What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions

Let The Jedi Mind Tricks Begin

The approach of spring football also brings one of the true joys of college football: the Joe Paterno press conference. Understanding a Paterno presser, particularly the first one of the spring, means a full-fledged exercise in teasing the real story out of his “answers,” which are usually one part Yogi Berra, one part sarcasm, and two parts old-school deception.  

JoePa has used these parts to brew a masterful concoction of obfuscation. Once the questions start coming from the assembled media, Joe Paterno’s responses slowly weave the intended web of non-answer answers into a solid wall of what he wants you to know and what he doesn’t. Let’s face it; he’s JoePa. As the unquestioned ruler of Pennsylvania, he is not obligated to answer anything. Rather, a reporter is supposed to be grateful to be part of the aforementioned assembled media and take what you are given. After all, JoePa has the power to exile reporters from Happy Valley; but he would rather continue to play the Jedi mind trick on them. 


First of all, it crucial to understand that JoePa places these pressers at about the same level of uselessness and irritation as the combination of used chewing gum and hangnails. As it is the first conference of the spring, the vapid nature of the average reporter’s queries becomes concentrated and JoePa simply won’t suffer stupidity. Sure, he gives what he calls “answers,” but they are less answers in the strictest sense of the word; more like responses to the general subject. For example, if a reporter asks JoePa a specific question his starting quarterback, he will ramble opaquely on the general topic of quarterbacks. If he’s feeling exceptionally charitable, there might even be a quote. The end always holds a few minutes of JoePa’s usual humility, followed by his trademark line “I just hope we’re ready for (insert next opponent here).” 

Of course, the quarterback situation this year begs such inquiry as the departure of Daryll Clark leaves a question as to who will be the Penn State signal caller come time to face Youngstown State. The fact is the Nittany Lions have three potential starters in sophomore Kevin Newsome, redshirt sophomore Matt McGloin and true freshman Paul Jones. Of course, when Paterno gives his “answer” to this, you swear you never heard him say “these are not the droids you are looking for,” but somehow you are sure they’re not.  

”There’s no timetable,” he said. ”You just go day by day. I want to just get them comfortable, find out what they can do, and not try to do more than they can handle. Every year is a little different. If we have to modify things offensively to what their ability is, we will. But we don’t know that. There’s no agenda, really.” 

Even if there were no question as to who the starter is going to be, that’s a classic Paterno quote. Granted, JoePa has certainly been around long enough to know picking a starter in a situation like this before spring ball is complete is just craziness. Odds are Penn State fans won’t get a clear answer to this until the Saturday before the Youngstown State game. 

Paterno taps into the psychic forces for a quarterback...


The starter will likely be Newsome, but then again, it might be McGloin. Or, maybe JoePa throws us all off and goes with the freshman. Paterno is the only one who knows, and he knows these are in fact the droids you are looking for.

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What your view of sports would be if you had too many concussions

One comment on “Let The Jedi Mind Tricks Begin

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Let The Jedi Mind Tricks Begin « Dubsism -- Topsy.com

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This entry was posted on April 4, 2010 by in College Football and tagged , , .

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