On the virtue of burning things down

Some of you may appreciate my latest Good Letters post over at Patheos, in which I make the entirely reasonable suggestion that Penn State’s football stadium be leveled, as a small act of communal repentance.

“The forgetting can’t happen soon enough, according to sports writer Adam Jacobi. “The school just needs a continuation of the usual,” he writes.

A continuation of the usual. I don’t know how much more this heart-sickened world can bear to continue the usual.

Instead of continuing the usual, I propose that Pennsylvania authorities raze every building where Sandusky raped a child. Afterward, they should raze every building where Penn State officials—including the university’s president, head of university police, athletic director, and revered football coach—agreed to ignore his predation.

Finally, after the demolition crews have taken a break, they should raze Beaver Stadium, because we all know that if Jerry Sandusky had been assistant chemistry professor rather than assistant football coach, he would have gone straight to jail years earlier.”

You can read the rest here, which includes Confederate flags, bikers, Nazis, gutless French soldiers (is that an oxymoron?), and quietly noble people who remember what their neighbors would like to forget. There’s also grass-fed beef.


  1. MountainHome

    Yes, something should be done because of what Sandusky did for years & years, but the sad thing is that college sports has a higher priority than morality so most all of the horrible stories will be forgotten. How sad that we are ‘programmed’ for sports nowadays over the important things in life.

  2. Monica Brands

    This is a beautifully intuitive and forceful piece. I have followed this case with interest, but also been horrified by widespread apathy from people I respect – as though crimes from those in authority are to be expected, not dealt with.

  3. robert

    I protested when a gym was built over the site where the Kent State students were massacred by their own National Guard. Yeah, I get it.

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