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College Football

Joe Paterno Might Think That People Access The Internet Through Their Ears

Joe Paterno, that ornery old coot, was back at it recently with his talk of the good old days and all the newfangled things like technology that screw everything up and make the world a beepy-boppy, confusing as hell place to live.

Philadelphia Daily News‘ columnist Bill Conlin has a nice little write-up about Joe Paterno and the eventual, inevitable and unavoidable changing of the guard when one day, college football’s “Last Emperor” will either be forced into retirement or perhaps more fittingly shuffle off this mortal coil while still coaching his beloved Nittany Lions.

Conlin, after listening to JoePa talk about times long past, when Father Frederick Engel, a stern Jesuit priest at Brooklyn Prep, would smack students upside the head when they got out of line, asks Paterno how he feels about modern technology and how the coach’s “storied career and its end game has been laid bare by the social-networking phenomenon sweeping the world.”

Here’s JoePa’s response (via

“It drives me nuts. I get in a bus and I gotta tell a bunch of kids, ‘Take that thing sticking in your ears and shove it.’ I don’t particularly like the idea of people having that much access to anything.”

I’m guessing Coach Paterno is referring to the fact that every player seems to be sporting iPods these days, but if he wants to believe that the earbuds connected to a portable media player are transmitting the internets to his players, I suppose we can all allow him that suspicion.

On the other hand, maybe Paterno is more tech-savvy then we are led to believe and he suspects that the players are listening to downloaded podcasts loaded with intellectually stimulating information and not just terrible music. I suppose that’s a possibility.

On the other hand, perhaps JoePa just hates Q-Tips, what with the “sticking in your ears” comment. “Take that cotton swab out of your dang ear and shove it, daggummit!” Yeah, I could see that.