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Idle Thoughts- Paterno's Passing Mirrors Bear Bryant's Last Days

PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) -- I'm not one to share my opinion, but since you asked...

  • I guess Joe Paterno knew best as to how his life would end if he stopped coaching.   Paterno would talk about how Bear Bryant, the legendary Alabama head coach and how he passed away just two months after retiring.  Paterno said it scared him and that was one of the main reasons why he continued to do what he knew best.  Everybody knew that Paterno had to go once the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke.  It's sad it had to end this way, but death is never easy to deal with.  I made no bones about how I felt about Joe Pa.  He killed one of the great college football rivalries when he chose to not play Pitt every year after the whole Eastern Football Conference idea was nixed, then saw Pitt join the Big East.  But that alone doesn't allow me a reason to be bitter in wake of the mans death.  RIP Joe.  You did more good than bad in your lifetime.


  • As for the mob of Penn State fans that are threatening any board of trustees who may show up for the memorial services planed for Paterno on the Penn State Campus, get a grip you lunatics.  Again, Joe's ability to have such influence on people, creating this 'cult' atmosphere at Penn State is truly amazing.  However, sports fans can show their ugly side at the drop of a hat.  I doubt if any members of the PSU board make it to the Bryce Jordan Center for the memorial.  They are the ones who had to fire Joe in the end, thus putting them on the level of street rats and Dan Marino in terms of popularity at Penn State.  Nobody should be threatened for doing what needed to be done in terms of ending Paterno's coaching career.  It was the right thing to do.


  • Does anybody really think Sidney Crosby is going to play hockey again?  I don't mean this season, I mean ever?


  • Pitt's basketball woes are stunning.  Given the run of success over the past decade, I must say I am a bit surprised that Jamie Dixon's club has not one a single game in Big East play.  I guess losing Trey Woodall, plus the departure of Khem Birch has effected this team more than we know.  That and turning the ball over 15+ times a game doesn't help.  Nor does allowing your opponents to shoot 50% or better against you.


  • Can you feel the excitement of Pirates baseball approaching?  What are the odds of this team doing what it did in the 1st half of the season last year again in 2012?  I'm thinking less than 10%?


  • If what Bruce Arians said to a York, Pa newspaper about his supposed 'retirement' from the Steelers, it just goes to show you who really runs things in that organization.  Mike Tomlin may be the head coach and Kevin Colbert may be the GM, but Art Rooney II runs the show and if he doesn't like something, there will be change.  I wonder how Ben feels about the move?


  • The Pens will not make it past the 1st round of the NHL playoffs this season, provided they even make the playoffs.


  • Baltimore Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff choked on Sunday, missing a 32-yard field goal that would have tied the game vs. New England.  He has to make that kick.  Apparently, there was some confusion as to what down it was, thus Cundiff was forced to run on the field, set up and attempt the potential game tying kick.  My question is this, did John Harbaugh realize he had a timeout remaining?  When you race your kicker out there like that, bad things are bound to happen.  Did Harbaugh think he could save that extra timeout for overtime?  Baltimore was the better team on Sunday, but once again NFL coaches show us they lose their minds in big situations only to cost their teams a chance at victory.  You call a timeout in that spot to make sure everybody is on the same page when the chips are on the line.


  • The New York Giants will win Super Bowl XLVI.  It will be much like the game four years ago.  I think it will end 23-20 in what will be another great game between the G-Men and Patriots.


  • What will Pens fans do when Sid doesn't play hockey again?  I can assure you that Geno Malkin won't do what Crosby could and that's lead a team to a Stanley Cup.

John Phillips is the author of this article and has recently returned from Las Vegas where he was married by Elvis himself.  JP has since turned his back on the Galactic Empire and has sought refuge on his home planet of Alderaan.  You can follow JP on Twitter at 

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