When people remember Jan. 22, 2011; no one will remember the epic day in which the Patroits and Giants punch their tickets for Super Bowl XLVI. This day will be remembered as the day Joseph Vincent Paterno passed away at age 85. He lost his life after a battle with lung cancer. At age 23 he became an assistant coach at Penn State University, thus beginning a 61 year relationship with the school. 16 years later, he became the head coach of the football program. Over the past 45 years, he has won 2 national championships and 409 games. He stayed loyal to Penn State by not leaving for other coaching jobs in college or the NFL. He is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA Football history. He was also like a father figure to all the young men he coached. But some people started feeling differently about him in November of 2011. Jerry Sandusky a former coach on Paterno's staff was arrested for molesting a young boy in a shower at the football facility on campus in 2002. Mike McQuery, a graduate assistant back then, reported the incident to Paterno, who then relayed the information to his supervisor. But some people thought Coach Paterno should've called the police. He was fired for not doing enough to help the investigation. his firing caused the students in Sate College, PA to riot. A couple days later, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. On Jan. 21st (yesterday), Joe Paterno was checked into a hospital in State College, PA for complications in his lung cancer treatment. He called his family and friends to say his final goodbye. Earlier this morning he passed away at the age of 85. Joe Paterno's legacy should not be measured by the Sandusky scandal, it should be measured by the huge mark he left on Penn State University and the College Football world. He also will be remembered for the many lives he has touched. Coach Joe Paterno is a true red-blooded pioneer of College Football. There will never ever be another one like him. Coach Joe Pa is now and forever will be Penn State. He is survived by his wife, 5 children, 17 grandchildren and lots of alumin of Penn State; former players and students. R.I.P. Joe Paterno (1926-2012)
One final word: I had the privilege of watching a Penn State game here in Tampa as they routed Auburn in the Outback Bowl in the 90's. A true honor to see a legend before my eyes in Tampa one year.