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It's A Post-Arts Festival Life

by on July 15, 2010 7:00 AM

Now that Arts Fest has passed we are into a calmer period here in State College. The streets are quieter and the pace of life is an easy meander down a cool stream.

With things being a bit slower, I find there's no all-important single topic to discuss. Instead, I'll share with you some breaking news and some fun ranting. So with tongue firmly in cheek, let's move forward.

Inside "sources" close to the football program tell us Joe Paterno has decided when he will announce his 2010 starting quarterback. About a week before the first game, he'll announce his decision live on The Big Ten Network. Coach Paterno will make his announcement from the Boy and Girls Club in Beverly Hills like "The King" LeBron James did in another hard luck town; Greenwich, Connecticut.

For a nation that was formed because we didn't want a king, we've sure had a lot of them—Elvis, Richard Petty, LeBron James, and Michael Jackson (The King of Pop)—all of them just in the last half century.

Coach Paterno will also have hand-picked paid interviewers. The Big Ten Network's Gerry DiNardo will be joined by ESPN's Todd Blackledge, Lisa Salters and Chris Fowler. Blackeldge and Salters were chosen because they're Penn Staters and DiNardo was chosen because he's Italian. Fowler made the cut because he lived in State College as a young man.

Revenue from The Big Ten Network special's ads will benefit the Paterno Libraries Endowment Fund at Penn State as well as Pennsylvania Special Olympics. Three sponsors are reportedly on board. Big Ten Network regulars Ro-Tel Tomatoes and Hover-Round are in and have been joined by crowd favorite British Petroleum.

Speaking of BP, everyone in America seems to be mad at them over the oil spill disaster. They have been criticized for their handling of the spill and for a lack of safety that led to the accident.

This thing has my internet-fueled conspiracy theory antenna up. Up until the oil spill Goldman Sachs was public enemy No. 1. Until BP's CEO showed up to testify before Congress, the leadership of Goldman had set the standard for arrogance (which BP CEO Tony Hayward promptly surpassed).

The people at Goldman Sachs are the big winners in the whole BP oil spill. Suddenly a few billion dollars here or there don't seem like such a big deal when there are pelicans and birds showing up covered in oil—not to mention the lives lost or ruined.

If we find out that Goldman issued a strong buy rating for BP's stock and shorted it right before the explosion, then I think another televised Congressional hearing should be called. Bring Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein and BP CEO Tony Hayward in together and sell ads that will benefit the Gulf recovery efforts.

What exactly did the CEO of Goldman know about the explosion and when did he know about it?

But does anyone ever really learn anything from televised Congressional hearings? Take the cameras out and force Congress to ask actual questions and get substantive answers. Maybe without television we'd eliminate the tedious 10-minute pontifications each lawmaker feels compelled to make prior to actually asking a question. I would miss the phony (or at least overly dramatic) outrage which has some entertainment value.

It seems lawmakers want to come up with a clever zinger. I guess they all dream of that great one-liner that gets them face time when it is replayed on "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" later that day.

Speaking of face time, it seems that my Chipotle iPhone application is helping me spend less face time in line picking up Burritos at the Chipotle in downtown State College. Isn't technology great? The Chipotle app allows me to order and pay on-line and then go pick it up without waiting.

If the Creamery or Meyer Dairy ever add an iPhone app, I will weigh 300 pounds (none of it "good" weight). The last thing I need is a faster way to get my ice cream fix in State College. Just think how popular the Creamery iPhone app would be on a football Saturday when the line is all the way to East Halls.

Speaking of football Saturdays, since tomorrow we are just 50 days from the first one, I'd better get back to some summer time with my kids. This is one time when I can spend a lot of really good time with my own children before we are full speed ahead and the fall starts.

The fall semester is just around the corner. The students will be here Aug. 20 and thank God for that. While I enjoy the summer pace for a a time, where would this town be without the students and university that make this such a vibrant, engaging place?

And that my friends, unlike most everything else written here, is no joke.



State College native and Penn State graduate Jay Paterno is a father, husband and political volunteer. He’s a frequent guest lecturer on campus and at Penn State events and was the longtime quarterbacks coach for the Nittany Lions. His column appears every other Thursday. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/JayPaterno
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