Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
PACINO AS PATERNO IN MOVIE?
Al Pacino, perfect choice we think, is being mentioned as the actor to play JoePa in a movie based on the Joe Posnanski book. So far, we think this is a trial balloon to test if there is enough interest to forge ahead with the project. We think it’s a fascinating choice and imagine the following scene in Joe’s office where Paterno is being interviewed by a reporter in 2005 recapping his career:
Reporter: You’ve been at one school for sixty-one years. You got a law degree. Didn’t you plan on being a lawyer?
Paterno: I did but they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. (GF)
Reporter: What kind of offer?
Paterno: They held a contract in front of me, then put a gun to my head and said either my signature
or my brains were going to be on that contract. (GF)
Reporter: Didn’t you argue with them?
Paterno: I was young and I thought about arguing but he said “You are in no position to disagree. I’ve got a loaded .45, you’ve got pimples.” (SOW)
Reporter: So that’s how a great career gets started?
Paterno: Hoo-haaa. (SOW)
Reporter: Seems like a lot of pressure. Did you think about hanging it up?
Paterno: I tried to get out but they pulled me back in! (GF 3)
Reporter: When you were a quarterback at Brown you had a diminutive wide out on your team. You two celebrated a lot of touchdowns. When you guys paled around how did you introduce him?
Paterno: Say hello to my little friend! (SF)
Reporter: You made 37 bowl appearances and the pros kept trying to get you to leave Penn State and coach for first, the Steelers and then, the Patriots. What was your mindset then?
Paterno: Penn State was my family. You never take sides against the family. (GF 2)
Reporter: You had a great love for the game and player after player says nobody could break it down like you. Any wisdom to depart?
Paterno: The game has to be about more than winning. You’re part of something here… along the way, we need to cherish it, because when it’s gone, it’s gone forever. (AGS)
Reporter: Players still love the speeches you gave, especially when you were tied or in a tough game. In the 1986 Fiesta Bowl for the national championship Miami, at halftime, had 244 to your 100 yards, but you were tied. What did you tell the players?
Paterno: Three minutes until the second half in the biggest battle of our lives. It all comes down to today. Now, either we heal as a team or we’re gonna crumble, inch by inch, play by play, till we’re finished. We’re in hell right now, gentlemen… and we can stay here or we can fight our way back into the light. One inch at a tme. (AGS)
GF…The Godfather movies
SOW…Scent of a Woman
AGS…Any Given Sunday