Joe Posnanski’s biography of the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno follows in the tradition of works by Richard Ben Cramer on Joe DiMaggio and David Maraniss on Vince Lombardi. Having gained unprecedented access to Paterno, as well as the coach’s personal notes and files, Posnanski spent the last two years of Paterno’s life covering the coach, on (and off) the field and through the scandal that ended Paterno’s legendary career.
Joe Posnanski, who in 2012 was named the Best Sportswriter in America by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame, was with Paterno and his family as a horrific national scandal unfolded and Paterno was fired. Within three months, Paterno died of lung cancer, a tragic end to a life that was epic, influential, and operatic.
Paterno is the fullest description we will ever have of the man’s character and career. In this honest and surprising portrait, Joe Posnanski brings new insight and understanding to one of the most controversial figures in America.
About Joe Posnanski
Joe Posnanski joined Sports Illustrated as a senior writer in 2009. He wrote about sports for the Kansas City Star for sixteen years and was twice named the best sports columnist in America by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He is the author of three books and has been anthologized widely, including ESPN’s bestselling College Football Encyclopedia and The Best American Sportswriting. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his family. Visit him at JoePosnanski.com.
The Flawed Hero of Penn State Sports
The New York Times Book Review – August 20, 2012 (Excerpt)
You don’t have to be a college football fan or a consumer of televised sports to appreciate the acuity of this observation by the literary critic Wilfrid Sheed: “Sports communicate a code, a language of the emotions, and a tourist who skips the stadiums will not recoup his losses at Lincoln Center and Grant’s Tomb.”
What people admired about Joe Paterno, the longtime Penn State football coach, was that he communicated a code of behavior that felt as immaculate and timeless as the plain blue and white uniforms his teams wore. He taught his players the kind of Dale Carnegie values that are easy to mock: hustle, discipline, academic achievement, charity, looking people in the eye, showing up on time, making the extra effort.
Paterno was to modern college football as the Amish are to Insane Clown Posse. He sealed his reputation in 1973 when he turned down more than a million dollars to coach the New England Patriots. His beautiful comment: “How much money does one man need?”
He was such a moral authority that when scandal touched him, he had, like the stewardess sucked from an airplane in James Dickey’s famous poem “Falling,” a long way to drop. His longtime defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky turned out to be a serial molester of boys, and Paterno did not do enough to stop him. [Read the full article...]
THE BLEEDING HILLS A Novel by Wilfried F. Voss
I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith. - 2 Timothy iv. 7
The Irish War is officially a part of history, but not for Finnean Whelan, an IRA veteran of almost 40 years. British Intelligence has produced evidence that he is the mastermind behind a conspiracy to assassinate the First Minister of Northern Ireland. For Whelan this is not only a mission of revenge, but marks the beginning of a journey into the past and the return to the one true love: Ireland. [More...]
We are the only country that makes guns, including military-style assault weapons, available to anyone who wants to buy them. This is not freedom. It is a tyranny of death and destruction — a tyranny of which the National Rifle Association is proud. The Washington Post
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