By John Ostapkovich
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Joe Paterno’s son, Jay, is out with a biography of his famous father that he says does not ignore the Sandusky scandal, but puts it in perspective.
When writing a book about your dad called Paterno Legacy, where exactly do you fit in the career-ending Sandusky mess? For Jay Paterno, the answer is up front:
“The first chapter is called ‘The Elephant in the Room’ and I did that on purpose. I address that head-on. I erase a lot of the misperceptions about my father as it relates to that story so that they can then focus on the rest of his life.”
A life, the junior Paterno says, was full of wisdom, laughter and what he calls “fumbles” — an odd word choice because…
“Joe Paterno was not defined by the fact that he coached football. It was just the medium he chose to build the masterpieces in his life and those masterpieces were the life he influenced and the lessons he gave people.”
There are intimate, in-home moments adding depth to the portrait of an iconic man. The size of that icon was driven home to Jay Paterno after his father died:
“Fifty-thousand people came to the viewing and I was there for most of it and greeted most of the people and the stories I got from them, people who had met them or met him a couple times, or were students, and that was probably surprising just how far reaching this was. During that viewing I talked to people from five different continents.”
Who, like Jay Paterno himself, remember the shine, not the tarnish.
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