During halftime of last Saturday's Penn State-Nebraska game, ESPN's Mark May said: "This story is just beginning. It's not going to end."
Judging by the night-after-night coverage now into its second week, May was probably right. It seems as if this scandal, and the coverage of it, has no end.
I am sure Penn State, while still offering prayers and support for the alleged victims, would like this tragedy to go away and a sense of normalcy to return to campus. The sooner the cameras and microphones leave, the better, is what they're thinking.
However, each day this week brought new developments in a case that continues to be the talk of the country. Nothing else — certainly not the Republican presidential battle, the Occupy Wall Street gang, the White House shooter, the economy — has been able to stop the media frenzy in State College.
In the first week of the story, ESPN was all over it.
Now, the nightly news programs, Anderson Cooper, Bill O'Reilly, Sarah Palin, even the "Extra" entertainment program, have all devoted lengthy segments.
A just-arrived NBC release says Bob Costas will be appearing on "Rock Center with Brian Williams" on Monday night to discuss the latest developments in the case.
The next edition of HBO's "Real Sports," premiering Tuesday night, will explore a sex-abuse case in the sport of tennis involving a longtime coach of young women, Bob Hewitt.
A summation of that segment in an HBO release states: "Every day the care and instruction of children are entrusted to athletic coaches, but sometimes that trust is painfully compromised."
Obviously, that's a link to Penn State.
Penn Staters have to cringe at all the publicity, except that like a car wreck on the side of the road, they can't help but want to see what's happening. Some are probably happy that the focus has shifted from Joe Paterno to Jerry Sandusky and his lawyer, along with Mike McQueary.
However, the conflicting stories and the doors slamming in the faces of those asking questions are hardly helping the Penn State brand.
As for last week's game, ESPN deserves credit for successfully walking the emotional tightrope and covering the game with dignity while neither glossing over the situation nor overplaying it.
Tom Rinaldi's quick postgame interview with Jay Paterno added one more lasting, indelible image from a story that has rocked all of college athletics and certainly the sports fans of this region.
Likewise, the "Penn State Football Story," a weekly half-hour show that recaps the game, did its best to capture the emotion of last Saturday while not offering commentary on the situation. The focus was on the seniors and the players, victims themselves after being thrust into the most negative of situations through no fault of their own.
While this is a story of sheer horror — and really, only murder affects us more deeply than allegations of sexual abuse of children — it is also about the fall of a powerful institution and one of the most recognizable and successful figures in all of sports.
Had this ugliness occurred at a Kansas, New Mexico State or even a suddenly popular school like Boise State, the ripple effect would not have spread nearly as far as it has at Penn State, where the image had been nearly pristine and Paterno was the grandfather of college football.
One Saturday in the distance — maybe the second or third game of next season — you'll actually hear a Penn State football report that won't mention Sandusky or Paterno.
Until then, there will be few places for those who care about the school to escape this still hard-to-believe nightmare.
UFC delivers a knockout
The long buildup led to a fast knockout, but the UFC scored solid ratings in its debut on Fox on Saturday night.
The fight in which junior dos Santos defeated defending heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez via a first-round knockout was the most-watched UFC event ever, drawing 5.7 million viewers.
It was the most-watched professional fight of any kind since the Lewis-Klitschko heavyweight bout on HBO back in 2003, and it was the most-watched fight of any kind on a broadcast network since Oscar De La Hoya's "Fight Night on Fox" in 1998.
Did you notice?
With Comcast Corp. now owning NBC Universal, you're going to see a lot of crossover between previously separate entities. For instance, Comcast SportsNet regular Ray Didinger popped up on NBC10's "Football Night in Philly" show late Sunday night/early Monday morning after the Pats-Jets game.
Quote of the week
"It's going to be an ugly week in Philadelphia, there's no way around that," NBC's Cris Collinsworth said. "You don't lose at home to Arizona with a backup quarterback in the game and not have the City of Brotherly Love have a few suggestions for you."
KEITH'S CAN'T MISS
The Eagles visit the Giants on NBC on Sunday night (7 p.m. pregame, 8:20 kickoff), seeking another miracle at the Meadowlands, which would mean rising from the rubble of a season nearly lost.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun