Idle Thoughts- Old Man Paterno Marches On. Ties Robinson For Most D-I Wins

I’m not one to share my opinion, but since you asked…

  • The countdown can officially begin on the end of the Joe Paterno era.  Now that he has tied Eddie Robinson for the most career wins in Division I football, we can all get on with the rest of our lives when he breaks that mark next week at home vs. Illinois.  Yes, the Illini did beat Paterno last season, but that was last year.  Illinois will fall out of the Top 25 after another disappointing loss, this week at Purdue.  Paterno’s ego will get what it wants and that’s sole possession of a mark that has stood for nearly three decades and will most likely never be broken.  That’s good for Paterno, now if somebody can just show him the door, PSU officials can get on with the business of convincing Urban Meyer he should take over when Joe leaves.
  • And speaking of Meyer, his greatest creation, Tim Tebow gets the start today in Miami, where the Dolphins have been selling this game as a homecoming for Tebow.  There have been record sales of tickets for a road team.  If I collect a paycheck from the Dolphins, I don’t feel my job is all that secure based on how they made such a big deal about an opponent.  Can’t the Dolphins market Ikaika Alama-Francis, their seldom used 5th year linebacker from Hawaii and get people in those seats?
  • Bryant Gumble’s ‘Plantation’ comments this past week regarding NBA Commissioner David Stern were out of line and warrant Gumble losing his job.  But we all know that won’t happen because we live in a Politically Correct society.  Gumble knows he can get away with the ridiculous comments because he is black and used his minority status to take an unfair shot at a man who has probably seen more minorities promoted into leadership roles than any commissioner in any other pro sports genre.   Gumble has no clue what slavery is if he thinks this NBA lockout and how Stern is behaving during it share any similarities, he’s a fool.  They don’t and Gumble should pay for his comments by losing his job, end of story.
  • Pitt Panther head coach Todd Graham has been under heavy fire as of late because his ‘High Octane’ offense has sputtered like a 65 Pinto on three wheels.  Don’t blame Graham, he had to act like a circus Carney when he arrived in Oakland nine months ago.  How else was he supposed to take people’s minds off the coaching carousel that made the University a running joke for over a month.  Give Graham time people and lay off the 2 million dollar salary he commands.  You get what you pay for and Graham needs three years to do what he wants and that’s win games and in bunches scoring a ton of points.
  • The Pirates not resigning Ryan Doumit and Chris Snyder is a good news, bad news type of situation.  The good news is that all the money they would have paid to both can be used to sign Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker.  The bad news is that all that money the would have paid to Doumit and Snyder will probably go back into the coffers of the team.  At least for now.
  • It’s sad to see Aaron Smith’s career come to a crashing end.  He was a dominant force along the defensive line for a decade, but spent four of the past five years battling injuries.  Smith was placed on Injured Reserve and is most likely done.  I will miss big #91 and the Steelers will have to find a player to replace what he brought to that stout run defense.
  • Let’s also not forget that mostly by default, Mike McKenry and Jason Jaramillo are now your 1-2 catching punch for the Pirates.  And you thought bleak didn’t have another shade when it comes to the Bucco’s bright future of success.
  • Alabama will win the SEC West, but will manage to lose in the SEC Title game and allow LSU to back-door themselves into the BCS title game vs. Clemson.  There is no way Boise St, any Big 10 or Pac 10 team get’s to play in the big sandbox for the trophy on January 9th.
  • You can say what you want about Paterno and his ‘legendary’ status, but it’s sad his ego and the ‘fear’ of following in Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant’s footsteps (Bryant died a month after retiring as Alabama’s head football coach) keeps him in ‘charge’ in Happy Valley.  He would never admit to it, but the record for most Division-I wins was the final chapter Paterno wants to write about his coaching career.  Now if he can only manage to get his son Jay the head coaching job will his work be complete.  This reminds me of the evil Sith Lord from Star Wars who tried to control the future.  In the end, it didn’t work out all that well for him.  Although I find it hard to see Paterno’s end coming as he is being thrown down the middle of the power center to a Death Star, but funnier things have happened.
  • I’m still not sure if Michigan State scored at the end of the game Saturday night vs. Wisconsin, but I’m glad they did because the closer Houston and Boise State get to Alabama, LSU and Clemson, the better.  College football is a joke and will always remain one as long as there is no playoff system.
  • You want less deaths in auto racing?  That’s a simple fix.  Make the cars go slower.  There is one problem.  If you eliminate the potential of steel smashing about in a ball of flames, you eliminate about 50% of the reason many go to see cars turn left.
  • Albert Pujols is a total beast and could quite possibly lift St. Louis to another World Series title this week.  His three home run performance Saturday was nothing short of epic, blasting three consecutive pitches out of the ballpark at Arlington.  His efforts will also be rewarded come baseball free agency when he becomes the richest man ever to pick up a bat and glove.  I think Pujols will command up to $30 million a year and will most likely land back in St. Louis or Chicago.   Stay tuned for that soap opera.
  • Sidney Crosby won’t play until after the calender moves to 2012.  Nobody has come close to hitting him in Penguins practice since being cleared for contact.  Don’t expect that to change, but how can anybody know if he is ready until he get’s hit?

John Phillips is the author of this article and a secret member of the Galactic Empire.  When he’s not chasing down Jedi across the Rt. 28 construction zone, Phillips can be heard hosting sports talk and anchoring sports updates on 93.7 the Fan.  Follow JP on Twitter at

  • MustafaJohnson

    How can Paterno count all those wins as his, when he hasn’t really coached for years? Many of those wins belong to his assistants no tto him. Sorry but, true!

  • tombrady

    Sounds like “high octane” sour grapes to me!

  • James Thompson

    Unfortunately, all JoePa and too many other old time jocks know is pressing on until they drop since they can not handle retirement. And that is that!

  • Country Sunshine

    All I can say is that it will be a sad, sad day for PSU, the state of Pennsylvania, and the sports world period when that man retires. No coach, not even the greats like Wooden, Bryant, and dare I say it, Chuck Noll, have ever meant more to a school or organization or had the positive effect JoePa has had on Penn State. An era of great (honorable) coaches will be gone forever when he leaves.

    And I’m so sick of people making comments about how he’s “older than dirt” and he needs to retire. Has every generation since the boomers forgotten about the whole “respect your elders” thing? Seriously? That man has accomplished more blowing his nose than his naysayers will accomplish in their entire lives. And he did it all with the utmost class. After all he’s done for the sport he should, at the very least, be granted the right to quit WHEN HE’S READY without rivals, ignorant fans (scratch that no true PS fan would wish JoePA gone), or the fickle media constantly breathing down his neck. I mean whether he’s in the box or not he’s still consistently showing pretty good to great results on the field, especially for somebody who’s supposedly been over the hill for the better part of a decade.

    And when the day does come, if anybody other than Tom Bradley (esp. that little punk Urban Meyer) takes over the reigns of PSU football the legacy that is the Nittany lions will go down faster than the Arizona on Dec. 7. Just saying

    • John Phillips

      To insinuate that he is ‘accomplishing’ anything right now is a joke. He runs nothing, only serving as defacto head coach at PSU. His ego keeps him in charge. His fear of the end, much like the one Bear Bryant suffered keeps him in place. He has not ‘coached’ in 3, maybe 4 years. His assistants run everything. He can’t recruit. He can’t raise money. He is 84. He needs to step down.

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