The silence is deafening…
It’s hard to imagine being in a more awkward position than the one former Kansas City Star columnist Joe Posnanski finds himself in today. Then again, worse things could happen. After all, Posnanski banked a reported $750,000 writing fee for his upcoming book about fallen Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.
But what began as a picture perfect Posnanski blowjob about a beloved sports icon – something Joe excells at – has taken nasty turn after nasty turn since the Penn State child abuse sex scandal broke last year.
It took an even nastier turn today with the release of a scathing report nailing Paterno for particpating – and possiblly spearheading – a coverup for convicted former right hand man Jerry Sandusky.
“The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized,” said Louis J. Freeh, the former judge and F.B.I. director who oversaw the investigation.
"Freeh’s investigation which took seven months and involved more than 400 interviews and the review of more than 3.5 million documents — accuses Paterno, the university’s former president and others of deliberately hiding facts about Sandusky’s sexually predatory behavior over the years," the New York Times reports.
"The facts are the facts," Freeh said of Paterno. "He was an integral part of the act to conceal."
Paterno could have put a halt to Sandusky’s abuse of children "if he so wished," Freeh added.
But back to Posnanski…
Make no mistake, any number of hard hitting journalists would give their eye teeth to change places with JoePo. Unfortunately, on paper Posnanski is practically the worst person imaginable to be in the position he’s in.
That’s because Joe’s forged an entire career of delivering the sports news sunnyside up.
Which of course made Posnanski a perfect fit for a planned fluff piece about Paterno which was what the book started out to be. And that undoubtedly was a major factor in Posnanski’s selection by Paterno to write his story. All of which resulted in Posnanski getting incredibe access to Paterno during the months leading up to the scandal breaking, and to whatever extent immediately afterwards.
The $64 million question being, can or will Posnanski deliver the hard edged goods?
Because at this stage of the game, who wants to read about what a great guy Paterno was and how he won all those football games while sitting on his hands for 14 years and allowing Sandusky to abuse however many kids?
Earlier today the president of Nike, Mark Parker announced that the company will change the name of the Joe Paterno Child Development Center child care facility at Nike’s headquarters.
”It is a terrible tragedy that children were unprotected from such abhorrent crimes,” Parker said.
As a footnote, Nike’s founder defended Paterno at the coach’s memorial service earlier this year.
So it’s basically a case now of last one out turnoff the lights. No way Posnanski can serve up an attaboy at this stage of the game.
However Posnanski’s remained mostly silent on the matter, turning out tweets like "Kansas City here I come" and about Buck O’Neil, Andy Griffith and which KC Barbecue joints to eat at.
Oh and a June 30th plug for the Paterno book; ”Will not comment re: Paterno because I don’t think it’s my place now. But I will say that all of this and more is in the book."
Really, Joe? We can only hope.
Not that former fellow Star sports scribe Jason Whitlock could resist taking a dig at his old stablemate:
"What time today will Simon & Schuster announce a delay in publishing of Joe Pos’ book, "One Hazy Moment"? closest prediction wins The Wire," Whitlock sniped.