clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Paterno Considers Coaching Via Retirement

New, 1 comment

How much did Joe Paterno enjoy the press box during his recovery from the gruesome broken leg he suffered at Wisconsin? Like, a lot. Like, so much, he might try it again:

"You can see so much more, you can do things," he said. "I tried not to interfere with the guys upstairs because they know what they're doing. But, every once in awhile, I'd drop a little note to them and say, 'Hope to get this,' or 'That corner's playing awfully tight.'

"You're really a cheerleader most of the time down on the sideline. ... I enjoyed being upstairs, I really did. I sat down, had a nice time, had a cup of coffee. I felt like a newspaper guy. I was even able to watch television."

(Hat tip: Das Viz)

Paterno: on his way up. Seriously - where's the elevator?
- - -
Get away from the field, stay out of the other guys' way, have a nice cup, watch a little tube - it's a sweet life, as most of us already know. After 50 years, the emotion and stress on the sideline just wears on you, you know? Names and faces and games and whole years start running together, and your mind starts wandering to things like fishing, or eating brains, and almost don't want to be there. It's weird. You just want to, I dunno, step away from it all? The press box seems like a good place for that. Probably there are old friends up there to talk to and it'll be great.

In fact, Paterno could probably just spend Saturdays at home, sending in plays via telegraph and carrier pigeon while he rakes his yard, finally. That would make it much easier on him, without all the travel and yelling and decision-making, and really, you should see that hellhole of a flower bed after all this time. Jesus. And if a concussed Luther Van Damme can demonstrate his savantish genius for defense by catching the winning tell (a Western Texas offensive lineman sticks his big butt in the air before pass plays) from his makeshift hospital room beneath the stadium during the pivotal moments of the Pioneer Bowl, Zombie JoePa can probably do it in his sleep. Which sounds pretty great right about now, actually.

Leave the last word on the matter to Ron Zook:

"I think coach Paterno is just trying to give you guys something to write about," Zook said.

"Gosh, he has forgotten more football than most of us know."

Emphasis mine, because, gosh, there are so many layers of nerve-bearing truth in that statement, so much more brutal honesty than Zook could have possibly intended...the mind, it boggles...