on December 2, 2011
I loved this book. I don't care that I just happened to be reading it during the media storm that was the Penn State Scandle.
Joe Paterno was, and continues to be, one of the most interesting and successful coaches in all of sports. This book did a good job of explaining how he came to be at Penn State and how he developed his coaching philosphy, which was the most interesting part to me.
The chapters that covered the late 60's and early 70's, when Paterno was getting his undefeated seasons with no national title to show for it, were perhaps the most interesting. Paterno showed a fire and loyalty to Penn State that I highly doubt any other coach would show. He turned down good NFL money to stay in Happy Valley.
It is a shame to read this book about Paterno, and read abot all the good he has done for countless people, football players and others, and to see that legacy scared by the Sandusky scandle. Regardless of your thoughts on Paterno or the scandle as a whole, this is a book that exposes a man who gave his life to a University and to a football program of young men and it should be read by all College Football fans.
Of course, like I said, you are free to make your own judgements about Paterno following the recent events, but that doesn't take away from the 50+ years of interesting football stories this book tells.
on September 21, 2012
Fitzpatrick is a talented , careful and entertaining writer whose second book about Pasterno takes us to the end of Joe PA's glory days and before the fateful 2011 season. This is a sympathetic and balanced look at the man , his backgound , character and accomplishments. From his early days in Brooklyn , to the out place NY Italian at Brown and the assistant coach who lived in a room in freinds' apartments for years , Paterno emerges as a true icon but also as a quirky , demanding , irascible coach and power player. Fitz gets it all. Highly recommended for anyone interested in a true portrait of this legendary figure and as background for understanding the later events.
Excellent and absorbing book and a valuable contribution.
on February 2, 2013
Mostly pulled together from other sources, which I recognized from having read some of the other books... but that's OK if you haven't read the other books. It's nice that it's current right up to his last game, without all the drama of what he did or didn't know/do about the Sandusky debacle.
on May 30, 2012
My wife, by sheer coincidence, bought me this book on the day the Sandusky scandal broke. It was, to say the least, a little strange reading the book as the sordid tragedy unfolded. I believe Joe Paterno was a complex individual who won a lot of football games and built a dynasty in Happy Valley. He certainly wasn't perfect, but he did do a lot of good. Frank Fitzpatrick does a nice job chronicling his outstanding coaching career. You'll note that Paterno had a thirst for power and control and that's well documented. It paints a picture of a man who was ultimately consumed by his own need to mirco manage a program. It's terribly unfortunate how Paterno's final chapter transpired. The tumultuous conclusion of Paterno's life not withstanding, this was a well written book and will open a lot of eyes to just who Joesph Vincent Paterno was and how pride came before the fall.