Show Me the Highlights: Sorry, Kid, But You Can't Watch ESPN Right Now. Maybe Later.

For the last year, my 8-year-old boy's had a morning routine that involves watching SportsCenter and reading SportsDay over breakfast. Today he wanted to watch highlights from last night's Stars win over the Capitals, 5-2, making Dallas tops in the NHL -- big news 'round our house in the absence of pro basketball, which doesn't appear to be in any rush to return to the hardwood. But we had cancel the boy's programming plans, given the Penn State sex-abuse story that now dominates the network -- all others too.

He follows along just enough to know the name Joe Paterno, now on the verge of retiring, according to most reports; he's aware of the coach's stature, his legend. But yesterday the boy asked what the ESPN anchors meant by the "inappropriate touching" of young boys; and so, off the TV went while we fumbled for an explanation. Then he wondered why basketball players and owners can't agree on how to chop up their millions. Sigh. I suggested perhaps we just go outside and throw around the football till first bell. Said he, "Good idea."

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