The Rutgers game was the ugliest, most exciting match I’ve seen in a while. It’s the perfect example of why I’ll never be a fair weather fan. I always, always hold out hope for the last minute. I’m always thinking, “come on guys, we can do this,” as hard as possible towards the television as if focusing all of my positive energy will somehow produce the desired winning outcome. And sometimes it actually happens! Can you even believe we won that mess?!
I’m sure you’ve also heard about the mess off the field. Terribly distasteful, baseless signs in the parking lot. Inappropriate, unfunny t-shirts. Official apology statements. I hope we can put that whole thing behind us when we meet again next year. No one seems to think the Big Ten Conference is worth a whole lot but one thing I’ve appreciated is the mutual respect for each other. Sure we hate Michigan and Ohio State but we don’t make signs that mock tough times in their histories. We still have respect for the opposing university even in our rivalries. We might just have to take Rutgers under our wing and show them how we do. Maybe the Rutgers game becomes next year’s Blue Out.
With that business handled and another win behind us, we focus our attention to the most important game: the next one.
Some Penn Staters have proposed a Joe Out this weekend. The organizers’ vision is that everywhere you turn you see JoePa. The whole stadium turned Paterno. Rolled up khakis, Joe cut outs, dark rimmed glasses, 409, you get the idea.
Fox Sports called it “divisive.”
Honoring a man who had 61 years of exceptional service to a university, who funded a library, who had more wins than anybody, who followed not only the law but also the NCAA’s “new” system of reporting abuse, who was THE ONLY PERSON to humbly express regret that with the benefit of hindsight he wished he could have done more-- how is that DIVISIVE?! Forgive me for yelling but. Come. On.
Do you think James Franklin can’t handle the fans honoring a phenomenal former coach? I bet he can.
Even Urban Meyer handled a former coach’s return for celebration. Jim Tressel can break the rules and return to his university and stadium to receive a rousing ovation. He gets lifted into the air to the cheers of 100,000 adoring fans.
Do you think Joe Paterno is underserving of a celebration until some irrelevant organization decides he is? Joe Paterno followed the rules, and the law, and is the winningest coach of all time and he got... his wins revoked and his statue removed and zero tribute. Ignorant haters can hate away. Your animosity toward Joe Paterno has no basis in fact. Kindly go over the information, not the media spin, before leaving your venom below.
So what is it? I really need someone to explain this to me. How are we still here three years later?
Penn State, you still owe Coach Paterno a worthy tribute. You still owe it to his family, the alumni, the fans, and to Coach Franklin. We still deserve the opportunity to commemorate and move happily forward. If our university leadership will not step up, then we must begin the tribute in own way.
Let’s do it. Let’s Joe the whole darn country out. I’m here in Philly with my pants rolled up and my “Thanks Joe” t-shirt. How about you?