OTC: Posnanski Reveals His Defensive Thoughts On Paterno To Costas

“I’m real proud of it. I think it’s the best work I’ve done.”
Joe Posnanski, in a recent interview with Bob Costas on NBCSports
GH: JoPo had been almost invisible since his Paterno biography was released last week until he appeared on Costas’ show Wednesday night. The reviews of Paterno from almost every corner of the media have been mostly brutal. JoPo sounded defiant as he defended his book to Costas – who was professional but not soft on Posnanski. Read on.

“Which is not true. Significantly too high.”
Joe Posnanski, after Costas quoted the reported $750K advance payment JoPo received from Simon and Schuster, NBCSports
GH: JoPo was very quick to correct Costas on this number but never offered a figure. Like JoePa’s involvement in the Sandusky cover-up, JoPo left us to guess at what the truth really is.

“Nobody else waited.”
Joe Posnanski, when asked why he didn’t wait to include more of the Sandusky findings in his book, NBCSports
GH: This was a different JoPo than I remember at The Star. This JoPo sounded a bit pissed. Mean even. It was obvious he is tired of having his reputation shredded by friends, at least one enemy and just about everyone who cracked his book.

“Has there not been enough cynicism in the Joe Paterno story? There’s been plenty of cynicism. What I tried to do is be fair. What I tried to do is be honest.”
Joe Posnanski, when asked if he might have been the wrong writer for Paterno, NBCSports
GH: Costas asked the perfect question here, allowing JoPo to simply acquiesce and blame the unforeseen circumstances for the missing chapters in his book. But JoPo was adamant that he was the right guy for the job. He believes he did the right thing – just as he believes JoePa.

“My own personal opinion, which I will share with you, is not as important as the readers.”
Joe Posnanski, when pressed by Costas to reveal his opinion of what and when Paterno knew and did, NBCSports
GH: This is the JoPo I know – completely unable to deliver the goods when the goods are sour, smelly and rancid. JoPo wants every story he tells to be sweet, light and nostalgic. He attempts to force his book Paterno through this filter, but the reviewers have rejected it like Kaopectate.

“I wrote in a book and I believe that Joe Paterno should have done more. I told him that to his face directly. I don’t believe he was involved in a cover-up. I don’t believe he did this to protect his legacy. I understand that others do.”
Joe Posnanski, NBCSports
GH: That comment is all you need to know if you have not, like I have, already invested $18 to purchase Paterno. The big question many of us had prior to the book’s release is how would JoPo treat JoePa’s crimes? Well, in a word – denial.

“I believe this [Freeh] report is very incomplete and I believe that it’s going to come out, it’s going to emerge, that some of the people that wrote the emails and so on are going to come out and say everything has been misspoken.”
Joe Posnanski, NBCSports
GH: I wanted Costas to laugh hysterically after JoPo made this inane comment. Costas though is far more controlled than I. JoPo is struggling mightily to make his side of the story appear plausible. He is failing miserably.

“I’m really not looking to dodge [questions] because there are so many things hard to understand and hard to know. I have many of the same facts that are in the Freeh Report. He jumped to conclusions that I cannot jump to. … The cover-up, the idea that he was actively following it – to me these things are still up in the air.”
Joe Posnanski, NBCSports
GH: To me, JoPo is not up in the air but down in the gutter – with all the other Paterno apologists. I expect this book to scar JoPo’s reputation for life and even beyond. Sandusky’s victims deserve it.

“No. No I don’t. But I don’t think that almost anybody could.”
Joe Posnanski, when asked if he believed Paterno understood the “full dimension of what was happening,” NBCSports
GH: What was so difficult to understand? Posnanski continually attempted to make this story complicated, muddled and remote. It is the simplest story known to man. Good versus evil. Choose your side.

“I don’t know what he knew about 1998. I don’t know what Mike McQueary told him about 2001. I do know what he told me. And what he told me was that when he heard what Mike told him, he went to the book and said, ‘What am I supposed to do about this?’ He reported it to Tim Curly.”
Joe Posnanski, NBCSports
GH: This is a rich, rich statement from JoPo. He alludes that he cannot know what he did not personally hear. Convenient, no? This from a man whose columns are littered with “conversations” he could never have witnessed or heard. One of Jason Whitlock’s biggest pet peeves about JoPo were these “conversations” he would drop into his columns. I was half hoping Costas would bring out Pork Chop halfway through the interview and turn the questioning over to him.

“He told me he did not know about 1998. And there’s no question from those emails there is a pretty strong suggestion that he was told something about 1998. What he was told is very vague and tough to figure out. What he was told I think is very much up in the air.”
Joe Posnanski, NBCSports
GH: What an absolute bullshit line of crapola. No wonder JoPo has been in hiding. It’s tough to defend the defenseless.

“As a biographer, did I bring the entire person to life? That’s what I tried to do.”
Joe Posnanski, NBCSports
GH: Well Mr. Posnanski, you failed. You failed your subject. You failed your readers. You failed humanity.

“By every person’s recollection he was completely principled, completely honest and completely driven to perfection. Those things drove him and the program for years and years.”
Joe Posnanski, NBCSports
GH: JoPo couldn’t find ONE person in or around Happy Valley who thought ill of St. Joe? JoPo might be the worst reporter since Tokyo Rose.

“My grandfather was a very learned man. And I can tell you that my grandfather wouldn’t have known what sodomy was. … [Paterno] might not have known exactly what it was.”
Joe Posnanski, when asked by Costas how an Ivy-League educated Paterno could feign such ignorance, NBCSports
GH: Wow. Just wow. Even JoPo’s grandfather would want to smack JoPo after that whopper.

“What I think bothered him and hurt him the most was what happened to Penn State and what happened to the football program. How all of his players that had played for him, people would now associate them with this. They would not appreciate how good they had been and what great citizens they had been and what great students. I think those were the things that bothered him. I think he saw those things as his legacy. And he felt that this thing was going to affect that.”
Joe Posnanski, NBCSports
GH: And that folks is your answer to the riddle that is Joe Paterno. What bothered him most about this scandal was football, football players and football wins. Nary a mention by JoPo of Paterno’s sorrow or compassion for Sandusky’s victims – or more accurately stated, Penn State’s victims.

“Tremendous agony. Tremendous agony. They are all eager to get the truth out.”
Joe Posnanski, when asked what kind of agony Paterno’s family is feeling, NBCSports
GH: Posnanski’s problem here is that he and the Paternos have no interest in seeking the truth. They are interested in resurrecting a fallen and disgraced man saint. Tremendous agony? How many victims did JoPo interview for his book? Their story is not part of the story JoPo wants us to know.

“As people get away from this and are less emotional about it, they’ll see what I was trying to do with this book. I think some people see it now, fortunately. A lot of people who have written reviews, came out with the same opinion they came in with. I’ve been taking a lot of hits even before the book ever came out.”
Joe Posnanski, NBCSports
GH: Get away from it and are less emotional??? I hope we are NEVER less emotional about child rape and men in power doing almost nothing to prevent it. JoPo has been taking hits? I hope the hits just keep coming, Joe.

“I believe I had better access for a book than I’ll ever get again and I used it as well as I could.”
Joe Posnanski, NBCSports
GH: If true, JoPo is far less a writer than his plaudits show.

“I honestly believe no. I honestly believe the book is as good as I could have made it. I think what it has now is a timing. I believe it has energy and I think it’s important. I think we’ve heard one story for a very long time and there are a lot of people who want to silence the other side. Let the whole story come out. Let’s find out who Joe Paterno really was. Let’s make it honest. Let’s make it real and let’s make it fair.”
Joe Posnanski, when asked if he could have written a better book two or three years from now, NBCSports
GH: Fair? The whole story? Honest? How and why lighting didn’t strike JoPo as he sat on Costas’ set is a wonder.

“It was too long and too many achievements to think it was worth nothing.”
Joe Posnanski, on Paterno’s life, NBCSports
GH: Durability and awards mean nothing, NOTHING, when shrouded by the ugliness cast on Paterno’s life. The truth is Penn State and all of those young boys who grew to be men would have been far better off if Paterno had become a plumber.

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About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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45 Responses to OTC: Posnanski Reveals His Defensive Thoughts On Paterno To Costas

  1. The Word says:

    Jason Whitlock talks JoPo in his recent podcast. Interesting takes from Whitlock about JoPo and Randy Carver.


    • chuck says:

      The Word did anyone interested in this story a great favor posting that link. It is really, really interesting.

      Whitlock says exactly what most of us said here (As does his guest.)

      Posnanski blew the best opportunity EVER given a sports writer in the history of journalism.

      Whitlock makes an analogy to Woodward and Bernstien that I dissagree with.

      He says that they benefited from that story and Joe Pos could have benefited from the Paterno story. No fuckin way. Woodward and Bernstien had to work their asses off to get the story, Joe Pos had it dropped in his lap.

      At around 44 minutes in Whitlock LAYS THE FUCIN WOOD to Posnaski and it is well worth a listen for local sports fans to listen to.

      The Randy Carver take is a prima facie first person indictment that damns Joe on every level and rings true in my opinion.

      By the way, I knew Randy Carver and Steve St. John back in the day.

      Randy had the hottest girlfriend ya ever saw, and both of those guys were really great to work with (We did a couple of commercials.) and very funny.

      I saw Randy fight and I dissagree with Whitlock’s take on his chances to win a title. He was way too nice a guy to be in the ring and had no thunder in either hand.

      He shoulda been in the movies, not in the ring.

      Once again, this is an excellent take from Whitlock on the Paterno book and the Posnanski FAIL.

  2. Joe Blow says:

    I’ve always hated that most of Posnanski’s columns (and/or books) are based mostly on hyperbole and hearsay. He’s constantly telling/making up stories, facts, conversations — that he/somebody/everybody heard sometime, somewhere — and using them to write long, happily boring stories about whatever he’s fixated on. He writes stories that someone magically told him, or he heard somewhere, or is supposedly “well known”, so you can’t specifically prove is wrong, but you can pretty much tell is total bullshit. And don’t forget he was good buddies with Buck O’Neil! He’ll remind you of that constantly (well, before he went into hiding) if you’ve forgotten! This whole Paterno thing is great, because you can tell what a fraud of a storyteller Posnanski always has been. No matter how much awfulness smacks him in the face, he’ll tell you his happy story if it goddamn kills him!