North of the 400

North of Toronto, South of a championship

The Good Point: Joe Paterno – Legacy or Lunacy?

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When Joe Paterno died, the easy reach was to was say he was killed by the scandal that enveloped Penn State, or to say he was hounded by an irate media. I’m not sure what the proper response is: he was a man with a mythic legacy. Being a head football coach at any major Division One school is as close to having a Supreme Leader as North America gets; as a society we give these people the mythic qualities that the poet Virgil gave to Aeneas. 

Given that Paterno was a student of Virgil, comparing him to ancient tragedy seems apt: his career ended from his own mistake, one transgression so odious it should overshadow everything else. From The Good Point:

Joe Paterno died on Saturday evening at the age of 85. He was coach of Penn State’s football program between 1966 and 2011, a span of 45 years. He both appeared in and won more bowl games than any other coach.
Yet he’ll be remembered for something else completely.
When someone is part of a program for as long as Paterno was at Penn State, the immediate question is one of legacy. It’s a fair question: he was a coach for a long time; his teams went undefeated five times, won three Big 10 championships and two national championships. His career, as a whole, is one of the better coaching careers in all of sports, not just college football.
And it’s all going to be overshadowed.

Continue reading at The Good Point 

Written by M.

January 24, 2012 at 4:04 pm

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