Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan 25, 2012/ 1 Shevat, 5772

The curtain falls on the tragedy of Joe Paterno

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Sunday morning the word began to filter out. First it was a rumor, then the emails began arriving. Had the media jumped the gun again? But then the family released a statement. It was over. Joe Paterno, not only the football coach at Penn State, but the college's face -- and the face of honest college football -- had died.

Somebody once said the death of the old isn't a tragedy. Whoever said it must not have watched Joe Paterno twist and turn in the wind over the past year. A confession: My first reaction to the news was a grateful sigh. At least the old man won't have to suffer any more of the indignities heaped upon him at every turn of this scandal that refused to die.

The saddest thing about the tributes to Joe Paterno that flooded the sports pages was that every statement/homage/eulogy came with a but. Or a what-if. Or some other reminder that, yes, the man they called Joe Pa may have won more games than any other coach at his level, but he still left the job under a cloud that won't go away.

Nobody seemed able to pay his last respects without bringing up The Scandal. And, even sadder, they had to. It could not be ignored. It's an old, old lesson: "Count no man happy till the hour of his death, when he is free of pain at last." --"Oedipus Rex"

Years of dedication, labor, honor and glory ... all overshadowed at the end by one shameful twist of the story.

It could happen even to Joe Paterno. And did.

Joseph Vincent Paterno wasn't just a caricature, what with those big box glasses and the thick shock of black hair, turning just a shade gray around the edges in his last years. He was a man in full, one with a code: Success With Honor. He didn't just want to win football games. He wanted to win football games the right way.

For years Joe Paterno was a national model -- of integrity. This man won football games against cheaters and liars. Against those who'd not only bend the rules, but break them in half and stomp on them. Still he won.

Maybe it was because of that integrity and his reputation for it that he could recruit even against those sports programs that flashed money and new cars at immature young athletes. If you were the parent of a teen you wanted to see molded into a man, wouldn't you rather send him to Joe Pa?

Then came the scandal. If you're one of the few who don't know the tawdry details, maybe you'd just as well skip them now. They're not very elevating. Children. Sexual abuse. A system that ignored it. For years. Resignations all around. Worst of all, honor lost. No, not very elevating. No way to end a long and honorable life.

No, nobody accused Coach Paterno of molesting children. Only that he should have known about it, made it his business to know about it, and to take action. At least call the police.

Instead, this great coach and moral mentor, who used to give talks about the importance of ethics in sports and beyond, just passed on what he'd heard up the chain of command. And nothing more.

"We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us." --Book of Common Prayer.

Sad, even tragic.

The root of the tragedy was where it always is -- in Sophocles, in Shakespeare, in life and now in death. There is a name for it: hubris.

After all, Joe Paterno's football teams were never cited for a major NCAA violation. Instead, he and Penn State were taken down by something much worse.

A shame.

In so many senses of the word.

Paul Greenberg Archives

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

© 2010 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles