Ray Ratto

History won't be kind to Paterno


History won't be kind to Paterno

The continued deconstruction of PaternoWorld advanced to the removal of his name from the Big 10 championship trophy, thus reminding us yet again of the First Law of Tributes.

Dont name things after the living.

And the Second:

Your legacy isnt yours, but is something given to you by others.

History is not immediately inclined to look well on Paterno, unless everything we have come to learn in the past nine days is actually wrong. His contributions, and there are many, do not square with the information regarding the Jerry Sandusky scandal, and ultimately this isnt about one horrible week against 61 years of devotion. Its about nine, or 13, or God knows how many years of doing what prior generations were more inclined to do under such circumstances.

RELATED: Big Ten removes Paterno's name from trophy

Look the other way, even when looking the other way was unthinkable.

But we dont need a 15,000th recitation of what happened, because that news changes all the time.

This, rather, is the story of the undoing of Joe Paterno the symbol, and the trophy is just the first thing. Indeed, in the worst-case scenario, the revelations are such that even the family name might be removed from the library he and his wife Sue gave to the university.

And that was the legacy he wanted as much as the football. He wanted to be Penn State across the board -- Penn State, Brought To You By Joe Paterno -- and there was no reason why that wouldnt be the case.

Now, his name is being sandblasted away, and the trophy is the first sign of that.

Few people seem bothered by what under normal circumstances would be considered a rush to judgment, and for that we can cite the horrifying nature of the alleged crimes, and the size of the conspiracy of silence. And we say alleged only in the most legal sense, because the seemingly overwhelming evidence has neither been presented in a court of law or rebutted.

But in this era, where nobodys business but my own is now a quaint old song title and nothing more, judgments are evaluated by speed first, and guilt is often determined in the public domain by the time it takes to claim innocence.

In short, the rule of thumb is now, The longer it takes to craft a defense, the more likely it is a lie.

So it is with Paterno and Penn State. Sandusky is fully within the legal realm, and his guilt or innocence is already in the system, so this isnt about that. This is about the slowly disappearing Paterno.

His allies (or more accurately, defeated adversaries) have been fired or suspended. The new president has no ties to the Paterno legacy save what the school wants them to be, and the school is largely more interested in moving forward than defending the past.

In short, the Big 10 trophy is only the beginning of the undoing of the Paterno name, unless we have all jumped to the wrong conclusions about the scandal, its depth and breadth. His legacy looks like nothing so much as a slow fade to black.

And thats the thing about legacies for the living. They can be built, and they can be demolished, all while you sit and watch. Depending on how badly you need a legacy while youre alive, that can be the worst punishment of all.

Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com.

Celtics are the rivals Warriors fans need

Celtics are the rivals Warriors fans need

You don’t think you needed this game to go this way, but you did, and you do.

The Golden State Warriors spat out a 17-point lead and lost, 92-88, in Boston Thursday night, in a game that was taut if not particularly elegant, and in a game that elevated the Celtics to a place that makes them the new heir apparent to the heir apparent.

The Celtics have been a difficult out for the Warriors during the Brad Stevens Era, losing six of nine but only being blown out twice, and Thursday was not one of those nights. The box score will tell you the shooting and rebounding problems, but the Warriors had that lead and didn’t hold it. Or, to be accurate, the Celtics had that deficit and refused to let it destroy them.

Which is exactly the kind of team you, the fully licensed Warrior fan, want to watch play your team in the NBA Finals. You want to see them genuinely challenged, forced to win outside their comfort zone, induced to show their greatness in the highest of high leverage situations.

At least we think that’s what you want. Maybe you prefer blowouts so you can drink and go to the bathroom without care or fear. After all, the Warriors have taught the area the true meaning of front-running by being in front so often.

But the Celtics play a level of defense typically reserved for the San Antonio Spurs, and yes, the Warriors. They have a spiky exoskeleton that the acquisition of Kyrie Irving has actually enhanced, and Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum give them a gifted precocity that fits well with veterans like Al Horford and Marcus Morris, and Boston’s overall youth (they are fifth youngest, while Golden State is third-oldest) ought to make them a more difficult conundrum than Cleveland or any other team in either conference.

They are not yet the superior team; that remains to be proven, and betting against the Warriors requires a level of irrational bravery left only for the truly self-destructive.

But they are, as we sit this evening, the team the Warriors will have to work hardest to finish, because on a night when they had the chance to do so, they didn’t. In other words, the fight for a third ring still goes through Oakland, but it looks more and more like a one-stop through Boston.

And as much as you may hate thinking about it, you’ll almost certainly remember, and savor, a Celtics-Warriors final more than another round of Cavs-on-the-half-shell.

Three reasons Draymond Green is the perfect college professor


Three reasons Draymond Green is the perfect college professor

Programming note: Warriors-Celtics coverage starts today at 4 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming live right here 

Draymond Green spoke to a group of students at Harvard Thursday on the subject of leadership, and if you find that incongruous, shame on you.
I mean, who else would you want as a college professor?
Green has led, and been led. He has learned, and he has taught. He has certainly lectured, as any teammate, official and media member will testify. He’d be a hell of a teacher, and the subject almost doesn’t matter.
For one, homework would be different, as in I’d bet there would be no written work. I don’t see Prof. Day-Day poring over essays about the Industrial Revolution, M-theory or pre-Raphaelite art. Not even the history of Basketball-Reference.com.

For two, having tenured faculty audit his classes may find his choice of rhetoric a little strident, as in “What the ---- were you thinking, dude?” is not typically approved instructional methodology.
And three, nobody would get a grade. Green would mark every exam with a “35,” as in his draft position, and besides, the exams would be students arguing with each other over whether that was a foul or a no-call, and who pulled the better face when the call was made. He’d give either an approving nod or give the loser a second technical foul and kick him or her out of class.
But it would be a hell of a class. Not at Harvard, of course, because Green probably would want to teach a school that could better use his brand of wisdom, and Harvard kids already have a healthy lead off third base. He’d want his students to make Harvard students cry, you can just tell.
But wouldn’t he look perfectly Draymond in a cap and gown on graduation day, pulling a bottle out of his sleeve to make the valedictory speeches less painful. “Damn, dude,” you could hear him yell. “Peaking?”