Ten Second Book Review: Paterno

So I just finished "Paterno," the latest from Joe Posnanski. Posnanski is the best sportswriter in America, so it's obviously well-written, but no one is judging this book by the quality of the writing. Poz was really in a no-win situation. He went to Happy Valley expecting to write a certain type of book -- a celebration of the career of Penn State football coach and anointed saint Joe Paterno -- and it turned into a completely different book after the revelation of the unimaginable horrors perpetrated by Paterno's long-time assistant Jerry Sandusky.

I liked the book, and I thought it was even-handed. If you are looking for a slash and burn attack on Paterno, you aren't going to get it here. Posnanski was very critical of Paterno's actions in relation to Sandusky, but he also spent a lot of words talking about all the good things Paterno did in his lifetime. The contrast between the moral authority that Paterno spent his life building, and the way he went out -- accused of ignoring, and enabling, contemptible crimes against the most innocent of victims -- is stark. He helped hundreds of kids during his lifetime, but it's the handful of kids that he did not help that has stained what had been a remarkable career.

It's a terribly sad story, but I do recommend the book.