Friday, November 18, 2005

Paterno: Mandel's Sportsman of the Year

Stewart Mandel (who's lauded the Lions all year) picked Joe Paterno for Sportsman of the Year for SI, and man, I'm thrilled.

It's a great read, and a great honor for a terrific year. I have to say, I came very close to cutting my trip short just to make sure that I don't miss Penn State's last game this year (unfortunately that was basically impossible). I never doubted Paterno would turn it around. Never.

Why? Because when has Paterno ever been selfish in his life? I mean, really? He has a normal-sized house just outside of campus. He donated a huge amount of money to Penn State. And he's turned down offer after offer to leave Penn State for more money. And people were saying that Paterno was just trying to win one more championship for himself before he retires?

Please. If he says "no, I can still coach", I'll believe him. And he did. And he can. He's not still coaching just to prove he can do it. He's still coaching because he can.

In some sense, this whole season makes The Lion in Autumn seem all the more amazing. It's too bad that the author didn't know the team was just one year away from vindicating all of Paterno's statements about them.

Good luck, JoePa. If I had a vote, I'd vote for you all the way. Team sports are all about the team - and I can't think of anyone who's exemplified that more than Paterno. Be loyal to your players, and they'll be loyal to you. Be loyal to your school, and it'll be loyal to you. Sportsman of the Year? You bet.


Post a Comment

<< Home