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BISHER: Sandusky's disgrace and other musings

If you're like me, you wonder why news publications (at least most of them) continue to handle the Jerry Sandusky scandal as a sports page matter. Sports sections should never be tainted by the sad news pouring out of the Penn State athletics department.

In all my years of as a journalist, I've never known of such a scandalous affair, especially one that drew Joe Paterno off his pedestal, and virtually destroyed Penn State's athletics department and left the squeaky-clean Happy Valley atmosphere damaged beyond repair. Poor Joe came to grief trying to cover up for his old friend Sandusky, whom he had once projected as his eventual successor -- that is, if JoePa ever did decide to retire.

-- Sad and sorry to see that the Braves have decided they can keep going without Brooks Conrad.

Ol' Brooksie gave them some big pinch-hits in his two seasons, and there was one thing about that stood out: He was what some managers call a "dirt" player. Real dirt.

Nothing fancy about Brooksie. He never wore a batting glove, and if he decided he needed something to toughen up his hands, he reached down into the ground and scrubbed his palms with two handsful of dirt, virtually creating a dust storm at the plate. That's your real true version of a "dirt ball player." Gotta be a place out there somewhere for him.

-- Saw a story the other day that Dr. Robert Cade had died in Gainesville, Fla. Not famed as he should have been, and you've probably forgotten that Dr. Cade was the faculty member who created what became known as Gatorade. Since he was a staff member, and in the employ of the university, he got little in financial return for his creation.

I visited him in the middle of his rising fame and found him to be just as down to earth as the vehicle he drove. It was an old Studebaker with a patch of rust on the hood. Nice, humble, unpretentious gentleman. He was 80 years old.

-- I understand that Tiger Woods is now answering questions again. Too late for me. I don't have any questions any more.

-- So Harvey Updyke is soliciting funds to help pay for his legal defense -- you know, for poisoning those sacred (my term) trees at Toomer's Corner in Auburn. Just another foolish fan who thought he might become a hero in Tuscaloosa if he put to death an innocent tree in Auburn. Being a fan is one thing, being an idiotic fan is beyond the pale. Sorry, Harvey, but I'm afraid this is one case of idiocy you'll have to fly alone. The rest of the Tide is not rolling with you.

-- One lasting memory from the first college football game I ever saw had no bearing on the game. Duke was playing North Carolina in Durham, and the Blue Devil band was finishing its drill, members marking time at one end of the field. From what must have seemed quite a distance, the Blue Devil mascot let fly his forked spear -- which was a real forked spear in those days.

The spear flew downfield into the back of a band member in the rear of the line as he stood marking time. An ambulance was rushed to the scene and the stricken band member, spear still imbedded in his back, was rushed away. Never knew the outcome of his injury, but I do remember his name -- Arthur Stein.

-- In case you hadn't heard the news, a publisher is coming out with a reprint of some of Lewis Grizzard's books. And, if I were publisher of the Journal-Constitution, I'd come out with some reprints of his columns which first appeared therein.

Thus we sign off with selah.

Furman Bisher is one of the deans of American sports writing. The longtime Atlanta sports journalist is a member of the Georgia and Atlanta Sports Halls of Fame and in addition to his newspaper writing has authored multiple books on major figures like Hank Aaron and Arnold Palmer. He writes periodic columns for the Daily Post.