Yesterday I went to the Illini football game. The Illini beat Penn State 27-20 and it was pretty freakin' fabulous. It was a beautiful day, Memorial Stadium was sold out and filled with lots of orange-clad fans, and Illinois beat a ranked opponent for the first time since 2001. For the first time since 1994 Illinois is 2-0 in Big Ten play... it is so nice to have something to get excited about when it comes to Illini football, other than the fact that it means that Illini basketball will be starting in about 6 weeks. :)
Perhaps lost in all of the excitement of the win was the losing coach, Joe Paterno. How can you not like this guy. He has been the head coach at Penn State for 42 years, and his total tenure with the team dates back to 1950 as he spent 16 years as an assistant. It is refreshing to see commitment like that in this day in age. Besides being a talented and successful coach (a t-shirt spotted on Penn State fan yesterday read "Joe Knows Football"), he is a big fan of the Big Ten Conference, the healthiest octogenarian I have seen, and strives to put but academic success ahead of athletic success. Like I said... what is not to love.
JoPa is a legend... it is an honor to see him coach. I wish him well... except when he plays the Illini.
Great win yesterday boys... keep it up!