Penn State: To cheer or not to cheer

There’s an interesting tie between a fan and their team. It’s fascinating to hear a normally logical person lose all sense of reason when speaking about the quality of their favorite team on and off the field, court, ice or stadium.

It’s like listening to a mother speak about how good their kid is, while visiting them in prison.

The NCAA came down hard on Penn State. Bowl games, tens of millions of dollars, 111 Paterno victories and the warm, fuzzy feeling Nittany Lions’ fans had when using the “Success With Honor” motto PSU generously bestowed on itself were all taken away.
I’m not here to question the penalty. I’m here to ponder the idea of cheering for a program which has committed such atrocities.

Before we crucify any fan who continues to cheer on Penn State, one must ask what it would take for their own beloved team to be so despicable, cheering for them to win would hurt.

Could the Minnesota Twins do something so awful, it would require backs to be turned on them? After all, they are responsible for one of the most horrifying acts in all of baseball. The Twins allowed Nick Punto to have a career and people still keep showing up.

I digress.

But, honestly, is the Nittany Lion uncheerable thanks to an athletic department becoming blind and deaf for a couple decades?

College is a whole different ballgame. Fans not only see a team, but a place where they found a calling, grew up and called home for four or so years. It is tough to suddenly stop cheering for the success of something like that.

I know of people who wouldn’t say, “White Sox” because they lived during the Black Sox scandal, but I wonder, if they were alive to see the 2005 World Series, if their voices came back.

It’s one thing to make sure a team does not get a dime out of one’s pocket by not buying merchandise or going to games. But to say fans shouldn’t want a team they loved for years to win is easier said than done.