Looking out for number one has long been the American way, hasn't it?
Robert J. Ringer wrote a book, "Looking Out For Number One" and
of course, it was a best-seller in 1978. We've become a society that
has to get "ours" and a selfish nation that looks in the mirror so much,
it can't even see the ugly blemishes all over its face. We get so blinded
by the pursuit of money, power, and fame that we forget about what
is truly important.
Nine years ago, Mike McQueary, Joe Paterno, Tim Curley, and
Graham Spanier, and countless others at Penn State who have
yet to be identified, forgot what was truly important. They
were so consumed with their jobs, reputations, and the fame and
fortune that comes with it, they ignored a child who was getting
raped. They couldn't see he was on his way to being ruined for life
because they had the blinders on in the race to be number one,
choosing to save their own lives, instead of the one who was
pinned up against a shower wall, his innocence stolen by a monster.
Mike McQueary had the first chance to save the boy from Jerry
Sandusky, as he caught Penn State's former defensive coordinator
allegedly committing a heinous act on a 10-year old. Perhaps, McQueary
was so stunned, mortified, and shocked, that he just froze. Instead
of ripping Sandusky apart, he ran. He ran back to his office and
called his father. That's when it transitioned from "Holy effin shit!
to looking out for number one. It became: how do I save myself,
keep my job, and ensure that I have a future in coaching? If
McQueary called the police right away, he could've kissed his
job at Penn State or any potential jobs at other colleges, good-bye.
Nobody likes a rat. If you squeal, you are not considered trustworthy,
and no coach wants a guy on his staff, especially in Joe Paterno's kingdom,
that could wind up stabbing him in the back. It's an unwritten
rule and a code that most athletes and coaches live by. It's why
Eric Mangini can't find a job in the NFL and probably never will
again. It was Mangini, a former member of Bill Belichick's staff
in New England, who sold out his former mentor and popped
the lid of the "SpyGate" scandal. Do you think any head coach
could trust Mangini again? Hell, no. No question, McQueary
knows that and found himself in an unbelievable predicament.
But he and his father asked each other what was best for Mike
and acted accordingly. In the the end he put himself before
that child or anyone else.
Joe Paterno. If he had been the man of character and integrity
many proclaimed him to be, the "legendary" coach would have
said, "This is not about football, the brand, or my legacy. This
is about protecting kids at all costs." Paterno, as he later admitted,
could've done more. Why Paterno didn't do anything and everything
to rid Sandusky of the program in 1998, is beyond me. Did
Sandusky have damning information on Paterno? Don't count
it out. But Paterno was all about "JoePa", his reputation and
his legacy and could care less about that kid in the shower.
Paterno didn't even seek the victim out to see if he was OK. He
had to be wondering what Kirk, Chris, and Corso would be saying
about him on "College Gameday" if they found out about what
was going on in his program. Now ESPN's "30 for 30", will be
running "The Great Fall Of The Nittany Lion" in 25 years.
Tim Curley (Athletic Director) and Graham Spanier (Pres.)
They both knew what was going on with Sandusky, after all, they
negotiated Sandusky's "retirement" package in 1999. I'm not
a smart man but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, so
I have to ask why the hell would you "negotiate" with Sandusky,
allowing him to have an office on campus and come and go as
he pleased with children. Mind-boggling. Curley and Spanier
cared about their "legacies" just as much as Paterno. Forget
about the kids, both guys were looking out for numero uno.
The Janitors at Penn State. Jim Calhoun, a janitor at Penn
State said he saw Sandusky giving a boy oral sex in the shower.
He told one of his co-workers that he had been in the Korean
War and seen guys get their heads blown off and split in half,
but he'd never get the sight of seeing what he saw in the shower
that night out of his head. Calhoun went to his supervisor whom
told him to where to go to fill out a report. Calhoun never did
because he and the other janitors thought they would lose their
jobs. So instead of protecting other kids from being abused by
Sandusky, they kept silent and kept their jobs.
Even Sandusky's defense attorney, Joseph Amendola, appeared
to be looking out for number one because after watching his
client's performance with Bob Costas on Monday night, one had
to be wondering if he was looking out more from himself than
Sandusky. This is Amendola's chance in the spotlight. Was he
on OJ's defense team? You know, the dream team that seemed
to be chasing the spotlight as much as defending the Juice.
He let Sandusky hang himself and then appeared on the "Today"
show and CNN to tell everyone that his client is innocent, and
tomorrow, he'll probably be pimping his autobiography.
The book, "Looking Out For Number" became a best-seller
because people needed something to blame for their selfish
actions or to justify why they did something. And it happens
not just at Penn State, but in the corporate and
entertainment where people build these images of great
character but when it comes to facing the truth or saving
themselves, they do whatever it takes to make sure they are
the ones left standing. But eventually, we all have to look
in the mirror and ask ourselves if we did the right thing for
ourselves or the right thing, period.