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Personally, I'm not ready to write about football

November 11, 2011 - Ray Eckenrode

This blog about Penn State football is going on hiatus.

It doesn’t feel right to me that we’re playing a football game this weekend in State College (and I totally understand and agree that the 90+ current players don’t deserve to be caught in the middle of this) and it doesn’t feel right to write about it. It feels to me as if we’re trying to run an end around on the horror, as if we’re trying to get to the healing without contemplating completely how the hurt happened.

I understand there are many people that think the ritual of a football game is exactly what Happy Valley needs and I’m fine with that. I don’t need to feel like my opinion about all that’s happened is more correct or justified than someone else’s. One of the big problems with this situation (aside from Penn State’s stunning lack of public relations skills and many media personalities’ stunning misunderstanding of the principles and mechanics of our justice system) is that nearly everyone wants to cast it in black and white. There is only one black and white truth here: The abuse of a child is an intolerable evil. Everything else, everything, is colored in shades of gray.

This is not meant to be some grand gesture or political statement. It does not represent the thinking or position of the Altoona Mirror. A blog is a personal form of expression and this is a personal decision. I’m not abandoning watching Penn State football. I’ll watch, but I’m sure I’ll be one of many examining the role that sports, and especially Penn State football, play in my life. Right now, there are more important things. I’m sure of that. I’m pretty sure I’ll still feel this way next week. At some point, those feelings will change. Penn State football will feel right again – and writing about it will, too.

I am looking for: