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Bateman: The Penn State scandal, analyzed by ‘true’ bro

By Oliver Bateman / Penn State broham

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Sup my Pitt bros? Perhaps on account of the stomachache he developed while watching the maudlin and thoroughly absurd displays of public piety that occurred before and after the Penn State-Nebraska game, Oliver Bateman was not able to write this week’s column. In his place, a self-described (and totally fictional) “Penn State broham” has agreed to share his thoughts about the recent scandal that has rocked the so-called “Happy Valley.”

Sup my Pitt bros? I’m guessing you boys are doing better than I am — by which I mean you’re probably not completely hungover. I was battling a wicked hangover as of 10 minutes ago, but thanks to the hair of the dog I just imbibed, I’m now totally rocked — annihilated, even — as I type this. Of course, that’s standard operating procedure out here in State College, what with our Mondays being like your Thirsty Thursdays and all.

Anyway, I’m sure you’ve heard about the big tragedy out here. Many of us are heartbroken and heart-burned and absolutely puking our guts out on account of what happened. Actually, I’m absolutely puking my guts out because, in the past 72 hours, I haven’t consumed a single calorie that didn’t come from malt liquor, 151 and however many $5 pizzas I was able to cram down my gullet. But I digress: Some major crap went down this week, bros and alphettes.

I don’t know if I can type this message through to its end — my eyes are too clouded with tears or perhaps are just generally too bleary and bloodshot because I’ve been so busy going hard in lieu of going home — but I’ll try. I need to take a deep breath first, though, and pull my Nittany Lion fleece tight over the shoulders of my loose, unwashed-since-I-was-a-frosh Nittany Lion hoodie while I try to channel the strength of all the “White Out” warriors who have given 159.6 percent or more each time they’ve stepped on the field at Beaver Stadium.

Give me your calloused hand, Shane Conlan. Take my soul in your arms and cradle it like a baby, LaVar Arrington. Fill my man-womb with the essence of your stainless steel trapezius muscles, Paul Posluszny. Grant me the courage to speak the words that I thought would never pass my lips, not in my lifetime or the lifetimes of my grandchildren or the lifetimes of my grandchildren’s grandchildren: They fired JoePa.

It doesn’t matter who “they” are — the UNtrustees of what should be rightfully called the Paterno State University, I guess — because history will forget them even as it preserves their crime in amber, like a trilobite or an extinct species of wasp. They dumped our owlish mascot-coach just as we were about to clinch a berth in the Rose Bowl.

You know how that feels, brahskis and brahskettes? You know how much it hurts to learn that the same idiots who cash your federal student loan checks have decided to part company with a glorious old codger whose only crime appears to have been participating in an unthinkable, conscience-shocking cover-up of what prosecutors allege was some truly despicable and kinky stuff?

Nah, what the heck am I saying? You guys wouldn’t know a thing about gridiron glory over there at “Under the Arm” Pitt. Let’s take a look at the numbers, shall we? Since 1976, we’ve won two National Championships and you’ve won one. Of course, you deserved to finish first in 1980 and 1981, but who the heck is counting? We went undefeated in 1973 and 1994, and nobody bent over backward for us, either.

And if we narrow the chronological frame a bit, say from 2008 to 2010, the results are even starker. During that period, your worthless Panther squads posted records of 9-4, 10-3 and 7-5. Meanwhile, how were we faring in Happy Valley? 11-2, 11-2 and 7-6. That’s a difference of three wins — so game, set, and match, my brohams.

Huh? You’re telling me that Dave Wannstedt did a way better job of developing talented players who will likely go on to enjoy long careers in the NFL? You’re arguing that he had a much more open and honest relationship with his players, because he wasn’t hiding behind some nonsense legacy that he was determined to protect at all costs? You’re saying that he personally coached all of the games that his team participated in, except for last year’s bowl game?

OK, I’ll concede that last point. But Wannstedt — killer moustache or no — didn’t “win with honor.” In fact, he didn’t even win enough games to get his Panthers to a BCS game. Instead, he presided over a program where a few players were arrested over the course of a few years. But can you expect much more from someone who spent time in that lawless University of Miami system, where the rogue boosters and coaches will do anything to win? Then, to make matters worse, you went and embarrassed yourself by hiring a new coach who got himself arrested, and then you fired him because you didn’t want your university to be associated with that kind of tomfoolery. What a joke you Pitt people are!

While your Wannstedt-coached thugs were running wild over there in Oakland, Paterno was keeping a tight lid on any scurrilous rumors that might damage his beloved program or impair his attempt to surpass Eddie Robinson’s record for wins by a Division I coach. On top of that, he worked for a fraction of what his services were actually worth — well, at least during the period that he actually coached the games, but even as an owlish mascot it’s arguable that his services were worth $1.5 million a year — and led us to a pair of Rose Bowls.

And now, on the cusp of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go to the Rose Bowl for a third time — to win the Big Ten Championship trophy that bore his name as recently as a few days ago — he’s been shown the door. They took him away from us, those dastardly UNtrustees. I’m so overcome with emotion and grain alcohol and $5 pizza-derived carbohydrates that I feel like I’m going to pass out.

As my eyes start to flutter and my breathing becomes weak and labored, I realize that I’ll never have the chance to tell my children I was enrolled at Penn State when one of the school’s sports teams went to a major bowl game. I’ll never get these three years of my life back.

I’m the real victim in all of this, my sweet broskerinos. Who else could have possibly been hurt more than me?

Oliver Bateman is the founder of the Moustache Club of America (moustacheclubofamerica.com), a site devoted to Penn State-themed flash fiction and up-to-the-minute coverage of the latest Madden 2012 sporting events. He urges you to direct all hate mail to oliver.lee1@gmail.com.

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Bateman: The Penn State scandal, analyzed by ‘true’ bro