The Penn State Family has turned Joe Paterno's statue into a shrine. Photo by Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

What do YOU know about Joe Paterno?

Over the last few days, I have answered emails, messages and tweets about how disgraceful it is to support Joe Paterno. These people generally reference some non-fact about how Joe “knew about boys being raped and did nothing” or “hid this secret for his friend.”
I said this on Twitter but wanted to repeat it:
If you knew nothing about Joe Paterno on November 1st, PLEASE do not pretend to be a historian on Joe Paterno now.
If you don’t know the story about Joe flying to Philadelphia every other week to visit paralyzed Adam Taliaferro in the hospital then you don’t know Joe.
If you’ve never read about Joe making the entire team clean the stadium for a season following a brawl involving several players, what exactly have you read?
How about Joe and his wife donating $100,000 to Penn State three weeks after that same university fired him over the phone?
While on his death bed, Joe said that he hopes the truth comes out and those kids get justice. That’s who Joe was. Selfless.
He was the man who told president Nixon to “shove it” and told president Reagan that he couldn’t have his name on his jersey at the White House because “we’re team players.”
Joe Paterno created “The Grand Experiment” and graduated 87% of his football players, a shockingly high number.
There is a reason that NONE of Joe’s associates, peers or colleagues have come out with a negative story about him. It’s the same reason that has Michael Robinson is traveling from Hawaii to State College to give a eulogy, just to fly back back to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. The same reason that had Daryll Clark in tears on ESPN, had 800 former lettermen show up from across the country yesterday and had thousands of people lining the street today for his funeral procession. It’s because Joe Paterno was a quality human being who left a lasting impression on every life he came into contact with.
He made Penn State a better institution. He made his players better men. He made a mistake.
If you’re going to email me about what an awful person Joe Paterno was, you are wasting your time. You don’t know Joe like I know Joe.

“We Are, because you were.”

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Tags: Joe Paterno

  • IBleedBlueandWhite

    Well said. As great a coach as Joe Paterno was, he was an even greater human being. A teacher, philantropist, father figure to thousands of PSU alums and much more. With Joe it was never about just winning football games, it was about building men and preparing them for the challenges of life. Anyone who actually met Joe Paterno knew they were in the presence of greatness. A brief talk with him and you left the conversation feeling enobled. While his passing has left a great void in the hearts of countless lives, I’m sure that the host in heaven is rejoicing at the arrival of Joseph Vincent Paterno. “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter your Father’s rest that was prepared for you before the foundation of the world.”

  • dew53

    I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, through all of this we have been shown a side of humanity that is pathetic, self righteous and shallow. Whether it is the media and so-called journalists that pounced on the opportunity (without facts to back them up) in an attempt to bring down a man such as Joe Paterno, or the idiots who have appointed themselves as judge, jury and executioner in the matter and have gone out of their way online (once again without facts to support their statements) to drag Joe, his family, the PSU football program, and the Penn State family mercilessly through the mud, the real disgrace, other than the actual alleged crime, is how disgustingling low we have stooped as a people. JoePa’s legacy will endure … Penn State will endure … The football program will endure … Why ?? Because they stand for what is good and meaningful in our lives. As for those of you, and you know who you are, who used this situation to promote your own agenda at the expense of others, you have only demonstrated your ignorance and I feel bad for you, that you somehow need to resort to such means to feel good about yourselves or achieve some sort of satisfaction. Joe Paterno will live on in the hearts of multitudes. I wonder if the same will someday be said about you. God Bless Joe Paterno and all of the mistakes he ever made and God Bless you and yours.