Earlier today, Burnsy sent me an e-mail that read “I suppose we should do something about this” and linked to the Lion Eyes transcript of Monday night’s phone interview between Bob Costas and Jerry Saundusky. As Burnsy had mentioned in his piece on the Penn State rioters, it’s hard to be a (mostly) conscionable sports comedy blog and find it in you to make jokes about a guy who allegedly gave blowjobs to little boys in the school showers. It’s not LeBron James losing pick-up basketball games to kids. It’s not even Xavier Nady having Crohn’s Disease. It’s one of the most legitimately disturbing, unnerving stories I’ve been alive and adult enough to understand in the world of sports, and no part of our job description reads “making sense of this”.
That being said, we should so something about it. If you haven’t read it, you should. Or you shouldn’t, I guess. I haven’t quite figured it out. It’s something you should know about, but shouldn’t have to hear about, if that makes sense. The only way I think I can share this without wanting to jump through my upstairs window is by Cracked-dot-comming the hell out of it and presenting to you some of the most cringeworthy, thankfully-out-of-context quotes from the conversation.
I’ve got to warn you, they’re not easy to read. They might make your stomach hurt, or worse, so reader discretion is advised.
Costas: “Innocent? Completely innocent and falsely accused in every aspect?”
Sandusky: “Well I could say that, you know, I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their leg without intent of sexual contact. So if you look at it that way, there are things that would be accurate.”
If you look at it that way.
“Am I sexually attracted to underage boys? Sexually attracted, you know, I enjoy young people. I love to be around them. But no, I’m not sexually attracted to young boys.”
I feel like the “but no” part of that doesn’t make the rest of it okay. You don’t have to expand on “I’m not sexually attracted to young boys”. Nobody’s asking you if you aren’t a pedophile but still enjoy kids.
“OK, we were showering and horsing around. And he actually turned all the showers on and was actually sliding across the floor and we were, as I recall, possibly like snapping a towel and horseplay.”
Has anyone reading ever turned on all the showers and played Slip n’ Slide at your gym? Is this a thing that happens?
Costas: “What would be his motive to lie?”
Sandusky: “You’d have to ask him that.”
And the follow-up:
Costas: “How could somebody think they saw something as extreme as shocking as that when it hadn’t occurred and what would possibly be their motivation to fabricate it?”
Sandusky: “You’d have to ask them.”
“I can’t exactly recall what was said there. In terms of what I did say was that if he felt that way then I was wrong.”
Sadly this isn’t the first time we’ve heard the “I didn’t do anything wrong, you just THINK I did, so I’m sorry for THAT, not sorry for being wrong” excuse. It’s right behind blaming the victim on the scale of things you should never do.
Costas: “During one of those conversations, you said, ‘I understand. I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness (speaking now with the mother). I know I won’t get it from you. I wish I were dead.’ A guy falsely accused or a guy’s actions who have been misinterpreted doesn’t respond that way.”
Sandusky: “I don’t know. I didn’t say to my recollection that ‘I wish I were dead.’ I was hopeful that we could reconcile things.”
Similar to the showers thing, has anyone ever said “I wish I could get your forgiveness but I can’t and wish I was dead” without it being for a really f**ked up thing?
Costas: “Did Joe Paterno at any time ever speak to you directly about your behavior?”
(that’s sort of why we can’t have him around anymore, if you were still wondering about that)
Costas: “You feel horrible. Do you feel culpable?”
Sandusky: “I’m not sure I know what you mean.”
Lion Eyes spelled “culpable” incorrectly, in a moment of true appropriateness.
And finally, if nothing else from this burns itself into your brain,
“In retrospect, I shouldn’t have showered with those kids.”