Friday, November 11, 2011

My Week in a Nutshell

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My Week in a Nutshell is a weekly post I do on Friday or Saturday (depending on how busy I am) where I discuss what I’ve read this week and any other book related thoughts I have.
What I’ve Read this Week
I just finished The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. There was a lot of buzz going around about The Night Circus before it came out. I saw an article talking about it and noticed that an independent bookstore thats relatively close to where I live was mentioned for stocking up on extra copies of the book. Then I heard that she was actually going to be doing a book signing there so immediately I knew I had to go. I ended up getting there a little late and only caught the very end of her speech and Q & A session but I did manage to meet her and had a picture taken with her.  The book was amazingly well-written and I did enjoy it. I should have the review up soon. 

Thoughts for this Week
I know this is a book blog but for those of you that don't know me I'm a big college football fan. (Roll Tide!!) The past couple of days all that has occupied my mind is what a truly sad situation has unfolded at Penn State. Last night, I watched Penn State's students reaction to the firing on JoePa. It was kind of like watching a train wreck you know you should look away but you just can't. I know I couldn't anyway. 
A lot of people have criticized the students for supporting Joe Paterno but I get it. I understand the other side as well but I get it. Joe Paterno has been the face of Penn State for 46 years. During those 46 years, he won 409 games (more than any other coach in college football) and two national championships. He built a reputation for winning the "right" way and encouraging his players to graduate. His family has donated $4 million to the school and there's a library named after him. He was set to leave behind an unparalleled legacy. He had dedicated his entire life to that school and Wednesday the Board of Trustees fired him...over the phone. 
I understand that he should have done more. He should have. I read the Grand Jury report and the things that went on were horrible. I can't imagine what kind of person would do that and I don't understand why so many people didn't stand up and do the right thing and report it to the police. However, I would think that someone that had given so much to a community should be at least be granted the decency to be told in person that he would no longer be able to continue doing the one thing he had dedicated his life to. 
I honestly believe that Joe Paterno is a great man and a decent man. I believe that he made a mistake, a huge, tragic, life altering mistake. I believe that he deeply regrets that mistake and he is paying for it. 
I wish he would have done more. He should have said something else to someone else when he realized that nothing was being done. However, we don't know the entire story and we never will. It has been my experience that there are two sides to every story and when you put the two side by side they rarely look like the same story.
I hate that JoePa's legacy will forever be tarnished by this scandal. He did many great things and I hope that this one mistake doesn't negate everything else he has done and accomplished. We all make mistakes, we learn from them and move on. My question is though should we be defined by our greatest mistake? By our greatest regret?
I know I don't want to be and I'm sure you wouldn't either...

"You either die a hero, or live long enough to become the villian." -Batman

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