Joe Posnanski’s much anticipated, yet ill-timed, biography of former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno, simply entitled “Paterno,” will be released tomorrow, with advance copies already having been distributed to the media. Today, the New York Times published its review, written by Dwight Garner.
My review of the review is that Garner does a pretty straight job, but he injects some opinions that are still based on conjecture (which included accepting the Freeh report’s conjectures as fact). He feels that Paterno’s undergraduate experiences at Brown are given short shrift, and in this respect I admit that I always like looking back on the early days of figures who have become larger than life many years later.
As for Sandusky — which is a subject that will spur sales of the book — Garner asserts that there is no new information about the scandal itself, but there are revelations about the nuances of the Sandusky/Paterno relationship, to wit:
The book’s best chapter, and the one many people will turn to first, is titled simply “Sandusky.” Paterno hired Mr. Sandusky as a full-time assistant coach in 1969, when Mr. Sandusky was 25, and made him Penn State’s defensive coordinator eight years later. The two men disliked each other almost from the start, Mr. Posnanski reports, and he adds new detail about this uneasy relationship. Paterno thought Mr. Sandusky was a glory hound who wanted his job. Their styles were different. Paterno liked a drink now and then. Mr. Sandusky was a teetotaler.
I’ve got a Kindle copy of the book coming to me just as soon as Amazon releases it. My own review will be forthcoming.