Happy B-Day JoePa!

December 19, 2008

come-to-penn-staaaate

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.


Ladies and Gentlemen, We Got Him…

December 16, 2008

Kevin Newsome is ours!

Kevin Newsome doesnt do bicep curls, biceps curl in fear at the sight of Kevin Newsome...

Kevin Newsome doesn't do bicep curls, biceps curl in fear at the sight of Kevin Newsome...

Did I also mention he’s enrolling in January? Suddenly, there’s a reason to show up for the Blue-White game besides shaking off the tailgating rust…

Additionally, JoePa has signed himself an 3-year extension, causing Seminoles fans everywhere to cringe and  Oops Pow Surprise to celebrate as if Shonn Greene had won the Heisman Trophy.

I can barely contain my excitement at this point..it’s like Christmas came 9 days early…Time for a drunken “Goo Punch” dance party!


JoePa Names A Successor

July 17, 2008

The recent resignation of Billy Packer from CBS’ college basketball coverage popped a “light bulb” into my head for a JoePa parody similar to Iowa blogger Oops Pow Surprise’s Joe Paterno Chronicles over at Black Heart Gold Pants. Of course, I couldn’t help myself, so I ended up actually writing the damn thing.

Before anyone accuses me of plagiarism, let the record show that I DID receive permission from Oops Pow Surprise himself to post this so long as I, in return, linked to his fine work (see above links) which I would highly recommend clicking on if you are not familiar with them (and for a good laugh or two). Also, don’t expect this to be a recurring sketch as this is most likely a one-time deal..unless of course OPS encourages me to do so otherwise.

With that being said, I am leaving for the DC area for an extended weekend so there won’t be any new blog posts ’til Monday. Enjoy the rest of your fine week…

The setting: CBS Sports President Sean McManus’ office

Billy, I called you into my office today to let you know that we’ve hired a new production assistant.

Okay…So what’s the background on the new, tough, monkey?

Well, he’s a recent graduate of George Mason, and while we normally don’t hire people straight out of college, we –

George Mason?!!? Have you lost your mind? George Mason has NO BUSINESS being in college basketball, NONE. And if Billy Packer says so, it must be true because Billy Packer is always right!

Look Billy, I know you like to believe that the George Mason Final Four run never happened and that St. Joseph’s was constantly playing six men on the court when they beat Wake Forest in the 2004 NCAA Tournament.

It’s not make-believe, it’s a fact! You can read all about it in my forthcoming book, “Mein Bracketkampf”

It’s a fancy play on some German phrase meaning “Create your own bracket” or something of that sort.

It also includes a chapter on why women should be excluded from all facets of men’s basketball..right down to checking for press passes at the entrance.

(silent disbelief)

I REFUSE to deal with George Mason in any which way, shape, or form.

This also includes people with the name “George” or “Mason” because they’re only one name away from being affiliated with that slimy, cheating, mid-major, trash program.

Well Billy, I’m standing by my hire, and if you’re not going to cooperate, then I’m going to find somebody else to do the job!

Fine! I never thought YOU of all people would “fag out” on me, but I’m outta here…Traitor! (storms out of room, slams the door)

(sigh) Thank god, I’ve been waiting for decades for a valid excuse to get rid of that grumpy old curmudgeon.

Mr. McManus, you have a call on line 2…It’s Joe Paterno.

(sigh) Not again. Alright, patch him in to me. I hope this is quick…

HELLO, THIS IS MISTER PATERNO. I AM CALLING TO EXPRESS MY INTEREST IN TAKING OVER YOUR VACANCY

ALL YOUR VACANCY ARE BELONG TO US.

ACTUALLY, I HEARD THAT BEING BLURTED FROM MY SON, JAY WHEN HE WAS PLAYING ONE OF HIS “TELEVISION GAMES.”

HE CLAIMS THESE GAMES HELP HIM CREATE THE PASSING PLAYS

THOUGH I MUST SAY THE DEFENSES IN THESE GAMES RUN AROUND MORE AIMLESSLY THAN MY FRAT BROTHERS AT BROWN UNIVERSITY.

Coach, what ‘vacancy’ do you speak of?

THE BASKETBALL JOB THAT MY FELLOW PAISAN, BILLY PACKER JUST QUIT FROM.

Umm, I’m pretty certain Billy Packer is not Italian…

SILENCE YOU POTATO-SKINNING POPPYCOCK! HE IS VERY MUCH SO AN ITALIAN.

WHEN HIS GRANDFATHER FIRST IMMIGRATED TO ELLIS ISLAND, HE SHORTENED HIS LAST NAME FROM ‘PACKERINI’

Whatever you say Coach, as for the Final Four job –

DID I EVER TELL YOU HOW I WAS CAPTAIN OF MY BASKETBALL TEAM AT BROWN?

WE WERE THE EPITOME OF ‘JUGGERNAUT’ BACK THEN.

I MYSELF, WAS KNOWN FOR MY KILLER TWO-HANDED GRANNY SHOT THAT LED THE IVY LEAGUE IN FIELD GOAL THROW PERCENTAGE

I ALSO SHUT DOWN BOB COUSY WHEN WE PLAYED HOLY CROSS MY SENIOR YEAR.

THE FRENCHIE COULDN’T EVEN GET A SHOT OFF.

Also, how did you find out about Billy’s resignation? He only left my office about a minute ago..

ARE YOU QUESTIONING MY TELEPATHIC POWERS?

Excuse me?

JOE PATERNO HAS LOTS AND LOTS OF POWERS.

Riiiight…As I was saying, we’ve already filled Billy Packer’s spot with Clark Kellogg.

CLARK KELLOGG? HE’S AN OHIO STATE GRAD, WHICH MEANS HE DOESN’T EVEN SPEAK ENGLISH.

Actually, we feel Clark is more than qualified enough for the job. Besides, don’t you have a football team to coach?

FOOTBALL TEAM?

Ummm, you ARE the head coach at Penn State last I checked.

NOPE, THAT’S IN THE PAST. I JUST ANNOUNCED TO THE PLAYERS AND RECRUITS THAT BILLY PACKER WILL BE TAKING OVER FOR ME EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY

(Spits out his coffee) Whaaaat?

I ALWAYS WANTED A FELLOW PAISAN TO SUCCEED ME.

BESIDES, I DON’T FISH, I DON’T HUNT, I DON’T FLY ELECTRIC PLANES…HELL, I CAN’T EVEN DOWNLOAD A JAR OF PEANUT BUTTER.

WHAT ELSE IS A GUY LIKE ME TO DO?

Umm Coach, I’m afraid you’re breaking up

WHAT?

Yeah, the phone lines have been acting up a little lately and I…(imitates ‘static noise’ and hangs up the phone)

HELLO? McMALLEY? WHERE ARE YOU McMALLEY?

YOU BEST NOT BE DOWNING ANOTHER ONE OF THEM WHISKEYS WITHOUT ME YOU DRUNKEN IRISH BASTARD.


Postcards From HHV

June 18, 2008

The picture above summarizes what I’ve has been up to for nearly the past week: Hanging out with my close friend in Southern California while soaking in the sunshine and sea breeze. This particular shot was taken on the Santa Monica pier.

Santa Monica’s pier wasn’t too different from your average pier/boardwalk, it featured the typical mini-amusement park, funnel cake stands, cheap t-shirt places, and restaurants. However, I did make quite the harrowing discovery that may shock all of you long-time State College residents/older PSU alums.

Behold! Playland’s new home, after moving out of the State College area five years ago. It didn’t dawn upon me at the time to take pictures but I certainly wish I had done so now that I’m writing this post.

Basically, this is not the Playland you fondly recall: They removed all the good games (including my favorite, “Track and Field,” gotta love the rolling ball controller) and replaced them with crappier ones that you’d expect to find in a Wal-Mart. Ergo, my friend and I were relegated to playing air hockey, foosball, and an arcade import of “Super Mario Bros” which had several changes not seen in the Nintendo version that ensured one could not beat the game without pumping in at least $5.00 worth of quarters…damned capitalists!

My friend and I also watched both Games 4 and 5 of the NBA Finals at local bars. Game 4 was quite amusing, nothing like being one of the few Boston supporters in the house and hearing a deathly silence as the comeback was being completed while drawing everyone’s sinister attention by clapping after every clutch play by the Celtics. I also was coincidentally wearing a green shirt and ordered a Sam Adams lager that night, which led to the waitress thinking I was a native of Boston…Not that there’s anything wrong with that (aside from the fact that my accent is a far cry from the “I pahk my cah in the Havahd yahd!” dialect).

Enough of that though, I’m going to ease back into this by providing you with some quality reading material from the blogopshere..and by “blogosphere,” I mean the following:

  • Kevin at Black Shoe Diaries provides a further look into the “It’s already signed, sealed, and delivered but for the sake of leaving message board geeks hanging in the balance, we’re holding off on an official announcement” agreement between the Big Ten Network and Comcast. FINALLY! I can watch PSU destroy juggernauts like Coastal Carolina and Indiana without suffering from the discomfort of second-hand bar smoke.
  • Iowa Hawkeye blogger Black Heart Gold Pants continues to impress with his hilarious Joe Paterno parodies. In his latest adventure, JoePa learns to use the internet for purposes other than “downloading a jar of peanut butter.”
  • Jay Paterno on the other hand, can not only download a jar of peanut butter but can also blog on Barack Obama’s website about his favorite presidental candidate, the NBA Finals, and the Spread HD offense.  Alright Jay, it’s bad enough that you screwed our program over in recruiting and are currently screwing over our QBs, but for gods sake: LEAVE BARACK OBAMA ALONE!!!
  • Last but not least, Bill Simmons offers his orgasmic thoughts on the Celtics’ 17th NBA title. Additionally, the article is also believed to be the only recorded piece of Bill Simmons literature to contain absolutely zero references to either “Hoosiers” or “The Karate Kid”

Contracts? We Don’t Need No Stinking Contracts!

April 11, 2008

Only at The Pennsylvania State University does something like THIS occur between a president and a coach:

University president Graham Spanier told The Associated Press in an e-mail that both the school and Paterno agree that a contract isn’t necessary for the man entering his 43rd season as Penn State coach. The sides agreed to meet, as they have in the past, at the end of the season to discuss the future.

“We are in agreement that a contract would have little practicality given Coach Paterno’s seniority. None of us see that as necessary,” Spanier wrote in the e-mail Wednesday night in response to a request for an update from the AP.

Asked Thursday to clarify the arrangement, Spanier replied in a follow-up message, “There will not be a new contract. We have an understanding that a contract is not necessary or practical.

“The absence of a contract with a specified number of years does not, however, imply any particular retirement date,” he wrote. “We will review the status of the program at the end of the season, as we always do.”

At this point, there’s two basic camps of thought:
1. The End Is Near: Spanier and Curley are easily the most clueless administrators on the face of the Earth
2. This is a very kind, back-handed way of Spanier putting his JoePa replacement strategy into fruition

HHV however, has managed to get a hold of some secretly taped insider footage from the highly publicized meetings with said President and coach that was sent in to us from an anonymous reader. Take a look for yourself, as it may reveal a clue as to why negotiations led absolutely nowhere.


Time For A Morbid Joke

January 10, 2008

Anyone think this might resemble the scene in Happy Valley on the day JoePa kicks the bucket?


JoePa L. Smith?

November 18, 2007

Are you kidding me? Does this coaching staff know how to make adjustments? Do they like to abandon playcalling that actually works? Does anybody understand the words that are coming out of JoePa’s mouth? Has Morelli been practicing for his gig in insurance sales? Does anyone feel Justin King would be better off pursuing a career in figure skating with all those spins he does when trying to cover an opposing receiver?

I could go on and on with the questions but my point is, Penn State football hit a new low today. For the first time in well… EVER, we blew a 17 point lead…to Michigan State. It was straight out of the Bizarro World, a “Reverse Sparty” if you will, the only thing missing was JoePa slapping himself in the face at the post-game press conference.

To re-hash some of the embarrassing details for you: We went up 24-7 early in the 3rd quarter after Kevin Kelly ran a fake field goal into the end zone for what seemed like a back-breaking touchdown. Boy, did we not know what we were in for: From there on, things went downhill fast as we allowed MSU to put up 28 points in the second half. The culprits? Our non-existent secondary of course, and Tom Bradley having his defensive unit play crap-tastic zone defenses that continually left MSU’s stud wideout Devin Thomas and tight end Kellen Davis wide open enough to go over 100 yards receiving each, combining for 11 catches for 245 yards receiving and 3 TDs. Visions of 1997 were coming back to me again, when we allowed two MSU tailbacks to run for over 200 yards on us in a blowout loss, never a good a sign when that starts happening.

Once Sparty went ahead and it came down to Morelli having to lead us from behind late in the 4th quarter, I knew the game was over then and there…Until Ki-Jana Carter magically re-appeared in uniform to spell for an injured Rodney Kinlaw and ran roughshod over everybody…Okay, not quite, but Brent Carter, a fourth-string tailback who ironically enough wears #32, helped get us inside MSU’s 25-yard line all by himself until the coaches decided that they were too successful with that plan and decided to have Morelli throw the ball FOUR STRAIGHT TIMES! Each pass ended in an incompletion of course, and the choke job was complete. Did JoePa really want his inept son and his rented mule of a QB to be the heroes of the game that badly? How else do you explain the sudden curtailing of Carter’s carries? It’s not as if MSU’s defense was suddenly going to figure out how to stop him.

Great minds think alike…

Hands down, this was the worst loss I’ve ever had the privilege of witnessing and having followed PSU football since 1991, I’ve seen my share of tough and downright embarrassing losses. We were a team that had long prided itself on defense and we pulled off the greatest choke job in JoePa’s career. If Joe has any sense of dignity he will decline the bowl bid and stay at home for the holidays. It also wouldn’t hurt for him to retire before Graham Spanier has to force his hand. I can’t take another minute of this garbage let alone another 3.5 hours…Good riddance!

Thank goodness the basketball team is at least showing some promise, kicking the living crap out of Canisius, 93-40. It’s very refreshing to watch a PSU team that plays up-tempo, scores points, and displays man-to-man defense, not to mention they also have a lot more depth compared to previous years… and this is with an injured Jamelle Cornley on the sidelines.

Anyway, the hoops squad has a big Thanksgiving holiday tournament coming up: The Old Spice Classic down in Disney’s Wide World Of Sports complex. Their first game is at Noon on ESPN2 Thanksgiving day against South Carolina. Hmm, I think I see some “live-blogging” potential for that one. Stay tuned…

Last but not least, it appears that my Big Ten Power Rankings are kind of a big deal for Iowa sports fans. Scroll down to the “Friday, November 16th” links to see what I’m talking about.