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Bad sports, good sports: Philly sportswriter Bill Conlin accused of child molestation

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Bill Conlin, a legendary sportswriter for the Philadelphia Daily News, was accused of sexual abuse this week by a number of people, all claiming to have been abused back in the seventies. Four people, including one of Conlin’s nieces, accused the writer early in the week, and several others have come forward since, all claiming that he touched them when they were children. Unlike many other situations like this, these kids or witnesses to the events actually told their parents what happened. Across the board, those parents chose to try to handle the situation themselves rather than go to the police.

After the recent revelations at Penn State and Syracuse, it’s easy to think that there must be something in the water, but it is clear that the incredible publicity surrounding the Jerry Sandusky case has emboldened others to come forward and reveal long-held secrets about things that dramatically affected their lives. I know that we are supposed to presume innocence until guilt is proven, but when a number of people separately claim something like this about the same individual, and the stories all sound very credible, it is easy to assume that the accounts are true. Beyond that, it is tough to imagine people wanting to put themselves through the public scrutiny that comes with claims like these if they has not really happened.

Of course, it is difficult to imagine what is going through the thoughts of anyone who commits a heinous crime, but in the case of pedophiles, it is even harder. What could possibly possess someone to not only be sexually attracted to a child, which is completely twisted, but to also be willing, with a conscious mind, to take the innocence of that child and to likely mess up that child’s life forever. To have those urges is sick. To act on those urges is criminal and entirely repugnant. It is becoming clear that this happens far more often than I had thought possible, and that really makes me ill. I have never been a big fan of Conlin, but I will admit that he is a very talented writer and I have read his stuff on many occasions. If these charges are true, I hope he rots in jail for the rest of his life.

Bad sports, continued:

2) Last week’s Monday Night Football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Pittsburgh Steelers was delayed twice by power outages at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. It made for less than stimulating television.

3) Luis Suarez, a striker for Liverpool, was suspended for eight games after using a racial slur directed at ManU’s Patrice Evra during a match back in October.

4) For the second time this season, Yale University’s football program and the Rhodes Scholarship are being mentioned together. Last time, the school’s starting quarterback, Patrick Witt, was turning down a final interview for the scholarship in order to play against Harvard. This time, head coach Tom Williams has resigned his position after it was revealed that he lied about having been a candidate to be a Rhodes Scholar on his resume.

5) Texas A&M offensive lineman Joseph Villavisencio was killed in an automobile crash on Thursday. Villavisencio, 21, was trying to avoid hitting a bird when he ran into a semi headed in the other direction near Normangee, Texas.

6) A soccer playoff game in the Netherlands ended early on Wednesday after a melee involving a fan and one of the teams’ goalkeepers. Esteban Alvarado, keeper for Alkmaar, was kicked by a fan who had run onto the pitch during the match. When he retaliated, seemingly in self-defense, he was given a red card and ejected by an official. Alkmaar coach Gert Jan Verbeek then withdrew his team, saying that the call was unfair and his team did not feel safe.

7) Yorvit Torrealba, the talented but hot-headed catcher for the Texas Rangers, went way over the line during a game he was playing in the Venezuelan League on Friday. After striking out, Torrealba got into an argument with the umpire. The argument ended quickly, when the catcher actually struck the umpire in the mask with his hand. Brutal.

8) The showboating done by NFL wide receivers continues to amaze me. With eight seconds left in a thorough dismantling of the Dallas Cowboys by the Philadelphia Eagles, Miles Austin caught a touchdown pass that did nothing more than take the score from 20-0 to 20-7. Regardless, Austin spiked the ball emphatically in front of the defender. Hey Miles, take a look at the scoreboard, idiot.

Good sports:

1) In one of the more spectacular plays I have ever seen, Cincinnati Bengals receiver Jerome Simpson did a full front flip into the end zone over Arizona Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington. You have to watch the video to believe it.

Bad sports, good sports appears every Monday

Alan Spoll is a software quality assurance director from the suburbs of Philadelphia where he lives with his wonderful wife and children. He has spent his entire life as a passionate fan of the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, Flyers, and Penn State. Recent Phillies success aside, you will understand his natural negativity. Follow me on Twitter - @DocAlan02
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One Response to “Bad sports, good sports: Philly sportswriter Bill Conlin accused of child molestation”

  1. Alan, re: the Eagles/Cowboys game … “Merry Christmas” from some of us in the Lone Star State, to some of you in the Keystone State!

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