Jerry Sandusky. Now theres a man each one of us, collectively and individually, can despise and hate.
When a 68-year-old man a defensive coach for an illustrious football program at a prestigious university is found guilty on 45 of 48 charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children, and other charges, something is wrong big-time.
The shocking elements of Sanduskys indiscretions are many.
For one, its painful to learn that many contacts he made with eventual victims were through his Second Mile charity program, where he routinely fostered relationships with poor, the fatherless, and the troubled.
Still, in my opinion, the longevity of years Sandusky stalked the locker rooms at Penn State University before justice was meted out is without excuse.
In 1998 a police detective from PSU tried to get sex-related charges pressed against Sandusky and was stonewalled by a district attorney who didnt want to hear his arguments.
Was it the Joe Paterno mystique Sandusky lived under that left him so long as a predator?
But Sandusky now is behind bars and isnt expected to be released soon: for up to 442 years, according to a writer for Yahoo! Sports.
Then, also in my lifetime, theres O.J. Though relatively young, I was in the grandstands at Corvallis when O.J. ran for more than 200 yards when his top-ranked USC Trojans were upset 3-0 by the Oregon State Beavers.
Its not happenstance that O.J.s mug shot is in my dictionary because of his football heroics.
And yet the troubles he encountered in later years drastically altered his public image. I didnt have a television at the time and missed all the fun of watching helicopters chasing O.J. and his Bronco up and down a California freeway, and missed the trial coverage as well.
But Ive yet to meet anyone who did not believe O.J. was guilty of murder. His saving grace, they told me, was his bank account that was deep enough to hire the best lawyers on the planet.
Since all I heard was secondhand, I dont know one way or the other. And yet the fact O.J. currently is serving a nine-year sentence in a Nevada prison for convictions on armed robbery and kidnapping charges might offer a clue.
Another prominent individual that comes to mind is Michael Vick. Maybe the months he stayed in the Leavenworth prison, in Kansas, changed him. I dont know.
I read a Sports Illustrated article written about his incarceration shortly after his release and feel a little better about him. That the mighty NFL quarterback Michael Vick mopped floors nights at 12 cents an hour to avoid harassment from other inmates tells me something.
And yet, much as I like football, I like dogs even more. And Vicks involvement with the Bad Newz Kennels club where dogs were put in rings to fight like gladiators for Roman emperors never will fit well with me.
Many times Ive heard, admittedly from dog lovers like myself, that dogs are the epitome of unconditional love.
This is true of every dog Ive ever owned.
Barbara Streisand, in one of her rare public interviews said, Dogs are real good people.
Did Michael Vicks dogs shine unconditional love in their eyes toward him as he hung them from the neck for losing fights?
I have set aside my vow to never watch Vick play football again, though I honestly can say I dont root for him to win.
And yet, since Tony Dungy visited Vick in prison, Id guess hope remains for Michaels redemption.