Well, that was fun, wasn’t it? I suppose all the rumor mongering and hot scoops were a fun way for some football fans to usher out the old year and ring in the new. In the end, what has changed? Bupkis!
Has Joe Paterno given up the reins?
Nope. He seems stronger than ever.
Back in November, he said he would coach in 2011 and he seems destined to do so. All the naysayers out there, all the college football yentas talking over the back fence, all those pseudo-experts who were, by God, absolutely certain that Joe would announce his retirement (or have it announced for him) after the Outback Bowl were, as usual, full of Lion doo-doo. This is amazing, because they all had it on good word from members of the Paterno family, officials close to the top in Old Main, U.S. congressmen, former Nittany Lion players, and, of course, direct connections to the Board of Trustees.
“Oh, yeah, just you wait! The post-season meeting with Spanier and Curley will be anything but business as usual. If Joe doesn’t step down, they’ll fire him, and this time they have the clout to do it!” Yeah, right. Guess their trusted inside sources got it wrong again. According to a spokesman for President Spanier, the meeting went well and everyone is encouraged. Ho hum.
Now all the message board gurus and yellow journalists can take a break for a year or so, unless Paterno slurs a couple of syllables at his weekly press conference, which to these vultures is a sure sign of impending terminal senility. So, good riddance to the Joe Must Go weenies for now.
Has Bolden transferred out of the program?
Not yet. Oh, yeah, it was all Joe’s fault that our bright, shining hope of a freshman quarterback was going to leave, because Joe didn’t want to play him. If that hadn’t been the case, he would have wanted to leave anyway, because you know that Penn State only ruins talented quarterbacks. After all, look at who the quarterback coach is. Good old Jay Paterno, who daddy definitely wants to be his replacement if and when the time comes. The Nittany Lion equivalent of “birthers” really hate Jay, but I digress.
The message boards were replete with greater than the usual share of Paterno loathing when Bolden showed up with his daddy to try to put the screws to crusty old Joe, and wound up having the screws put to them with the masterful stroke of Paterno’s old Stanley screwdriver, which has been in the old tool chest for years. No, Bolden could not transfer, at least not if he wanted to keep his scholarship for the next year. Big outcry from the weenies. Joe’s being stubborn, just because he’s an old geezer with a mean streak. Oh yeah? What kind of a football program would it be if kids could commit to being there and then back out whenever the hell they wanted? The inmates would be running the asylum.
So where’s Bolden now? Probably in Communications 201 over in Boucke, or something akin to that, being a Penn State student just like he said he would. He is staying ostensibly to compete for his old job as starting quarterback in the spring, which he has a really good chance of winning back. He’ll also be a better man for what Joe did, as he’ll might start to realize that nothing good comes easily in life, and hard work is the only way to assure success. Daddy is back in Detroit, where he belongs, and Joe showed that he might be an old man, but no one is pushing him around. And it worked out best for everyone, including the team.
Has Tom Bradley been hired anywhere else?
Hell, no. This is a shame, but to the message board guys and to the reporters who say that Bradley deserves a head coaching job, I say go learn a little about life. This “deserve” stuff drives me nuts. Shades of Bolden’s dad. Rob deserves the starting job. Bradley deserves a head coaching job.
I have no compunction about saying that if Bradley wants a head coaching job, he better land one at a school in a lesser division (like a Robert Morris, for example) and stay there for a few years before trying to move up in class. What kind of credential is deserve-to, anyway?
A head coach in a Division I-A program is more than just a field coach and recruiter. He is a planner, an organizer, a public speaker, and very importantly, a major fund raiser. He is the chief executive officer of a multi-million dollar enterprise. Do we just hand the reins over to an untested entity like Bradley? Hell, no. Those athletic directors who didn’t hire Bradley at Temple, Pitt, and now, presumably, Connecticut were looking for specific characteristics which Bradley lacked. They were lobbied by the Penn State friendly press — how ludicrous was it that Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror emphasized that both he and colleague Neil Rudel endorsed Bradley for the Pitt job, so they should damn well hire him! Talk about megalomania! If I were running that program, I would laugh at such machinations by reporters sticking their noses into my business. Giger is the guy who saw a tweet by Nate Stupar congratulating Bradley on being hired by Pitt and immediately tried to make headline news on its basis. (The tweet was later explained by Stupar as a response to stuff he had heard.)
Paterno endorsed Bradley for the Pitt job, too. God knows what Joe had up his sleeve, but I’ve always known Joe to be a fair man. His comments about Bradley’s abilities were probably sincere.
A great big PSU booster with very deep pockets tried to “convince” Temple to hire Bradley. Didn’t work.
So, anyway, I think Tom — “Scrap” as 150,000 of his closest friends call him — should set his sights a bit lower and get some executive experience under his belt before barking up the biggest trees again. As for the deserves-to folks, another great, big raspberry to you, and another lesson in life. Just because Bradley spent 15 years thinking he would replace Paterno when Joe finally retired didn’t mean it would actually happen that way. Even if he was encouraged to stay around for that reason, it didn’t mean that it would happen. Sad to say, but nothing is guaranteed, and we all have to make life decisions based on our own best judgment, for which we hold the ultimate responsibility. And that’s what I have to say about Bradley.
Here’s ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg’s “Bradley Deserves-to” video.
Has Kevin Newsome transferred out of the program?
Nope, although it still might happen. The PSU Ruins Quarterback cadre would be unhappy if it didn’t go their way, but Newsome might have seen the handwriting on the wall, too.
Every so often, a Chicken Little convention is held in State College and this was one of those years. We here at the Turkey hope all of you rumor mongers had great fun and can now look up and enjoy the blue skies for a while.