of a coaching staff gets indicted on 52 counts of child molestation, that isn’t the school thrusting the program and Paterno into a media frenzy. When Paterno then failed to show himself accountable — not in a legal way as much a basic human decency way as inevitable questions were asked about things that occurred on his watch — that isn’t a thrusting into a media frenzy. Nor was that frenzy undeserved. If anything, it wasn’t frenzied enough.

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Nearly five years after the firestorm, they still have not defended us or corrected the false narrative.  

See, this is about us, the football players. The athletes so saturated in entitlement that a scandal that has legitimately destroyed actual victims’ lives, lost people jobs and cost millions of still-totalling dollars should focus on adult jackasses whose Santa Claus complex has been shattered.  

Our legacy and our university deserve better.  

Screw your legacy. Your legacy is that 99 percent of current Penn State students have never heard of most of you. Your legacy was contributing to a football program that some employees and many fans put above the well-being of kids. Your university does deserve better than this whiny letter to the editor by a bunch of large foreheads tilting at windmills. Ooooh, you should mention THON and cancer charities. Penn State fans love the fallacy that students doing works of charity neutralizes bad acts that happened at the school.

Penn State’s leaders should take two steps toward repairing the damage that they created.

Remember, the damage being referred to doesn’t involve kids being raped. The damage is emotional — the emotions of former football players who like football at their former school more than very human things. Damaged. The horror.

First, restore the statue of Coach Paterno and the players’ wall to where they stood previously outside Beaver Stadium.

We smart people demand you restore a literal false idol for purposes of our worship. Surely there’s some tangible thing returning the statue and wall would accomplish.

These testimonies to “Success with Honor” should never have been removed.

Oh, there’s no tangible thing. “Success with Honor” meant “You players win football games and put out a good image (but graduate dumb enough to write a stupid letter years from now) and buy into bumper-sticker slogans while we get money and create a culture of dangerous insulation within the football program and the community.”

Second, a formal apology from the University to Sue Paterno needs to be issued. This is a common act of decency, which is both warranted and long overdue.

The school paid Sue Paterno $5.5 million after her husband died. What is it about crazy fanboys and demanding apologies be given to their poorly chosen heroes? Are you that fragile that a formal apology given to this sports figure you’re lighting torches for will make things better?




The university’s leaders have repeatedly stated a desire to restore unity to the Penn State community.  

And that’s impossible when embarrassments like you gum up the works every so often because you have emotional investment in a damn statue of a guy who just a few months ago was shown to probably have had knowledge of Sandusky’s crimes in 1976 and allegedly ignored a victim’s complaints even before that.

We hope that they will not waste a great opportunity to do so.

“Well, everybody, these psychos wrote a letter, so we’re going to bring back a statue that is an emblem of college sports and rape culture and a symbol of national scorn for us. You’re united now in the country darkly laughing at you.”

Paul Posluszny of the Jacksonville Jaguars appears to be the only current NFL player who put his name on this even though there are at least 37 former Nittany Lions on NFL rosters. I guess the most prominent Nittany Lions don’t feel a kinship with the names on the ludicrous letter. So much for unity.

The university responded to the men with head injuries (which is like if I engaged the people on Facebook commenting under 670 The Score’s post of this piece) with the following:

“We appreciate the passion of our former Penn State lettermen for Coach Joe Paterno and the football program, and thank them for their input and many contributions/achievements. We recognize that this is emotional for many in the Penn State community, many of whom differ, yet feel strongly about this issue. The University’s leadership has clearly indicated that there will be a time and place to acknowledge Coach Joe Paterno’s many contributions. Any plans by the president to reach out to the Paterno family will be done privately.”

In other words, we’re not deifying your god who didn’t do enough to protect children and bring a pedophile to justice. You’re a lunatic fringe whom decent people don’t take seriously. See you at the next tailgate, you colorectal polyps.

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Tim Baffoe is a columnist for Follow Tim on Twitter @TimBaffoe. The views expressed on this page are those of the author, not CBS Local Chicago or our affiliated television and radio stations.