I was recently asked by Sports Media Challenge if I was interested in participating in a virtual birthday party for JoePa’s upcoming 82nd birthday this Sunday by sharing some stories, pictures, or videos of the legend himself.
Sadly, I’ve never had any close-quarters contact with Joe nor do I have any special moments captured via pictures or video, so it’s really difficult to share any personal memories.
I suppose the closest thing to a “story” would be gathering with my 3rd grade class along with the rest of my elementary school in our school’s library for a special video presentation. We were all expecting some lame cartoon that tried to encourage young children to read but lo and behold, the video was of Joe and his wife, Sue, extolling the virtues of reading.
It was around this time as a 3rd grader that I was just starting to get into PSU football..it was also around the same time that my parents were constantly harping on me to “read, read, read” even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of curling up with a book and to do so at our age back then was considered rather “nerdy” (you know, before bands like Weezer made nerds acceptable in our society).
However, when somebody else say…the coach of your favorite sports team starts telling you the same thing, you damn well start listening. After watching the video, I made a more concerted effort to read more often as a youth, something that I feel contributed to my writing abilities over the years and may very well be the reason why this blog even exists to begin with.
So, in retrospect: Thank you JoePa, for making reading look cool.