BALTIMORE (WUSA) -- The longtime sports director of WBAL television in Baltimore has always been proud of his name. First because of his father, a former pro football player and coach, and, after that, over the past 20 years, because of all that he himself has accomplished as a sports anchor, and as the radio voice of the Baltimore Ravens.
But last month, when former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was charged with sexually assaulting young boys, the popular sportscaster's feelings about his name changed dramatically.
Yours probably would, too, if you suddenly shared a name with an accused pedophile.
Calling this the strangest experience of his life, Gerry Sandusky the sportscaster says in addition to getting very strange looks from people when he introduces himself these days, he's been deluged with emails and twitter messages, many of them negative.
"It's been a stream of 'you filthy bleepin' dirty rotten, may you rot, I hope you die a thousand deaths and come back and have to do it all over again,'"Sandusky says.
The two Sanduskys have met one time, back in 1986, when Gerry interviewed Jerry leading up to the national championship football game. Gerry with a G says they laughed about sharing the same name, but the veteran sportscaster isn't laughing now.
To add to the confusion about the two Sanduskys, the father of Gerry Sandusky the sportscaster was named John. John Sandusky played football for the Cleveland Browns. Meanwhile, the son of Jerry Sandusky the accused pedophile is also named John. That John Sandusky currently works for the Cleveland Browns.
Sandusky says the nasty emails have slowed down a bit recently, but he's well aware that his name might always have a certain taint. He's also aware there's really not much he can do about it, except perhaps grin and bear it with the poise of a man accustomed to trying to win over an audience, saying, "I try to be as pleasant and patient as I can with this unbelievable barrage of people who really hate the sound of my name."