|Paterno : By the Book by Joe Paterno and Bernard Asbell (1989, Hardcover) : Joe Paterno, Bernard Asbell (1989)|
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|Paterno : By the Book by Joe Paterno and Bernard Asbell (1989, Hardcover)|
Returns not accepted
Smyrna, DE, USA
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|Author||Bernard Asbell, Joe Paterno|
|Publisher||Random House Publishing Group|
|LC Classification Number||GV939.P37A3 1989|
|Dewey Decimal||796.332/092 B|
Average review score based on 1 user reviews
An excellent read and my recommendation is to alter some letters in the title and "Buy the book". A Penn State fan for starters, I've read a dozen or so books associated with the football program and Joe Paterno. The majority of the books are written by folks who paraphrase conversations or go after quotes from former players some years after the fact.
This book is written from direct interviews with coach Paterno and is written in the first person. It reads as though you are sitting on Joes couch having a one-on-one conversation with him, unlike the more analytical and distanced books that lack a personal feel. The chapters are linear and sequential. Paterno starts off with his insights and observations of his family upbringing and life as a Catholic kid in Brooklyn learning about Latin, The Iliad, Hemingway, Steinbeck, Plato and Virgil. Choices made along the way as a teen, the establishment of his basic values, competition in all things undertaken, and the desire to "do the right thing, not the easy thing" are quickly addressed. He is a much better educated man than I would have ever suspected.
A brief stint of military service is added almost as a sidenote, he then moves on to his college days at Brown where he was viewed by most as an outsider who did not belong. A promising law student with a keen mind and excellent debate skills, he got sidetracked by the game of football.
Later chapters deal with his assistant coaching days at Brown, an eventual move to Penn State, the long awaited head coaching position, NFL team coaching offers, and the trials, tribulations, and challenges associated with creating a National Championship football team. Joe Paterno offers a refreshing look at how difficult it can be to stick to an ideal.
Some highlights of note are: Coach Paternos ability to deal with racial issues from the late 50's through the late 80's. (The book went to press and does not detail seasons or events beyond 1990) Personal goals and challenges associated with the winning AND losing of pressure cooker NCAA football games. NCAA rules and his perception of their benefits and drawbacks. The ethically questionable methods associated with recruiting of high school football players by major colleges and universities. Heisman trophy winner John and Joseph Cappelletti and a host of other names such as Franco Harris, Curt Warner, Matt Suhey, Rosie Grier, Dan Marino, Lydell Mitchell, Jack Ham, Doug Flutie, D. J. Dozier, Larry Csonka, Bear Bryant, and Todd Blackledge are woven into the book.
The book describes a man pursuing excellence in himself and driving those around him to seek it as well.
I'm familiar with most of the latest hype regarding his 400th career win and his desire to continue coaching. I can only hope there is another author out there who will pick up where this one leaves off.