Up In Flames: Tiger Woods vs. Joe Paterno

In your book, which one of these leading lights crashed and burned the hardest?

Tiger Woods: Crazy Cablinasian…Top of the world golfer…marries blond baby-sitter…goes porn star crazy (Winning, Duh!)…loses sponsors…pays dick & a ball in settlement…gets injured…loses tournaments…gets smack-talked on the golf course by guys he could fold in half…then turns apologist for racist caddy.

Joe Paterno: Crazy Coachin’-casian…Top of the coaching world…lifetime achievement awards out-the-wazoo…Happiest Man in Happy Valley…coached with broken leg…grand legacy of achievement…9 years (minimum) of silence…failure to report most egregious crime known to society…Mussolini-esque failure to notice own failings…disgraced retiree.

Your vote for most precipitous fall from grace?


More on Sandusky to follow. Check out TSF on the Moral Imperative in Happy Valley.


  1. Has to be Joe Pa. Up to this point, the only scandals in his closet was the lack of championships awarded to his teams for some of those undefeated seasons. Had never had a major NCAA violation. Respected by all.

    Now he goes out with the tarnish. And this tarnish is worse than any NCAA scandal could ever be. This one isn’t going to be washed away. If this would have happened in the past year, you could say he was a little slow, and maybe he had lost some of his faculties. No. It happened at least since the 90’s and probably if folks really go digging, they may find out that Sandusky had a thing for little boys ever since he started coaching for PSU in the late 60’s, early 70’s.

    As for Tiger, controversy has followed him around since he was in college. He’s always met it with a smile, and being apologetic for racist folks, as if he did something wrong. Yeah, he’s lost a lot of endorsements, but he’s still essentially the same guy, sans his wife and having his kids around all of the time. Yeah, his game was off this year, but he’s still at an age where that can be worked out and most will be forgiven later.

  2. JoePa’s fall will be second to none, which oddly seems appropriate—seeing as how his enabling inaction led to Sandusky resuming sexual assaults of children after he told his subordinates, the AD and the president of the university.

    In an age where we’re seeing ZERO accountability in US government for holding the previous administration accountable for war crimes since it is generally accepted that the pretense for war in Iraq was trumped via the WMD fiasco—or anyone of note on Wall Street for the mortgage fraud, it’s refreshing to see that someone will pay for crimes against humanity. Notions of right and wrong have become quaint in this society and it’s good, almost purgative to witness the white-hot outrage leveled at Paterno. He should be a cautionary tale that winning at any and all costs should cost one everything if winning football games supercedes human decency.

  3. The plot thickens. Read a few places that McQueary said that he made sure that the sodomy stopped and that he indeed notified the police. Heard from a fellow Bally Gym patron that the victim was African-American. Have you heard these things?

    Do you remember that piece on monitors and blunters. Well, like you, I’ve balked at reading the grand jury doc—and the more I’m hearing, the more I’m blunting and the more numb I seem to become. Didn’t watch a lick of football this weekend—just couldn’t do it.

  4. Yeah, I’ve heard all that mess. It’s a debacle that will require close scrutiny throughout. For me, the bottom line has been that PSU’s general counsel also served as the pro bono lawyer for the foundation. That’s all I needed to know. Under no circumstances could I now believe that the trustees and leading officials at PSU and the Foundation were not deeply and intimately aware of Sandusky’s actions. From the standpoint of that lawyer’s affirmative obligation to provide both entities with legal advice and protection, the parties must have been informed about the particulars. If they were not, he could certainly be disbarred. Were I an AG or DA, I’d start my inquiry with him and go from there.

  5. I know that I’m as jaded and disillusioned as they come, but I’m running out of words for this. I would say that you’d have to be kidding me—that this attorney was doing double-duty that, in light of the charges, indeed smacks of a conflict of interest. Adding to that, the judge’s affiliation as well as the governor being involved while that DA came up missing after balking at going after Sandusky during the time in question, the POTUS and AG Holder need to get involved because it seems as though many in power were well within the know of scurrilous and heinous activity. The POTUS cannot weigh in on whether there should or shouldn’t be a college playoff yet remain quiet on this.

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