Rest in peace

January 23, 2012 

As I sat with my wife on Sunday, hearing the news of Joe Paterno’s death, I took the time to reflect on life. As a kid, my brother, father and I packed up his pickup truck and headed to every Penn State home game.

This being in the mid-to late ’70s, tailgating and the game were a big deal to a young kid. End zone seats were full of excitement and fun for a kid.

I have not always been an avid fan of Penn State, but have seen more than a coach of a football team. I have seen what he brought to this area, what this town thinks of him and how this town has reacted to the good and the bad of Penn State football.

I have been lucky enough to meet a few people who have been involved in the football program at Penn State. Imagine being an 11-year-old and in your door walks Matt Millen, who you come to find out gave your mother a ride home from a car dealer when her car wasn’t fixed yet. Or having the privilege of seeing Trey Bauer on a weekly basis in your store. A man who is one of the nicest people you will ever meet.

So you sit back and think that these men have been molded to what they are today with Paterno’s help through the years. With all the problems at Penn State in the past months, hopefully as Paterno spent the last days with his family, he realized what he did for the university, the community and the people he turned from boys to men not only in football, but in life.

He will go down in history as the best college football coach ever, but he will be remembered for a lot more than just football. He will be remembered for being a father, a husband, a leader and a life teacher.

Rest in peace, Mr. Paterno. You will be missed in every aspect of life.

Bob Murphy Centre Hall

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