The topic lit up the airwaves, where the overwhelming sentiment was to renew at least for the two games. The blog PittBlather.com received more than 600 replies to a poll asking whether fans still want to see Pitt-Penn State.
The No. 1 answer (29 percent) was yes, depending on “what steps Penn State takes in light of the Freeh Report.” That was followed by 25 percent saying yes unconditionally and 21 percent saying absolutely not.
Now, Joe Starkey did me the unnecessary courtesy of e-mailing me several days before his column with some questions about the poll, and letting me know he was planning to mention it. (Not the content of his column, just that he was going to mention it.) So I knew something was coming.
Do I agree with what he said? That Pitt should play PSU “first in the name of collegiality”? No. To put it bluntly, screw that.
Playing the game to guarantee a sell out? Um, isn’t that just about the money? That’s not far removed from the reasons Penn State’s powers did what they did with pretending Sandusky wasn’t doing obscene acts with minors in their own football building. That’s the worst reason to play.
Overall, I am still undecided about my feelings on those games in four years. My impulse is still to play. The history. The connections within my family. That all means a lot, and comes into play. It colors my perspective rather strongly in favor of playing PSU.
But when I think about the actions by the powers at Penn State. All to protect the legacy of Paterno. To protect their reputation. To protect their cash cow. It becomes a bit harder to justify resuming playing PSU. Even for only a couple years.