Ray Ratto

Regaining trust all that matters for Penn State now


Regaining trust all that matters for Penn State now

Penn State cannot manage this story any more. Not because theyve done such a miserable job, but because it's beyond anyones control.What it can do now is this. Find a president, an athletic director and football coach who are ready to apologize as many times as required for the crimes and moral lapses of their predecessors, and to pledge what Joe Paterno always pledged.Not even a Well, I wasnt there caveat will be allowed. Only this, a version thereof:This university, its students and alumni deserved better than what happened here. The victims didnt deserve it at all. The people responsible will remain responsible for as long as this university stands.RELATED: Key dates in the Penn State sex abuse case
But some people have to acknowledge the outrages done here, right them as much as can be possible for the victims and their families, and those people are us.Wins and losses are now secondary for us while we try to rebuild trust in a place that has lost it. We will continue to ask for your financial support, but not for a new weight room or academic athletic center. For the victims. For the mechanisms that will prevent such a horror from going on here again. For help in rebuilding what this place once was for those who came here.I mean, were in the Leaders Division, and if we cant lead on this, we may as well turn the whole damned place into a tune-up shop and spend the rest of our days standing under cars.Toward that end, we will hold our coach to one standard only while we transition slowly back to Success With Honor. Honor first. Then success. We have seen face-first that without the first, the second is only a mark of our shame. And if we get our brains kicked in on the field while were figuring it out, so be it. Its part of the price we need to pay for the sins of our predecessors, but more so for the benefit of those who demand we stand for more.We didnt earn this. Nobody earned any of this. This is just what this situation demands, and we are here to ask only one thing of you to tell us what more we need to do to restore the honor that we have lost collectively. We dont have to take the blame for the crimes and sins of those who came before us, but we do have to rebuild what you expect of this place. We have to because we took the job knowing the deal. We dont get to claim ignorance of the burden. We get to take on the burden. Thats the deal, and were on it.But dont trust us on this. Distrust us. Make us prove our words have weight. Make us prove it again and again. We have much to repair, and hiding from it or fronting off the responsibility is what got us here in the first place. Were who you complain to. Were who you cry with. Were who you roll up your sleeves and work next to. Were Penn State, and it will mean something again. Dont know when, but it will happen.Now, what can we do for you?Barring that, the athletic department is heading for a whole lot of doom in the next few years. It may anyway. But anything that doesnt look like what its doing now is the only way Penn State has of saving itself.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?”