12.17.08 10 years ago 10 Comments

In a stirring accomplishment for “Matlock” fans, Penn State has reportedly signed octogenarian coach Joe Paterno to a three-year contract extension.  Paterno, who turns 82 on Sunday, has been the school’s head coach since 1950.  That’s the Truman Administration.  Before either of my parents were born.  Before the polio vaccine.

Listen, I know that Penn State went 11-1 and earned a trip to the Rose Bowl.  That credit theoretically goes to Paterno.  But I don’t believe for a minute that JoePa did anything but walk along the sidelines with a fake rubber headset while his assistants took care of play-calling and running practices and recruiting, tasks that are also known, collectively, as “coaching.”

I don’t know how to put this delicately for Nittany Lion fans, but: Joe Paterno’s going to die.  Like, soon.  Probably not in the next hour, and maybe not before the Rose Bowl, but a three-year contract is definitely optimistic.  If I sold life insurance there’s no chance I’d give him a policy that long.

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