I'm glad it's gone. That metallic idol that would have reminded so many of how an institution failed so many youth.
For those that want to remember the good things that Joe Paterno accomplished throughout his life, try the same tactic that Jerry Sandusky's victims have to try not to do each day of their lives.
Remember him in vivid detail in your mind -- in stories.
You see, stories are where men belong. Not formed into idols; landmarks for the greatest of goods that each of them stood for. Because we all know that deep under that hard bronze core is a gaping cavern of darkness.
Stories are powerful not only because they allow us to remember, but because we know they inherently possess the characteristic of embellishment. They beg to be questioned. We smile and laugh at the fish stories of heroes -- partly because they make us feel good, and also because we know there's an element of fabrication to them.
But to erect a statue for those still walking among us might be even more of a ludicrous act. For those who have passed, the symbol of their human form can act as a great conversation piece.
The difference, however, is that the deceased have completed their story. We have had an opportunity to assess their entire life's work. We're better equipped to decipher if their story is worthy of immortalization through the construction of a statue or other means.
For some reason -- Joe Paterno's couldn't wait. But he isn't alone. Albert Pujols, Bud Selig, Jerry West, Magic Johnson, Wayne Gretzky, and even Nick Saban are among the flesh-and-blood sports stars with statues already standing in their honor.
They have been immortalized before their final chapter has been written -- already awarded for an unfinished story.
A better way exists. To tell the stories of ordinary living men we should be doing the one thing the Penn State scandal denied so many victims: Using our voices instead of bowing to idols.
How do you feel about statues of living "heroes" and "stars"?
Justin Mikels is a staff writer for Operation Sports. Follow him on Twitter @long_snapper.