Matt Millen’s in a tough spot here. Let’s start with that.
Because he went to Penn State and played for both Joe Paterno and Jerry Sandusky, he finds himself able to offer a kind of angle on this scandal that none of ESPN’s other personalities can offer. He’s a Nittany Lion, through and through, so he’s been trotted out on SportsCenter this morning as their resident Joe Paterno apology horse.
What this trotting entails: emotional, ill-informed reactions to a report that he probably hasn’t had time to read (and one he definitely hasn’t had time to comprehend). He doesn’t have all of the information he needs, and even if he did, his judgement would be clouded. Yet, still, there is Millen, Penn State Apologist. It’s a role he’s been cast in both by his producers and by circumstance.
As a result of this casting, Matt Millen said some very dumb shit on TV this morning.
“In terms of the program itself, this was a very pristine program,” was one of those things. So was the half-assed defense of Paterno. There were others.
There are some terrible things about Matt Millen’s school and his football coach in the Freeh report: namely, that both the school and the coach knew that kids were probably getting raped — and raped on their campus — but chose not to do anything about it because it would burst the bubble around Happy Valley (a bubble that, at this very moment, is still being maintained). Powerful men did cowardly things over multiple years, and Paterno, who was so close to the finish line and months away from dying a good man before the Sandusky story broke, will be known as the guy who could’ve stopped Jerry Sandusky from raping more kids, but didn’t.
Here’s to hoping Matt Millen actually reads the Freeh report.
Video via Busted Coverage.