2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Take that, Beano Cook!,
By A Customer
This review is from: No Ordinary Joe: The Biography of Joe Paterno (Paperback)
There are a lot of biographies out there written by people who assume that simple fame warrants public interest. This is not one of them, because Joe Paterno is a truly fascinating man. Success and prestige don't often go hand in hand, but somehow Joe has made it work, and is the reason that Penn State isn't just another big-money school trying to win football games on the backs of exploited kids. If how he does that in this day and age isn't intriguing, I don't know what is. For anyone who has ever turned on a Saturday football game and wondered what possesses the guy in the nerdy rolled-up pants and coke-bottle glasses to keep going, then you have a valid question which this book can answer in a way that will captivate you, page after page. For once, we have a book about football that isn't about football at all--it's about what an extraordinary person can do to a little agricultural school to put a tiny college town on the map in the greatest way possible.
Put a thermometer to the JoePa sentiments in State College and you may be surprised that a fervent admiration that pervades the town, and for good reason. Hey, there has to be some reason we would like a guy enough to make a bean bag doll out of him...give him his own ice cream flavor (Peachy Paterno)...and put his face on mugs...and golf balls. ("Guaranteed to go up the middle three out of four times.") ...The fact is, the guy has integrity that borders on insanity, and that makes him interesting as heck.
On a final note, this is a dangerous book in that it will feed an obsession born of fandom. Be careful with this book. I have a friend, the daughter of Penn State's president, and every year she obliges me by hand-delivering a batch of Santa Joe cookies to the Paternos at the bowl games. Make sure you don't go as far over the edge as I did.