Rooting for Penn State

By Patrick Schmidt

I have generally never held any ill will toward a fan for the team they choose to root for and have respected their decision to root for the team they so choose.

I have also not told people how they should go about rooting for their favorite team or how they should root against their team’s rivals and the opponent’s star players.

With that  said, I wonder how many people are  actively rooting for Penn State to lose considering the events that came to light last season.

Those involved in the scandal that rocked the Penn State campus and the sports world have been removed from any ties to the university as the school and football program try to start a new chapter under coach Bill O’Brien.

If you choose to root against the Penn State football team, the victims of abuse will not feel any sense of comfort and those responsible for the crimes will not be punished any further.

Some people will simply never forgive the university despite the fact those responsible bear no connection to those catching passes, making tackles, calling in the plays, and going on recruiting trips.

People still vilify Michael Vick for his involvement in his dog fighting scandal years ago, so I am positive many people will  never be able to root for Penn State again that are not closely linked to the university or area.

Ohio defeated Penn State Saturday in front of the faithful fans at Happy Valley on Saturday 24-14, scoring the last 21 points in the game.

If only for one Saturday afternoon many around the nation were fans of the Ohio Bobcats and quarterback Tyler Tettleton, as they sent Penn State away with their first loss in a season opener since the 2011 opener.

The losses may accumulate for Penn State this season as the country unites in its collective disdain for the program, but it will not help any of the victims in their healing.

Considering the program has severed all connections to the past and is moving forward I wonder if the animosity toward the  coaches, players, and university could be focused in a different, more productive direction.

I was a Penn State fan during the years of Kerry Collins, Bobby Engram, Joe Jurevicius, and Ki-Jana Carter, but I was more of a fair-weather fan and would not be confused with a hardcore fan of the program.

I wonder if I will become denigrated if I lend my support to the program again.  Supporting this team does not endorse the  crimes or behaviors of the past regime in any way whatsoever.

I find myself wanting these players and coaches to succeed because it is not fair that they suffer the punishment for the crimes of others.

Follow me on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt

Patrick is a diehard Chicago sports and avid college football fan, and the host of “The Wake-up Call,” a weekly sports show on Wednesday mornings from 8-10.  View his show’s website here.  

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