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Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Dick Whitman, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Maybe this is a weird topic for a standalone thread, and maybe I'll take a bath for starting it. But it's something I'm thinking about today with the Paterno news. Also after reading the SI piece on Muhammad Ali's image rehabilitation from polarizing draft dodger to the most universally beloved figure in American sports. And, finally, after watching "The Shawshank Redemption" last night.

    Essentially, it is tragic that Paterno died before he was able to publicly redeem himself in any way for his worst act. ("Tragic" in the Shakespearean sense.) But even on a personal level, there are things I've done that I think, "Is redemption possible?" I've never hurt anyone, mind you, never cheated on my wife or anything like that. But still ... sometimes it feels like, even with things that only hurt myself, "A good person wouldn't have done that to begin with."

    Just curious about everyone's thoughts on this open-ended topic. Does someone like Paterno get a chance to redeem himself, assuming away the cancer that didn't give him a chance? Do you feel redeemed for your own worst acts? Are some acts redeemable and others not? How much does age matter? What's the cutoff? Redemption for something you do at 20, but not 30? Thirty, but not 40?
  2. HC

    HC Well-Known Member

    Muhammad Ali's image was rehabilitated because society's views on the war and those opposed to it changed. I don't think society's view of pedophiles and those who enabled them is going to take that kind of shift. I don't know what Paterno could possibly have done to mitigate his action (or lack thereof).
  3. Beef03

    Beef03 Active Member

    Basically something pretty drastic in the trial will have to happen. What? I don't know. But beyond that I don't know what could redeem Paterno's lasting legacy.
  4. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    Nixon redeemed himself somewhat after Watergate.
  5. jlee

    jlee Well-Known Member

    Age is certainly a factor here. As a man who had more than seven decades of life experience, Joe Paterno should have had more wisdom in this situation than, say, one of his players or assistants. He also was in the best position career-wise to make a stand. His character was (supposedly) unassailable, and he had made his millions or at least hundreds of thousands. Pressing for more attenion by law enforcement would have made him a hero had he been fired or reprimanded.

    I don't think he can ever be publicly redeemed, but has he already been pardoned privately by people he's affected positively? I think so.

    Personally, there are people who will remember me for the bad things I've done. There are people who will solely recall my better actions. The ones who know what I'm capable of in both respects are the people who truly know me.
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