And the conversation that would result would be worth snooping into.
I drew a comparison on Saturday between Brundage, the long-time head of the International Olympic Committee, and Joe Paterno, the former head football coach at Penn State, during a session at the annual AEJMC convention in Chicago.
I noted that there, in my opinion, striking parallels between the two men.
Brundage was instrumental in developing the IOC and the Olympic Movement, much like Paterno was instrumental in creating the national stature of the Penn State football program. However, both men saw whatever legacy they might have hoped to have destroyed because of their terrible mismanagement of a crisis.
For Brundage, it was the murder of a group of Israeli athletes and team officials during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. Forcefully asserting that the Games would go on threw ice-cold water on any notion of Brundage and his humanity. Perhaps the Games should have gone on, but not before a reasonable period of mourning and appreciation for the lives lost.
Of course, Paterno’s legacy was destroyed because he harbored a sexual predator. If Jerry Sandusky’s sin had been alcoholism, drug abuse or perhaps even spousal abuse, the notion that Paterno tried to keep a tight lid on the situation might have been justified. But there is no way to defend protecting a man who had been doing and continued to do disgusting things to innocent boys,
My thesis developed from there, though I will spare you the details at this point.
But I would ask you to consider the premise outlined above and let me know what you think.