Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Weather Over State College

And another still shot . . .

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Paterno Legacy

The passing of Joe Paterno apparently has done little to alter the debate regarding his ultimate legacy at Penn State.  At least in the eyes of a few journalists, and we'll use that term loosely here.

Amidst the anguish of Penn State fans--people who can see all the good that Joe Paterno did for the University and his players and the community at large for 62 years--are the ferocious outcries of those who are willing to throw an entire career out the window for one perceived misdeed.

As my regular readers are quite aware of my stance on this subject--I don't believe Paterno should have done anything different, and even if he had, I don't think he could have stopped Sandusky.

But Dan Bernstein from Chicago wants people to cry for the victims, not Paterno.
For years, he looked the other way while children were being assaulted, and his program was being used to enable the crimes.
No number of victories stacks up against what these boys and their families lost. Not even 409.
It’s repugnant to believe that this was one small oversight by a kind, old man, blemishing an otherwise honorable legacy. Paterno’s inaction was concurrent with everything else. This was not a singular moment of poor judgment – it was boundless, constant, and ongoing.

We know from his own sworn testimony, though, that Paterno knew in 2002.
Read about the victims after that date.
Read the sick details of what these men say Sandusky did to them in those years. Read about the on-campus swimming pool, the hotel sauna, the trips to bowl games, the basement dungeon where they screamed for help while being raped.

And he should rest in no more peace than that of those boys, whose lives were ruined by a monster.

I am sad, and still indescribably angry over what Penn State football helped happen.
I'm not even sure where to begin with this diatribe of contrived misinformation and assumptive extrapolation.  How in the wide, wide world of sports did Penn State football help Sandusky?  Did Paterno arrange play dates for Sandusky?  I have seen no evidence whatsoever that Paterno tried to cover anything up.  Indeed, the Grand Jury found no fault with Paterno.  There is absolutely no evidence that Paterno knew such activities were continuing and that his silence was in any way leading to more pain.

And I will maintain now and until I see evidence otherwise, that Paterno would not have stopped Sandusky by doing something else.  That is because I truly believe that, not because I support pedophilia or childhood rape.  I still cannot fathom why you can't support all the good that Paterno has done and still be against pedophilia and rape.

Yes, Paterno wielded power at Penn State.  He determined what teams they played.  He threw Spanier and Curley out of his house and refused retirement.  He kept the uniforms simple and prevented Nike from using them as walking advertisements of poor fashion like some other teams.  He kept the media at bay, which really ticked them off, and perhaps in part explains the backlash now.

But he couldn't stop the baseball field from being built in the shadow of his stadium.  He couldn't keep his players off of the police blotter.  He did pass on the information to his superiors, which is what he was supposed to do.

And it is quite a stretch of the imagination that he could single handedly stop Sandusky based on the ONE incident of second-hand information that he had.  Did he trust McQueary?  Probably.  Did he trust his former defensive coordinator?  See, there's the rub.  Paterno worked with both of these men.  He has admitted that he couldn't comprehend the nature of this problem and he didn't know what to do.  He passed it on to the people that should have handled it.  If anyone at Penn State enabled Sandusky, it was not McQueary or Paterno--it was Schultz and Curley and possibly even Spanier, if he knew.  Note that these writers are not so assured that Spanier knew, but they KNOW that Paterno KNEW.

There is no evidence that Paterno knew of any other incidents.  He knew nothing about the children crying out in Sandusky's basement and it is simply piss poor journalism to throw that in there as evidence that Paterno was an enabler.  Had he driven the kids over there himself and drank tea with Sandusky's wife while ignoring the muffled screams, then you have a story.  But that is not what you have. 

Instead, you have a pathetic attempt to make some journalists feel better about themselves while tearing down an individual who was likely twice the man they will ever be.

How many lives have been touched by these hacks compared to Joe Paterno?  Listen to the testimony of his former players--how their lives were changed and made better by Paterno.

How many millions of dollars have these so-called journalists donated to provide books and education to children and young adults?  Over four times Paterno's yearly salary?  I'd like to see their receipts if they have.

The Paterno's have been active in THON and Special Olympics.  They CARE about children.  This alleged oversight wasn't because Paterno didn't care.  He did--but didn't know how to handle it.  He was a goddamned football coach for crying out loud.  And he did act.  Which is more than can be said for the police and DA in 1998.  And the officials at Central Mountain in 2008 who counselled the mother to shut up and look the other way.  And ESPN with a tape about the Syracuse scandal.  Yet none of these people are being harassed in the media, because their names won't sell papers.

Fortunately, they are not all like that.  Rick Reilly writes about the Paterno Legacy:
Maybe you will never be convinced Joe Paterno was a good man who made one catastrophic mistake, but do you have time for just one story?

In 2000, Penn State freshman defensive back Adam Taliaferro had his spine crushed when tackling an Ohio State player. He lay on that September field paralyzed and panicked.

The first person he saw when he opened his eyes was Paterno . . .wound up in a hospital bed in Philadelphia, everything frozen solid below the neck. Doctors said he had about a 3 percent chance of walking again. And every other week, Paterno would fly to Philly to see him. . . "I can't tell you what that meant to me," says Taliaferro, now 30. "I'm stuck in that hospital, and here's Coach Paterno bringing a piece of the team to me, in the middle of the season. How many coaches would do that?"

A man is more than his failings.

He was the only coach I've ever known who went to the board of trustees to demand they increase entrance requirements, who went to faculty club meetings to hear the lectures, who listened to opera while drawing up game plans.

If a player was struggling with a subject, Paterno would make him come to his house for wife Sue's homemade pasta and her tutoring.

"The last three months, I've just wanted to go up on a rooftop and shout, 'I wish you knew him like I do!'" Taliaferro says. "I know, in my heart, if he'd understood how serious this situation was, he'd have done more."
I believe that, too. But if you don't, I respect that. I only ask this:
If we're so able to vividly remember the worst a man did, can't we also remember the best?
Even former head coach John Cooper has nice things to say about Paterno . . .
“Why in the world everybody keeps bringing up all this other stuff, I don’t understand,” former OSU coach John Cooper said yesterday. “Joe Paterno was very saddened by what happened over there, but Joe Paterno didn’t do that. ... We say here (in Columbus) that coach Tressel should have passed the information along that he got (concerning his players receiving improper benefits), that’s all he had to do. Well, that’s what coach Paterno did do, from the way I understand it. He passed along the information after he got it.
“But instead, we’re reading about the scandal and what he didn’t do. Lord have mercy, the man won more games than anybody who ever coached in major-college football, and he did it the right way.”
The Joe Paterno I admire, the one I cried for when I heard he had been fired, and then again when he passed on, was a man who did more for college sports than any other man in the history of the sport.  He did more for his University than most alumni, professors and students.  He has touched countless lives and his donations will continue to help future generations.

But this is not about balancing good deeds over bad.  Let's face it.  What is worse than the crimes Sandusky allegedly committed?  NOTHING.  Even St. Peter couldn't balance that out.  And no one is asking that you ignore what happened.  Instead, let's let the court find justice if that is possible, and meanwhile, let those of us that love Joe Paterno mourn in peace.

Sure, he frustrated me at times with his prevent offense and conservative play calling.  Sure, I busted his son for his QB development and his dad's insistence to keep him on staff.  But the way Jay Paterno has handled himself these past few months since this happened has taught me that some things are more important than football.  And maybe making Daryll Clark and Michael Robinson better people and better men is more important than whether they can win games, or throw passes.

And whether Penn State football ever wins another game or not is not as important as the loss of Joe Paterno for everything he did off the field.

And I'm sorry, but mourning the loss of Joe Paterno does not in any way ever condone what Jerry Sandusky allegedly did. 

And if the court testimony should ever prove that Paterno was complicit with any of those acts, I'll be the first to apologize to you right here.

Until then, I love you Joe Paterno.  And I will miss you always.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Remembering Joe

Too bad I have such a LOUSY singing voice.  But some nice pics of Joe through the years . . .

Patriots (and O'Brien) Move On To Super Bowl

While I had mixed feelings about this game (if the Patriot's season ended today, Bill O'Brien would be able to move on to his new job sooner), I have to admit that I smiled and thoroughly enjoyed the stunned look of shock on the faces of the Ravens after thier kicker pushed the ball wide left to lose a chance at the Super Bowl.

Maybe our next head coach will bring a Super Bowl ring to Happy Valley.

Good Bye, Joe

Reports are trickling in that Joe Paterno (85) has died of complications of his senseless firing lung cancer.

CBS Eye of College Football reported Saturday night:
Joe Paterno, the man who for decades was synonymous with Penn State football and was known by the college football world as just "JoePa", has died. Paterno, 85, had been receiving chemotherapy as part of his treatment for lung cancer, and complications from that treatment claimed the longtime Penn State coach's life on Saturday.

The Huffington Post is also reported his death on their site.

Fans were noting that 94.5 in State College was also reporting his death.

In the end, these reports were premature.  But according to MSNBC, Paterno did pass away this morning.
Sadly, the grim reports that dominated the college football news cycle beginning Saturday evening were a precursor to the inevitable but still numbing reality: a coaching legend has passed.
A family spokesperson confirmed to the Associated Press that Joseph Vincent Paterno has died at a State College hospital at the age of 85, just over two months after being diagnosed with a form of lung cancer.
A posting to Penn State’s official Facebook page read simply: “With great sadness we mourn the passing of Coach Joe Paterno…Few have done more.”
Paterno passed away at 9:25 a.m. ET Sunday, and the official cause of death was metastic small cell carcinoma of the lung.
Words cannot express my feelings right now.

God Bless the Paterno Family.

Friday, January 20, 2012

What If

The prevailing perception of the media and some others is that Joe Paterno should have done more.  What more could have been done, remains a more obscure question.

The implication though is clear . . . had Paterno done more, then Sandusky would have been stopped and innocent children would not have suffered.

"That was a priceless football program!"
"Not anymore."
 But can we make that assumption?

Paterno even said himself, with the benefit of hindsight--in other words, knowing now about Sandusky what he didn't know then--"I wish I had done more."  But seriously, what more could he or should he have done?

First of all, Sandusky's guilt has not even been legally established.  He has been indicted and will stand trial, but as we all learned in the O.J. Simpson case, a conviction is not guaranteed.

And what if Joe Paterno had gone to the police?  I think it is incredibly naive to think that Sandusky would have been brought to justice and the transgressions against kids would have ceased if only Paterno had gone to the police.  How would that have changed the situation?  What would the police have done? 

Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to discuss this with some trooper friends of mine, but I assume they would head over to Sandusky's house with some questions. . .

Where were you that night?  Who were you with?  What were you doing?

They would probably want to find security camera tapes.  Obviously, there would have been none in the shower or locker room area, but perhaps views from buildings outside would confirm Sandusky's presence on campus in a particular building and whether or not he was alone.  Maybe--just maybe--an ID could be made of the victim in question.

But aside from the tangible evidence of a camera, which may or may not have even been available, how is Sandusky going to respond to this allegation?

He could easily make up a story.  He could tell the police he was alone.  With no camera record, who can deny that?  It's not clear that the Second Mile organization kept good enough records to confirm or deny that he was with anyone.  It is even possible the kid in question wasn't associated with the Second Mile--although that has been assumed.  I know of no other witness in this particular instance who could corroborate McQueary's testimony.

Perhaps Sandusky would bring another child forward who would deny that Sandusky did anything.  How would we know if it was the victim?  Would McQueary have been able to identify the boy from a line-up with absolute certainty?

An investigation might have tipped Sandusky off and he might have been more careful in the future.  Had he been more careful, he might not have been caught in 2008.  He might STILL be out there preying on young boys, assuming of course that he is guilty.  Yeah, it's an assumption but no more a leap of faith than presuming that Paterno calling the police would have stopped this.

The police were involved in 1998.  So was the DA.  Nothing came of that.  Can we really assume that 2002 would have been any different.

Was there even enough evidence in 2002 to go after Sandusky?  It's appalling to look at the Grand Jury presentment in its entirety.  But the people involved at Penn State--at least Joe Paterno--did not know about the 1998 or 2000 incidents.  It's hard to identify a picture puzzle from a single piece--much easier to make the call when all the pieces are laid in front of you.  And if it's your own reputation on the line--such as Paterno or the DA--you're more likely to wait until more peices are available before jumping to conclusions.

I would love to hear from some law enforcement officials as to what kind of investigation would have been carried out.  Would they talk to Sandusky or not?  Would they set up a "sting" operation?  Seriously, it's one thing to watch this kind of Law & Order drama on TV for entertainment, but the real world does not always follow the Hollywood script.

And, I would love to know if the Board of Trustees has given Bill O'Brien the authority to conduct his own investigations and call in outside agencies at his discretion without first running the decision by an administrator or the Board itself.  If they haven't, then why notThat's what they expected of Paterno in 2002.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


First I had to get new seats.

Now we have a new head coach.  And mostly new staff.

And now the Blue Band is apparently going to do away with Rock & Roll in the pre-game ceremony.

What's next?  Will the band march slowly onto the field in single file, playing a funeral dirge?  Will we change the name of the Lion Shrine to the Lion Mausoleum?  Is it even possible to drown my pain in a pint of Peachy Paterno anymore?  Is nothing sacred?  Next you'll tell me we're changing back to pink and black colors and we're going to put NAMES on the uniforms!  Instead of the Nittany Lions we could be the Farmin' Amish!

And why is the Blue Band doing this?
‘Rock and Roll’, also known as ‘The Hey Song’, was written by British glam rock artist Gary Glitter in 1972. Glitter is a registered sex offender, and was convicted of possession of child pornography in 1997. He was convicted again in 2005, for obscene acts with minors.
Are you kidding me?  Seriously, how many fans out there even KNOW that?  I'll take Scandalous Trivia for $200, Alex.

Will Sandusky, Ohio change their name because of all this . . .

Thanks to the Nittany Turkey for the comic relief video.

But change is what it is and it's coming our way, like it or not.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lubrano Speaks Out

While the Board of Trustees at Penn State may try to cloak themselves in secrecy, Anthony Lubrano has apparently found some holes.

But ever since that surreal night, when the Penn State trustees dismissed Joe Paterno, the Nittany Lions’ legendary football coach and Lubrano’s friend, the 1982 graduate has been obsessed with finding out why.

“I was horrified that night,” said Lubrano, 51.

Lubrano said he has spoken so far to 17 of the 32 trustees who, in a unanimous vote, dismissed the coach — five days after his former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, was arrested on child sex-abuse charges. In addition, Lubrano also talked with administrators, fellow donors and, as recently as Tuesday, to Paterno himself.

As a result, Lubrano has become convinced the Sandusky scandal provided a convenient excuse for an administration that had been trying since 2004 to gently nudge Paterno out the door.

“His firing had nothing to do with Sandusky,” Lubrano said. “Nothing. ... He (Paterno) had become less involved in fundraising and there’d been some kind of falling out with Spanier. Spanier got to the point where he really wanted to replace him.”

The stunning dismissal came shortly after Paterno had announced he would step down after the season.

But according to Lubrano, Paterno had informed Penn State before the season of his intention to retire after 2011. The coach, he added, also provided administrators at that time with a list of four prospective replacements. One of the men on that list, Lubrano said, was Urban Meyer.
As is the norm for people in power, the mantra at PSU as far as the BOT is concerned is do as we say, not as we do.  Transparency and accountability can be demanded of the athletic department, but not of the Board itself.

I was personally surprised that the Board came to a "unanimous" decision regarding the firing of Paterno, but a lawyer I know corrected me by saying that the original vote probably wasn't unanimous, but when it was clear that the majority was going to move in that direction, the rest were coerced to changing their vote in a stand of solidarity.  I don't know if that indeed did happen, but I would like to think that a few members of the board were reluctant to throw an 84 year old icon out of the building to appease a self-righteous media mob.  And neither the mob nor the Board had all the facts anyway.  I'm not sure anyone yet has all the facts.  But truth isn't as important as perception and the BOT chose perception over justice.  Sometimes, you have to stand up for what you believe, even if you are the only person standing. 

Had I been on the board, the vote would not have been unanimous.

I applaud Lubrano and Franco Harris for taking the initiative to provide truth over propaganda.

In the end, the destruction of Joe Paterno does nothing for any of the victims.  Their pain only served as a convenient vehicle for the Board to push its own agenda with misguided public support.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Nominate Me!

Penn State has sent out requests for nominations to the BOT to all alumni. 

After much thought--well, as much thought as I ever put into anything I blog about, which ain't much I'll grant you, but probably more than than other people put into it, but that's not saying much either and where the hell was I going with this?

Oh yes!  I have decided to throw my head hat into the ring.  I just need something like 50 nominations to get on the ballot, so if a number of you vote several times (okay, they only allow you to nominate three candidates ONCE) but if 50 of you put my name down, accidentally or otherwise, then I'll represent you as an alumni member on the BOT.

Here are the qualifications:
Bylaws, "Qualifications for Membership on the Board of Trustees"

(1) Members of the Board of Trustees shall be natural persons of full age who need

not be residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

(2) A person who is employed in any capacity by the University shall not be eligible

to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees. This qualification for membership

shall not apply to a person who is an ex officio member of the Board, nor to a person

who is a student employed part-time by the University.

(3) A person shall not be eligible to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees for a

period of three (3) years from the July 1 coincident with or next following the date of

last employment in any capacity by the University. This qualification for

membership shall not apply to a person who is an ex officio member of the Board,

nor to a person who is a student employed part-time by the University.

(4) Only graduates of The Pennsylvania State University who shall have received an

associate degree, a bachelor's degree, or an advanced degree from the University

shall be eligible to serve as a trustee elected by the Alumni. No member of the

faculty or the governing board of any other college or university in Pennsylvania

shall be eligible to serve as a trustee elected by the Alumni.
I think I'm a natural person.  I don't have any artificial body parts yet.  I'm probably as close as one can get to being full age without being OLD.  I'm middle aged and this is my crisis.  Some people buy a red corvette.  I try to get nominated for a thankless job.  Maybe I am unnatural?
I have never been employed by the University in any capacity.  I wanted to be the next coach but they wouldn't let me.  I'll have to settle for this.  I wonder if it pays well???
I have a medical degree from Hershey.
I am fully commited to seeing the leadership of our fine University become true leadership.  I believe that the transparency that the Board of Trustees is demanding of the athletic department be applied to every aspect of the University--including and perhaps starting with--the Board of Trustees.  Of course, Item #10 on the list of expectations of Board Members is to "maintain confidentiality without exception."  Change needs to be initiated from the top.  Leaders lead by example.  I further believe that the alumni representatives on the board should do just that . . . represent the alumni--and not their own personal interests or agendas.
And while some of us may not agree with how Paterno handled this particular situation with Sandusky, there are still few who can find fault with his record of service to the University and the countless thousands of young men that he made better by virtue of his presence.  With sweeping changes in the administration and atheltic department, it will be a task of the BOT to seek to maintain the integrity of the football program without feeling like it needs to de-emphasize it.  The standards that Joe Paterno set and lived up to on and off the field must be maintained in his absence.  Despite this dark shadow brought on by the Sandusky Scandal, the bright light of Success with Honor must shine on.
As a physician, I understand the importance of academics, and in no way am I claiming that my representation will be limited to management of athletic decisions.  We need to be at the level where the University President does not feel a need to emphasize academics.  That should speak for itself, and the decisions of the BOT must represent that goal.
As a former member of a marching band (not the Blue Band unfortunately, since that would have required actual talent) I also understand the importance of other pursuits, including and not limited to the Blue Band, music, art, and theatre.
So if you are looking for someone to nominate, someone who shares your vision of Penn State as a University committed to academics, arts and athletics then please consider adding my nomination to your list:
TODD A. SPONSLER  Class of 1990 (Hershey--MED)
And I thank you for your support.

PS(u):  I AM NOT A CROOK either!
 I also recommend you vote for Adam Taliaferro, class of 2005 I believe.

Nomination forms were emailed but can be accessed at the bottom of this page.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I'm Baaaaaack!

As I have said before, the rumors of my demise have been grossly exaggerated.

The blog has been quiet for a reason, though entirely unrelated to Penn State.

I was on vacation--plans which were booked prior to the season even being played.

So I hopped off the plane in Honolulu on January 2nd to discover that Penn State lost to Houston 30-14.  I managed to read a few on-line blurbs, but quite frankly, I was on vacation at that point, Joe Paterno is no longer at the helm, and my interest level has waned.  I have no plans to watch any replay or recap the game here in this blog.  For my loyal readers who actually look forward to and read my recaps, I sincerely apologize.

We then flew to the island of Kauai and I got off the plane and made it to the hotel in time--literally-- to see the Broncos score a TD in OT to beat my Pittsburgh Steelers.  I'm serious.  I hit the power button and find the channel to see Denver scoring the touchdown.  The timing could not have been worse.  Off goes the TV.  On goes the vacation.

I did hear word that Penn State hired someone called Bill O'Brien.  I am going to be brutally honest here.  Before I googled him, I had no idea who on earth this person was.  He wasn't even on the list of names being thrown about the internet before I left.  Apparently he is the offensive coordinator for the NE Patriots who are currently pounding the Broncos 42-7 as I type this.  After what the Broncos did to Pittsburgh last week, I hope they lose by one hundred!  OK--the Pats can score some points.  Can they do that without Tom Brady?  Last I looked, we don't have ANYONE on our roster with that kind of talent.

So I did some more research.  Wikipedia, here we come.

In terms of college experience, here is the lowdown on O'Brien:
As Offensive Coordinator at Georgia Tech in 2001 and 2002 his teams averaged 31 and 21.5 points per game, respectively as the teams went 9–4 and 7–6.

In 2003, he left to coach running backs at the University of Maryland, spending two seasons there before being offered and then accepting the position of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Duke in 2005.

As offensive coordinator at Duke in 2005 and 2006, his teams averaged 16.1 and 14.9 points per game, respectively as the teams went 1–10, and 0–12.

His offenses those two years ranked 112 and 113 out of 120 teams.
Not exactly a Les Miles or Nick Saban is he?  Certainly not a Chris Petersen either.  No earthquake on the RICHT-er scale.  I must admit it . . . I am disappointed by this hire.  It would appear we have settled not for Plan A or B, but rather plan Q.  Maybe T.   The spin doctor's have been working furiously to make this sound like a home run, but if this guy fizzles out, they should be sued for malpractice.

Now this may not be Joyner and company's fault.  ESPN has more than once dubbed our program as TOXIC and I'm not even going to debate that issue in my current mood (I stepped off the plane in Pittsburgh to 14 degree weather and snow so I AM NOT happy right now!)  I may have to face the fact that this was the best that we could do right now.  Perception is everything.

One of my friends texted me and pondered whether the PSU job was just a stepping stone for O'Brien on the way to an NFL head coaching job.  Perhaps.  I really couldn't answer him since I HAVE NO FREAKING CLUE WHO THIS GUY IS.

No one knew in 1966 that Joe Paterno would go on to be the winningest Division I coach of all time, but at least he had been on the staff for 16 years and had the endorsement of Rip Engle.  Who endorsed this guy?  Apparently not Brandon Short.
"There is a tangible standard at Penn State that this poor (O'Brien) guy knows nothing about,'' Short said. "I feel badly for him (because) he is clueless and will not have the support of the majority of the Lettermen. This is a hornet's nest (for him).''

"By not hiring (defensive coordinator Tom) Bradley or a Penn Stater what they have effectively done is turn their backs on 100 years of tradition,'' Short said. "Penn State never has been about winning football games. They didn't recruit the best players — they recruited the best people. If you go to Penn State, you have a better chance of graduating.''
Short is upset that Bradley, name interim coach after Paterno was fired in November, was not given serious consideration for the job. Bradley was interviewed by Joyner, as were some other Penn State assistant coaches. Like Bradley, Joyner also played for Paterno. Short said many members are upset that they were not consulted during the hiring process and are considering a lawsuit that would prevent the Big Ten school from using their likeness or image in any marketing campaign.
"We are strongly considering a move of that nature,'' Short said. "We are not going to threaten anyone — we're going to give Dave Joyner choices.''
And I wonder if Dave Joyner plans to eschew his medical training and become a permanent Atheletic Director?  As far as I know, he still has that "interim" label attached.  Do they expect Tim Curley to return after being exonerated?  Wouldn't it have made more sense to hire an AD who would then hire the people below him?  Granted, that would have taken more time, and time is of the essence with Letter of Intent Day approaching.  Time was not a luxury that Penn State has.  Which is all the more reason, in my humble opinion, to name Bradley as "interim" head coach moving forward, until the proper pieces are put in place at the top.  Bill O'Brien has taken a job and he doesn't even really know who is boss is going to be!

I understand that O'Brien has chosen to keep Vanderlinden and Johnson on his staff.  Best news I have heard so far!  Smart guy.  But then he picks Red Ted Roof Inn as his defensive coordinator.  I NEVER HEARD OF HIM EITHER.  Let's ask Alex Trebek for Obscure Coordinators for $100.
Roof took his first job as defensive coordinator in 1997 at Western Carolina University, where he stayed one season before being lured away to join George O'Leary's staff at his alma mater. After spending the first season coaching the Yellow Jackets linebackers, Roof was promoted to defensive coordinator. He was nominated for the 2000 Broyles Award, an annual honor given to the nation's top assistant coach, when his defense finished the season ranked 12th in the nation in rushing defense and 20th in scoring defense. The following season, the Yellow Jackets were again one of the top defenses in the nation, ranking 23rd nationally in total defense and 32nd against the run.
While those rankings sound good, I suspect that most of Bradley's defenses have been ranked better and against stiffer competition.  But I am just speculating there because I am too lazy to actually look up the data.
When O'Leary left for the University of Notre Dame, Roof left Georgia Tech to become the defensive coordinator at Duke for the 2002 season. Roof's instruction brought marked improvement to the Duke Blue Devils defense, which [led?] the ACC in rushing defense after finishing ninth in the league the previous year. From 2001 to 2002, the Blue Devils moved from ninth to fifth in the ACC and from 113th to 58th nationally in total defense. They progressed in passing defense in the 2003 season, jumping to third-place in the ACC from ninth the previous year. When head coach Carl Franks was released mid-way through the 2003 season, Roof was promoted to interim head coach. The team finished the season by winning two of the last three games and Roof was subsequently hired as the 20th head coach at Duke on December 6, 2003. However, after winning only four games over the next four seasons, he was fired on November 26, 2007, having compiled a 6–45 record. Despite the dismal record of Duke teams under Roof, his aggressive defenses consistently ranked in the top-30 nationally in tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
His defenses didn't rank in the top 30--only in that one category.  Doesn't that latter stat have eerie echoes of Jay Paterno defending Penn State's offense by quoting obscure offensive stats (e.g. best third down conversion team in the Big Ten?) that completely ignored the fact that Penn State couldn't score points?

So do I have anything good to say about all this?

Despite my disappointment (instead of getting that cool new video game for Christmas, I opened up a three pack of underwear) I am going to try and keep an open mind and give O'Brien a chance here.  Maybe the underwear will fit.  Maybe it will be the best underwear I have ever worn.  Who knows?  He sounds good to the media--and we all know how important it is to please the media!  He has worked with many of these people on his new staff (chemistry is important), and the two Penn Stater's he has chosen to keep are key recruiters and are phenomenal at their positions.

I am really scared that Penn State has chosen to go down the path of schools like Notre Dame (who also hired an offensive genius from the Patriots and we all saw how that worked out for them!)  I personally would have stuck behind Bradley for awhile, showed him some love for all his time at Penn State, and given the situation time to quiet down before initiating a national search.  And if Bradley continued success at Penn State, then no further search would even be needed.

I went away for a while and came back.  The house is still there, but a new family has moved in.  Everything is the same, yet everything is different.  It will never be the same.

I'm also pissed I didn't get an interview either, despite emailing my application to Joyner multiple times.