The House of Representatives last week passed a resolution honoring Joe Paterno, head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions football team, for his 400th career win earlier this month.
The 83-year-old Paterno has more wins than any other Division 1 football coach. And he just announced that he will indeed return to the sidelines next year for his record-breaking 46th season. During his 61 years at Penn State (first as an assistant coach), Paterno has donated millions of dollars back to the university, including for a library that bears his name. His program consistently has one of the highest graduation rates in college football and his program long ago earned the nickname “The Great Experiment” because of Paterno’s dedication to academics before football.
North Jersey’s three representatives on Capitol Hill – Rep. Steve Rothman (D-9), Rep. Scott Garrett (R-5), and Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-8) all voted for the resolution, introduced by Rep. Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania. The House vote was not unanimous, however. Reps. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) voted against the football legend because, according to Politico, they objected to what they called frivolous honorary resolutions.
“Sports teams and heroes get more than their share of adulation,” Chaffetz told Politico. “Let’s start recognizing teachers and scientists.”
Apparently Chaffetz missed the part about Paterno’s dedication to academics.
And for those wondering why this is appearing in The Big Lipowsky’s blog (aside from that I am an alumnus), the Italian Paterno, who grew up in Brooklyn, spent part of his youth as a Shabbos goy.
As the late great Paul Harvey would say, and now you know … the rest of the story.