For months I’ve avoided this topic. It wasn’t an Alabama issue and this site covers the Crimson Tide.
But today, Joe Paterno’s death transcends it all.
It’s a sad, yet hardly surprising end to the life of a man who shaped the game. Paterno was straight out of a time machine — from the era of the of America’s greatest generation.
His passing certainly evokes memories of Bear Bryant’s final post-retirement days. Coaching was Paterno’s life, and unfortunate circumstances led to an ugly end. His players couldn’t carry him off the field a Bryant’s did in the Liberty Bowl.
Covering the Tide, I had the Sept. 10, 2011 date circled for some time. The opportunity to see a game at Penn State was crossed off the bucket list that afternoon.
Alabama beat Penn State 27-11, though Paterno coached from the box instead of the field. Who could’ve guess that would be the final loss for the coach who won more than any other?
History has yet to complete Paterno’s legacy.
The Jerry Sandusky scandal soiled the end, but it’s impossible to ignore all that came first.
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