Saturday, May 30, 2009

Who Wants To Be Paterno?

According to Bill Schackner reporting in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Paterno is a millionaire. Come on now, did we not know that already?

Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno topped $1 million in salary
last year, making him the highest salaried employee at the university, according
to data the school will file under the state's new Open Records Law.Mr. Paterno's salary for the period ending in June 30, 2008 was $1,037,322, the university said today.

The disclosure is the fullest accounting yet of the earnings of one of America's most widely known athletic coaches, though the amount would not include any outside funding that coaches typically receive. It does include a head coach's bonus and any other bonuses he might receive, as well as compensation from the university for television and radio appearances.

A couple of years ago, the figure was over $500,000, but apparently did not reflect any bonuses or cost of living increases. In the end, though, is his salary really unreasonable given what Paterno has done for Penn State through the decades?

Get Well Corso

According to this blurb from ESPN, Lee Corso of College Gameday has had a stroke:

ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said Thursday that the stroke was caused by blockage to a small artery, but the 73-year-old former coach suffered no permanent damage and is expected to make a full recovery. Corso issued a statement in which he called the stroke a "small bump in the road" and a "not so fast, my friend, in my game of life" -- a play on one of his more well-known quips.

Get Well Soon, Lee. Soon Lee? Sounds Chinese? Now I'm hungry.

CFN Pre-season

While CFN has yet to make an official prediction (it is only May!), Pete Fiutak has already taken a look into the upcoming 2008 season . . .

In the last four years, Penn State has won 40 games in the last, won two Big Ten titles, won an Orange Bowl, beat an SEC team (Tennessee) in an Outback Bowl, won an Alamo Bowl, and went to a Rose Bowl. . . it's also been strong in the classroom earning an Academic Progress Rate score of 976, putting the program in the 80th-90th percentile.

Sure there have been widely publicized off-the-field character issues to put a minor taint on what's been going on in the win-loss column, and while Paterno hasn't handled all of the controversies as cleanly as some would like, at least he responds with punishments and isn't afraid to duck the controversies. What has happened with some of the Penn State players, from DUIs to a marijuana bust, happens at every school and with every team, but you don't hear about it. Actually, you do, but it's cloaked in the ever nebulous Violation Of Team Rules catch-all.

The talent level remains ridiculously high with new stars about to replace the old ones. . . The backfield is loaded, led by Big Ten Player of the Year candidate Daryll Clark at quarterback and potential top five overall pick Evan Royster at running back. The linebacking corps goes from being a major question mark before last year to one of the best in the nation thanks to the return of Sean Lee from a knee injury and with Navorro Bowman an All-American who'll do even more. . . . What to watch for on offense: The new receivers. . . . What to watch for on defense: The secondary. This could be the Achilles heel. . . . The schedule is so light and breezy that the team should be able to throw on the helmet and win ten games without breathing hard. . . . The season will be a success if ... Penn State wins 11 games for the third time in five years and goes to the Rose Bowl for the second year in a row. There are just enough holes and just enough concerns to forget about a national title shot.

As my loyal readers know, I rarely agree with a lot of these on-line assessments, but Pete has pretty much nailed this spot on. We all know the development of the o-line is going to be key--it's always key, but especially this year. We know the secondary is being rebuilt from the ground up. We know we're replacing some great players.

But the schedule is that easy. Anything less than 10 wins will be disappointing, and if Paterno wants another undefeated season, he better put his team in position this year, because it won't get any easier than this. Iowa and Ohio State are both at home--both have their own questions and rebuilding/reloading to accomplish. THEM (*) is away, but will be showcasing a freshman QB. Illinois is away and that will be a challenge. Northwestern, a team that took Missouri into OT, will be away and sandwiched between Ohio State and THEM--a trap game if you will. But still . . . the potential is there for a great season.

Of course, it's always easy to be optimistic beofre they actually play any games!

(*) THEM. For those not familiar with the term, this is my designation for that school in Ann Arbor. Woody Hayes had already taken the "team up North." THEM stands for THE M, as in that big block M formation they make whilst playing that annoying fight song and shouting Hail as if the whole stadium is in sudden need of a taxi. They are too sexy for their ugly helmets. They are just all that . . . the college football world revolves around THEM.

Cup O' Joe

Gordie Jones of FOS has a recap of a recent press conference with the legend himself.

Paterno was asked about Bowman:

Paterno said, “Right now he doesn't have any problems, as long as he keeps up
his academics.” Paterno added that Bowman still has to complete his community service -- “and in all fairness to Navorro, there was some misunderstanding about who was going to supervise that part of it.” But as far as the team is concerned, he is in good standing.
Hopefully, Navarro will keep things together.

About Notre Dame being the 12th member of the Big Ten . . .
“I think they've had their chance,” he said.
Classic! Let's face it, ND brings viewership, but little else to the Big Ten. And as long as the Irish can negotiate their own TV contracts, they have no incentive to join any conference.
On incoming recruits . . .

“You know what I tell high school kids when they come in?” he said. “ 'Get ready to get knocked on your ass. This ain't high school. You come here, and you've got a lot to learn. If you think you're going to walk across the field and say I'm all-this, I'm all-that, it ain't going to work. You've got to get out there, you've got to take your bumps and your bruises and you've got to get after it.' Which ones are going to do it? How do I know? I've never been on the practice field with any one of those incoming kids. They've never heard me yell at them.”
He said "ass!" BOOGER! Then, he compares football to . . . chess:
“Chess, the king can do one thing, the pawn can do another thing, the whole bit. Football and coaching is (determining) who's the pawn? Who's the king? So you can put them all together. ... I don't have any reservations about playing a freshman. ... When I say to a kid, 'Hey, get ready to get knocked on your rear end,' I also tell him, 'Learn. Learn why you got knocked on your rear end, so when you come out to practice the next day, they're not going to knock you on your rear end the same way. And you've got a chance to knock him on his rear end.' There's no hard-and-fast rules. We've got a bunch of kids coming in, we're going to work our butts off to see how good they can be, and how much we can help them be good. We've got to put the combination together that gives us the best chess board.”
Will they go back to the checkerboard end zone? Does that mean he'll open the Akron game with a Ruy Lopez opening? I imagine Paterno is more fond of the Sicilian Defense, though.

Friday, May 29, 2009

WPSU in Pennsylvania

I feel like Dr. Johnny Fever from WKRP in Cincinnati. For those who may not remember the TV show, Johnny Fever was a has-been DJ who was fired from his original job for saying "booger" on the air.

After blogging for 6 years on as THE 50-Yard Lion, I was fired for telling off an irritating Buckeye Fan (isn't that redundant). I thought personal email was just that--personal and private. Apparently I was wrong.

After prodding me one too many times with this:

I log on to other big ten school sites get their take on opposing teams, things in general. Each case there is a rivaly[friendly] lotta chain yanking etc. but no where, no one spews the venom, constantly bad mouthing[big time] the other conf. teams in particular OSU,MICH,[them as you refer]IOWA, pretty much the top tier teams who pretty much beat the Nits on a regular basis. I could be wrong in my assesment of you, but don't think so.

Seems to me the excellent reputation PSU & Joe has enjoyed [pre-big ten entry] is being severely damaged lately by your unruly & downright nasty, foul mouth fans.

Are you aware OSU will never send the band in there again?

So I responded in a nasty and foul mouth. (Isn't that what he expected???) I berated his team, the Big Ten conference, the refs, the midwest sportswriters who slighted PSU in 1994, and the Buckeye Band just for good measure. This guy has contacted me several times over the years, and quite frankly, I just wanted him to leave me alone. None of this was public--most folks just post public comments rather than private emails. But the guys at PennLive thought otherwise, when the weanie ran home and told mommy.

So here I am. Dr. Toddy Fever.

What I find interesting, is that although I foul-mouthed (again, isn't that what he called us PSU fans--doesn't anyone at PennLive see the ironic wit in that) his team/conference/and band, he responded by assailing me . . .
b4 joining big ten ya'll were a bunch of bitchin cry babies back then too. FACT--you toddy baby got a hard-on for the world. I think you were abused as a child & judgeing from your photo, bad-mitten was prob your most physical sport.

This guy has boasted that he is a driver for Barbara Sinatra--who has a foundation for abused children. I wonder how she would feel about him when he passes gems like that along.

Anyway the blogspot interface seems pretty friendly, and I was able to set up this platform for my drivel in practically no time at all.

So without further ado, we'll get back to blogging Penn State football as before. And the sport is badminton. But who is judging? BOOGERS!