For those non-Penn State fanatics who read this blog (I think there may be one of you out there), you may not know that last week marked a milestone for the Nittany Lions' favorite octogenarian, Joe Paterno. For the other 99% of you, this is old news but hopefully you can share it with someone who isn't a fanatic and convert them to our side!
With the Nittany Lions' 35-21 win over Northwestern on Saturday, Joe became the only Division I football coach to reach 400 victories. Yes, you read that right. In a sport where teams play 12 games per year, he has won 400 times.
As always when Joepa reaches a milestone, I am proud not only of his success on the field but also off it. Joe and his wife Sue have donated more than $5 million to Penn State to build the Paterno library. People like to joke that most schools name the library after the president and the stadium after the football coach; Penn State did it the other way around. Joe has turned down many chances to go to the NFL and make more money because he loves Penn State and the opportunity to work with athletes at such a critical turning point in their lives. From day one he made his goal "Success with Honor" and I believe he has succeeded remarkably well.
During the post game celebration (at about 4:30 in the video below) Joe addresses the question of why he has stayed so long. Anyone who has been in that stadium when everyone is cheering will know why I get chills watching.
"They ask me why I stayed here so long, and you know what...look around."
I also enjoyed this video produced by Penn State. Although it's a bit on the sappy side, I loved the historical footage.
Now that we've celebrated this incredible achievement, let's follow Joe's advice and go beat Ohio State!