Big Ten Wednesday mailbag
2 hours ago
|Figment of our imaginations?|
There he was: this little, hunched-over Italian guy wearing a coat that looked two sizes too large, wandering through the middle of the field staring at some notes he was holding. At first, I felt bad because he looked like he was reading those notes like he needed directions to his office or something. I would find out later that Joe always carried his hand-written notes around with him to keep himself on task. He made his way over to us, introduced himself – like THAT was needed – and made a little joke about us bringing the cold weather with us from Erie. I soiled my pants right there.How cool would that have been? I have Erie Envy! The Guy From Erie goes on . . .
Later on, we had dinner in the team dining room with the players and the coaches, and the evening ended with a trip on one of the blue buses to Beaver Stadium. The entire ride was narrated wonderfully by a former player, who stood on the steps by the driver:
“When you turn this corner, you’re going to look out of the window and see thousands of people tailgating in the fields around the stadium.”
“When you turn THIS corner, you’re going to see this 85 year-old alum who hasn’t missed a home game in 50 years…he came to see YOU play today.”
“When you turn THIS corner, the crowd is starting to swell…you’ll start hearing the sirens from the police escort in front of you.”
“When you turn THIS corner, you’re going to feel the bus start to shake from the fans that are running next to it and pounding on it.”
“And finally…you’ve arrived at Beaver Stadium, where 3,000 fans are waiting to see you get off the bus. The quarterback is the first one off, which is the symbol that on game day, it’s his team now. Joe exits the bus second, followed by the starting offensive team.”
If I took one single thing away from that weekend, it was this: When Joe Paterno stood up to speak, the room went quiet. Not “any” quiet…Catholic church quiet. Dead silence.Wow. The part about Jay is kind of out of whack, but the whole experience plays out like a dream sequence. And there's more facts--video and pictures-- in this blog than you will ever find in the Freeh Report!
Respect. That’s just the way it was.
Joe thanked all of us for traveling to State College, made a few remarks, and said he was looking forward to seeing us later at his home for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres…he spoke so softly, but was as sharp as a tack. He finished with stating, “That was a pretty good speech…I usually get paid a buck for that. Of course, a buck used to be worth a lot more a few years ago.” Cute.
At that point – I will never forget this – Jay Paterno shouted out something about Bush being a moron. It was like the most inappropriate thing I ever saw in my life, and may ever see. I watched all of the assistant coaches nervously look at each other and roll their eyes as in…w-o-w. C’mon, Jay…REALLY? In fairness, Jay DID handle the aftermath of the Sandusky mess with dignity, so maybe his dad kicked his arse so hard that night that he learned his lesson.
Insider information: when you looked around the room, you could have been at Harvard. ALL of the coaches wore navy-blue blazers, striped ties, and shined shoes. Short haircuts, and no facial hair. The wives were decked out in silk dresses, lots of very nice jewelry, very high heels, and had professionally styled hair. It was quite a scene.
Okay, into the white van driven by our chaperon for the weekend: Mr. Mike McQueary. I am NOT kidding. But, we’re on our way to “Joe and Sue’s.”
I believe the murals/posters of Joe in the football building are gone now, like he never existed. What a shame.Amen.
I love Penn State, and I love Joe Paterno. His name will be cleared. Justice will run it’s course. He was a good man – not without flaws – but a good man.
Ferguson verbally committed to Penn State early Friday evening, becoming the team's 18th recruit in its 2013 class. Ferguson, though, will enroll in January and count against the Nittany Lions' 2012 scholarship numbers.
Ferguson is rated second only to Iowa Western's Kansas State recruit Jake Waters among national JUCO quarterback prospects by 247Sports.com.
Maxwell Football Club President Ron Jaworski has announced that the 2012 senior members of the Penn State football team will be honored as winners of the Club’s Thomas Brookshier Spirit Award in recognition of their commitment, leadership and outstanding effort during this season.The actual award will be presented in Atlantic City on March 1, 2013.
Penn State completed the 2012 season, its first under Coach Bill O’Brien, with an 8-4 record, winning eight of its final 10 games. The Nittany Lions were 6-2 in Big Ten Conference play, with the only setbacks coming to division winners Ohio State and Nebraska. Under O’Brien, the Big Ten-Dave McClain Coach of the Year, Penn State finished the season by defeating eventual Big Ten champion Wisconsin, 24-21 in overtime, on Senior Day.
“The senior leaders at Penn State demonstrated incredible commitment, character and effort during the past year, and what they accomplished on the field this fall is just astonishing”, said Jaworski.
“With the difficult circumstances surrounding the program it would have been easy for many of these players to look for a different situation to finish their college careers. But they chose to stay and support their teammates, coaches and university. The spirit and courage demonstrated in their actions is worthy of recognition with the Thomas Brookshier Spirit Award. They are a very special group of young men.”
McGloin helped the Nittany Lions to an 8-4 record this season, setting school records for yards passing (3,266) and touchdowns (24) in a season. The senior also holds the school mark for career passing touchdowns (46).CONGRATULATIONS MATT!
The West Scranton (Pa.) native's only scholarship offer out of high school was from Lehigh. He helped Penn State win eight of its final 10 games this season, throwing for at least 200 yards and a touchdown in all 12 games.
The other finalists were Michigan safety Jordan Kovacs and San Jose State offensive tackle David Quessenberry.