But someone in the family must be checking out the papers. How else would Joe know that his kid gets hell all the time, so I have to give Jay a little more credit, as he said after 10th-ranked PSU's 35-14 blowout of No. 14 Wisconsin at Beaver Stadium Saturday?
And why, a few minutes after that, would Jay have had some good-natured fun with a young reporter who earlier in the week asked his old man if this might be his last season? The older guys on the beat should have you schooled on that that's a question you're never going to get an answer on, he said with a laugh.
The family can afford to smile now. A year ago at this time, the Nittany Lions were 0-6 in the Big Ten and out of bowl contention for the fourth time in five years. The only person catching more heat than Joe Paterno was Jay, because many folks thought the legend was sticking around just so he could eventually pass the top job on to his son.
Twelve months later, Penn State is 9-1 overall and poised to seize its first Big Ten title since 1994. Senior quarterback Michael Robinson is enjoying a record-setting year and the offense has appeared unstoppable at times. Yet while the elder Paterno is being universally lauded for the renaissance, his 37-year-old son remains a lightning rod for debate. Just mention the words Jay and Paterno, and the message board hits grow exponentially.
We caught up with Jay Paterno after State's big win over the Badgers, as part of a small group of reporters. He talked about how much longer his father will coach, the impact the criticism of the two has had on their relationship, the unique places where people have decided to give him free advice and his infamous spam comment last season.
And, of course, we got the lowdown on who in the family is reading the sports section. Click on the link below to hear our audio file.
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