Trip to Tampa will be strictly business for Joe Paterno
Back in the day, way back in the day to be exact, Joe Paterno's favorite thing to do as a young single man was to "chase the girls" when he made a trip to Florida. He also did some fishing and hung out at Marco Island where he played cards with friends.
But when the legendary coach arrives in Tampa later this month with his Penn State football team, his sole purpose will be all business, Paterno said.
Although his family will turn the bowl trip into a nice vacation, Paterno said he'll be concentrating on preparing for the game against Florida.
"I worry,'' he jokingly said when asked what he'll likely do when he gets to Tampa. "No. I’ve got a whole bunch of kids. We’ve got 17 grandkids and the oldest is 14 years old and the youngest is 2. And the whole mess of them will be hanging around there someplace.''
That means Paterno has to find some solitude elsewhere.
"Ordinarily they give me a place away from everything so I can look at some tape when I want to and I can prepare myself for practice and try to see if there’s something I can learn from the tapes that will be helpful to the football team,'' he said. "It’s a chore. It’s not a chore in the sense that it’s something you don’t like to do, I like it. I think it’s a challenge. But you don’t have time to go to the beach and all that kind of stuff. We’re going down there and I’ve got some work to do.''
That doesn't mean Paterno won't allow his Nittany Lions' players to enjoy themselves. In fact, he's already informed them there will plenty of fun involved.
"There are a lot of things to do in Florida,'' he said. "I think it’s a great place particularly for young guys. My guys are coming up to me and asking me questions about this and that. I just keep telling them 'Hey, just relax until you get there.' You’ll find out what you like to do because there’s an awful lot of good things you can do.''