Talking Points: Take down Paterno's statue
Friday, July 13, 2012
What's the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:
What are they waiting for? Now that a definitive report on the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State has been released, why is there any delay in removing the statue of Joe Paterno from outside the school's football stadium?
Paterno did many wonderful things for the university during his lifetime, but those things are destined to be overshadowed by his culpability in this grotesque story. Maintaining the statue in a place of honor would be a disservice to the victims and a blatant attempt to ignore the truth, something that Penn State apparently has perfected over the years.
Nike did it right. Within hours of the report's release, the apparel maker announced it would remove Paterno's name from the child-development building on the campus of its worldwide headquarters. Penn State must do the same with the statue of Paterno. Or maybe, as one pundit put it, they should keep the statue but turn it so it is looking the other way.
File this one with the Department of Pointless Debates: Could the 2012 U.S. Olympic basketball team beat the 1992 Dream Team? Of course it could — the Dream Team guys are in their 50s.
Sorry, old joke. But many, many people have raised this absurd question in recent days while ignoring the only appropriate response: Let the 2012 team win something first, and then we can talk. We don't care about comparing the individual talents; we care about how well they play together. Isn't that the point of basketball?
Maybe the 2012 Olympic team will be one of the great squads in basketball history. But until they actually prove that at the Olympics, any comparisons to history are an utter waste of time.
As baseball returns for the second half, Talking Points is keeping its fingers crossed for the Washington Nationals and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Both teams, loaded with young talent, are in first place in their divisions, which makes the standings look like one big typo.
The Nationals haven't been to the playoffs since 1981 — when they were the Montreal Expos — and that is the longest drought in the major leagues. In fact, that's the only postseason appearance in the franchise's 44-year history.
The Pirates have not had a winning season since 1992, their last playoff appearance.
A couple Cinderella stories could make for a scintillating pennant race.
For more Talking Points, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/talkpoints360