My Dear Joe

My dearest Joe,

I never thought we would come to this fork in the road. You, with your black shoes and khaki pants, doomed to wander down a long, dark road; filled with lawyers, judges, and juries (OH MY!).  Me, comfortably sitting in Jim Delany’s office, simply waiting for my journey to Indianapolis; soon to be placed in the gracious, loving, and deserving hands of this year’s best collegiate football Big Ten University.  A glorious and easy venture; much unlike yours.

Up until recently, we were supposed to embark on this “golden road” together.

See you, Amos Alonzo Stagg, and myself, we went together like peanut butter and jelly.  Like Buckwheat and Alfalfa.  Like old ladies and curlers.  We were a staple of excellence.  We represented the legends of the past and those still yet to come.  We represented leaders; leaders like we thought you were.  Leaders like we still hope you are.

But in light of the child sex-abuse scandal that has plagued Penn State, we have come to the conclusion to rid ourselves of your name, just as the university you ran, did.

I did not want it to come down to this Joe, I promise you that.  I begged Commissioner Delany to let the hearings play through.  He resisted.  He could not risk the negative light to shine on our already scandalous conference (i.e. Tressel, Jim).  He could not give me to the deserving victor, knowing your name was scarred into my skin.

To most, if we remained together, would be yet another reminder of the insubordination that took place on your watch to the unfortunate victims in this tragedy.  That is not what I am for.  That is not what I came in existence to represent.  You of all people, should understand that.

I know I’m doing this at a very inopportune time.  I know I’m only putting more hyperbolic fuel on the fire.  For that, I apologize.  But like the commissioner said, my namesake is intended to be celebratory and aspirational, not controversial.  So at this moment, it’s more important to focus on the players and the teams that will be competing in the championship game, forcing me to shy away from this tragic happening.  Not that it should be forgotten in anyway, it most definitely deserves its press.  But it does not need to cast a bigger shadow than it already will, during the inaugural Big Ten football championship game.

My dear Joe.  Again, I apologize, but you pushed my hand.  I wish you luck and nothing but wellness down your upcoming road, but I must draw the line.  I must take a stand.  I must leave you to do this on your own.  Away from me.  Away from Penn State.  Away from the Big Ten.  Away from everything you built.  Away from the Legends.  Away from the Leaders.  Away from the Pantheon of Big Ten Icons you were all but destined to lead.  Away from the game you love.

You will always be a leader in every athletic aspect to me.  I only wish you were a little bit more of one, outside the gates of Beaver Stadium.

With all my love,

The now “Stagg Championship Trophy”

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