Today I read two articles that, as fun as they were to read, convey this myth that Penn State fans somehow need to “get their priorities straight.” In response to the Sports Illustrated article about the football program, Tim Baffoe wrote a piece on Penn State fans, calling them idiots, weirdos, and other fun things. He makes a few good points, but they’re buried so deep under all the vitriol that you’d have to be one of the most level-headed and patient people to be able to dig them out.
The one that caught my eye, though, was PennLive’s Q&A with Gregg Doyel, in which he defended his criticism of Penn State and its fans. To his credit, he did attempt to say that not all the fans are as bad as the ones who interact with him, but he couldn’t help himself from getting one last shot in: “Yeah. Get your priorities straight” is what he said when asked if he had any parting words.
I’m sick of hearing this faulty logic. Basically, the theme here is that if I disagree with these people I’m an idiot weirdo who needs to get his priorities straight. Well, here are my priorities:
- Wake up in the morning and kiss my wife.
- Drink some coffee, check my email, read the news, and get ready for work.
- Go to work, do my job and come back home.
- Pledge to this thing and hope it takes off.
- Donate to this cause once in a while.
- Do a monthly pledge to this one, and hope to God it’s real.
- Raise awareness whenever I can, given America’s rape culture.
- Other miscellaneous things, like pooping, eating, sleeping, and eating. And sleeping.
So no, Gregg Doyel, I don’t need to get my priorities straight. No Gregg Doyel, the craziest fans are not the loudest. These guys are. And these. And these. And these. The voices of these people are more important than the ones who send you hate mail. And no, Gregg Doyel, I am not in the camp that believes in “fight till the death to defend Joe.” I am in the “let’s not see this happen again” camp.
As I’ve said multiple times before, it’s time to take action. I’ve already stated that we’re beyond the point of culpability. That’s for the courts to decide. Besides, you’d be hard pressed to find anybody who doesn’t think the situation could have been handled differently. However, thinking that this is something that can only happen at Penn State, or thinking that you’d handle the situation differently, or that you’d know exactly what to do in this situation is more of a disservice to the victims than any hate mail you could get.
I do hope you read this Gregg Doyel. I hope you read James Clemente’s report on nice-guy offenders and compliant victimization. I hope you have empowered yourself through education that can actually help past, present, and future victims. I hope that beyond getting page hits by criticizing Penn State its fans, you will one day write about how easy it is for a person like Jerry Sandusky, or your neighbor, or a coworker, or a family member, to get away with abusing children for years before getting caught. If they ever get caught.