In case you hadn't heard, after Penn State was steamrolled by the USC Trojans in last week's Rose Bowl, someone cut the "coke-bottle" glasses off the Joe Paterno statue on the east side of Beaver Stadium.
OK, like every other Big Ten fan I too was dejected, sickened and nauseated by the shellacking that Penn State took that night. We hear it every year, windbags like Mark May insist "the Big Ten doesn't have the team speed for USC." And I sat and watched and seethed, as usual. So many people wanted JoePa to win that game; it seemed like it was meant to be. I think I even teared up a bit at the pre-game promo celebrating JoePa's storied career. However, when half-time came around and the shell-shocked Nittany Lions limped back to the locker room, JoePa failed to inspire, failed to come up with adjustments and even failed to trudge down to the locker room and give the boys a pep talk. I know he's 125 years old, but I just would have felt better if he had high-stepped it down there in his high-water khakis and put his foot in someone's ass. I'm sure many Penn State faithful felt that maybe this time, JoePa wasn't up to the task.
In spite of these let downs, JoePa remains a legend. No matter where the program goes from here, he's earned his respect. So what makes someone want to vandalize JoePa's cool statue? I wonder who did it? Was it an angry Penn State student seeking revenge for the loss? A Pennsylvania sports memorabilia fanatic who believed he had found the "holy grail?" Perhaps a misplaced Trojan who felt like the 14 point victory wasn't enough to garner any first place computer votes.
Whoever took the glasses, here's my advice - RUN. Destroy the evidence and flee the country at once. Get found out in Happy Valley and you may be impaled by what's left of JoePa's statue. Ditto for Columbus, Ann Arbor, East Lansing, West Lafayette and any other Big Ten town in the country where JoePa is loved and respected. Personally, I hope you're caught. I hope you're caught and forced to appear before a judge who is a Penn State alum and season ticket holder. Me, I'm afraid to even type in "JoePa's glasses" on Ebay for fear the 'ol coach himself might come crashing through my window at that very instant. Yeah, Penn State choked - but you don't mess with legacy man. You just don't.