'Caroline' not so sweet at Penn State


Happy Valley will have a different feel for Penn State football games this year.

The statue of Joe Paterno is gone, and the school will do its best to distance itself from that era. Players' last names will appear on the backs of their jerseys for the first time.

Fans likely will rally around the new coaching staff and the players who have chosen to stick around and help rebuild the shattered image of the once proud program.

Oh, yeah, and no more Neil Diamond.

The crowd sing-along of "Sweet Caroline" that has become a tradition at Beaver Stadium - and many other sports venues - will be no more.

The idea of more than 100,000 people at a Penn State football game shouting the lyric, "Touching me, touching you" takes on new meaning in a post-Jerry Sandusky world.

The Altoona (Pa.) Mirror reports the song no longer will be played during football games, though university officials say it is more a case of rotating stale music than avoiding the potentially troubling lyrics.

Sure, it is. And when opposing schools played "Take the Money and Run" when Cam Newton and Auburn or Reggie Bush and Southern California came to town, it was because of a sudden Steve Miller Band revival.

If stadium song lists are decided by avoiding potentially troublesome lyrics, arena music could change drastically.

Can The Gap Band's "You Dropped a Bomb on Me" not be played at a baseball game if a Japanese player is on the field? Sorry, stadium sound guy, you better not play CCR's "Who'll Stop the Rain" when you're hosting a New Orleans team.

Penn State made a bigger deal out of this situation than would have happened had they just continued with their tradition.

■ CRUEL WORLD - Tamira Thayne had the right idea.

She and her organization, Dogs Deserve Better, purchased the five-bedroom former dogfighting compound of Michael Vick and the 15 acres of land it sits on in Surry, Va., to establish a sanctuary for dogs that have been chained and penned.

The foundation was doing a world of good on the spot many horrific acts were committed against man's best friend.

Or was it?

The Associated Press reported the county's chief animal control officer, Tracy Terry, has filed charges of animal cruelty and inadequate care of animals charges against Thayne, though Terry declined to comment on how the dogs had been mistreated.

Thayne denied to the AP any wrongdoing and said no arrest warrants had been served.

What a crazy story. It's the animal world equivalent of a football coach starting a charity to help underprivileged children and then be arrested for molesting those children he was proclaiming to help.

■ EAT YOUR VEGETABLES - Reports of the new behavior restrictions on Dallas wide receiver Dez Bryant blew up on the Internet on Monday.

Though Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has denied any special rules for his young star, details have emerged of the agreement Bryant signed with the team.

He reportedly will have full-time chaperones/security, be prohibited from drinking alcohol and visiting strip clubs and must adhere to a midnight curfew.

Parody Twitter account @TheFakeESPN said the reports left one new stipulation out of the story: "Dez Bryant not allowed to watch TV until he eats all of his green beans."

COMPILED BY ADAM HILL LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

 

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