Friday night produced no real winners.
If you were on Twitter or Facebook or read any columns that sprouted up late Friday night, you might be fooled into thinking someone won when the news broke about the verdict for Jerry Sandusky.
The jury found Sandusky guilty on 45 of 48 counts for abusing and sexually assaulting 10 children over 15 years. He will spend the rest of his life behind prison walls serving a sentence that will be a minimum of 60 years and a maximum of 442 years.
It seems that jury members did a good job at looking at the evidence, rehashing it and then reaching a verdict. They took their charge seriously, deliberating for 20 hours over two days, and didn't just vote quickly to follow the mob mentality.
Their guilty verdict means Sandusky will not be allowed to hurt any more kids, but the verdict didn't produce a winner. It can't magically restore those victims' childhood innocence or heal their mental and physical scars.
This verdict doesn't mean the families of Sandusky's victims are made whole again. And it doesn't erase the biggest mistake in Joe Paterno's life, a mistake which may forever tarnish the good he did.
Finding Sandusky guilty does not absolve those at Penn State or those at the Second Mile, Sandusky's charity, who knew about Sandusky's predilections but didn't act to stop him. A guilty verdict won't ease the guilt of Penn State athletes who thought they were giving back to their community when they volunteered to work with kids at the Second Mile but may have unknowingly helped a child predator find his victims.
Only one way exists for this verdict to be a victory for any party, and that way is if we learn from this tragic tale and thentake action.
Instead of running away when we see a child being abused, we need to fight, yell, scream and do everything in our power to make the abuse stop, right then and there.
Instead of covering up abuse and hiding it in the dark, we need to shed light on abuse and take the accusations seriously—no matter how powerful or popular the person being accused may be.
Instead of blaming victims and making them feel that their abuse is their fault, we need to give them the strength and support to have them come forward and tell their stories.
In the verdict of Jerry Sandusky, right now there are no winners. With any luck, Sandusky's victims may find some sense of closure and have a chance to begin their healing.
No, this guilty verdict is just another step in a long and tragic tale.
Follow Bryan Flynn at http://www.jfpsports.com, Facebook and @fpsports.