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State Penn’s Richard III: Father Figure and Poster Boy for Malicious Neglect


Joe Paterno was defiant and contemptuous till the end. He dared his Penn State University Board of Trustees to fire him.

PSU had caved in to his every whim for 45 years, but enough is enough. On Wednesday night, just days after the worst sex scandal in American sports history broke open, Joe Paterno was in the history books of infamous American frauds.

He’s lucky he hasn’t been booked for malfeasance and dereliction of duty. All his aides may go to jail.

Paterno, beloved by blind fans that are the cream of Penn State student intellects, took their adulation with the same delusional power trip of dictators and tinplate autocrats throughout history.

Khadaffi was mockingly sodomized by his executioners, but only the innocent boys who were in Paterno’s lockerroom were sodomized in this ugly tale of football power.

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, JoePa. You must have read that in some English course you took in your undergraduate days.

If you are looking for a comparison in history that may have echoes of Paterno, there is a figure in addition to King Lear. That would likely be Shakespeare’s monster named Richard III.

In that royal dictator’s story, innocent princes were bribed with false affection and finally executed under the watch of Richard III.  That benighted king did not kill them. He had underlings to do things like that, just like Paterno had his Sandusky.

JoePa rings now with all the paternalism of Joe Blow. Paterno seems a fatherly figure that didn’t know best. Joe Paterno did not live in a Norman Rockwell painting; it was more like a 1950s television show like The Addams Family.

Like Mr. Ed, JoePa only spoke to those he deigned important enough. If he said there was no need to call police, nobody called police, no matter how horrific the crime. Mr. Paterno spoke only to his Wilbur Sandusky. What was said between them we will never know.

And now JoePa, like Richard III, is left alone on the battlefield, with no game to attend, crying out that he would now give his kingdom for a horse.

JoePa might give his kingdom for a chance to call the police in 1998 or 2002 or perhaps on countless other dates he knew about the grotesque sexual abuse happening to little boys in his lockerroom.

Don’t cry for Joe Paterno. Your tears will be wasted.

William Russo's newest book is now out, ready for your tablet, your smartphone, your Kindle or Nook. Read RED SOX 2011: A WHIMSICAL AUTOPSY to find a month-by-month examination of the team, showing all the signs of trouble that most sports media missed. His other sports books are SEX, DRUGS, SPORTS & WHIMSY and RAJON RONDO: SUPERSTAR!








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Paterno is a phoney, unpleasant devil

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