Penn State is being encouraged to think outside the box in its search for a coach to replace Joe Paterno. With that in mind, here are seven potential candidates:
DICK VERMEIL -- Who cares if he's 75? That's still 9 years younger than JoePa was at the start of his final season. The guy's smile is infectious enough to penetrate the gloom. And imagine how nice his bobblehead would look. The Creamery could replace Peachy Paterno with Vermeil Vanilla. The only drawback I see is that understandably touchy Penn State officials probably wouldn't let him have a bed in his Lasch Center office.
F. LEE BAILEY -- The famous attorney who represented the Boston Strangler and Dr. Sam Sheppard would be able to delegate his football duties and concentrate on the legal issues that for many years will continue to buzz around Penn State football like gnats.
AMOS ALONZO STAGG -- I know, he's dead. But that could be a plus. There's no dirt to dig up about him, except, of course, that which covers his grave in Stockton, Cal. And he'll be perfect at news conferences, stonewalling the media in a way Andy Reid could only envy.
MIKE PETTINE SR. -- Yes, he was just a high school coach. But let's not overlook the fact that virtually all his players graduated.
NOAM CHOMSKY -- Talk about academics! And I'd pay to attend his first meeting with the State College Quarterbacks Club. "Mr. Heimerdingermeister, who I've been informed owns the feed store in Bellefonte, has asked about my football philosophy. Well, I suppose I'd characterize myself as an anarcho-syndicalist, one influenced by Bertrand Russell, John Dewey and Tom Landry's Flex Defense."
DON DELILLO -- Let's not forget that Paterno was an English Literature major at Brown. And things worked out pretty well for him in State College, until about 1999 anyway. Besides, imagine the quality "Year-Inside-The-Program" book we'd get from the gifted novelist.
SISTER MARY SCULLION -- Why not Philadelphia's activist nun? Let's face it, if Penn State is determined to hire someone without taint, they ain't gonna find him in college football. That's like looking for brains in the "American Idol" audience.