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Monday Wakeup Call: Head-hunting for Moose

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media columnist

Morning, lunatics …

>> The Monday column attempts — really hard — to go into yesterday’s Paterno Report release with an open mind. Judge for yourself how that went.

>> I’ll visit with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m. to discuss the column with the fellas.

>> If you missed it Sunday, this was my column on NHL fighting on the rise.

>> Getting down about losing to the Devils doesn’t make much sense. Never has.
They’ve been making good teams look bad for such a long time, and that’s doubly true if they get an early lead.

Cue script.

Anyway, it sure worked out well for Mr. Moose …

Johan Hedberg, one of the greatest people I’ve encountered on this job, happened to give me the greatest quote I’ve ever gotten from an athlete after a game. It was right after his NHL debut in Tampa, March of 2000. He lost, and the Penguins lost, and he sat on a stool in the middle of the room. (No stall for the newbie.)

I asked how he felt.

“I’m sad.”

Hedberg thought he was done. That was it. He’d have one chance as an older minor-league recall, he was the emergency guy only after the Penguins’ top had been felled by injury, and he’d be sent right back down.

Or so he thought.

Good things, indeed, happen to good people.

>> Also from the if-you-missed-it-Sunday file: Andrew McCutchen shares quite a bit with our Rob Biertempfel. There’s a vid, too. … Why would anyone complain about a Pitt-Florida State football opener? That’s what our Joe Starkey asked. … Marc-Andre Fleury is passing out upgrade vouchers.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and more, including his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.


  1. You ask four questions, and then conclude that the issue is “more closed than ever.” Seems contradictory, no? I firmly believe that Paterno was either more or less culpable than currently perceived in public, but I don’t think the issue will ever be closed because we’ll never know.

    DK: This seemed like the best chance for new evidence to emerge. It didn’t.

    • Perhaps it’s just semantics, but when I see closed, I think of finality. Here, it’s the opposite – so much remains unknown. Agree with your main point though – certainly nothing earth shattering in Joe’s favor.

  2. As a PSU alum, I was hoping for some great revelation from the Paterno report, but found it to be more about what Freeh supposedly did wrong than exonerating JoePa. I do still wonder though, if the NCAA could have waited a bit longer to issue their sanctions, instead of taking the Freeh report as gospel and verse.

    • That answer is easy : Because Penn State commissioned the Freeh report, and Penn State accepted the findings. That’s going to be enough for most people to consider it “gospel”. Should they have waited to make sure insane ex-football players or a vote-seeking govenor approve it also?

      Also, Erickson and Penn State wanted the NCAA to move quickly, to help reduce the bad PR, and to reduce the punishment.
      Penn State took a plea bargain, as the Death Penalty was on the table.

      And frankly, Penn State got off easy. They got their 7 home games with 100,000 fans apiece. They – and certainly NOT the state – weren’t hurt by the sanctions, contrary to what Corbett says. They even got good PR (till now), with people feeling sorry for the program and Bill O’Brien, forgetting why they got put on probation in the first place.
      Now, they’re even trying to get around the bowl ban by scheduling a game in Ireland.

      The NHL lockout hurt the state far more than the slap on the wrist Penn State got.

  3. If Pitt’s football coach and athletic director were obstacles to scheduling Florida State to begin the season, then the Starkey column would have some merit. But they are both in favor of the game. The column serves no purpose.

  4. The Pirates got some free pub on the Grammy’s with Chuck D wearing the Pirates cap on stage during the final performance with LL Cool J.

    • He’s always worn that hat. Funny, the last time the Pirates and Chuck D were relevant was in the same time period.

  5. Dejan, please consider this fictional scenario: The next month after one of Joe’s assistant coaches reports a shower sex story involving G. Sandusky, the same man states that he has caught Sandusky in the same place, with a boy, who is Joe’s grandson.

    Do you think GS would have had access to the football facilities 10 years later? How about 10 seconds later?

    Your 4′th point is the most crucial in my opinion. I don’t know about misunderstandings, assumptions, or jurisdiction procedures in the PSU administration, etc. But, what I am sure of, is that anyone accused of such a heinous act must be watched with special care.

    Instead, a potential (now convicted) villain was granted Carte Blanche on the campus and particularly the athletic facilities.

    DK: I’m going to mostly stay out of this debate. I know where it goes and how heated it gets. The column is up there for anyone who wishes to read it. I didn’t hold back, didn’t leave anything out.

  6. Paterno’s not being charged, so he’s not entitled to any kind of “due process,” like Paterno apologists clamor for so often. Since he’s not being charged, I’m not concerned with whether he necessarily committed a crime. I don’t care about the contradictions between the Freeh and Paterno reports.

    What do I care about?

    “It was of a sexual nature.”

    Paterno’s own words to a grand jury. He knew that what happened in the shower between that monster and that boy was sexual abuse. And he let it go, let Sandusky walk the campus with children for another 10 years. He’s an abject moral failure.

    Is he the only one? Clearly not, and when the Spanier and Curley “critiques” are published, I’ll say the same. But as for Paterno? Failure to act forcefully to help abused children is all I need to know, and it came from his own lips. He has no good name to clear.

    DK: Agreed about the “sexual nature” comment. Like I wrote in the column, if he had “only marginal knowledge,” he had plenty enough to do more.

    Here, for those looking for Mike’s reference point, is a link:

  7. Just have to say that, despite the loss tonight, I was really happy to see the Moose get a win in Pittsburgh again. He was rock solid.

    In fact, in looking at the big picture, that in which the Pens will likely at least make the playoffs, seeing Hedberg get a win back here totally mitigates the loss for me.

    I have had this discussion with several friends over the last few days, and I’ll bring it up here too. I’m not sure we as Penguins fans will ever see another season that was quite as much fun as that 2000-2001 season. Besides the fact that Mario came back and put on a magnificent show, all while being reunited with Stevens and Jagr on the same line, plus all of the other offensive talent that was present on that club (KLS line and others), we had the Moose storyline. And as Dejan points out, it had as much to do with his personality as it did with his performance. He didn’t just hide behind all of those stars, he rose to their level. I was just 17, but that season was so crazy, so full of promise, and so FUN that I had the time of my life that year.

    Of course, they burned out in that Devils series and the NHL was robbed of a chance at a really, really special Stanley Cup Final in my opinion, but I’ll never forget it. And I’ll never have a negative thing to say about the Moose either. It’s pretty remarkable that he has been able to put together the career that he has since his departure, and I just tip my cap to the guy. Tonight could be the last time he ever wins a game in Pittsburgh, so I’ll let him have this one. I didn’t get to hear the crowd’s reaction to him being named a star of the game tonight, but I really hope there were enough “old-timers” left in the building to give him a nice hand, and I’ll leave it at that!

    • I was in junior high that season, and that was the year that I went from having tertiary knowledge about the game of hockey to being a full-blown Pens fanatic. Sure, I knew all about Lemieux and Jagr, NHL 94 for SNES filled in a lot of the other blanks, but that was the year I crossed the Rubicon.

      Hedberg played a huge part in that. I can scarcely recall any 12-year-olds that did love the blue IHL mask, the floppy, frantic saves, or just saying “MOOOOOSE” in general.

      I went to Dick’s Sporting Goods in Greensburg frantically searching for a Hedberg jersey. The best they could do that fit my limited budget was a 90′s white Alexei Kovalev jersey in XXL (clearance rack score).

      I’ve still got that sweater hanging in my closet, but it’s never been what I REALLY wanted.

  8. The Paterno debate has raged on and on while the CEO and other officials at Second Mile have been ignored. A charity was established with its sole purpose being to recruit abuse victims. It feels like so many people have a strong opinion both ways on paterno when their efforts would be better served questioning how these Second Mile workers have escaped scrutiny for their role in the coverup.

    DK: Is Second Mile not currently under investigation?

  9. The Paterno report was an utter joke. There was no new challenging evidence presented at all. I still have the same 4 questions that DK listed, and I think it is remarkable that people on the Paterno side treat this as an incident where Sandusky was accused one day and caught the next. He was in those buildings for another decade after the McQueary allegation. That is a gap in time that cannot simply be ignored. But it seems that some are totally fine in doing that.

    I don’t think Paterno was an evil or a bad man. I just think that he was no different than anyone else in today’s NCAA. The mentality is program over all, and football over all. It was there and it still is in far too many other schools. This is why I have little to no interest in college football anymore. It’s sad and it needs to change. But I don’t see it happening.

  10. At baseball fields all over Florida and Arizona this week, people will be cutting grass, painting foul lines, and preparing for their teams to report. I’d much rather talk about that than Sue Paterno’s statements. The lady will go to her grave defending Joe. What’s newsworthy, or wrong about that?

    I’d like to think somebody in this world would love me enough to defend my name, even with undeniable facts suggesting I was guilty.

    Somebody please talk baseball. Or football. Or how it’s time to fire Bylsma. Or soccer.

    Please ignore the last suggestion.

    DK: Read to the end of the column?

    I did exactly the opposite of faulting Sue Paterno for anything.

    • Yes I did Dejan. I wasn’t attempting to be critical of anything you wrote, as much as just saying I’m sick and tired of the whole subject.

      The Paterno family released a report, that they commissioned, in a sad attempt to sway opinion about Joe. It offers no new proof and, if anything, damages the reputation of their name even more.

      How is this an important story?

      DK: I’m not wild about the topic, either, but there’s no denying its importance. I would think that’s fairly self-evident, even if just from the standpoint of this specific report.

  11. After reading your column, it’s abundantly clear that you did not read the entire report, just like you never read the entire Freeh Report. My guess is that you intentionally failed to do so in order to further your anti-PSU/Paterno agenda, like the majority of “reports” in your ” profession.”

    To answer two of your questions:
    -Sandusky was granted Emeritus status by University President Graham Spanier in 1999, before the 2001 shower incident. As an Emeritus professor on Phys Ed, Sandusky was given a key to the football facilities as part of his retirement package. Joe Paterno had absolutely no involvement in this decision, nor could he simply take Jerry’s key away, otherwise the terms of Sandusky’s retirement package would have been violated and provided him grounds to sue Penn State for breach of contact. Why is this so hard for anyone to understand?

    -You are making the assumption that Mike McQuery told Joe the details about what he saw in the shower. What if he simply told Joe he saw Jerry in the shower with a young boy and it made him feel uncomfortable? Is that grounds for calling the police? McQuery’s story has changed at least 6 times. Is he to be believed?

    I find it completely absurd that people still think Paterno was part of some elaborate conspiracy. If you’re trying to hide the truth and cover for Jerry Sandusky, why would you report it to your superiors? Why would you schedule a meeting with McQuery to meet with Schultz and Curley? Wouldn’t you simply tell Mike, “Hey I’ve got it from here. Don’t mention a word to anyone about this?”

    In your quest to give the American public the carnage they desire to read about in order to generate more readers or views of your site/blog, you fail to ask yourself these basic questions:

    1. Why would the PSU BOT pay $6.5M to commission a report that was the sole basis for NCAA sanctions and a number of lawsuits, costing the University several hundred Millions in losses?

    2. Why did the PSU BOT fail to publicly acknowledge their acceptance/rejection of Freeh’s findings?

    3. Why did Kenneth Frazier, CEO of Merck, hire Freeh?

    4. Why did the law firm that represents Merck recently acquire Loius Freeh’s firm?

    5. Why has the 2nd Mile been investigated or received any blame in this matter?

    6. Why hasn’t Ric Struthers’ relationship with PSU and the 2nd Mile been discussed? He was Loius Freeh’s boss at MBNA for several years, received awards from PSU, and was on the board of the 2nd Mile.

    Until you can answer those questions for me, this is simply nothing more than a case of “blame it on the dead guy.”

    DK: I do appreciate your coming here, Matt, and sharing your views.

    I’ve read the reports. I’ll refer you to Paterno’s “of a sexual nature” remark that’s linked a couple of comments up, and I’ll leave the rest to others.

    • Joe Paterno RAN the football program at Penn State . He was the dictator of Penn State Football. If he did not want Sandusky to have a key to the football facilities than Jerry would not have had a key.

    • Matt

      Nobody is suggesting their weren’t many other more culpible people involved. No one is suggesting that JoPa knew all and somehow helped conceal a crime. Nobody is denying that there are going to be many other heads to roll. When Sandusky, Spanier and the rest are sitting in concrete boxes for awhile they will start rolling over on everybody.

      What everyone is saying that while JoPa certainly didn’t know everything, he knew SOMETHING. But he did nothing. Right or wrong, we expected more from him. He was a hero and an Icon and we expected him to act accordingly. Maybe that’s our fault for expecting him to be more than just a man capable of failure, but thats what it is.

      Many, many others failed worse. They will be brought into the light eventually. But they aren’t JoPa and right or wrong, we expected more from him.

  12. As a longtime PSU fan and season ticket holder, I agree the report was underwhelming and will not change minds but I do think the excerpt about bad publicity is relevant. Freeh directly concluded in his summary that the PSU inaction was in order to avoid bad publicity. This was the most damaging conclusion and has been requoted by many but as the Paterno report points out, there was zero evidence to say it was to avoid publicity.

    I think there would have been a big difference in public perception at the time had Freeh admitted he had no evidence for their motives. If their inaction was a horrible, but honest failure to understand the severity of the situation, it still would stain Paterno’s legacy and justify his firing but I think people would understand that he was human and just made an awful mistake. Stating as a conclusion that it was to avoid publicity gave the picture that it was a calculated decision to protect dollars over children – which if true would be completely reprehensible and beyond understanding. People took Freeh’s conclusion as fact and were understandably outraged, but the publicity motive is an unsubstantiated opinion at this point.

  13. Matt,

    “… nor could he simply take Jerry’s key away, otherwise the terms of Sandusky’s retirement package would have been violated and provided him grounds to sue Penn State for breach of contact. Why is this so hard for anyone to understand?”

    If I’m Joe, I’m taking the keys (which he absolutely had the power to do. Almost any tenured coach would) and I’m saying “bring it on” to any lawsuit. Let Sandusky, a pedophile who knows that a lawsuit would expose him far too much, take Joe into court and put all of his behavior under a magnifying class in a very public court setting.

    That’s a bunk excuse, man.

  14. “Until you can answer those questions for me, this is simply nothing more than a case of “blame it on the dead guy.”

    Joe had a chance to talk to Freeh and his investigators. He didn’t. And it’s not because he wasn’t alive.

  15. In regards to the “sexual nature” comment in the grand jury report:

    Ten years had passed between MM coming to Joe’s house and Paterno giving his testimony. Considering Joe was 85 at the time and clearly slipping, it’s certainly plausible that he “mis-remembered” what McQuery told him in 2001. MM tells him in ’01 about a shower incident that “made him feel uncomfortable.” Ten years pass and Paterno is called to testify to the GJ. He doesn’t remember the details of the 2001 conversation (entirely possible), so he calls MM and asks him for a refresher about what they discussed. MM tells Joe it was sexual in nature at the juncture, and Paterno uses those words in his testimony.

    I know, far fetched right? Just like 4 adults conspiring to keep a pedophile on the loose so he can continue to do more and more damage.

  16. Another lie! Joe never had a chance to talk to Freeh. The guy died 2 months after the scandal broke. Freeh was hired 12 days after the scandal broke. Paterno’s lawyers offered to let him meet with Freeh and it never happened, even in the midst of his fight for survival.

    People just love making “facts” up.

  17. If I’m Joe, I’m taking the keys (which he absolutely had the power to do. Almost any tenured coach would) and I’m saying “bring it on” to any lawsuit. Let Sandusky, a pedophile who knows that a lawsuit would expose him far too much, take Joe into court and put all of his behavior under a magnifying class in a very public court setting.

    Again, you are assuming that Sandusky was an out in the open pedophile and everyone knew by making this claim. Pedophiles are master deceives, that’s why they are able to get away with their heinous acts for so long.

    • Dan1283 was right — you’re peddling “bunk excuses.”
      The notion that Joe Paterno, of all people, couldn’t have Sandusky banned from the football facilities is willful and tortured fantasizing. And I’ll match your dime store psychology about how masterful pedophiles are at deceiving us all for so long and raise you one: pedophiles are very pathological creatures — they commit the same crime over and over again. Once ordinary people get a whiff of what’s going on, THEY KNOW. Joe Paterno and others KNEW. But they amorally looked the other way because “the program” was more important than protecting children from a monster. “The only necessity for the triumph of evil is that (other) men do nothing.” That, and a few contortionist rationalizers like yourself, Matt.

      • Oh, as for your above claim, “Paterno’s lawyers offered to let him meet with Freeh and it never happened” — Freeh states the exact opposite: “During the investigation, we contacted Mr. Paterno’s attorney in an attempt to interview Mr. Paterno. Although Mr. Paterno was willing to speak with a news reporter and his biographer at that time, he elected not to speak with us.”

        I suppose Freeh is simply lying. Surely, he did not really want to speak to Paterno. Why would he? It was as you say: Paterno eagerly having his lawyers reach out to Freeh, only to have these overtures rejected by Freeh. So plausible, Matt.

        • Except that Freeh absolutely was lying, Ghost.

          He wrote himself, in his own report, that “The special investigative counsel requested an interview with Paterno on December 2011. Through his counsel, Paterno expressed interest in participating but died before he could be interviewed.”

          Those aren’t Paterno’s words. Those are Freeh’s.

          He was either lying then or he is lying now.

        • According to the Freeh report(p.53), Paterno had expressed an interest in participating but died before he could be interviewed. It doesn’t seem like Freeh was in a rush to interview him. Why would Freeh be trying to spin this the other way?

          • Probably because JoPa contribution wouldn’t have been much. They pretty much already knew what he was going to say and contribute and that was available via GJ testimony. He was also in failing health and probably didn’t want to beat down the door of an old man with health problems.

            And the Freeh report wasn’t about JoPa, not entirely. It was about PSU, of which JoPa was an employee. You all are making it out to sound like the Freeh report was a personal attack on JoPa alone. It went after PSU, and JoPa took some shrapnel. He was involved, like it or not. The Freeh report did more to fault PSU than anything.

            He didnt know everything. We all know and admit that. But BY HIS OWN ADMISSION HE KNEW SOMETHING, and all he did was push it off on somebody else. Maybe you don’t expect more from JoPa than that, but I did. I expected him to be more than just a football coach.

            • What does that have to do with Freeh changing his story?

              I’m well aware Joe wishes he would’ve done more. He told us himself. We get it.

              Doesn’t mean Freeh should now have a free pass to change his story however he’d like.

              • That was in response as to why Freeh never interviewed JoPa. Wrong thread. I don’t think Freeh’s failure to interview him as part of his report should be held as an indication of innocence or guilt, or of anything. The man was sick and didn’t have the opportunity to contribute.

                As far as Freeh lying, well, there has been a lot of that going on in regards to this. By EVERYBODY. That’s not even really debatable. All I believe about JoPa is what he said himself. He knew something happened and it was “sexual in nature”. He told his boss, and that was it. And FOR ME, personally, that wasn’t enough. Like I said, right or wrong we had higher expectations for JoPa. He was an Icon and a hero, and we expected him to be that. Maybe that’s our fault for expecting him to be more than a man capable of fault.

            • Here’s a scenario for you. Paterno is out on the practice field and calls over McQueary. Asks him what this Grand Jury thing is all about? McQueary reminds him of the incident. Paterno doesn’t recall and asks for details. McQueary, already working with the prosecution, is sure to highlight that it was sexual in nature. Paterno repeats that on the stand, since he couldn’t recall any other details.

              • Wow, so even blame Paterno’s sworn testimony (the dead guy) on McQueary?! Wow. Well. that’s certainly more reasonable than IF he didn’t remember he would testify he didn’t remember. [NOT]

              • Are you really going to stipulate that JoPa should not even be held responsible for testimony he gave UNDER OATH? That he was either to stupid or too lost in dimentia to comprehend what was actually going on? You cannot possibly believe JoPa was incapable of grasping the situation and needed,OF ALL PEOPLE, Mike McQueary to explain it to him.


              • So what exactly did McQuery tell him and why has McQueary story kept changing and why hasn’t he been charged?

  18. Great Monday artice, DK.

    The paternos are doing more harm than good in attempting to salvage joe’s image.

    I don’t think sue knew anything was going on and it can’t be easy just to sit back and listen to everyone bad mouth her deceased husband. However, she is not projecting herself in a positive light and giving more people a reason to bring her into the equation.

    I really hopes she keeps doesn’t bring any more attention her way.

  19. JAL’s Whiter Shade of Pale Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Spring Training Tracker

    BLOGS and such

    5—From Forbes to Federal

    10 Prospects in 10 Days: Gregory Polanco

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Is Pedro Alvarez the next Pete Incaviglia?

    Pirates Spring Training: Guide to the Bucs’ NRIs, Part 1

    7 This Is Getting old

    Roster Watch: James McDonald

    8 IS Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Reviewing Neal Huntington’s drafts- 2012, part 2

    9 Rumbunter

    Pitchers And Catchers! Pittsburgh Pirates Offseason Is Complete

    Pittsburgh Pirates Six Fresh Faces With Plenty To Prove

    Pirates Phil Irwin ‘Wild Eroticism Of His Curveball’

    10 Green Weenie

    2013 Questions

  20. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Bleacher Report

    MLB Preseason Evaluation Series: 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates

    12 Rant Sports

    Francisco Liriano Must Work Out For Pittsburgh Pirates

    A.J. Burnett Must Be Leader For Pittsburgh Pirates This Season

    13 New York Times

    Fuel and Food Are Quick, but the Fealty Is Forever

    14 Bradenton Herald

    Spring training | Pittsburgh Pirates pitchers and catchers report Monday

    15 Chicago Tribune

    Pittsburgh Pirates – TeamReport,0,6230347.story

    16 Philadelphia Inquirer

    Edith G. Houghton, 100, pro baseball’s first female scout

    17 USA Today

    Baseball’s 100 Names You Need to Know: Nos. 41-60

    18 Sweetspot

    Ranking baseball’s top five infields


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Arbitration Showdown Mock Hearing: Jim Johnson

    20 Fangraphs

    Memories of 2012, from the odd to the end (part 2)

  21. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers 2013 Draft: Should they consider trading up?

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Yearly History Lesson: So You Want the Steelers to Make a Splash in Free Agency?


    23 Daily Telegraph

    Manchester City players challenged to show they have character to react to defeat by manager Roberto Mancini

    24 World Soccer Daily

    10 stories you need to read, 8th February, 2013


    25 Pensburgh

    Devils Take Home-and-Home from Pens with 3-1 Win

  22. I can’t wait for baseball season to start.

    What seems to take the edge off, just a bit, is reading the posting on this blog during Penguins games. It is especially interesting when the good guys are losing.

  23. very good reply lol!

  24. Yes, I am in the “camp” excited for the beginning of baseball spring training. As the teams begin heading to Florida and Arizona this week here are some thoughts from some old major leaguers on the ritual:
    “These days baseball is different. You come to spring training and you get your legs ready, your arms loose, your agent ready and your lawyers lined up” ~ Dave Winfield
    “It’s the fans that need spring training. You gotta get ‘em interested, wake ‘em up and let ‘em know their season is coming. The good times are gonna roll” ~ Harry Carey
    “A young ballplayer looks upon his first spring training as a stage struck young woman regards the theater” ~ Christy Mathewson
    “The highlight of my career? In 1967 with the Cardinals, I walked with the bases loaded to drive in the winning run in a inter-squad game in spring training” ~ Bob Uecker
    “People who write about spring training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball” ~ Sandy Koufax
    “This (bleep) don’t count! This (bleep) don’t go on a bubble gum card!” ~ Ricky Henderson
    Have a good week everyone!!

  25. Great column DK. In the end, I think those that believe Paterno chose to look the other way when allegations surfaced in order to protect “the brand” will do so regardless of the Paterno report. Those that believe Paterno did no wrong were convinced of that, long before the paterno report was issued. I suspect it will serve them in that they can waive it around now and say “I told you so!”

  26. DK. Gotta be tough filing these columns.

    Between the s**tstorm of abuse from the “Mecca” story, lingering resentment about your obvious axe to grind with the BMTIB (WHY DO YOU KEEP BRINGIN IT UP?!?! LET IT GO!!!) and your ridiculous assertion that Pittsburgh could host a Super Bowl…well…probably been a rough couple weeks worth of columns, no?

    DK: Genuinely can’t tell if you’re being serious here or not. I can tell you that the overwhelming reaction to the Pittsburgh hockey status and the Pittsburgh Super Bowl pieces was positive. And I mean it wasn’t close.

    Today’s piece is more a 50/50, but it’s a topic in its own category.

    • Sorry, it was a mix of sincerity and sarcasm. I have to stop posting sarcastic comments. they never go over well on message boards.

      Well done not shying away from columns that cause debate. Most stick to fluffy subjects or just pile on to public opinion. Just saying it has to be hard to get bashed on your own blog/twitter/blogshpere all the time. Good on you though. +1

  27. Dejan, thanks for the link to RB’s article on Cutch. it’s a ray of sunshine this dreary Monday.

  28. I did not think that Governor Thornburgh’s portion of the Report was a “sad, squeaky reply.” He attempted to show that the conclusions reached in the Freeh Report were not supported by the record. I believe he succeeded.

    • The only people who believed that report, were people who somehow thought Joe got a raw deal in the first place.

    • I don’t think he succeeded at all. He applied criminal proceeding principles to arrive at a conclusion his employers were seeking, when Freeh’s charge was not to come to a conclusion that would withstand reasonable doubt, because no one was going to jail based on Freeh’s report.

      • The Governor did not apply criminal proceeding principles and did not argue that there was a reasonable doubt as to whether Joepa had taken part in a conspiracy to coverup the Sandusky actions. He argued that there was no evidence in the Record whatsoever to support the Freeh Report’s finding that Joe had participated in a coverup. Whether you use a civil (preponderance of the evidence standard) or a criminal (beyond a reasonable doubt) evidentiary standard is irrelevant. No evidence is no evidence.

  29. DK-

    Great column. I think you may have hit it here:

    “Rather, it operates from the stunningly out-of-touch premise that Paterno is innocent until proven guilty. As if this were a court of law. As if pecking away at the prosecution is enough. As if all that’s needed to acquit is to find one glove that doesn’t fit.”

    I think this report is more of preemptive strike against future lawsuits than any kind of meaningful rebut to the Freeh Report.

  30. I really hope the Paterno’s didn’t spend too much for this report if that’s all they got out of it. Geraldo uncovered more at Al Capone’s vault.

    • Isn’t that the sad truth. I’m sick of hearing about it. Let it die already. Move on. This is only making it worse again.

    • They were naive to think ANYTHING they uncovered would’ve swayed public opinion, regardless.

      This report does about as much good for Paterno’s legacy as Corbett’s lawsuit does for Penn State’s reputation.

  31. Is The Vatican going to announce the new Pope on Twitter in lieu of puffs of white smoke ?

  32. What will happen to the Steelers O-Line?

    Will Starks, Foster, or Colon be back? I am getting the impression from the media that all three will be gone.

    I presume that the starters will be Gilbert and Adams at tackle, Decastro and Beachum at guard, and of course Pouncey at center.

    Legursky will be backup center and guard.

    Who will be the other backups?

  33. DK—good column.

  34. I’m hoping everyone has read Rob Biertempfel’s interview with Andrew McCutchen. The 1st picture at the top, though, where Andrew is signing autographs for kids (and probably a few grow-ups too). Do you see the look on the girl’s face wit her mouth wide open in awe?

    That’s when you know you’ve “made it”.

    I’m extremely glad Andrew McCutchen is a Pirate.

  35. “…the wild eroticism of Phil Irwin’s curveball” is my favorite baseball line of the year.

    Look at that yacker! Darn sexy, if I do say so myself. How does that get graded as “average” by scouts?

    • My God, I’m going to have to excuse myself for a minute.

    • 12 to 6. Just like it should be.

      • I had an intense man crush on Barry Zito’s Uncle Charlie, circa 2005.

        That thing went nose to toes.

        • It still does…his problem was his fastball sits at mid 80′s (to put it nicely). That curve is still sick. Starts behind the dude and sweeps across the plate.

          As a lefty myself (former pitcher) I still enjoy watching the lefty throw his curve.

          My favorite from back in the day was former Mets pitcher (and heavy eater) Sid Fernandez.

          • Always tried to make it to the park when Zito was throwing.

            One of those guys that could truly do something with a baseball that just about no other man on the planet could match.

            Same with Lincecum when he broke into the league. It was entertainment just watching him throw a baseball.

  36. So is Liriano reporting today or is he gonna be on a rehab assignment?

  37. Dejan,
    I do not post. I submit the very occasional question in your weekly chats. However, I am a big fan of your work and have been for sometime.

    Your column today will get a post out of me, and I am disappointed. Any other sports writer short of Peter King (my other sports read guilty pleasure), I would not bother.

    Intentional or not, the column has a ‘shock jock’ tone, the thoughts are rambling and inconsistent as others have noted, and the piece largely ignores the non-public opinion actions taken at vacating wins. And above all, none of it matters. The family defended their matriarch as expected, the school moved on, the NCAA will not change, the kids are still hurting. What EXACTLY was the point? Shock Jock, page hits, a zinger for the family?

    I got on to you back in your Pens beat days. I’m not going anywhere and am very happy to see you doing well and thriving here. I just hope the column gets back to something informative and interesting.

    DK: I appreciate that you checked in, DC. Hope you can do so more often.

    • I certainly didn’t perceive any “shock jock” element. As for “the piece largely ignores the non-public opinion actions taken at vacating wins,” you lost me there, too. Today’s column was in response to the Paterno’s promised rebuttal, which rebutted nothing. DK’s point is that the four questions he asks remain unanswered. The vacating wins-issue is a whole separate discussion. (Not that I have any problem with the that program-wide sanction, anyway.)

  38. Stark and Broadway are on their way to Rome to scout the possible Cardinal prospects for the Vatican.

  39. I always appreciate your moral courage, Dejan. Column well done.

    • Ya gotta hand it to Dejan. He might not have the popular opinion, but he sticks to his guns.

    • I agree it was a great piece.

    • Moral courage? Haha, yeah.

      I hear there is an opening in Rome. Better tidy up his resume.

    • No, the column to read (as heretical as this may seem to many posters) is Ron Cook’s from the other paper. The difference is in tone. Ron’s is much more measured and sad.

      Mind you, I think Paterno should have done more. However, after reading the Soller report, I realize how people could have acted as they did. I also realized that what was really wrong about the Freeh report was not that he implicated the people he did but that he exaggerated motives. It would have been enough to say that these four people made a horrible decision that had heinous impacts, but, no, he had to say that they did it malevolently for publicity and continued to act wrongfully. Personally, I think they came to erroneous conclusions and forgot they made those conclusions. It may be splitting hairs but there is a significant difference between making an awful decision and continuing to make the same decision.

      The tone of the Freeh report in turn led to overly swift (and thus not measured) actions by the Board of Trustees and the NCAA. They were the ones clearly acting out of publicity concerns.

      DK: We’re all free to think for ourselves, but coverup of serial child rape doesn’t leave me feeling “measured and sad.”

      • I thought DK’s and Cook’s columns were both good. And I didn’t agree with everything either said.

      • DK: Except, at that time nobody knew it was serial rape, rather than a one-time occurrence. I believe the repugnance people feel toward Penn State in general and the senior leaders in particular was that 2001 failure in judgment led to a long-time continuance of what was apparently long-time heinous behavior.

  40. NMR,
    “Except that Freeh absolutely was lying, Ghost.”
    Lying? Absolutely? Where is this lie? Paterno’s lawyers “expressed interest in participating…” Okay. You have some lawyer-speak, lip-service from Paterno’s camp which Freeh relays to us. Unless Freeh was then lying about Paterno making time to speak to reporters and his biographer but blowing off the investigators’ request, we don’t have Freeh lying.

    BTW, this is neither here nor there, but…
    Your slight misquote from page 53 of the Freeh report (“on December” instead of “in”) is the same misquote as found here:

    Did you write that blog entry for Onward State? If not, you let them think for you and leaped before you looked.

    • Haha, think for myself? Please, spare me.

      You refute the claims of one poster(who, for what its worth, I do not agree with) by using a story from Freeh that he himself is now telling differently than when he wrote his own report, make up your own excuse for doing it, and I’m the one that needs to think for himself?

      Got it. Thanks, Dad.

      • Oh brother, that was weak. How is Freeh telling a different story? You dodged that. And just what “excuse” have I made up? I haven’t excused Freeh for anything; I don’t see what he did, regarding his statement yesterday, that needs an excuse. Again, please show how Freeh lied.

  41. This may be overly philosophical, but “Justice” isn’t a constant. There are no answers here. There is no solution that heals everyone affected by this. There is no blanket big enough to cover the whole thing up. There are some things you just can’t fix, once they’re broken…they’re just broke.

    We all can’t turn into a bunch of cannibalistic hyennas that prey on each other. This isn’t Freehs fault. Or McQuearys or JoPa’s. Its important for everyone to remember who is to blame and who deserves the brunt of the outrage. And that isn’t Sue Paterno, Franco Harris, Ron Cook or DK.

    Justice isn’t an absolute.

  42. I just sat here in dr office and read this blog thread. Some strong feelings, opinions about JoePa.

    Liriano story. Lol

    Drew – keep reading those penguins game comments, you might learn something.

  43. Nate Silver: “No Pope has resigned since 1415, which is also the last time the Pittsburgh Pirates had a winning record.”


    • The pope is stepping down to enable the devil to retract the curse he has had in place for the Pirates for 20 years; I know this to be true because RayRay says god told him so…..

  44. Oh!!! Huh!!! (Painful sigh)

    Top 25 out in college basketball——how could Indiana stay #1 after loss! Duke and Gonzaga only teams in Top 7 to not lose last week. Duke #1 in RPI and SOS!

    Duke now #2, Miami now #3, Gonzaga #5, Pitt #16.

    Imagine how much more highly Pitt would be ranked if they had not played that Point Park schedule in first 15 games!!! They are playing well now though!

    • Given how Pitt was playing earlier in the season, I would think they’d be ranked lower at this point because 20-5 looks a lot better at a glance than 18-7.

      Hopefully, they’re still on a slope upward and haven’t peaked in Jan/Feb as they so frequently do. They’ve got a pretty young team, so there’s some hope, though given the way they squander 5 points a game at the foul line I still expect a 2nd round tournament exit at best.

  45. I’m probably the only one who missed it last month when it was announced that former Pirate Nyjer Morgan is playing baseball in Japan, this season. Not sure if the Japanese are ready for his split personality, Nyjmo / Tony Plush. Always liked Morgan.

  46. Anybody catch the picture of little Timmy Lincecum in today’s USA today. Cut his hair and was wearing trendy hipster glasses. Looks like he is 17. Looks like Bieber.

  47. DK, great article as always, you have an excellent writing style that is easy to read. The whole thing is just ugly and I just don’t know why the family wouldn’t just retreat to silence and not try to answer the Freeh report….. I think at this point minds are made up and there is not likely to be any objective evidence to change anything. I guess the ugliest part of this is his supporters trying to parse between “Sandusky in a shower with a child that makes McQueary uncomfortable” and “a shower incident that was sexual in nature”….. what other explanation can there be for what Sandusky was doing in the shower?? And spare me the “he likes kids and likes to play around with them in showers in a non-sexual way”.

    Bottom line it is inappropriate and the leaders, JoePa among them, should have immediatetly acted decisively not “as the law required”… if you want to be a remembered as a revered leader of young men then you do more than is “required by law”.

    • Very good post. Paterno stood between the monster and the young boys who were raped and he allowed the rapist to continue using the PSU facilities and name to continue his rapes. Some around here feel “sad,” some don’t want the blame being placed on anyone except the most obvious person, and then some think they have a point saying Freeh lied yesterday, when that is neither true, nor really important to what matters here.
      We have to call it like it is and let the disinfectant of sunshine expose ALL that was rotten.
      Thank you for this post.

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