Everyone's making a huge deal about the coaching legends Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden facing off in the Orange Bowl tonight. They're the two winningest coaches in Division I-A history, and they're both still going strong. It's nice when old people do well.
Forgive us, however, if we think Bowden benefits more from this comparison than Paterno does. Despite Paterno's occasional accusations of anti-lesbian views, Bowden's history of bringing in athletes of questionable character and rampant megalomania drops him out of JoePa's class, in our opinion. Plus, a reader with "intimate knowledge of the participants" sends us this story:
Philanthropy is apparently not the Bowdens' thing. On a recent Nike cruise (Nike takes all of the college football coaches on a yearly vacation), [Texas coach] Mack Brown and his wife were chatting with the Paternos. Having just signed his new, lucrative contract, Mack was inquiring of the Paternos how they went about deciding how to donate to the university (Penn State's library is named after the Paternos for both their giving and their fundraising efforts). As they explained how they decided which department to donate to, notorious shopper Ann Bowden [Bobby's wife] cut in....."Don't give to the university. We made them, they didn't make us. They don't deserve a penny." I guess she'd rather spend her money filling up their three houses with more expensive junk.
That's enough to make us want to root for Penn State. Though there's always the possibility of Jenn Sterger sideline shots. That's something.
Pairing Of Coaches Makes OB An Instant Classic [Miami Herald]