JoPo on JoPa. Former Kansas City Star columnist Joe Posnanski recently left Sports Illustrated to work on a biography about former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno. Paterno, the author has said, is one of Posnanski’s heroes. And now Posnanski faces a steep challenge to truthfully write about a man whose legacy is tarnished and embroiled in the child rape scandal the ended Paterno’s career.
The New York Times wrote a lengthy piece over the weekend about this very subject. The Times quoted Posanski, who wrote on his SI blog:
“The way I see it: I have a responsibility to write the best, most insightful and most honest book I can possibly write about Joe Paterno. That’s what I signed up for. I’m not backing down from that because of this awful, evil situation. I’m also not walking away from a life and a man.”
While JoPo’s publisher has pushed up the release date for the book, Posnanski has attempted to go off the grid. He resurfaced, quoting Paterno shortly before his death:
“It doesn’t matter what people think of me,” he told Posnanski. “I’ve lived my life. I just hope the truth comes out. And I hope the victims find peace.”
Also in that column, Posnanski contrasted Paterno’s “full life” with “a single, hazy event involving an alleged child molester.” That description of a “hazy” event again drew criticism. Since then, Posnanski has truly turned silent about Paterno.