posted on Dec, 1 2011 @ 07:35 AM
This was quite the topic over our Thanksgiving meal with family last week.
I hadn't seen my husband since the Penn State scandal broke. I was traveling and he was hunting.
So, the night before Thanksgiving when we finally caught up, we went out for a cocktail and the Penn State scandal came on the television at the bar,
and I brought up how horrible the whole thing was. My husband was a football player in high school and college, and I wanted to hear his thoughts
about the subject.
Imagine my surprise when he said, "I know Sandusky very well. I went to his football camp two years in a row during high school."
Of course, I was shocked for a second, but my husband assured me he was probably too old at the time for Sandusky's tastes. But here's what he told
All the guys at the camp loved Sandusky. He was a kid in an adult's body. They thought he was the funniest guy in the world. Sandusky would come
into the sleeping quarters in the morning to wake everyone up and sing some kind of a morning song.."Wakey, wakey, wakey, up....." My husband sang
me the two verse song at the bar.
His stories about Sandusky were a fascinating look into the mind of an alleged pedophile. What really stands out is the fact that Sandusky was like a
kid---playing practical jokes and tricks on everyone, singing songs----he could really relate to kids at their level. Thus, instead of thinking
Sandusky was weird (as they should have), they thought he was great! One of my husband's friends---who also attended the camp--thought Sandusky was
the "greatest thing since sliced bread."
The kids would go home and tell everyone how much fun they had at the camp and how much they loved Sandusky. For years to come, they'd try to find
Sandusky in the sidelines while watching Penn State games on TV.
I asked my husband why he didn't think it was strange that a grown man was running around the camp, giving kids wedgies and playing tricks on them
like he was 15 years old, and my husband said that kids are really attracted to adults who don't act like grown-ups. They thought Sandusky was one
of them. Here was a man they were in awe of, but they didn't feel intimidated because the man was extremely approachable and fun loving.
Here's what I really wanted to know: Was the fun that my husband experienced at camp completely negated? Was Sandusky just trying to manipulate
them? Or is it possible Sandusky could operate on two levels? Keep in mind the guys at the camp were likely too old for Sandusky---since he seemed
to have prefered ten year olds and these guys were young adults.
My husband's thought now is just to throw the whole experience out the window, call Sandusky a few select names and feel cheated. But I said, "Not
neccesarily. Sandusky may have been able to produce a really enjoyable experience for the guys at the camp without any manipulation on his part. It
might have been very sincere since he was likely not attracted to people your age at the time."
My husband has emailed some of the guys he went to the camp with, and they all expressed "shock."
I don't know how shocked they should be, since Sandusky's child-like behavior is a red flag in my opinion. But it goes to show how vulnerable kids
are---even young adults. They want so much to believe in their heroes....