In One Eye

Monday, October 10, 2005
While I'm certainly glad that Penn State's football fortunes have been so positive lately (number 8 in the country!), to read fulsome reports that Joe Paterno has suddenly turned back into a good coach and is essentially singlehandedly responsible for the Lions' undefeated season thus far is a bit much. (It's embarrassingly like reading various periodicals' paeans to the utterly incompetent Bush administration.)

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The man should have retired after the 1997 season, which featured the Enis-Jurevicius fiasco where a then 70 year old Joe Pa clearly demonstrated that he had no idea what was going on with his team.

Furthermore, his attitude of last year where the septuagenarian stated that retirement was "out of the question" shows just where his priorities lie. After Paterno and the Nittany Lions were below .500 in four of the last five years and had won a grand total of three Big Ten games in the last two years (thank God for Indiana), it was still all about Joe--the university and its football team be damned. Unfortunately, the pusillanimous duo of athletic director Tim Curley and university president Graham Spanier let it be known that Joe was, in fact, bigger than the university.

My suspicion is that this may be Joe Pa's last year. I've said before that there was no way this egomaniac was going to go out after a 4-9 season. A nice bowl game victory against some lesser light after a 9-2 regular season and Joe Pa will be able to go out on his terms--and be remembered as the great coach he used to be. Let's face it: Given his recent track record, it's this season that's probably the anomaly. He'd better use it for all it's worth.