Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Lame Lion

This afternoon, the Penn State Nittany Lions will meet the University of Southern California Trojans in the Rose Bowl. A glorious football event to be sure. There are two great teams in the contest, but I am here to talk about one fellow.

What of Joe Paterno? He's at least a living legend. The eighty something year old coach has been leading the Nittany Lions his entire career. He has been at the helm since the mid-sixties.

from USA Today: Penn State has had one football coach since 1966. The rest of major college football has made 837 coaching moves — and counting.

With all due respect to that good-looking fellow who coaches for USC. Wow.

Who'll win? Probably USC. I hope Penn State wins, I can't explain my affinity for Paterno, but he's the entire reason I cheer for the Nittany Lions. Just look at Joe Paterno. Watch him stand still, watch him holler,watch him grimace. He ain't pretty, and he's all banged up, but he is a god among earthly leaders. Check out this ESPN video from today.

I wouldn't be posting this if Paterno weren't a winning coach, but that is still beside my point. What draws me to this joyful curmudgeon of a man only intensifies as he ages. In October of 2007, he got tackled inadvertently on the sideline of the Wisconsin game, and suffered an injury that would've ushered retirement for a lesser man. He's still at it today.

"Joe Pa" as fans have come to call him is attractive for reasons that confound reason. He's old. He's wrinkled. He's lame.

Something I daresay Joe Paterno knows is that we were not made for this world. Our bodies do wear and tear. As fit as we can be, we are still lame and in great need. Let us look forward to aging, let us be in the midst of it with grace and vigor like Joe Paterno.

Go Lions.

No comments: