Bye Bye Bill
While I was stewing over the media speculation, the decision got made. Double trouble.
A lot of people out there are telling others how they should feel about this situation. You’re entitled to (respectfully) feel however you feel. I’m just going to tell you how I feel.
I’m angry. I’m angry that we are currently coach-less (though glad for Larry Johnson in the interim). I’m angry that our administration created a less than desirable situation for our coach. I’m even mad I’m writing this blog right now. I'm already on my third revision.
I’m absolutely livid about the comments made regarding the “Paterno faction.” I don’t care if he was baited by a “journalist” with an insidious anti-Penn State agenda; he still said it.
And I’m furious to discover on Twitter that O’Brien at some point told his players “it’s a business.” The NFL is a business; college sports should not be. The only business college football should have is molding young athletes into adults. Blah, blah I hear some of you out there, fingers poised above your keyboard, ready to chastise my naiveté. Well, I won’t back down. I won’t give in to the cynical, dog-eat-dog world. I won’t give up on a better future for my children. If we stop accepting it, it will stop being acceptable.
But anger is never alone. There’s always something underneath it.
It’s like a rebound relationship. When it’s over you find out how hurt you still feel about that original break up. Yes, O’Brien’s departure hurts. What’s worse is all the feelings it drudges up.
I feel hurt. Betrayed. In October I wrote a blog about Bill O’Brien being perfectly suited to lead Penn State Football into the future. I don’t mean here to discount the many ways in which he kept us afloat over the past two years. I am forever grateful that he was willing to step in, but I didn’t expect we’d so quickly be used as a stepping stone.
I’m disappointed. My expectations are failed. I wanted to Billieve that O’Brien was a stronger person than he turned out to be. I wanted him love us, warts and all. I wanted him to get it. That’s the problem with being a Paterno person; I was brainwashed in the cult of honesty, integrity, and commitment in leadership.
We knew he wouldn’t stick around for 61 years. We didn’t want him to fill our legend’s shoes. But I thought he would at least honor his commitment. If he felt this was his opportunity to follow his ultimate dream, I thought he’d at least be honest about it. It’s not like this surprised him.
There’s going to be anger over this and it’s going to be directed towards Bill O’Brien, some of it justifiably so. You’ve hurt us, Bill. And we were a people that was already hurting. But know that this is so much bigger than you. I’m sorry it was too much for you to handle.