Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I've had my fun making fun of Joe Pa. But at the same time I have a lot of respect for Joe that I think I have more than mentioned on here over 3+ years. Over at JoePa's Virtual Birthday Party, they are putting together an 82 reasons we love JoePa post and giving away stuff and stuff.
I have a lot of memories of him beating West Virginia. Memories of crushing defeats that just made my blood boil. There was a time when disrespecting him anywhere besides opposing college campuses wasn't too cool, though. Because he always did the right thing. People hated him, but respected him. Because he won a shit load of games. That's the Joe I want to remember, and leave any mean spirited comments for another week...month...year.
My fondest memory of Joe was the 1984 game that West Virginia broke the 28 game losing streak to PSU. I was there, and 14 at the time so I was young enough to get reeeeeally excited about it and old enough to understand how big it was. So that's the most sincere thing I can say. It was the biggest victory you could imagine. The fans rushed the field before the last couple seconds ran off the clock. Rather than raise a stink about it, Joe just ran across the field and conceded the game, and shook some hands and took his team off the field. It's just classy. It seems like people have been calling for him to step down for about 20 years now. Obviously, it seems more plausible now than 20 years ago. But the program doesn't seem to have been hurt too much by his presence. So....Happy Birthday, Joe!