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Introduction and Musings on Penn State

November 9, 2011

Greetings, loyal EMU fans.  My name is Jeremy and I am honored and humbled to be joining the Eagle Totem team, the preeminent college athletics blog on the internets.  I arrived on campus at EMU in 1993, a transfer from the Universityof Missouri; with me I brought my love of Mizzou basketball.  My love of college hoops quickly translated into a love of EMU, and MAC basketball.  These were heady years for our basketball program—not only did we have tangible on-court success but a group of truly exciting players cycled through the program in the mid-nineties.  I was fortunate to be a student then, and since I have settled in Ypsi I have carried my love of EMU hoops, for better or for worse, with me to this day. 

My hope is that I can contribute to Eagle Totem by giving my perspective on EMU men’s basketball.  I reserve the right to add commentary on the football team and any other Eastern athletics related topic which may be of interest to you, the reader.  Lastly, on certain days, like today, I feel compelled to speak on a larger topic in college athletics as well.  See the part below on the Shakespearean Penn State/Joe Paterno horror show that is playing out before our eyes.

As for basketball, I plan on conducting a post game analysis after each game I attend, and closely following them throughout year.  My expectations for the team are quite subdued, but there is always an air of excitement and promise when a new coach steps in.  Rob Murphy brings solid credentials, and what I hope will be a disruptive defensive system.  We needed a new coach, a new direction for the program.  We have it.  It should be fun to watch the season unfold, and I will be at the Convo on Friday night—anxious to see a new team, and hopeful that the defensive effort and intensity is there for forty minutes.  Stay tuned…

Today, however, it is difficult not to think about the dominant topic of the day—the complete and utter implosion of Penn State.  Earlier this fall, I was able to go to State College for the EMU/Penn State football game.  State College, nestled softly in the Central PA valley, is an undoubtedly beautiful place.  I was somewhat smitten by the whole atmosphere.  The campus is also quite lovely; it seemed like an idyllic place to spend one’s college years.  A statue of Joe Paterno is prominent outside Beaver Stadium, a true cathedral of college football.

And all that means nothing now.

A blanket of disgrace, ugliness, horror, and shame now cover Happy Valley like a dense fog.  How anyone could possibly think it is acceptable for Paterno to coach at Penn State one more day is beyond my comprehension.  If I were a PSU student or alum, the anger and betrayal I would feel would be palpable.  Instead, sadly, what you see are students chanting “Beat Nebraska” outside JoePa’s house.  The disconnect from reality is immense.

Who are these people who either witness or hear of child rape and wonder what the next course of action is?  I told my boss so now I’ll forget about it?  It should matter when people behave in a morally bankrupt manner.

Even though I was there as an Eastern fan, I bought some PSU swag at the game.  A flashlight with the Nittany Lion logo on it for my son.  A pink Penn State shirt with a little lion cub on it for my two year old daughter.  It was adorable.  It was cute.  Now, it is adorable, cute, and in the garbage.

Which is where Joe Paterno’s football legacy now resides.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Kenneth Barna permalink
    November 9, 2011 7:08 pm

    Dear Jeremy,
    You are spot on with Coach Paterno. If, he is allowed to continue coaching after all that has come out, then Coach Tressel should be allowed to come back and coach, since his violations involved tatoos.

  2. November 10, 2011 12:29 am

    I think I saw that Paterno was fired today.

    Of all of the recent sporting scandals, this one has to be the most diappointing for me. I’m mostly a Michigan fan (but EMU alum) and as such, I’m supposed to hate Penn State but I could never find myself hating Joe Paterno. He seemed to be the embodiment of class. In just under a week, he’s put himself in the same league as Bowden, Tressel, Saban and Woody Hayes.

  3. November 10, 2011 12:30 am

    Oh yeah, welcome.

  4. Luckeyone1 permalink
    November 10, 2011 3:46 pm

    Jeremy – you are spot on with Penn State. I think it is shameful for Penn fans to be cheering for Paternal after so many lives could have been saved by calling 911 to report a rape. And then notifying Penn State officials that Sandusky is forever barred from the campus in case he was out on bail before the impending trial. It would have been hard for Oaterno

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