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Joe Paterno’s Metamorphosis Into Creature From ‘The Dark Crystal’ Is Complete

The powers-that-be rolled 784-year-old Penn State football coach Joe Paterno into Chicago for Big Ten media days and numerous reporters, bloggers and even folks running Penn State-centric sites have taken notice of his aged, croaky and decrepit appearance, even for a person as ancient as Joe Pa. To be fair to the old coot, he is still recovering from some intestinal maladies which he has been experiencing since spring, but he nevertheless looks more tired and worn out than many who have spent years covering the iconic coach have ever seen him.

While going through numerous photos of Paterno from the Big Ten’s Meet and Greet yesterday, I attempted to come up with an apt comparison for Joe Paterno’s physical appearance. Ultimately, I arrived at one: he is beginning to resemble a Jim Henson-created puppet, one that might have had a place in Henson’s and Frank Oz’s delightful 1982 movie, The Dark Crystal. If you have been unfortunate enough to have never seen this brilliant film which is a testament to the wonders of puppetry moved along by dark, moody, fantasy storytelling, by all means check it out.

While Paterno’s appearance is not exactly representative of any particular character from The Dark Crystal, he does however resemble what the offspring if two of the primary races of creatures which inhabit theĀ  mystical world of Thra: the urSheks and the Skeksis were to mate.

To wit:

An urShek


A Skeksis


Joe Pa

Chilling, is it not? The resemblance is uncanny. I’m sitting here trying to figure out where the puppeteer is hiding.

JoePa looks tired, frail in Chicago. Let the Paterno farewell watch begin anew [Dr. Saturday]
Penn State coach Joe Paterno still strong-willed despite spring illness [USA Today]
JOEPA LOOKS OLD [Nittany Lines]