On June 17th, 1994, almost one hundred million people watched OJ Simpson and A.C. Cowlings slowly drive down a freeway. It was as if everything else in the entire world ceased to exist. People lined the route chanting and screaming. NBC relegated the NBA Finals to a tiny box in the corner. There was simply nothing else that mattered at that moment. Two people were dead. One of the greatest, most beloved running backs in the history of football was accused. And none of us knew what the hell to make of it. The Juice was later acquitted in arguably the most controversial criminal trial of the century, but he was found guilty in civil court. His image never recovered, and now an overwhelming majority of the population is convinced he did it.

Last week, Joe Paterno was fired just hours after he released a statement indicating he would retire at the end of the season. After forty-six years, hundreds of wins and thousands of glowing newspaper articles, he was shown the door as the latest casualty of the ugliest scandal in the history of college sports. His longtime assistant coach and former heir apparent Jerry Sandusky was indicted on forty counts of raping, fondling and inappropriately behaving toward eight adolescent boys. Joe Pa was informed of the abhorrent allegation way back in 2002, told his superior and promptly pretended it never happened. The police were never called, and Sandusky continued working with children.

If we are to believe Simpson murdered two people, his act was vicious, cold and more than likely, impulsive. If we are to believe Joe Paterno willing let a child molester continue to victimize kids, his act was vicious, cold and completely calculated. What is truly worse: wrath or indifference? That’s a question that’s impossible to answer, but perhaps what can be properly quantified, at least years from now, is which sin the public looked at more harshly.

What do you think? When all is said and done, whose reputation will suffer more? Sound off by voting in the poll below…

Whose Reputation Will Suffer More?

For more questions of the day, head here.

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