Despite all his success, Penn State football coach Joe Paterno is not guaranteed a job next year. Paterno’s contract expires after this season, and no one is addressing his future.
The 81-year-old has guided the Nittany Lions to a 7-0 record and a No. 3 ranking. But speculation suggests he might be kicked out the door.
Asked about loyalty, Paterno said, "I always tell people, (Winston) Churchill got kicked out after he saved the Western world from (the Nazis). And when they kicked him out, they asked him what he thought about gratitude. He said, ‘Gratitude doesn’t exist in politics, only in history.’ It’s the same way in football."
Paterno’s act is not getting old. Penn State is a 23-point home favorite over Michigan on Saturday. Wolverines coach Rich Rodriguez, off a home loss to Toledo, wishes he were in Paterno’s shoes and wearing his shades.
• CLUELESS COACH — The next NFL coach to be fired might be Mike Nolan of the San Francisco 49ers. Nolan was a walking strategic blunder again Sunday, losing two ill-conceived challenges in the 49ers’ 40-26 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
"Maybe the whole Mike Nolan Era can be reviewed and reversed and the 49ers can start again with somebody who actually knows what he’s doing," wrote Tim Kawakami of the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News. "Nothing is right about Nolan’s knotty 49ers, and (the) best examples were a few more of Nolan’s consistently befuddling replay challenges. Nothing Nolan does these days seems to help matters — because he doesn’t know what he’s doing."
That makes Nolan a perfect candidate for the Raiders.
• SLUMPING SLUGGER — It had been awhile since Jose Canseco got his name in the news, so he crossed the border into Mexico last week. In a stunning development, he found trouble in Tijuana.
Canseco actually ran afoul of the law when he tried to return to the U.S. He was detained at San Diego’s San Ysidro border crossing for 91/2 hours after agents searched his vehicle and said they found human chorionic gonadotropin, which is illegal without a prescription.
The former major league slugger was charged with misdemeanor drug smuggling. The drug helps restore production of testosterone lost in steroid users and is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency for use in males.
Canseco, who admitted to using steroids during his baseball career, apparently is suffering from low testosterone levels, which can lead to impotence, among other undesirable problems.
Remember the "Chicks Dig the Long Ball" commercials? (Insert your own joke here.)
• END OF THE OBIT — Chris Mims, a former defensive lineman for the San Diego Chargers, was found dead in his Los Angeles apartment Wednesday. He was 38. The Associated Press story explained Mims was "beset by legal problems."
The AP story detailing Mims’ problems ended with this sentence: "In 1999, a man claimed Mims attacked him outside a fast-food restaurant and stole his tacos."
COMPILED BY MATT YOUMANS REVIEW-JOURNAL