Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes in Tuesday’s edition that not only would he be unsurprised if Nittany Lions head coach Joe Paterno made this his last year, but also he is worried that Joe might not be able to finish the season. His basis for arriving at his conjecture is that Paterno is 83 and he had some health problems over the summer.
Is Cook blowing this out of proportion? Without being privy to Paterno’s medical assessments, one can only guess, which is precisely what Cook is doing. He also advances the point that the program is in decline because recruiting is taking a hit on account of Joe’s age. In this connection, Cook is sort of asking the venerable head coach to “do the right thing.”
The team will have problems this year. Uncertainty at quarterback, an uncoalesced offensive line, injuries decimating the defensive secondary, etc., leave a lot of unanswered questions. Joe will get his 400th win, for which he needs only six more, but how many more than six PSU will win this year is anybody’s guess. Eight or nine wins would be pretty good, considering the sorry state of the team. Some of that might be Paterno’s fault, but he’s been through this many, many times before, and we’ve been conditioned to expect the unexpected. How many of you thought he was washed up in 2004? Did you ever think we would have an 12-1 season in 2005? Can Joe continue the Magic act well into his 84th year?
Agree or disagree, Cook’s piece is a worthwhile read.
By the way, once I am finished with the great travelogue, I will inscribe some thoughts on the season ahead. It’s been a long summer and it’s time for the Turkey to get into the fall groove! Sorry to keep you waiting.