An Ad for All Seasons
(We would like to welcome Beano Cook to FireMarkMay.com as our official college football historian. While I'm still holding that whole "multiple Heismans for Ron Powlus" thing against him, the old salt knows his stuff and can spin quite a tale. Also, he drank Trev under the table, so I had to follow through.-irishoutsider)
The advent of the so-called "superstar coach" is not unique to this modern era of 7-figure salaries, book deals, and endorsement contracts. Long before guys like Bob Stoops and Steve Spurrier were in Pop Warner, there was always the notion of the figurehead head coach. As a standard bearer for his program and as an ambassador of his college or university, the head coach of any big-time college football program was always front and center in the media, whatever media that may be. From Knute Rockne punching up his pregame pep talks to Fielding Yost hurling whiskey bottles at telegraph operators, the media circus has always revolved around the coach.
With this kind of attention, head coaches have always been sought after commodities to the Madison Ave. types, and no coach has had more success, more longevity, in this area than State College's own Joe Paterno. I know, this may be a surprise to the younger set out there. Why that whippersnapper Orson Swindle is just bumfuzzled by the thought of JoePa hawking bread for the local bakery concern! The folly of youth! Coach Paterno has been through it all, young man, a trailblazer if you will. He's been a part of the advertising boom since the start.
Beano Cook is ESPN's resident old-timer. He regularly accuses chestnuts of being lazy.