College football lost a true legend yesterday. Joe Paterno, affectionately known to many as Joe Pa, passed away from complications stemming from lung cancer and a broken pelvis. He was 85.
Paterno was a true legend having coached Penn St. football for the better part of 6 decades, sending many of his players onto stellar NFL careers and touching the lives of countless others. He was also the winningest coach in major college football history.When the NFL called to him earlier in his career, he shied away choosing to build a program and school into a national powerhouse. In today’s world of win at any costs and if you lose you’re fired, Paterno is truly one of a kind.
Even though his career came to an unfortunate end due to circumstances I’d rather not get back into, Paterno will be and should be remembered for all of the good he did in his time with us. I know from my own personal experience growing up in Ohio and following Big Ten football that the idea of someone other than Paterno manning the Penn St. sidelines is unimaginable. But… such is life and the harsh realities that come with it.
So while there are some who will choose to remember how it all came to an end, it is the beginning and middle we should all be focusing on because, quite frankly, the man was so much more than one mistake. He was a true legend that strived to make the world… his world… a better place. Now that he’s gone and we can see the impact he’s had on so many individuals I feel like it’s safe to say that mission was accomplished.
Mission Accomplished, indeed.