Legends are hard to come by these days, at least legends of this kind. And despite the controversy, Joe Paterno left his mark on countless millions. How will you remember him? I am just one, but I choose to remember him this way:
- For making every football Saturday during my four years at Penn State unforgettable, whether we won or lost, and we mostly won.
- For all he did for the “kids” who towered over him as his Penn State players.
- For his selfless contributions to support excellence at Penn State.
- For his commitment to academics and the achievement of his players.
- For the way he ran on the field with the team.
- For the thrill of winning a national championship my senior year.
- For giving me a sense of pride in my school that began at age 18 and is still with me today.
- For scaring the crap out of me when I walked down my dad’s basement and glimpsed from the corner of my eye a life-size “pop-up Joe” in the shadows.
- For being a fellow Italian who made my dad proud.
- For being a role model of perseverance.
- For the way 50,000 people in Beaver Stadium would shout “Jopa” and the other 50,000 would shout “Terno.”
- For his rolled up pants, white socks and black shoes.
- For the way he screamed at players who taunted the opponent or celebrated too much.
- For being carried on the shoulders of his team more than once, and the joy on his face.
- For being strong while being humble.
- For his fight and his unwavering loyalty to white and blue.
Thanks for the moments. We’ll miss you, Joe.
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