Get me rewrite…
To be fair, the jury’s out on how good a job Joe Posnanski will do in penning fallen Penn State coach Joe Paterno‘s biography…
That said, there’s little doubt on why the ebullient former Kansas City Star sports scribe was chosen for the task. Posnanski has carved a career in breathing fervor into even the most mundane sports achievements and personalities.
He’s a great writer, if a bit euphoric and hyperbolic at times – like most of the time. So it comes as little surprise that JoePa would feel comfortable and assured he’d receive kid glove treatment at the hands of JoePo.
And what writer wouldn’t leap at the chance to get their mitts on a reported $750,000 writing fee?
Unfortunately, an anticipated, run of the mill journalistic blowjob turned into an ugly, nasty tell-all courtesy of the Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky’s child abuse scandal.
And given Posnanski’s track record, Paterno’s firing and recent evidence that JoePa well may have been at the epicenter of the wrongdoing, Posnanski now looks like the last guy you’d want driving the bio bus under the cicumstances.
"The late Joe Paterno may have played a much bigger role than he had claimed in persuading Penn State officials not to report Jerry Sandusky to officals," says MSNBC‘s Michael Smerconish.
"The takeaway is, as far as I’m concerned, is that Joe Paterno has no legacy left," says "Friday Night Lights" author Buzz Bissinger. "You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that (Penn State athletic director) Tim Curley (had) a three pronged plan, one of which (was) it was going to be reported to the department of welfare. He talks to Paterno and all of a sudden, the key element of that plan has dissappeared. And even Paterno himself in his very brief and frankly odd grand jury testimony, said he knows that something of a sexual nature occurred. They know that Sandusky at the very least was in the shower with a 10 year-old boy. They don’t care about the victim. It’s all about spin. It’s all about treating Jerry humanely."
Bissinger’s bottom line:
"I think it just cements Paterno not only as someone who was cowardly and did not do what he should have at the beginning but also a liar…At this point, anyone who believes that Joe Paterno did not know about the 1998 incident is a fool. He did know."
As for Paterno’s family defending the former coach as not being "an email guy" or in the loop about Sandusky, "So he didn’t use email, I mean, I think he still had the ability to talk," Bissinger says. "He must have told Curley something to get Curley to change his mind and say, ‘Let’s not report to welfare authorities.’ I’m not convinced and I’m just connecting the dots. And every dot has been connected."
So what started out as a puff piece – with Posnanski in the driver’s seat at the dinner table with Paterno and his family – has now become a hard news expose.
Because who at this point wants to read about what a nice guy and great coach Paterno was?
So back to you, Joe. It won’t be easy, but let’s see if you can punch your way out of this feather light, journalistic paper bag.
Your public awaits.
He’s got time. Posnanski’s book was delayed from a June release to August 28th. And he’s not above pimping potential buyers, as evidenced by this June 30 Tweet:
"Will not comment re: Paterno because I don’t think it’s my place now. But I will say that all of this and more is in the book."