Friday, September 01, 2006

Ron Cook has hung on to long

One of the fantastic privileges of being a die-hard Penn State fan in the wake of a 12-1 season and #3 finish after some really dismal years is the ability to say “I told you so.” As an unabashed Paterno backer, the 2004 4-7 season ended my message board days simply because the board consisted of me arguing with just about everyone else why Paterno should NOT go. Side note: how are those “Joe must go” websites doing these days? But I would never say “I told you so” to my fellow Penn State fans, they were wrong, they know it, and they helped make 2005 my most memorable season and I was around for the last national championship season. The support given the Nits and their coaches was fantastic. No, the gloating comes in the face of the local media, the people that get paid to know better. These people are supposed to do their homework, investigate matters deeply and come up with reasonable columns/opinions. If you had all day to cover local sports, wouldn’t you put some effort into it?

That brings me to this piece by Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette still claiming that Paterno has hung on too long. Now granted Cook works for the Post-Gazette where writers are contractually obligated to hate Paterno because of his snubbing of Pitt, but Cook has been a vocal naysayer of the Dave Jones variety: cold, in your face and negative (that’s how they sell papers). Unfortunately Jones, Cook, and columnist like them all have something in common about the Nittany Lions’ 2005 season and Joe Paterno: they were wrong! Now I don’t expect anyone to be right all the time, but I do expect people to admit their mistakes. This I my first year as a blogger, but if one of my readers takes me to task at something I’ve said, and they are right, you better believe I’ll admit it. But here is Cook, writing an article that specifically says he refuses to admit he’s wrong. Jones just slithered back to the rock he lives under and ignored his past columns like they never happened, Cook is just sad.

Now, he tries to defend himself with the usual college football is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately job and Paterno shouldn’t get any more slack then other coaches. But here’s the thing: Paterno isn’t like any other coach. When Paterno hangs it up he will be the last of his kind. He took a fledgling land grant farm college football team and built one of the most successful college programs in the history of the game. He did it while forcing his athletes to take responsibility on and off the field and he has donated his money, time and life to the University. Penn State owes him a hefty fee.

Cook also uses the mysterious midnight rendezvous of Paterno and Penn State high officials as defense.

Paterno will get mine [apology] as soon as he gets one from Penn State president Graham Spanier and athletic director Tim Curley. They knocked on his door after the final game in '04 and asked for his resignation. Apparently, they, too, believed he had stayed on too long and damaged the program.

Spanier and Curley weren't wrong. If they made a mistake, it was the lame way they left Paterno's home without that resignation, proving exactly who wears the pants, so to speak, at Penn State. Actually, their mistake was waiting so long to ask. It should have happened at least five years earlier.
This has been used by many journalists to prove the point that Joe has worn out his welcome. The only problem is, there has never been confirmation of this little get together or what was said. I can point out several mistakes that I know to be false. Mistake #1: Spanier and Curley did NOT go to Paterno’s house to get a resignation. I’m not even sure if they ever went to Joepa’s house at all but they didn’t do so with the intention of him signing a resignation. If they did go, they went to try and convince Paterno to think about retiring. These guys don’t need Paterno’s signature to fire him, they could just do so, that’s their job. Mistake #2: This is nothing more then pure speculation on my part, but I’m willing to bet large gobs of money that both Spanier and Curley apologized to Joe after last season if they did in fact ask him to consider retiring. Think about it, if you were Graham Spanier and you just witnessed a windfall of riches that follow a #3 finish and renewed enthusiasm for the football program, wouldn’t you want to apologize for trying to force out the person responsible for it?

The Ron Cooks of the world need to take a lesson from Penn State Football writer Brian Bianca of The Carlisle Sentinel who stood up like a man and admitted he was wrong. Writers like Brian get our respect.


BillyBob said...

Why just a couple days ago I objected to Galen's characterization of Philly as the armpit of PA. Galen's gracious recharacterization was of a quality unseen since the days of the antebellum south.

As for Cook, Paterno got out of his hot water by adapting. Who knows, Cook may have to as well some day if anti-Paterno rants ever go out of fashion in Pittsburgh.

JB said...

As to the Paterno-Spanier meeting; I read in the Town & Gown preview that Joe says that there was a meeting and i think "concern" was expressed. But I don't think anyone ever asked Joe for his resignation. Joe has earned the right to leave on his terms, one look no further than the library, stadium, athletic dept., and the 9-digits worth of money Joe has raised for the university (that is a billion dollars for those counting).


Cool Hand Mike said...

Every program has it's biggest naysayer. Down here we've got Paul Finebaum. He's a Tennessee graduate and an Auburn apologist. That's a double fucking whammy for the Tide nation. My point is everyone has a disgruntled english student who got beat up by the jocks and now he's going to show them by writing dumbass things about their university. Or something like that. You dig deep enough and you'll find some personal reason for the grudge.

Galen said...

Look for future posts similar to this one; I have a hack journalist hate list the size of offensive lineman. What cheeses me off the most is these are the same guys that will write flowery articles once JoePa is gone.

Run Up The Score said...

Ron Cook is a villainous turd of the highest order. Wiping my ass with his columns is an insult to my poop.

kvapster said...

College Football Week 1 Wrap Up - Phenomenal 11-2 ATS