Despite the long range crippling effects of the NCAA actions, the current members of the Penn State University football team have an opportunity to accomplish something which can be legendary.
They can take the events which have cast a cloud over the University, and demonstrate that the 2012 Penn State football team is not about the reprehensible actions of Sandusky, or the failures of Paterno and key administrators. It’s about the commitment, passion, skill and determination of the individual members of the team. Marines call it Espirit de Corps.
If the team needs a motto, they can borrow another one from the Marine Corps . . . Semper Fidelis, Always Faithful __ faithful to each other, Penn State University, their fans and the football program.
Americans love competitors who overcome adversity to become winners, and what a marvelous story it would be if, despite everything that has happened, this team is a winner. It will take exceptional discipline from coaches, every member of the team and enthusiastic support from all Penn State students, alumni and fans, but if they meet the challenge, their success will be legendary.
Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of Great Britain during World War II represented the courageous spirit of the people of that country when faced with impossible odds. During the darkest days in England’s history, Churchill inspired his people with quotes like this:
“We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.”
My hope for the 2012 Penn State football team is that they shall be resolved that out of the suffering the University has endured, the participants will find the inspiration to succeed beyond all expectation.