Saturday, September 5, 2015

Three Amigos: Paterno, Switzer and Johnson

LOS ANGELES -- Joe Paterno held his day-after, season-wrap up with the Penn State beat reporters this morning and just as it started, the bull session -- as Joe likes to refer to it -- was interrupted by two tan-looking fellas. Barry Switzer and Jimmie Johnson happened to be at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel, as well, and the two former coaches stopped by to say hello to a former nemesis.

Three Amigos: Paterno, Switzer and Johnson

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LOS ANGELES -- Joe Paterno held his day-after, season-wrap up with the Penn State beat reporters this morning and just as it started, the bull session -- as Joe likes to refer to it -- was interrupted by two tan-looking fellas. Barry Switzer and Jimmie Johnson happened to be at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel, as well, and the two former coaches stopped by to say hello to a former nemesis.

Switzer and Paterno, despite the perception that they don't get along, are good friends. "To hell with them bastards," Switzer said to the 82-year-old Paterno, hopefully not referring to the reporters in the room (wink-wink). "Keep doing what you're doing."

Paterno was happy to see the coaches, who were in town because they did a BCS pre-game show. FOX studios are nearby. Paterno faced both coaches in national championship games, beating one and losing to the other. Penn State lost to Switzer's Oklahoma team in the 1985 Orange Bowl, 25-10. And the Lions upset Johnson's Miami team, 14-10, in the 1987 Fiesta Bowl to win their last national title.

It was a surreal scene. More in tomorrow's paper.

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About this blog
Joe Juliano has been a staff writer for The Inquirer for 30 years, covering covering Penn State football, Villanova basketball and other college sports, along with golf and the Penn Relays. This is his seventh season on The Inquirer’s Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for United Press International from 1976-84.

Joining Joe this season will be Erin McCarthy, an intern for The Inquirer and a junior at Penn State majoring in print and digital journalism. This is Erin's first season on the Penn State football beat. She previously spent two summers as an Inquirer summer intern on the Pennsylvania and South Jersey desks. She is also an editor for the Daily Collegian, the university's student newspaper. A Delaware County native, Erin graduated from Episcopal Academy.

Reach Joe at jjuliano@phillynews.com.

Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
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