You know who Tim Curley is, but do you know Professor Irwin Corey? The good professor is actually a stand-up comedian from days of yore whose act centered around bombastic, double-talking diatribe about anything and everything and who billed himself as “The World’s Foremost Authority.” Nothing he said ever made much sense, but his impassioned speeches seemed perfectly reasonable if you didn’t listen to the words very carefully. Professor Corey is in his 90s and still doing the occasional performance.
“If we don’t change direction soon, we’ll end up where we’re going.” —Professor Irwin Corey
But I digress. Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley was quoted recently in a nebulous Associated Press story about Joe Paterno meeting with President Graham Spanier sometime in the future to discuss paths forward on the head coaching situation at PSU. No kidding? Who knew! Anyhow, AP’s reporter had to talk to someone about this non-momentous non-news; they knew better than to bother Paterno and Spanier wouldn’t say much, so they got Curley. He’s always available, although he rarely says anything of real import.
I’m not going to discuss the crap about the meeting that was covered in the AP article. It means nothing and you can read it for yourself, if you want, here. What I will blow off about here is that Curley must have flunked 6th grade English and then later must have enrolled in a remedial course at the Alan Greenspan School of Obfuscated Lucidity. Let me present a few Curley quotes from the article and propose some interpretations.
Referring to Paterno’s contract extension or lack of same:
“I just don’t want to say anything until I’ve had the opportunity to talk to him about the subject. We’ve talked about some other things, but haven’t had a chance to zero in on that.”
Meaning: “I’m waiting for a signal from Joe that will tell me what I should say. We talked about me keeping my job here if I don’t make Joe mad.”
And about the need for a succession plan:
“Good planning requires we do that in all sports, in the back of your mind, you have a backup plan in place. It wouldn’t be something that I’d want to state publicly what I’d be thinking, but hopefully a good manager has that in their hip pocket.”
Meaning: “I won’t have a clue as to what’s going to happen until Joe tells me what he is going to do.”
And, finally, in response to a question about the off-field criminal woes of recent seasons:
“I am very confident we have our arms around it and as we proceed that they don’t happen in the future. And if they do, they happen in a minimal situation.”
Meaning: “We don’t have the slightest idea what to do about it. Don’t be surprised if you see some more stories. In fact, I’ll be hiring [convicted murderer and ex-Nittany Lion] Lavon Chisley under the work-release program as my new defensive line coach when Larry Johnson leaves.”
Is it unreasonable for me to expect an athletic director at Penn State to be somewhat more articulate than that? To be more purposeful with his prose? After all, he works at a university; he’s not in competition with Miss Teenage South Carolina (“I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some-a people out there in our nation don’t have maps…”).