September 15, 2010

LBU Video: JoePa and Doug Graber's Bleepin' Awesome Postgame Exchange

There will be no 10 Minutes Or Less segment for this week. Please, did you really think we would be phenomenally stupid enough as to shell out money from our own pockets for a DVD copy of that abortion of a contest in 2003 where Kent State went up 10-0 to start the game? Instead, we've got something far more enticing: Joe Paterno using curse words stronger than "hell" or "damn."

(Collegian photo)
Flash back to 1995: Penn State was finishing up another routine beatdown on Rutgers, the backups were in the game, and Rutgers coach Doug Graber eschewed using his timeouts in the game's final minutes. Normally, when the backup QB is in the game at this stage they have only two duties: Hand the ball off to the running back and don't fumble. In a bizarre plot twist: Mike McQueary stepped back to throw with one minute remaining in the game and launched a deep TD pass to Chris Campbell. This of course, infuriated Graber, and didn't please JoePa either, given that he intended for McQueary to throw a short pass. When JoePa tried to explain this to Graber during the postgame handshake at midfield though, Graber rebuked him, sparking an exchanging of "bullshits" from both coaches which lucky for us, the ESPN microphones happened to capture.

It's hard to blame Graber for being upset about the late TD but surely, he should've known better than to think that JoePa would ever try to run up the score on an inferior opponent: We're talking about the same JoePa who a year earlier during the undefeated 1994 camapaign was criticized for letting his foot off the gas on such opponents when the outcome was no longer in doubt, a move that some believe cost Penn State a share of the national title that year. On the other hand, had JoePa instructed McQueary to just hand the ball off like any coach would during garbage time, none of this controversy would have occurred and this game would have been forever lost in the annals of history as just another win over Rutgers, which means I'm not doing an entire blog post about this incident.

While I do recall watching this game with my family as it happened, I foolishly stepped out of the living room right after McQueary's TD pass and missed the entire postgame fireworks. I only heard about the incident the next day from my parents, from various news outlets, and my fellow schoolmates who were smart enough to watch until the clock hit 0:00*. I had never seen the video of this incident until I received the DVD copy of this game a couple months ago. Needless to say, there was an empty void in my life for the past 15 years and I didn't even know it until now.

*Although in retrospect, my schoolmates were really just 6th graders looking for excuses to use curse words in school.

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  1. Perhaps the receiver called his own number when he relayed the 'incorrect' play to the QB....

  2. What the exchange sounded like to me (SO glorious)...

    Graber: I didn't know you could play that low.
    Paterno: Ohhh bullshit.
    Graber: Oh bullshit ... to you! (covered by Paterno's next line)
    Paterno: OH BULLSHIT!
    Graber: FUCK YOU! (runs away)


  3. I was JUST trying to re-watch it for that! Had to turn it up real loud, but you're right.

    Graber should have just called Paterno on the phone after the game or on Sunday or whenever. Graber was a whiny jerk about it.

    I love how you added in the (runs away) part.

  4. I've been trying to figure out what Graber said to JoePa right before they launched into their respective "bullshits." What you wrote sounds pretty plausible.

  5. All I could get the first time around was the "I didn't know you..." But yeah, I'll go with what psuwxman wrote, too.

  6. Milnestache at 1:55

  7. The question is this, because there was a penalty, Joe could have had the option to take the penalty and negate the score, yank the QB and send in someone else to run victory O/hand off's. Thereby making a statement that the pass was not called for and he doesn't play that way. Instead he let the TD stand which meant at the end he endorsed it. And I think that factored in is what really set Graber off. As the linked article states "The Scarlet Knights had refrained from using their time outs, seemingly making no attempt to prolong the game by retrieving possession of the ball." So accepting the penalty and kneeling down would not have jeopardized the outcome in any way. If there had been no penalty, I think you could Joe bigger pass on the kids not following instructions, but once the penalty was called he could have demonstrated good sportsmanship as well taught them a lesson about following instructions. He didn't. He made the choice to keep the score which is why he deserves some heat IMO.

  8. RUinsane, I believe the TD is automatically allowed by the refs and the coaches have no option to decline that. Joe probably would've yanked away the six points if he could've.

    And I agree that Joe deserved some criticism for calling a pass with a minute to play, even if it wasn't meant to be a deep ball. As Mike was saying though, the way Graber approached it wasn't very classy and he should've waited until he'd cooled down before expressing his frustrations to Joe.

  9. You're right on that. Either way, I think Jo was too restrained in his reaction for Doug and Doug lost his cool more than he should have. But at the end of the day, he shouldn't have called/allowed a pass play to start with and he has never owned up to that aspect. this wasn't the last game of the year, it was held in September. there were plenty of other chances for him get a pass attempt.

  10. I remember this game being close for awhile with Penn State pulling away at the end. RU had Marco Battaglia I believe, and I seem to recall that he ate us alive. I think their quarterback played a few years in the league too.

  11. JoePa said after the game that he wanted to give McQ a pass to the tight end to give him some game practice, but McQ saw the WR open and bombed it.

  12. If Paterno really did not want to throw the ball deep, he should ahve accepted the offsides penalty and negated the touchdown. That would have taught his players a lesson in humility.