Monday, January 23, 2012

Joe Paterno and the AFC & NFC Championship Games

Joe Paterno, QB/CB
Brown University 1948-1949

JoePa working Xs and Os in 1986

Joe Paterno
Head Football Coach at Penn State

We all woke up to the sad news on Sunday that Joe Paterno had lost his battle with lung cancer at the age of 85.

After graduating from Brown, he joined his college coach Rip Engle as an assistant at Penn State University in 1950 finally taking over the program's reins from Engle in 1966. In all, he worked at Penn State for over 60 years!

His 46 seasons as the Nittany Lions' Head Football Coach would become the stuff of legends.

Among his on-the-field highlights are:
A won-loss record of 409-136-3.

The 409 wins are the most by any coach in Division I college history.

He coached 37 teams (24 wins) to Bowl games.

He is the only coach in history to record victories in the five biggest, traditional Bowl games. The Nittany Lions won the Fiesta Bowl six times, the Orange Bowl four times, the Cotton Bowl twice and the Rose and Sugar Bowls once each.

His teams won National Championships in 1982 and 1986.

He coached five undefeated teams in 1968, 1969, 1973, 1986 and 1994.

Until the last few months of his life, he was revered for his off-the-field demeanor and excellence as well, that is the JoePa that I always admired and would like to remember.


Great day of NFL football yesterday as the AFC and NFC Championship games were played with the winners earning bids to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis on February 5th.

AFC Championship Game
New England Patriots 23 -
Baltimore Ravens 20

It came down to the last play of the game when Ravens' kicker Billy Cundiff missed on a 32 yard Field Goal attempt to send the game to overtime.

Heartbreaking for Ravens followers but of great joy to Patriots fan Shawn Cordiero in Sweden!

NFC Championship Game
New York Football Giants 20 -
San Francisco 49ers 17
in Overtime

Another instant classic that turned on two punt return miscues by the Niners' Kyle Williams that the Giants turned into 10 points including Lawrence Tyne's game winning 31 yard Field Goal with 7:06 left in overtime.

I like the Giants, based on their defense and the way Eli Manning is playing, to win the re-match of Super Bowl XLII four seasons ago won in upset fashion by the Giants 17-14.

Reading is FUNdamental

Yet another book in the Cotton Malone series with more intrique, history and adventure. I liked it.

A lot.

Finally, I would like to thank Mike D'Antuono for hooking me on the FX Channel's family values series Justified! Just what I needed before taking off to coach in Europe.

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