Friday, July 6, 2007

Countdown to Kickoff: 57 Days

As we continue on our daily countdown towards the 2007 season, we are now at 57. That means less than two months until Joe Paterno steps on the field for what will be his 57th year at Penn State University. How can someone not root for this guy, even if you have no ties to Penn State, JoePa has to be everyone's favorite ball coach...

Joseph Vincent Paterno was born in Brooklyn, New York on December 21, 1926. He was born during the Great Depression, but he battled to difficult times and got himself into Brown University where he played quarterback and cornerback. After graduating from Brown in 1950, JoePa became an assistant coach at Penn State and, well, the rest is history. He became head coach of the Nittany Lions in 1966 and has been the face of the university ever since. The 80 year old ball coach has compiled a career record of 363-121-3 overall (22-10-1 in bowl games), which includes two national championships ('82, '86) and numerous awards along the way.

Despite his many successes on the field, JoePa is most known for keeping the integrity, morals, and values of the game intact, and molding his players into mature young men and model citizens. The NCAA has never placed Paterno's program on probation nor have they investigated Penn State for any violations or wrong-doing. He has long been outspoken about his wishes to ban legalized gambling on college sports in the state of Nevada. This guy is the definition of class. A classic example of his old-school (but effective) ways of disciplining his team is when he did not single out any individuals for an incident that occurred in April, and instead chose to punished his entire team by assigning them community service.

Joe Paterno represents everything that is right about college football and is one of the reasons that college football is so great. Retire on your terms Joe, you've more than earned it...

Fight On!

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