The frailty of the human body is never more magnified than when a body is put into motion on the football field. One misstep and that means an ACL is torn to shreds, an Achilles is ripped clean from the heel, etc.
However, when an 84-year-old man is placed among the speeding projectiles, whirring around in a chaotic pattern, the laws of physics are bound to catch up with the elder.
Joe Paterno is not your typical octogenarian. He is as spry and together with his wits as any man of his age can be.
He is a living legend and deserving of all the accolades that have been thrust upon his name for becoming not only a Pennsylvania institution, but a national icon.
However, sometimes legends need to acknowledge when there time has come and gone.
This is not an anti-Paterno diatribe calling him out of touch, outmatched or even senile. However, for the sake of whatever number of years the man has left on this Earth, it begs the question, how can he do this any longer while the risk remains for an incident that could severely hamper his well-being?
The man can gladly coach until either the doctor or the mortician puts his career to an end. Paterno has earned that right tenfold.
Common sense needs to prevail for Paterno to keep on defying Father Time. No more mixing it up, Joe, you're not a youthful 68 anymore. You're somebody's grandfather. Heck, you're somebody's great grandfather at this point.
This isn't the first time Paterno has been injured on the sidelines. At Wisconsin in 2006, Paterno was wiped out on a kickoff return, breaking a leg and tearing a knee ligament. In 2008, Paterno injured his right hip while demonstrating a kickoff.
Needless to say, Paterno is no stranger to risking limbs while on the job.
In all reality, Paterno has this year and possibly 2012 before he could conceivably ride off into the sunset into what's left of his golden years.
In a perfect world, that would be the ideal scenario. The Joe Paterno farewell tour and leave the Nittany Lions in good hands with defensive coordinator Tom Bradley.
But, no one is ever going to tell Paterno to go. They may delicately urge him to take it easy. But that's not JoePa. He only knows one speed and he will keep running it until the Big Man says stop.
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