August 2, 2010

Reaction to Joe Paterno's 2010 Big Ten Media Days Presser

Note: You can read the full transcript, and watch the video of Joe Paterno's appearance at the 2010 Big Ten Media Day RIGHT HERE.
Here's my two cents on what we saw today.

First off, that lead question. What the hell was that!?
Q: (USA Today) I followed your career for a long time. And I'm thinking you're going to be Penn State's coach until the day you die. What do you think about that?
Tell you what, pal. You keep what you're thinking to yourself, and save the real questions for sportswriters that aren't incapable of completely embarrassing themselves on national television.

Mind you, most of the questions asked all day weren't exactly earth-shattering. But to lead off with that question for Joe Paterno was, well, practically irresponsible. There was bound to be an overarching theme for what questions were thrown Paterno's way. I would have asked them, too. But to begin with a distasteful jab at the man's death... that's just a terribly sad display of sensationalizing something that needs none of it to make a good story.

But it got worse, actually. Terribly worse, on a personal level for me. Joe mentioned his battle with illness this off season. Again, that was a very relevant topic to address. But did the reporter really need to confirm it? Like this, no less?
Q: That was intestinal issues, is that right?

Paterno: Pardon me?

Q: You had intestinal issues this past spring?

Paterno: Oh, I won't get into that.

Q: I understand that you weren't on the road as much...

Paterno: It was a little below the intestines. (laughter from the press corps) I really don't want to get into it.
Jesus frickin' Christ! The man had diarrhea, alright!? You want him to call you the next time his toilet is full?

Then you wonder why fewer people each year take the main stream media seriously.

Moving on.

Joe was asked about Tom Osborne, Alabama, getting 400 career wins, and what other teams he would like to see join the Big Ten. Now I felt like we were getting some interesting commentary from Poopterno. (Oh, did that slip out? Sorry, I'm still in shock that the first question Joe had to answer was so specifically about liquid fire coming out of his butt.)

I thought the best line of the day came from Joe in response to reaching 400 wins this year. The reporter referenced Eddie Robinson, which was a very smart move. Joe likes when people talk in a more personal way, and you can surely do that by talking to Joe about stuff that happened 50 years ago. Joe usually bullshits the media on questions about records, retirement, etc. But this time, I genuinely think Joe meant what he said today.
"...I've thought some of. When I'm down and looking up, are they going to 399 on top of me, or are they going to put 401? Who the hell cares. I won't know."
You know, as crotchety and stubborn as Joe Paterno can be, you didn't really hear any other coach give a presser quite like he did today. Not only were there no questions about the actual football team taking the field this year, Joe seemed to take every dumb question about illness, retirement, and death right in stride, even more so than previous years at Big Ten Media Days.

I might end up posting something else later about Joe's comments from today; I might not. But there was no way that first question was going to get away from my keyboard.

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  1. Spot on about that USA Today question. Seriously?

  2. If Joe had seriously answered the question about his "intestinal issues" would that be the breaking story the guy was looking for? Bush league.