Jay Paterno's Final Words to His Coach Dad Were Perfect

Joe PaternoIf you could say one last thing to your dying parent, what do you think it would be? Joe Paterno's son, Jay, had to face this sad question before his father passed away last Sunday of lung cancer. After giving his father a kiss, Jay leaned over him and whispered in his ear these final words: "Dad, you won. You did all you could do. You've done enough. We all love you. We won. You can go home now."

Say what you will, but these words were perfectly fitting for a son to whisper to his dying father. They were also fitting for the man who coached football over his entire lifetime: "We won." Sure, one could argue over the man's tainted legacy and legendary status as the head football coach of Penn State. A terrible thing happened under Joe Paterno's watch, but he was a beloved father and coach too, a coach who helped teach so many players how to win. Jay wanted his father to rest in peace -- isn't that what all children want for their parents?

Advertisement

We can all sit back and judge Paterno for his actions (or lack thereof). Of course, the Sandusky scandal was horrific and Paterno should have done everything in his power to make sure it was stopped. What happened was repulsive and the young boys affected should get everything they need to be able to move on with their lives. However, there were many more "villains" in this story besides Paterno. There's no doubt, in my mind at least, Joe was simply the most well-known scapegoat in this horror story.

But at the end of his life, you can't take away the fact that his son loved him with all his heart and wanted to say the words he thought would help his father move on from this life.

Paterno, with more wins than any other major-college football coach and racking up two national championships, probably did hope that he did enough in his career and life so he could die without regrets. Jay said after Joe passed that "[d]espite all that had happened to him, he never wavered in his belief, in his dream, of Penn State. He told me he wanted to use his remaining time on earth to see Penn State continue to thrive. He never spoke ill and never wanted anyone to feel badly for him." Joe loved Penn State and the players he coached. His son's private, final words to him were more than appropriate. They were perfect.

It's time now that we focus on prosecuting the man behind all of this madness, Jerry Sandusky, and getting his victims the help that they so desperately need.

What do you think of Jay Paterno's final words to his father? 


Image via audreyjm529/Flickr

Read More >