ST. MARYS – As people remember former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno following his death at age 85 on Sunday, one man with local ties reminisced about what it was like to take the field as a player under Paterno and what he has learned as a result.
A recruited walk-on, Joe Rose played on the team from 1995-1999 as a defensive back and linebacker. He described his experience of being a member of the team under Paterno as "one of the greatest blessings in my life."
"I remember the thing that surprised me the most was how involved he was in every aspect of the game. He knew what every player was supposed to do on every play. That always impressed me," Rose said. "He [Paterno] had two sayings that have always stuck with me. One was that, 'When you’re on your way down [to the ground], you should be on your way back up.' This also has many life applications - when the chips are down or you may have stumbled, don’t stay there - get back up and do what you’re made to do.
"The other saying was, 'You’re never as good as you think you are when you win, and you’re never as bad as you think you are when you lose.' Life applications abound in this statement as well. We always have something to learn from every situation. When life is good, I’ve often realized that I still have a lot to learn. When circumstances are not working out the way I would choose, I need to remember how much God has blessed me in my life."