I write this post with a heavy heart (and tears shed today). On any given Saturday in the Fall you will find me at a Penn State football game in Beaver Stadium – ‘The House that Joe Built’ or avidly watching on TV at a Football Watching party.
I’ve been a fan of college football for as long as I can remember. I remember hearing on the radio – ‘The Bear is dead’ – 1981 referring to Paul, the Bear, Bryant, former Alabama head football coach (I was 12). I remember watching Penn State win the National Championship game in 1982 – and I knew at that point I would go to Penn State!
I started at Penn State in the fall of 1987. It was the best 4 years of my life. I made lifelong friends and in many aspects, became the woman who I am today because of my Penn State (and of course my parents had a big impact on who I am too) experience. Of course, I haven’t come to realize this until recently (I’m sure I knew deep down before this – lots of reflection of late).
Joe Paterno had a greater love of Penn State than any of us. He taught us that family and school were more important than football. He showed us how important it was to give back to Penn State and your community.
I had the opportunity to hear Joe speak at the Quarterback Club before the 2010 Michigan State game. It is something I will never forget. He was full of life, joking and typical Joe – when someone asked him about an article written about him in Sports Illustrated – he was very humble (it was never about him). I received the Captains’ Letters to Joe for Christmas. I read it and there was a common theme – he had a positive impact on each and everyone of their lives – no matter the graduation year.
Joe Paterno was by no means perfect, but then again none of us are. It is my hope that Joseph V. Paterno will be remembered for all of the great things he has done and taught us since his arrival at Penn State. I know I’m a better person for ‘knowing’ him.
“Believe deep down in your heart that you’re destined to do great things.”- Joe Paterno
Joe – you made a difference – Angelo is proud!
And lastly, my thoughts and prayers are with Sue and the entire Paterno family as they go through this very difficult time.