November 11, 2011
Type this into Google:
I get 43,100,000 hits, and that is without any references to Penn St.'s disgraced coach. Now, some of those are pro football players, some high school, and some foreign soccer players. But, anybody who follows college football knows that players (although not coaches) get formally accused of sexual assault. A lot. And then, usually, the story goes away.
The prototypical case is of the kind that makes up the central mystery in Tom Wolfe's A Man in Full: black player, white woman. There's not much of a media market for those kind of dog bites man stories, which is why so much publicity was given to the Duke lacrosse team hoax. (Similarly, "manager rapes aspiring boy band singer" or "movie producer rapes aspiring child star" are dog bites man stories that don't get much traction in the press.)
College football is a great game. I hadn't been to a college football game since watching Plaxico Burress stomp all over Northwestern in the 1990s, but a neighbor gave me a couple of his season tickets to last Saturday's UCLA 29 - Arizona St. 28 upset at the Rose Bowl, and it was a terrific spectator sport experience.
I heartily commend to aggressive rich men with a need to win that they try manipulating college football as a fine substitute for manipulating the U.S. government into bombing their relatives' tribal enemies for them.
On the other hand, the Penn State scandal, much as it's a man bites dog story, provides an opportunity for intelligent conservatives to reflect upon how much energy and money they pour into college football and other zero sum sports, a little bit of which could go a long way in the real world.