Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tribute To a Titan

Konbanwa my friends...

Joe Pa was a titan on the football field, and a role model off it.

This past weekend Joe Paterno, legendary head football coach of Penn State University, passed away from his battle with cancer. I am a little late on this topic seeing as it is nearly a week after it happened, however I wanted to dedicate this post to man who not only made a standard of excellence at Penn State, but created stories. He not only set records as the winningest coach ever, he set the foundation for leadership and loyalty. Whether he was suffering from cancer, had a broken pelvis, or taking abuse for sex scandal that he was for the most part not really involved in, he stood up and took each blow. He taught humility, loyalty, character, leadership, the list is endless. But like all Leaders, in times of weakness and vulnerability, their enemies rise from the shadows and attack without fear. Many will try to use his inaction during the sex scandal to undermine his career, but no one is talking about the man who WATCHED the abuse happen, and then told his father who said to do nothing until the next day. While I have no intention of defending his inaction, I do not believe that one unexcuseable lapse in judgment should define the legacy of a man who changed the stories of young men for the better, or created one for those who were without one. So as a tribute to Joe Paterno, here is a short story I have written. Enjoy.



The sound of the heart monitor beeped at a steady, indicating that Adam was stable at the moment. His mother and father stood over there son with concern in there eyes. The doctor stood off to the side, giving them a moment. After a minute the mother spoke aloud.

"How bad doctor?" She asked, almost sure of his answer.
"Well, luckily he recieved expert medical attention on the field, and the spinal fusion surgery at Ohio State's Medical Center was successful, so his life was saved. However, nearly his entire body was left paralyzed..."
"Is there anything you can do?" Adam's Father asked, holding his crying wife in his arms.
"I'm afraid not. We may be able to refer to you to better Doctor, but he most likely will never walk again..."
"Not one of my boys..." An male voice said.

Adam's parents and the doctor turned to find elderly man walking towards them. They all straighten up immediately.

"Hello Mr. Paterno." Adam's Father.
"Mr. and Mrs. Taliaferro, forgive me. You put your boy in my hands and I couldn't protect him... but I will not let this injury defeat him. Not as long as there is strength in these bones." Paterno replied.

Paterno walked up to Adam, who's eyes were closed. He rest his hand on Adam's arm.

"It'll be alright son. Everything's going to be okay." He said, reaching into his bag, pulling out a jersey. "I'll be waiting for you when you return wearing this jersey again son. Just make sure you do it fast enough that I'll be able to see, I'm not getting any younger."

Paterno laughed, before getting up and walking away.

"You're son can do it, he's one of the strongest people I have ever met. Send him where ever, he'll do it."
"I don't mean to be disrespectful, but you shouldn't get your hopes up Mr. Paterno..."
"Besides pride, loyalty, discipline, heart, and mind, confindence is the key to all locks."

Paterno walked out the door, and a single tear rolled down Adam's face.

~Believe deep down in your heart that you are destined to do great things~

R.I.P. Joe Paterno....

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