Now from the "Al Davis Studios," here we go...
Paterno fallout continues
The fallout from the arrest of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky on child sexual abuse charges continue to consume the sports news. It's a tragic story that has grabbed the nation's attention and has continue to grow after Penn State cancelled coach Joe Paterno's regular Tuesday news conference.
The 5-at-10 has said repeatedly that Joe Pa should have resigned Tuesday and he should have been fired today rather than allowed to announce he's going to retire at the end of the season. Paterno should not be allowed to leave on his terms after this mess.
Joe Pa is one of six known adults - assistant coach Mike McQueary, McQueary's dad, former AD Tim Curley, former vice president for business and finance Gary Schultz and a custodian - who heard of Sandusky's actions no later than 2002. None of them took measures beyond telling each other about the heinous acts of Sandusky.
Our ace columnist Mark Wiedmer nailed the sitaution in today's column here (Wiedmer: Nowhere for Paterno to go but away from his PSU job).
Sandusky is obviously the villain here. No one is debating that, except for Sandusky who has said he is innocent. And he'll have his day in court.
As for the rest of the members of the Penn State cover-up crew, well unless there is some unforeseen revelation, they are all complicit in allowing Sandusky to continue to prey on children. And of that six, none have embraced the "Success with Honor" mantra like Paterno. His silence in this horror story destroys the foundation of of the program he spent a lifetime building. It's all rubbish, because at its core, Paterno cared more about the reputation of his program than the welfare of children. Read that sentence again.
And if you're stance is, "Well, let's wait and hear what Paterno has to say about the matter," that's fine. And in most matters that's very reasonable, but this is not most matters. Joe Pa is easily the most powerful person in State College and arguably the most powerful person in Pennsylvania, so if Joe Pa wanted to get anything done or have anything stopped it would have been done. Instantly. In a lot of scenarios, a cover-up operates from the top down, so maybe a president or CEO would order silence for whatever reason. But regardless of the chain of command, Joe Pa is Penn State.
No, Joe Pa and the rest of them did the very minimum that was required in this matter because he hoped this would go away. Joe Pa's silence is deafening and criminal. He wanted to protect his program instead of protecting the children Sandusky terrorized. In the end, his silenced destroyed both.
And among the twisted dark questions and the crushed feelings and emotions and the unknowns about so much surrounding this murky, seedy situation, there is no doubt what should happen at Penn State.
Fire them all. Now.
Talking with Dr. B (he's a doctor after all), Quake and Cowboy Joe on SportTalk on Tuesday, we were able to speak briefly about the Tennessee Vols' trip to Arkansas this weekend. The Good Doctor believes that the Hogs only laying 14 points is a gift from the Gambling Gods.
And in truth it's hard to argue with that point considering the painful mismatch that appears to be the Hogs' passing game against the up-and-down Vols secondary.
But as we get closer to the game, it's getting harder to live with our pledge that The 5-at-10 is going to take a glass half-full/glass half-empty approach to our daily Vols breakdowns.Today's topic: Scoring with the Hogs.
It's tough picturing a scenario in which the Vols stop Arkansas from scoring 30 points, so for the Vols to notch their first SEC win, that means they will have to find a way to score 31 (or more).
Is that possible? With a full roster, maybe. With Justin Worley (who spoke with the media as our UT ace Downtown Patrick Brown reports here (UT: Justin Worley footwork a focus), though, that seems like a tall order.
Trying to think positive, trying to think positive... OK, how's this? Now that these Vols are on a one-game winning streak (is there such a thing as a one-game winning streak?) the overflowing confidence coming from the Vols offense will allow UT to take the next step. Nope, we're not buying that either. OK, what about this one? UT's assortment of walk-on running backs and frat boy kickers are going to have the Hogs so overconfident, half the team will not show up on time. Doubtful.
We do know this: For these Vols to score enough to keep pace with Arkansas, Da'Rick Rogers will be next week's SEC offensive player of the week and Worley will be SEC freshman of the week.
College football blitz
The 5-at-10 has been a huge, Huge, HUGE fan of ESPN's 30-in-30 documentary series. There have been some outstanding installments in the series, including the ones on Miami, SMU, Steve Bartman, Len Bias, the OJ chase and the Raiders/rap.
So we watched with high excitement the latest installment last night - "Roll Tide/War Eagle" - with high hopes. We were left flat.
It was like they let Jerry Springer edit the script with the goal of playing to the lowest common denominator.
Someone watching from a far got 25 minutes of history of the rivalry (which was entertaining if not all that informative because of some great interviews with among others Charles Barkley, Bo Jackson, Cam Newton, Gene Stallings and Mark Ingram). Then it was 10 minutes on the Cam Newton situation (which was obviously shot long before the NCAA cleared Auburn in the allegations involving Newton's recruitment, which begs the question that if that much of your film is on Newton and then the NCAA rules on it, shouldn't you reshoot that part rather than just add a date of the interview when Cam appears on screen and an editor's note at the end?). And the last 25 minutes were filled with Harvey Updyke and Paul Finebaum, and saying that Al from Dadeville and the sports radio equivalent of Howard Stern deserve almost half of nationally televised show about the Iron Bowl is embarrassing, short-sighted and uninformed.
There were some very good parts, and as a general rule, the 5-at-10 is a fan of the work of Wright Thompson, who was one of the writers and the narrator of the show.
But focusing on Updyke and Finebaum as central pieces to a rivalry like that is the easy way out and an ignorant attempt to play to a national perception. Focusing on those two buffoons in an Iron Bowl rivalry would be like spending 20 minutes of an hour-long special on the New York Yankees on Derek Jeter's long list of A-list girlfriends and A-Rod's steroid use.
Hey, we watched the whole thing and there were some entertaining parts - Barkley accurately stating that Auburn fans have always had a chip on their shoulders, the Gene Jelks stuff, every scene with Gene Stallings, who is an awesome guy - and maybe we had higher hopes, but all in all, we were disappointed. Put it this way, we've watched several of the 30-in-30 films mentioned above multiple times, but we won't watch "Roll Tide/War Eagle" again.
This and that
- Here's prep ace Stephen Hargis's story about four Tennessee area high school players who were named Mr. Football finalists in their respective categories Tuesday (Area four honored by TSSAA). Here's saying will have at least three winners from that group, too.
- The New England Patriots cut Albert Haynesworth on Tuesday. Haynesworth, the former UT and Tennessee Titans star, if you recall left the Titans via free agency for a nine-figure deal with Washington a few years ago. Now he has washed out with another team. The Titans decision not to resign him may be the organization's second-best decision ever, right behind drafting Steve McNair. As for bad Titans decisions, well, that list is long and distinguished.
- Jeffrey Kessler, one of the lawyers for the NBA's players union, tossed out this beautiful quote - "Instead of treating the players like partners, they're treating them like plantation workers." Uh, gang, can we stop comparing a group of people that are getting millions of dollars per year to play a kid's game to slaves. It's dishonest, disingenuous and disturbing. Stop.
The alleged crimes of Jerry Sandusky are unspeakable, and if he's guilty, here's hoping they put him in GenPop and let the fellas in the yard have their way with him. In fact, there are some reports out there that the number of victims has climbed to 20, and in truth, it will only go up.
That said, of all the scandals and tragic stories in the sports world, has there ever been a situation more surprising, disgusting and image-changing than the apparent cover-up at Penn State?
Is there anything that Joe Pa can say or evidence anyone can produce that some how could offer a tiny shred of an explanation?