When the paper sent Lauren and me to State College two Fridays ago, it wasn’t just to cover the candlelight vigil and the season’s last home game/first game without Joe Paterno.
Lauren is a business reporter, so as soon as we arrived in State College, we started working on a biz story: (How) have the Sandusky case and Paterno’s firing affected the Penn State brand?
© 2011 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. People walk out of and past Lions Pride - a Penn State merchandise store on East College Ave. in State College - at dusk on Friday, Nov. 11, 2011. The store continues to sell a high volume of branded merchandise even after former head coach Joe Paterno was abruptly fired days after one of his former assistants was charged with 40 counts of sexual abuse.
The first store we walked into was Lions Pride. When the clerk fetched the store manager for us, he (the manager) scratched his head and said he wasn’t giving interviews because he knew what we wanted to talk about. He’d been turning down CNN, a few big-name papers and other outlets all week.
But then he started talking anyway. And then he agreed to let us quote him, and take photos in his store. And, once I was done making photos, we approached him to thank him and give him our business cards — right as he was turning down another national media outlet on the phone.
© 2011 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Penn State junior Autumn Sikora, left, checks out a "Joe Knows Football" T-shirt with fellow junior Lauren Owazany, both of Luzerne County, on Friday, Nov. 11, 2011, in Lions Pride in State College.
Lauren and I went to several other stores afterward. No one else would talk to us.
Here’s Lauren’s story.
The next morning, before the game, we set out again — this time, in the vicinity of Beaver Stadium. I made sure at one point to stop by the Joe Paterno statue, but it was so swarmed by fans and media that I almost left because I felt like I couldn’t get a genuine photo. Then, as I turned to my right, I saw a different kind of picture to make…
© 2011 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Tom Boyer of New Cumberland reads the plaques detailing the scores of games for which Joe Paterno was head coach, near the larger-than-life-sized Paterno statue outside Beaver Stadium, on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011, before the game against Nebraska. In the Nittany Lions' first game in 46 seasons without former head coach Joe Paterno at the helm, Penn State hosted Nebraska at Beaver Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011.
…so I made the picture.
The quote on the wall reads as follows:
“They ask me what I’d like written about me when I’m gone. I hope they write I made Penn State a better place, not just that I was a good football coach.”
(For those who may be unfamiliar with the layout of the Paterno statue area, check out this photo.)
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