Athletes live in a different world. They are so accustomed to being the center of attention that they simply take for granted the fact that whatever they have to say is more important than what anyone else does and their words carry more value.The other day, Whitehall native and former NFL player and team executive Matt Millen was on ESPN speaking about the Penn State scandal. He was emotional and contradictory. On a national stage Millen cried, went off on a rant that included some lucid and often provoking points.
I get it. Penn State is his alma mater. He was essentially and molded into a great football player there. Joe Paterno, Coach Sandusky and the other members of the football program were like family to him. In Millen’s eyes, Penn State was pure and good. Reality set in and shattered his somewhat ignorant view. College football is having a difficult 2011. First Ohio State, then Miami and then the conference bust ups. Up until ten days ago Millen could probably scoff at the scandal ridden landscape of college football and say confidently, “Never at my Penn State.”
What I cannot decide is if Millen came off well or not. Like most other former athletes, Millen is used to being heard and having his take on a subject be the bottom line. We all saw countless examples of that during his mismanagement of the Detroit Lions, last year when he argued with Steve Young on MNF, and of course the other day. He was brash and overbearing. But were his words bred from a naive ignorance of the real world or were they simply calculated to get him some national exposure.
Penn State is in shambles and the entire state of Pennsylvania is in mourning.
PSU fired Joe Pa. Should ESPN fire Matt Millen?