Joe Paterno through the years

Joe Paterno joined the Penn State coaching staff in 1950 and took over as head coach in 1966. His coaching career ended in November after a record 409 victories.

HBO announces premiere date, releases extended trailer for Joe Paterno movie
HBO announces premiere date, releases extended trailer for Joe Paterno movie
HBO announces premiere date, releases extended trailer for Joe Paterno movie
<p>Six weeks before it is set to premiere, HBO has released the full trailer for its film <em>Paterno</em> about the Penn State Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal starring Al Pacino. </p><p>Pacino plays disgraced former Nittany Lions head coach Joe Paterno in the movie, which will premiere on April 7. </p><p>The film also features Kathy Baker as Paterno’s wife, Sue, Jim Johnson as Sandusky and Riley Keough as Sara Ganim, the reporter for <em>The Patriot-News</em> who broke the Sandusky story.</p><p>Paterno was fired in November 2011 as the scandal grew and died of lung cancer in January 2012. </p><p>New evidence unearthed in September by CNN suggests <a href="https://www.si.com/college-football/2017/09/09/joe-paterno-penn-state-football-jerry-sandusky-abuse" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Paterno was more complicit in Sandusky’s crimes than initially believed" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Paterno was more complicit in Sandusky’s crimes than initially believed</a>. When whistleblower Mike McQueary told Paterno he’d seen Sandusky raping a boy in a Penn State shower Paterno said it was the second such complaint he’d heard about Sandusky, according to a police report. Paterno had previously said that he hadn’t known of Sandusky’s actions before McQueary’s complaint. </p>
HBO Releases Full Trailer for ‘Paterno’ Movie, Announces Release Date

Six weeks before it is set to premiere, HBO has released the full trailer for its film Paterno about the Penn State Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal starring Al Pacino.

Pacino plays disgraced former Nittany Lions head coach Joe Paterno in the movie, which will premiere on April 7.

The film also features Kathy Baker as Paterno’s wife, Sue, Jim Johnson as Sandusky and Riley Keough as Sara Ganim, the reporter for The Patriot-News who broke the Sandusky story.

Paterno was fired in November 2011 as the scandal grew and died of lung cancer in January 2012.

New evidence unearthed in September by CNN suggests Paterno was more complicit in Sandusky’s crimes than initially believed. When whistleblower Mike McQueary told Paterno he’d seen Sandusky raping a boy in a Penn State shower Paterno said it was the second such complaint he’d heard about Sandusky, according to a police report. Paterno had previously said that he hadn’t known of Sandusky’s actions before McQueary’s complaint.

<p><em>The MMQB is on the road to Super Bowl 52. Follow along on <a href="https://twitter.com/theMMQB" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Twitter" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/TheMMQB/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Facebook" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://www.instagram.com/themmqb/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Instagram" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Instagram</a> and find <a href="https://www.si.com/column/Road+to+Super+Bowl+52" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:all of our road trip content here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">all of our road trip content here</a>.</em></p><p>DETROIT — The only sign that this was once a football field, let alone one that produced a player headed for the Super Bowl, is a solitary goalpost. It’s standing alone in a city park that’s more dirt than grass, covered with goose droppings and discarded tires, just off I-75 about a mile from Ford Field. Even when football was played here, the grass was mostly gone before football season; at the 2-yard line was a block of cement, the leftover base of an old pole, which they’d push some dirt on top of every time they took the field.</p><p>This was the old site of Crockett Tech High School, the school itself consisting of a portable trailer. In the afternoons, students would walk across the parking lot to take classes at the adjacent vo-tech center. There were no lights surrounding the dirt field, so football games were usually played at 3:30 p.m.; when practices ran past sunset as the fall days grew shorter, parents would help light the field with the headlights of their cars.</p><p>“This produced teachers, lawyers, accountants, a host of college players, NFL players … from a trailer park,” says Tim Hopkins, a former associate head coach and defensive coordinator for Crockett, gesturing out over on the field on a Saturday morning in January. “The little engine that could. That was the backdrop for where Brandon Graham played.”</p><p>Graham is now a pillar of an Eagles team riding its underdog status to Super Bowl LII, a playmaking defensive end who has lent both his ability (9.5 sacks) and his mentality to a team that hasn’t been favored to win any game this postseason. Years earlier, Graham was the heart of another underdog squad—the Crockett Rockets. Most of his old field is gone now, the space mostly occupied by an indoor cycling track. But enough remains for it to be a time capsule of the years that helped produce one of the most impactful Eagles players.</p><p>“Wow,” Graham wrote in reply to a photo of the field posted on The MMQB’s Instagram stories, “that brought back memories right there.”</p><p>Crockett had been open less than 10 years when Graham enrolled in 2002; its football program had only been around six years. In Detroit, many ninth-graders choose to still play with their little league teams. But as a freshman, Graham had long since outgrown the level of competition of the Eastside Giants. After his father, Darrick Walton, brought him to meet with the high school coaches, Graham joined Crockett’s varsity squad.</p><p>A high school operating out of a trailer certainly didn’t have football facilities. Players changed for practices and games in a hallway located in the basement of the middle school next door. They had a few rows of bleachers around the field, but no way to fence them off, so they couldn’t charge admission for the games.</p><p>“Today’s players would never survive what he had to go through just a little over 10 years ago,” says Rod Oden, an assistant who took over as Crockett’s head coach for Graham’s senior season.</p><p>The roster was thin, around 25 players, barely enough to run 11-on-11 drills in practice. Everyone played both ways. Graham was a middle linebacker, offensive guard, placekicker and punter. Knowing opponents would be afraid to tackle him, the coaches would wink his direction when they wanted to send him on a fake punt. It’s an impossible stat to verify now, but Hopkins reports that Graham scored on the fakes “about 98% of the time.”</p><p>Crockett’s fledgling football program didn’t attract top colleges early on. Hopkins jokes that the recruiters from bigtime programs would get off I-75 to go to the McDonald’s catty-cornered to Crockett, then get back on the interstate and drive off to Cass Tech or King High School, the more established programs nearby with better resources. By the time Graham got there, that was just beginning to change. There was a group of D1 recruits a few years ahead of him; Hopkins recalls the late Joe Paterno sitting in a tiny room in that infamous Crockett trailer pitching a defensive lineman named Ed Johnson to come to Penn State. A few years later, Michigan’s Lloyd Carr came calling for Graham.</p><p>Graham blossomed into the top-ranked player in the state his junior season, a 6&#39; 2&quot;, 240-pound linebacker who could out-run most of the running backs they faced (he would later be clocked at 4.43 seconds in the 40-yard dash at a Nike summer camp). The Crockett coaches had a policy that each season the players had to earn the “C” they wore on their helmets, by meeting certain performance or effort benchmarks. These were marks Graham would easily meet, but one year, he told his teammates that neither he nor anyone else on defense would wear the emblem until everyone earned it. So for the first couple games of the season, the best high-school player in Michigan played with a blank helmet.</p><p>In 2004, Graham led Crockett to an undefeated regular season and the school’s first Detroit Public School League title (they went on to lose to powerhouse Jackson Lumen Christi in the state semifinals). The areas where Crockett lacked, they used as motivation and found ways to compensate. That sounds a lot like Graham’s current team, which has overcome the loss of a starting quarterback, starting left tackle, top linebacker, most versatile running back, core special-teamer, etc., to nonetheless reach the Super Bowl.</p><p>“I remember the grind and how we were a tight-knit family because of the numbers we had at Crockett,” Graham wrote over social media. “It taught me to appreciate everything because we didn’t have much, but we maximized what we had to accomplish so much.”</p><p>Crockett relocated to an old middle school building for Graham’s senior year, and closed its doors altogether in 2012. That building now stands vacant and overgrown, a visible reminder of Detroit’s struggling public school system. Nearby in the east Detroit neighborhood where Graham grew up, though, is East English Preparatory Academy, which opened after Crockett closed and is where Oden now coaches.</p><p>Graham never walked these hallways, but the school is a few blocks from where he used to live, and he makes a point to visit several times a year. He hosts summer sports camps for both boys and girls with his wife, Carlyne, whom he met at Crockett; he’ll sometimes even work out with the football players in their gym where not all the dumbbells have a match. A few years ago, Graham surprised the East English team with new home and away uniforms; last year, he donated 60 helmets from Xenith, a Detroit-based company that has produced several of the top-performing helmets on the market.</p><p>“Brandon doesn’t fill up his camps with the kids that are super studs,” Oden says. “He wants the kids who will sign up on their own, get up at 8 a.m. and come here and give a great effort, regardless of skill level.”</p><p>Graham didn’t enter the NFL as an underdog, but when the first-round draft pick out of Michigan in 2010 struggled with injuries and scheme changes his first few years in the league, he took on the “bust” label as a personal challenge. He’s flourished the past two seasons as a 4-3 defensive end in Jim Schwartz’s system, but that proverbial chip on his shoulder that he’s carried in different ways his entire career is quite befitting of an Eagles team that cut through the NFC playoffs as a rare home ‘dog.</p><p>This weekend, against Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the heavily favored, five-time champion New England Patriots, Graham&#39;s former coaches are expecting to see that old Crockett mindset rear itself in the trenches. Hopkins got choked up while pulling up to that old Crockett field where the players would run so hard the goose droppings would become mulch and they’d go home after practices and games with dirt in their noses.</p><p>“New England in Brandon’s mind is like playing King or Cass,” Hopkins says. “There’s so much synergy in the fact that the Eagles are using that underdog mantra to catapult themselves to the Super Bowl. That team is taking on the façade of a Crockett team.”</p><p>Graham, who was back in Philadelphia preparing for the team’s charter flight to Minneapolis, agreed with this premise. “That’s exactly right,” he wrote. Graham and the Eagles know that if they win this weekend, they can no longer claim that underdog status; but, they only need it for one more game.</p>
Brandon Graham, an Underdog Since His High School Years in Detroit

The MMQB is on the road to Super Bowl 52. Follow along on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and find all of our road trip content here.

DETROIT — The only sign that this was once a football field, let alone one that produced a player headed for the Super Bowl, is a solitary goalpost. It’s standing alone in a city park that’s more dirt than grass, covered with goose droppings and discarded tires, just off I-75 about a mile from Ford Field. Even when football was played here, the grass was mostly gone before football season; at the 2-yard line was a block of cement, the leftover base of an old pole, which they’d push some dirt on top of every time they took the field.

This was the old site of Crockett Tech High School, the school itself consisting of a portable trailer. In the afternoons, students would walk across the parking lot to take classes at the adjacent vo-tech center. There were no lights surrounding the dirt field, so football games were usually played at 3:30 p.m.; when practices ran past sunset as the fall days grew shorter, parents would help light the field with the headlights of their cars.

“This produced teachers, lawyers, accountants, a host of college players, NFL players … from a trailer park,” says Tim Hopkins, a former associate head coach and defensive coordinator for Crockett, gesturing out over on the field on a Saturday morning in January. “The little engine that could. That was the backdrop for where Brandon Graham played.”

Graham is now a pillar of an Eagles team riding its underdog status to Super Bowl LII, a playmaking defensive end who has lent both his ability (9.5 sacks) and his mentality to a team that hasn’t been favored to win any game this postseason. Years earlier, Graham was the heart of another underdog squad—the Crockett Rockets. Most of his old field is gone now, the space mostly occupied by an indoor cycling track. But enough remains for it to be a time capsule of the years that helped produce one of the most impactful Eagles players.

“Wow,” Graham wrote in reply to a photo of the field posted on The MMQB’s Instagram stories, “that brought back memories right there.”

Crockett had been open less than 10 years when Graham enrolled in 2002; its football program had only been around six years. In Detroit, many ninth-graders choose to still play with their little league teams. But as a freshman, Graham had long since outgrown the level of competition of the Eastside Giants. After his father, Darrick Walton, brought him to meet with the high school coaches, Graham joined Crockett’s varsity squad.

A high school operating out of a trailer certainly didn’t have football facilities. Players changed for practices and games in a hallway located in the basement of the middle school next door. They had a few rows of bleachers around the field, but no way to fence them off, so they couldn’t charge admission for the games.

“Today’s players would never survive what he had to go through just a little over 10 years ago,” says Rod Oden, an assistant who took over as Crockett’s head coach for Graham’s senior season.

The roster was thin, around 25 players, barely enough to run 11-on-11 drills in practice. Everyone played both ways. Graham was a middle linebacker, offensive guard, placekicker and punter. Knowing opponents would be afraid to tackle him, the coaches would wink his direction when they wanted to send him on a fake punt. It’s an impossible stat to verify now, but Hopkins reports that Graham scored on the fakes “about 98% of the time.”

Crockett’s fledgling football program didn’t attract top colleges early on. Hopkins jokes that the recruiters from bigtime programs would get off I-75 to go to the McDonald’s catty-cornered to Crockett, then get back on the interstate and drive off to Cass Tech or King High School, the more established programs nearby with better resources. By the time Graham got there, that was just beginning to change. There was a group of D1 recruits a few years ahead of him; Hopkins recalls the late Joe Paterno sitting in a tiny room in that infamous Crockett trailer pitching a defensive lineman named Ed Johnson to come to Penn State. A few years later, Michigan’s Lloyd Carr came calling for Graham.

Graham blossomed into the top-ranked player in the state his junior season, a 6' 2", 240-pound linebacker who could out-run most of the running backs they faced (he would later be clocked at 4.43 seconds in the 40-yard dash at a Nike summer camp). The Crockett coaches had a policy that each season the players had to earn the “C” they wore on their helmets, by meeting certain performance or effort benchmarks. These were marks Graham would easily meet, but one year, he told his teammates that neither he nor anyone else on defense would wear the emblem until everyone earned it. So for the first couple games of the season, the best high-school player in Michigan played with a blank helmet.

In 2004, Graham led Crockett to an undefeated regular season and the school’s first Detroit Public School League title (they went on to lose to powerhouse Jackson Lumen Christi in the state semifinals). The areas where Crockett lacked, they used as motivation and found ways to compensate. That sounds a lot like Graham’s current team, which has overcome the loss of a starting quarterback, starting left tackle, top linebacker, most versatile running back, core special-teamer, etc., to nonetheless reach the Super Bowl.

“I remember the grind and how we were a tight-knit family because of the numbers we had at Crockett,” Graham wrote over social media. “It taught me to appreciate everything because we didn’t have much, but we maximized what we had to accomplish so much.”

Crockett relocated to an old middle school building for Graham’s senior year, and closed its doors altogether in 2012. That building now stands vacant and overgrown, a visible reminder of Detroit’s struggling public school system. Nearby in the east Detroit neighborhood where Graham grew up, though, is East English Preparatory Academy, which opened after Crockett closed and is where Oden now coaches.

Graham never walked these hallways, but the school is a few blocks from where he used to live, and he makes a point to visit several times a year. He hosts summer sports camps for both boys and girls with his wife, Carlyne, whom he met at Crockett; he’ll sometimes even work out with the football players in their gym where not all the dumbbells have a match. A few years ago, Graham surprised the East English team with new home and away uniforms; last year, he donated 60 helmets from Xenith, a Detroit-based company that has produced several of the top-performing helmets on the market.

“Brandon doesn’t fill up his camps with the kids that are super studs,” Oden says. “He wants the kids who will sign up on their own, get up at 8 a.m. and come here and give a great effort, regardless of skill level.”

Graham didn’t enter the NFL as an underdog, but when the first-round draft pick out of Michigan in 2010 struggled with injuries and scheme changes his first few years in the league, he took on the “bust” label as a personal challenge. He’s flourished the past two seasons as a 4-3 defensive end in Jim Schwartz’s system, but that proverbial chip on his shoulder that he’s carried in different ways his entire career is quite befitting of an Eagles team that cut through the NFC playoffs as a rare home ‘dog.

This weekend, against Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the heavily favored, five-time champion New England Patriots, Graham's former coaches are expecting to see that old Crockett mindset rear itself in the trenches. Hopkins got choked up while pulling up to that old Crockett field where the players would run so hard the goose droppings would become mulch and they’d go home after practices and games with dirt in their noses.

“New England in Brandon’s mind is like playing King or Cass,” Hopkins says. “There’s so much synergy in the fact that the Eagles are using that underdog mantra to catapult themselves to the Super Bowl. That team is taking on the façade of a Crockett team.”

Graham, who was back in Philadelphia preparing for the team’s charter flight to Minneapolis, agreed with this premise. “That’s exactly right,” he wrote. Graham and the Eagles know that if they win this weekend, they can no longer claim that underdog status; but, they only need it for one more game.

<p><em>The MMQB is on the road to Super Bowl 52. Follow along on <a href="https://twitter.com/theMMQB" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Twitter" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/TheMMQB/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Facebook" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://www.instagram.com/themmqb/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Instagram" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Instagram</a> and find <a href="https://www.si.com/column/Road+to+Super+Bowl+52" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:all of our road trip content here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">all of our road trip content here</a>.</em></p><p>DETROIT — The only sign that this was once a football field, let alone one that produced a player headed for the Super Bowl, is a solitary goalpost. It’s standing alone in a city park that’s more dirt than grass, covered with goose droppings and discarded tires, just off I-75 about a mile from Ford Field. Even when football was played here, the grass was mostly gone before football season; at the 2-yard line was a block of cement, the leftover base of an old pole, which they’d push some dirt on top of every time they took the field.</p><p>This was the old site of Crockett Tech High School, the school itself consisting of a portable trailer. In the afternoons, students would walk across the parking lot to take classes at the adjacent vo-tech center. There were no lights surrounding the dirt field, so football games were usually played at 3:30 p.m.; when practices ran past sunset as the fall days grew shorter, parents would help light the field with the headlights of their cars.</p><p>“This produced teachers, lawyers, accountants, a host of college players, NFL players … from a trailer park,” says Tim Hopkins, a former associate head coach and defensive coordinator for Crockett, gesturing out over on the field on a Saturday morning in January. “The little engine that could. That was the backdrop for where Brandon Graham played.”</p><p>Graham is now a pillar of an Eagles team riding its underdog status to Super Bowl LII, a playmaking defensive end who has lent both his ability (9.5 sacks) and his mentality to a team that hasn’t been favored to win any game this postseason. Years earlier, Graham was the heart of another underdog squad—the Crockett Rockets. Most of his old field is gone now, the space mostly occupied by an indoor cycling track. But enough remains for it to be a time capsule of the years that helped produce one of the most impactful Eagles players.</p><p>“Wow,” Graham wrote in reply to a photo of the field posted on The MMQB’s Instagram stories, “that brought back memories right there.”</p><p>Crockett had been open less than 10 years when Graham enrolled in 2002; its football program had only been around six years. In Detroit, many ninth-graders choose to still play with their little league teams. But as a freshman, Graham had long since outgrown the level of competition of the Eastside Giants. After his father, Darrick Walton, brought him to meet with the high school coaches, Graham joined Crockett’s varsity squad.</p><p>A high school operating out of a trailer certainly didn’t have football facilities. Players changed for practices and games in a hallway located in the basement of the middle school next door. They had a few rows of bleachers around the field, but no way to fence them off, so they couldn’t charge admission for the games.</p><p>“Today’s players would never survive what he had to go through just a little over 10 years ago,” says Rod Oden, an assistant who took over as Crockett’s head coach for Graham’s senior season.</p><p>The roster was thin, around 25 players, barely enough to run 11-on-11 drills in practice. Everyone played both ways. Graham was a middle linebacker, offensive guard, placekicker and punter. Knowing opponents would be afraid to tackle him, the coaches would wink his direction when they wanted to send him on a fake punt. It’s an impossible stat to verify now, but Hopkins reports that Graham scored on the fakes “about 98% of the time.”</p><p>Crockett’s fledgling football program didn’t attract top colleges early on. Hopkins jokes that the recruiters from bigtime programs would get off I-75 to go to the McDonald’s catty-cornered to Crockett, then get back on the interstate and drive off to Cass Tech or King High School, the more established programs nearby with better resources. By the time Graham got there, that was just beginning to change. There was a group of D1 recruits a few years ahead of him; Hopkins recalls the late Joe Paterno sitting in a tiny room in that infamous Crockett trailer pitching a defensive lineman named Ed Johnson to come to Penn State. A few years later, Michigan’s Lloyd Carr came calling for Graham.</p><p>Graham blossomed into the top-ranked player in the state his junior season, a 6&#39; 2&quot;, 240-pound linebacker who could out-run most of the running backs they faced (he would later be clocked at 4.43 seconds in the 40-yard dash at a Nike summer camp). The Crockett coaches had a policy that each season the players had to earn the “C” they wore on their helmets, by meeting certain performance or effort benchmarks. These were marks Graham would easily meet, but one year, he told his teammates that neither he nor anyone else on defense would wear the emblem until everyone earned it. So for the first couple games of the season, the best high-school player in Michigan played with a blank helmet.</p><p>In 2004, Graham led Crockett to an undefeated regular season and the school’s first Detroit Public School League title (they went on to lose to powerhouse Jackson Lumen Christi in the state semifinals). The areas where Crockett lacked, they used as motivation and found ways to compensate. That sounds a lot like Graham’s current team, which has overcome the loss of a starting quarterback, starting left tackle, top linebacker, most versatile running back, core special-teamer, etc., to nonetheless reach the Super Bowl.</p><p>“I remember the grind and how we were a tight-knit family because of the numbers we had at Crockett,” Graham wrote over social media. “It taught me to appreciate everything because we didn’t have much, but we maximized what we had to accomplish so much.”</p><p>Crockett relocated to an old middle school building for Graham’s senior year, and closed its doors altogether in 2012. That building now stands vacant and overgrown, a visible reminder of Detroit’s struggling public school system. Nearby in the east Detroit neighborhood where Graham grew up, though, is East English Preparatory Academy, which opened after Crockett closed and is where Oden now coaches.</p><p>Graham never walked these hallways, but the school is a few blocks from where he used to live, and he makes a point to visit several times a year. He hosts summer sports camps for both boys and girls with his wife, Carlyne, whom he met at Crockett; he’ll sometimes even work out with the football players in their gym where not all the dumbbells have a match. A few years ago, Graham surprised the East English team with new home and away uniforms; last year, he donated 60 helmets from Xenith, a Detroit-based company that has produced several of the top-performing helmets on the market.</p><p>“Brandon doesn’t fill up his camps with the kids that are super studs,” Oden says. “He wants the kids who will sign up on their own, get up at 8 a.m. and come here and give a great effort, regardless of skill level.”</p><p>Graham didn’t enter the NFL as an underdog, but when the first-round draft pick out of Michigan in 2010 struggled with injuries and scheme changes his first few years in the league, he took on the “bust” label as a personal challenge. He’s flourished the past two seasons as a 4-3 defensive end in Jim Schwartz’s system, but that proverbial chip on his shoulder that he’s carried in different ways his entire career is quite befitting of an Eagles team that cut through the NFC playoffs as a rare home ‘dog.</p><p>This weekend, against Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the heavily favored, five-time champion New England Patriots, Graham&#39;s former coaches are expecting to see that old Crockett mindset rear itself in the trenches. Hopkins got choked up while pulling up to that old Crockett field where the players would run so hard the goose droppings would become mulch and they’d go home after practices and games with dirt in their noses.</p><p>“New England in Brandon’s mind is like playing King or Cass,” Hopkins says. “There’s so much synergy in the fact that the Eagles are using that underdog mantra to catapult themselves to the Super Bowl. That team is taking on the façade of a Crockett team.”</p><p>Graham, who was back in Philadelphia preparing for the team’s charter flight to Minneapolis, agreed with this premise. “That’s exactly right,” he wrote. Graham and the Eagles know that if they win this weekend, they can no longer claim that underdog status; but, they only need it for one more game.</p>
Brandon Graham, an Underdog Since His High School Years in Detroit

The MMQB is on the road to Super Bowl 52. Follow along on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and find all of our road trip content here.

DETROIT — The only sign that this was once a football field, let alone one that produced a player headed for the Super Bowl, is a solitary goalpost. It’s standing alone in a city park that’s more dirt than grass, covered with goose droppings and discarded tires, just off I-75 about a mile from Ford Field. Even when football was played here, the grass was mostly gone before football season; at the 2-yard line was a block of cement, the leftover base of an old pole, which they’d push some dirt on top of every time they took the field.

This was the old site of Crockett Tech High School, the school itself consisting of a portable trailer. In the afternoons, students would walk across the parking lot to take classes at the adjacent vo-tech center. There were no lights surrounding the dirt field, so football games were usually played at 3:30 p.m.; when practices ran past sunset as the fall days grew shorter, parents would help light the field with the headlights of their cars.

“This produced teachers, lawyers, accountants, a host of college players, NFL players … from a trailer park,” says Tim Hopkins, a former associate head coach and defensive coordinator for Crockett, gesturing out over on the field on a Saturday morning in January. “The little engine that could. That was the backdrop for where Brandon Graham played.”

Graham is now a pillar of an Eagles team riding its underdog status to Super Bowl LII, a playmaking defensive end who has lent both his ability (9.5 sacks) and his mentality to a team that hasn’t been favored to win any game this postseason. Years earlier, Graham was the heart of another underdog squad—the Crockett Rockets. Most of his old field is gone now, the space mostly occupied by an indoor cycling track. But enough remains for it to be a time capsule of the years that helped produce one of the most impactful Eagles players.

“Wow,” Graham wrote in reply to a photo of the field posted on The MMQB’s Instagram stories, “that brought back memories right there.”

Crockett had been open less than 10 years when Graham enrolled in 2002; its football program had only been around six years. In Detroit, many ninth-graders choose to still play with their little league teams. But as a freshman, Graham had long since outgrown the level of competition of the Eastside Giants. After his father, Darrick Walton, brought him to meet with the high school coaches, Graham joined Crockett’s varsity squad.

A high school operating out of a trailer certainly didn’t have football facilities. Players changed for practices and games in a hallway located in the basement of the middle school next door. They had a few rows of bleachers around the field, but no way to fence them off, so they couldn’t charge admission for the games.

“Today’s players would never survive what he had to go through just a little over 10 years ago,” says Rod Oden, an assistant who took over as Crockett’s head coach for Graham’s senior season.

The roster was thin, around 25 players, barely enough to run 11-on-11 drills in practice. Everyone played both ways. Graham was a middle linebacker, offensive guard, placekicker and punter. Knowing opponents would be afraid to tackle him, the coaches would wink his direction when they wanted to send him on a fake punt. It’s an impossible stat to verify now, but Hopkins reports that Graham scored on the fakes “about 98% of the time.”

Crockett’s fledgling football program didn’t attract top colleges early on. Hopkins jokes that the recruiters from bigtime programs would get off I-75 to go to the McDonald’s catty-cornered to Crockett, then get back on the interstate and drive off to Cass Tech or King High School, the more established programs nearby with better resources. By the time Graham got there, that was just beginning to change. There was a group of D1 recruits a few years ahead of him; Hopkins recalls the late Joe Paterno sitting in a tiny room in that infamous Crockett trailer pitching a defensive lineman named Ed Johnson to come to Penn State. A few years later, Michigan’s Lloyd Carr came calling for Graham.

Graham blossomed into the top-ranked player in the state his junior season, a 6' 2", 240-pound linebacker who could out-run most of the running backs they faced (he would later be clocked at 4.43 seconds in the 40-yard dash at a Nike summer camp). The Crockett coaches had a policy that each season the players had to earn the “C” they wore on their helmets, by meeting certain performance or effort benchmarks. These were marks Graham would easily meet, but one year, he told his teammates that neither he nor anyone else on defense would wear the emblem until everyone earned it. So for the first couple games of the season, the best high-school player in Michigan played with a blank helmet.

In 2004, Graham led Crockett to an undefeated regular season and the school’s first Detroit Public School League title (they went on to lose to powerhouse Jackson Lumen Christi in the state semifinals). The areas where Crockett lacked, they used as motivation and found ways to compensate. That sounds a lot like Graham’s current team, which has overcome the loss of a starting quarterback, starting left tackle, top linebacker, most versatile running back, core special-teamer, etc., to nonetheless reach the Super Bowl.

“I remember the grind and how we were a tight-knit family because of the numbers we had at Crockett,” Graham wrote over social media. “It taught me to appreciate everything because we didn’t have much, but we maximized what we had to accomplish so much.”

Crockett relocated to an old middle school building for Graham’s senior year, and closed its doors altogether in 2012. That building now stands vacant and overgrown, a visible reminder of Detroit’s struggling public school system. Nearby in the east Detroit neighborhood where Graham grew up, though, is East English Preparatory Academy, which opened after Crockett closed and is where Oden now coaches.

Graham never walked these hallways, but the school is a few blocks from where he used to live, and he makes a point to visit several times a year. He hosts summer sports camps for both boys and girls with his wife, Carlyne, whom he met at Crockett; he’ll sometimes even work out with the football players in their gym where not all the dumbbells have a match. A few years ago, Graham surprised the East English team with new home and away uniforms; last year, he donated 60 helmets from Xenith, a Detroit-based company that has produced several of the top-performing helmets on the market.

“Brandon doesn’t fill up his camps with the kids that are super studs,” Oden says. “He wants the kids who will sign up on their own, get up at 8 a.m. and come here and give a great effort, regardless of skill level.”

Graham didn’t enter the NFL as an underdog, but when the first-round draft pick out of Michigan in 2010 struggled with injuries and scheme changes his first few years in the league, he took on the “bust” label as a personal challenge. He’s flourished the past two seasons as a 4-3 defensive end in Jim Schwartz’s system, but that proverbial chip on his shoulder that he’s carried in different ways his entire career is quite befitting of an Eagles team that cut through the NFC playoffs as a rare home ‘dog.

This weekend, against Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the heavily favored, five-time champion New England Patriots, Graham's former coaches are expecting to see that old Crockett mindset rear itself in the trenches. Hopkins got choked up while pulling up to that old Crockett field where the players would run so hard the goose droppings would become mulch and they’d go home after practices and games with dirt in their noses.

“New England in Brandon’s mind is like playing King or Cass,” Hopkins says. “There’s so much synergy in the fact that the Eagles are using that underdog mantra to catapult themselves to the Super Bowl. That team is taking on the façade of a Crockett team.”

Graham, who was back in Philadelphia preparing for the team’s charter flight to Minneapolis, agreed with this premise. “That’s exactly right,” he wrote. Graham and the Eagles know that if they win this weekend, they can no longer claim that underdog status; but, they only need it for one more game.

<p><em>The MMQB is on the road to Super Bowl 52. Follow along on <a href="https://twitter.com/theMMQB" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Twitter" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/TheMMQB/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Facebook" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://www.instagram.com/themmqb/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Instagram" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Instagram</a> and find <a href="https://www.si.com/column/Road+to+Super+Bowl+52" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:all of our road trip content here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">all of our road trip content here</a>.</em></p><p>DETROIT — The only sign that this was once a football field, let alone one that produced a player headed for the Super Bowl, is a solitary goalpost. It’s standing alone in a city park that’s more dirt than grass, covered with goose droppings and discarded tires, just off I-75 about a mile from Ford Field. Even when football was played here, the grass was mostly gone before football season; at the 2-yard line was a block of cement, the leftover base of an old pole, which they’d push some dirt on top of every time they took the field.</p><p>This was the old site of Crockett Tech High School, the school itself consisting of a portable trailer. In the afternoons, students would walk across the parking lot to take classes at the adjacent vo-tech center. There were no lights surrounding the dirt field, so football games were usually played at 3:30 p.m.; when practices ran past sunset as the fall days grew shorter, parents would help light the field with the headlights of their cars.</p><p>“This produced teachers, lawyers, accountants, a host of college players, NFL players … from a trailer park,” says Tim Hopkins, a former associate head coach and defensive coordinator for Crockett, gesturing out over on the field on a Saturday morning in January. “The little engine that could. That was the backdrop for where Brandon Graham played.”</p><p>Graham is now a pillar of an Eagles team riding its underdog status to Super Bowl LII, a playmaking defensive end who has lent both his ability (9.5 sacks) and his mentality to a team that hasn’t been favored to win any game this postseason. Years earlier, Graham was the heart of another underdog squad—the Crockett Rockets. Most of his old field is gone now, the space mostly occupied by an indoor cycling track. But enough remains for it to be a time capsule of the years that helped produce one of the most impactful Eagles players.</p><p>“Wow,” Graham wrote in reply to a photo of the field posted on The MMQB’s Instagram stories, “that brought back memories right there.”</p><p>Crockett had been open less than 10 years when Graham enrolled in 2002; its football program had only been around six years. In Detroit, many ninth-graders choose to still play with their little league teams. But as a freshman, Graham had long since outgrown the level of competition of the Eastside Giants. After his father, Darrick Walton, brought him to meet with the high school coaches, Graham joined Crockett’s varsity squad.</p><p>A high school operating out of a trailer certainly didn’t have football facilities. Players changed for practices and games in a hallway located in the basement of the middle school next door. They had a few rows of bleachers around the field, but no way to fence them off, so they couldn’t charge admission for the games.</p><p>“Today’s players would never survive what he had to go through just a little over 10 years ago,” says Rod Oden, an assistant who took over as Crockett’s head coach for Graham’s senior season.</p><p>The roster was thin, around 25 players, barely enough to run 11-on-11 drills in practice. Everyone played both ways. Graham was a middle linebacker, offensive guard, placekicker and punter. Knowing opponents would be afraid to tackle him, the coaches would wink his direction when they wanted to send him on a fake punt. It’s an impossible stat to verify now, but Hopkins reports that Graham scored on the fakes “about 98% of the time.”</p><p>Crockett’s fledgling football program didn’t attract top colleges early on. Hopkins jokes that the recruiters from bigtime programs would get off I-75 to go to the McDonald’s catty-cornered to Crockett, then get back on the interstate and drive off to Cass Tech or King High School, the more established programs nearby with better resources. By the time Graham got there, that was just beginning to change. There was a group of D1 recruits a few years ahead of him; Hopkins recalls the late Joe Paterno sitting in a tiny room in that infamous Crockett trailer pitching a defensive lineman named Ed Johnson to come to Penn State. A few years later, Michigan’s Lloyd Carr came calling for Graham.</p><p>Graham blossomed into the top-ranked player in the state his junior season, a 6&#39; 2&quot;, 240-pound linebacker who could out-run most of the running backs they faced (he would later be clocked at 4.43 seconds in the 40-yard dash at a Nike summer camp). The Crockett coaches had a policy that each season the players had to earn the “C” they wore on their helmets, by meeting certain performance or effort benchmarks. These were marks Graham would easily meet, but one year, he told his teammates that neither he nor anyone else on defense would wear the emblem until everyone earned it. So for the first couple games of the season, the best high-school player in Michigan played with a blank helmet.</p><p>In 2004, Graham led Crockett to an undefeated regular season and the school’s first Detroit Public School League title (they went on to lose to powerhouse Jackson Lumen Christi in the state semifinals). The areas where Crockett lacked, they used as motivation and found ways to compensate. That sounds a lot like Graham’s current team, which has overcome the loss of a starting quarterback, starting left tackle, top linebacker, most versatile running back, core special-teamer, etc., to nonetheless reach the Super Bowl.</p><p>“I remember the grind and how we were a tight-knit family because of the numbers we had at Crockett,” Graham wrote over social media. “It taught me to appreciate everything because we didn’t have much, but we maximized what we had to accomplish so much.”</p><p>Crockett relocated to an old middle school building for Graham’s senior year, and closed its doors altogether in 2012. That building now stands vacant and overgrown, a visible reminder of Detroit’s struggling public school system. Nearby in the east Detroit neighborhood where Graham grew up, though, is East English Preparatory Academy, which opened after Crockett closed and is where Oden now coaches.</p><p>Graham never walked these hallways, but the school is a few blocks from where he used to live, and he makes a point to visit several times a year. He hosts summer sports camps for both boys and girls with his wife, Carlyne, whom he met at Crockett; he’ll sometimes even work out with the football players in their gym where not all the dumbbells have a match. A few years ago, Graham surprised the East English team with new home and away uniforms; last year, he donated 60 helmets from Xenith, a Detroit-based company that has produced several of the top-performing helmets on the market.</p><p>“Brandon doesn’t fill up his camps with the kids that are super studs,” Oden says. “He wants the kids who will sign up on their own, get up at 8 a.m. and come here and give a great effort, regardless of skill level.”</p><p>Graham didn’t enter the NFL as an underdog, but when the first-round draft pick out of Michigan in 2010 struggled with injuries and scheme changes his first few years in the league, he took on the “bust” label as a personal challenge. He’s flourished the past two seasons as a 4-3 defensive end in Jim Schwartz’s system, but that proverbial chip on his shoulder that he’s carried in different ways his entire career is quite befitting of an Eagles team that cut through the NFC playoffs as a rare home ‘dog.</p><p>This weekend, against Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the heavily favored, five-time champion New England Patriots, Graham&#39;s former coaches are expecting to see that old Crockett mindset rear itself in the trenches. Hopkins got choked up while pulling up to that old Crockett field where the players would run so hard the goose droppings would become mulch and they’d go home after practices and games with dirt in their noses.</p><p>“New England in Brandon’s mind is like playing King or Cass,” Hopkins says. “There’s so much synergy in the fact that the Eagles are using that underdog mantra to catapult themselves to the Super Bowl. That team is taking on the façade of a Crockett team.”</p><p>Graham, who was back in Philadelphia preparing for the team’s charter flight to Minneapolis, agreed with this premise. “That’s exactly right,” he wrote. Graham and the Eagles know that if they win this weekend, they can no longer claim that underdog status; but, they only need it for one more game.</p>
Brandon Graham, an Underdog Since His High School Years in Detroit

The MMQB is on the road to Super Bowl 52. Follow along on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and find all of our road trip content here.

DETROIT — The only sign that this was once a football field, let alone one that produced a player headed for the Super Bowl, is a solitary goalpost. It’s standing alone in a city park that’s more dirt than grass, covered with goose droppings and discarded tires, just off I-75 about a mile from Ford Field. Even when football was played here, the grass was mostly gone before football season; at the 2-yard line was a block of cement, the leftover base of an old pole, which they’d push some dirt on top of every time they took the field.

This was the old site of Crockett Tech High School, the school itself consisting of a portable trailer. In the afternoons, students would walk across the parking lot to take classes at the adjacent vo-tech center. There were no lights surrounding the dirt field, so football games were usually played at 3:30 p.m.; when practices ran past sunset as the fall days grew shorter, parents would help light the field with the headlights of their cars.

“This produced teachers, lawyers, accountants, a host of college players, NFL players … from a trailer park,” says Tim Hopkins, a former associate head coach and defensive coordinator for Crockett, gesturing out over on the field on a Saturday morning in January. “The little engine that could. That was the backdrop for where Brandon Graham played.”

Graham is now a pillar of an Eagles team riding its underdog status to Super Bowl LII, a playmaking defensive end who has lent both his ability (9.5 sacks) and his mentality to a team that hasn’t been favored to win any game this postseason. Years earlier, Graham was the heart of another underdog squad—the Crockett Rockets. Most of his old field is gone now, the space mostly occupied by an indoor cycling track. But enough remains for it to be a time capsule of the years that helped produce one of the most impactful Eagles players.

“Wow,” Graham wrote in reply to a photo of the field posted on The MMQB’s Instagram stories, “that brought back memories right there.”

Crockett had been open less than 10 years when Graham enrolled in 2002; its football program had only been around six years. In Detroit, many ninth-graders choose to still play with their little league teams. But as a freshman, Graham had long since outgrown the level of competition of the Eastside Giants. After his father, Darrick Walton, brought him to meet with the high school coaches, Graham joined Crockett’s varsity squad.

A high school operating out of a trailer certainly didn’t have football facilities. Players changed for practices and games in a hallway located in the basement of the middle school next door. They had a few rows of bleachers around the field, but no way to fence them off, so they couldn’t charge admission for the games.

“Today’s players would never survive what he had to go through just a little over 10 years ago,” says Rod Oden, an assistant who took over as Crockett’s head coach for Graham’s senior season.

The roster was thin, around 25 players, barely enough to run 11-on-11 drills in practice. Everyone played both ways. Graham was a middle linebacker, offensive guard, placekicker and punter. Knowing opponents would be afraid to tackle him, the coaches would wink his direction when they wanted to send him on a fake punt. It’s an impossible stat to verify now, but Hopkins reports that Graham scored on the fakes “about 98% of the time.”

Crockett’s fledgling football program didn’t attract top colleges early on. Hopkins jokes that the recruiters from bigtime programs would get off I-75 to go to the McDonald’s catty-cornered to Crockett, then get back on the interstate and drive off to Cass Tech or King High School, the more established programs nearby with better resources. By the time Graham got there, that was just beginning to change. There was a group of D1 recruits a few years ahead of him; Hopkins recalls the late Joe Paterno sitting in a tiny room in that infamous Crockett trailer pitching a defensive lineman named Ed Johnson to come to Penn State. A few years later, Michigan’s Lloyd Carr came calling for Graham.

Graham blossomed into the top-ranked player in the state his junior season, a 6' 2", 240-pound linebacker who could out-run most of the running backs they faced (he would later be clocked at 4.43 seconds in the 40-yard dash at a Nike summer camp). The Crockett coaches had a policy that each season the players had to earn the “C” they wore on their helmets, by meeting certain performance or effort benchmarks. These were marks Graham would easily meet, but one year, he told his teammates that neither he nor anyone else on defense would wear the emblem until everyone earned it. So for the first couple games of the season, the best high-school player in Michigan played with a blank helmet.

In 2004, Graham led Crockett to an undefeated regular season and the school’s first Detroit Public School League title (they went on to lose to powerhouse Jackson Lumen Christi in the state semifinals). The areas where Crockett lacked, they used as motivation and found ways to compensate. That sounds a lot like Graham’s current team, which has overcome the loss of a starting quarterback, starting left tackle, top linebacker, most versatile running back, core special-teamer, etc., to nonetheless reach the Super Bowl.

“I remember the grind and how we were a tight-knit family because of the numbers we had at Crockett,” Graham wrote over social media. “It taught me to appreciate everything because we didn’t have much, but we maximized what we had to accomplish so much.”

Crockett relocated to an old middle school building for Graham’s senior year, and closed its doors altogether in 2012. That building now stands vacant and overgrown, a visible reminder of Detroit’s struggling public school system. Nearby in the east Detroit neighborhood where Graham grew up, though, is East English Preparatory Academy, which opened after Crockett closed and is where Oden now coaches.

Graham never walked these hallways, but the school is a few blocks from where he used to live, and he makes a point to visit several times a year. He hosts summer sports camps for both boys and girls with his wife, Carlyne, whom he met at Crockett; he’ll sometimes even work out with the football players in their gym where not all the dumbbells have a match. A few years ago, Graham surprised the East English team with new home and away uniforms; last year, he donated 60 helmets from Xenith, a Detroit-based company that has produced several of the top-performing helmets on the market.

“Brandon doesn’t fill up his camps with the kids that are super studs,” Oden says. “He wants the kids who will sign up on their own, get up at 8 a.m. and come here and give a great effort, regardless of skill level.”

Graham didn’t enter the NFL as an underdog, but when the first-round draft pick out of Michigan in 2010 struggled with injuries and scheme changes his first few years in the league, he took on the “bust” label as a personal challenge. He’s flourished the past two seasons as a 4-3 defensive end in Jim Schwartz’s system, but that proverbial chip on his shoulder that he’s carried in different ways his entire career is quite befitting of an Eagles team that cut through the NFC playoffs as a rare home ‘dog.

This weekend, against Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the heavily favored, five-time champion New England Patriots, Graham's former coaches are expecting to see that old Crockett mindset rear itself in the trenches. Hopkins got choked up while pulling up to that old Crockett field where the players would run so hard the goose droppings would become mulch and they’d go home after practices and games with dirt in their noses.

“New England in Brandon’s mind is like playing King or Cass,” Hopkins says. “There’s so much synergy in the fact that the Eagles are using that underdog mantra to catapult themselves to the Super Bowl. That team is taking on the façade of a Crockett team.”

Graham, who was back in Philadelphia preparing for the team’s charter flight to Minneapolis, agreed with this premise. “That’s exactly right,” he wrote. Graham and the Eagles know that if they win this weekend, they can no longer claim that underdog status; but, they only need it for one more game.

HBO releases trailer for Joe Paterno movie starring Al Pacino (Video)
HBO releases trailer for Joe Paterno movie starring Al Pacino (Video)
HBO releases trailer for Joe Paterno movie starring Al Pacino (Video)
<p>The first trailer for <em>Paterno, </em>a biopic of former Penn State coach Joe Paterno, was released Friday. </p><p>The film will <a href="https://www.si.com/tech-media/2018/01/12/joe-paterno-biopic-al-pacino-hbo" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:debut on HBO this spring" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">debut on HBO this spring</a> with Academy Award-winning actor Al Pacino portraying the title character.</p><p>Paterno spent 46 years as Penn State&#39;s head coach and amassed 409 wins, the highest win total in NCAA FBS history. But his career ended ignominiously, as he was dismissed from the university for his failure to deal with the Jerry Sandusky child sex scandal properly. </p><p>The film, which was shot last summer, will apparently focus on the aftermath of that scandal. It is directed by Barry Levinson, who won the Academy Award for Best Director for his work on <em>Rain Man. </em></p><p>Paterno died of complications from lung cancer just two months after he was fired. He was 85. </p>
Watch: First Trailer for Joe Paterno Biopic Starring Al Pacino Released

The first trailer for Paterno, a biopic of former Penn State coach Joe Paterno, was released Friday.

The film will debut on HBO this spring with Academy Award-winning actor Al Pacino portraying the title character.

Paterno spent 46 years as Penn State's head coach and amassed 409 wins, the highest win total in NCAA FBS history. But his career ended ignominiously, as he was dismissed from the university for his failure to deal with the Jerry Sandusky child sex scandal properly.

The film, which was shot last summer, will apparently focus on the aftermath of that scandal. It is directed by Barry Levinson, who won the Academy Award for Best Director for his work on Rain Man.

Paterno died of complications from lung cancer just two months after he was fired. He was 85.

<p><em>Paterno, </em>a biopic of former Penn State coach Joe Paterno, will debut on HBO this spring with Academy Award-winning actor Al Pacino portraying the title character.</p><p>Paterno spent 46 years as Penn State&#39;s head coach and amassed 409 wins, the highest win total in NCAA FBS history. But his career ended ignominiously, as he was dismissed from the university for his failure to deal with the Jerry Sandusky child sex scandal properly. </p><p>The film, which was shot last summer, will apparently focus on the aftermath of that scandal. Here is the official tagline, which was released by HBO last summer.</p><p>“After becoming the winningest coach in college football history, Joe Paterno is embroiled in Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal, challenging his legacy and forcing him to face questions of institutional failure on behalf of the victims.”</p><p>The film is directed by Barry Levinson, who won the Academy Award for Best Director for his work on <em>Rain Man. </em>Levinson also directed <em>The Natural, </em>a classic baseball movie, as well as <em>Wizard of Lies, </em>HBO&#39;s biopic of Bernie Madoff. </p><p>Paterno died of complications from lung cancer just two months after he was fired. He was 85. </p>
Joe Paterno Biopic Starring Al Pacino to Air on HBO in Spring 2018

Paterno, a biopic of former Penn State coach Joe Paterno, will debut on HBO this spring with Academy Award-winning actor Al Pacino portraying the title character.

Paterno spent 46 years as Penn State's head coach and amassed 409 wins, the highest win total in NCAA FBS history. But his career ended ignominiously, as he was dismissed from the university for his failure to deal with the Jerry Sandusky child sex scandal properly.

The film, which was shot last summer, will apparently focus on the aftermath of that scandal. Here is the official tagline, which was released by HBO last summer.

“After becoming the winningest coach in college football history, Joe Paterno is embroiled in Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal, challenging his legacy and forcing him to face questions of institutional failure on behalf of the victims.”

The film is directed by Barry Levinson, who won the Academy Award for Best Director for his work on Rain Man. Levinson also directed The Natural, a classic baseball movie, as well as Wizard of Lies, HBO's biopic of Bernie Madoff.

Paterno died of complications from lung cancer just two months after he was fired. He was 85.

<p>1. I think Stanford’s David Shaw had better be in the top two, or one, for any NFL team looking for a head coach in 2018. But remember what he told me two years ago about having a better job than any NFL coach, and whoever wants him is going to have to convince his wife that it’s a better place than Palo Alto. Good luck. My sense is that Shaw will one day coach in the NFL, just not in the next couple of years. My early list of calls I’d make if I had a coach to hire, after I called Shaw:</p><p>• New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels<br>• Kansas City special teams coordinator Dave Toub<br>• Philadelphia defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz<br>• Detroit defensive coordinator Teryl Austin<br>• New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.</p><p>2. I think I also would fact-find about Carolina defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, University of Washington coach Chris Petersen (who likely wants to stay on the West Coast), Minnesota offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and Houston defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel. I’d phone Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz; I don’t think he’d leave, but I’d make him tell me that. Finally, I don’t know Jacksonville defensive coordinator Todd Wash or Kansas City offensive coordinator Matt Nagy (just 39) but hear good things about them. And as for those who say the pool of available coaches is grim, I would remind you of three names:</p><p>• Chuck Noll was an unknown and a distant second to Joe Paterno when the Steelers hired him in 1969. Four Super Bowl wins followed. </p><p>• “An inspired choice or a real mistake?” the Philadelphia Inquirer wondered after the hire of Andy Reid in 1999—and he proceeded to win 74 more games than anyone else in club history.</p><p>• Robert Kraft told me earlier this year he was warned by former Browns owner Art Modell to stay far away from Bill Belichick—and all Belichick has done is win 235 games in New England.</p><p>Moral of the story: There are scores of good coaches out there. They need good quarterbacks and good organizations to succeed.</p><p>Last point to make: Jon Gruden might be interested in going back to the Raiders. I hear he loves Derek Carr and would like to see once in his career what he could do with a franchise quarterback. But I think it’s not likely Jack Del Rio gets fired.</p><p>3. I think this story about Greg Schiano having a deal to coach Tennessee, then having the deal walked back Sunday evening because of the outcry over what <em>might</em>have happened at Penn State connected to the Jerry Sandusky case, over what was <em>never proven and was denied by the relevant parties under oath</em>, over what Tennessee <em>never investigated thoroughly, </em>is a disgrace to thinking people. It also emboldens the screamers on social media, a nod to those who think if you scream loud enough in this current iteration of America you can overcome reason, and a totally unfair slap at a good man in Schiano. The pathetic result of this caper is that the social-media lynch mob won, and no matter how well Schiano does as an assistant at Ohio State, it may never be good enough for him to get a head-coaching job. The water has been poisoned by the crazies. In America today, that matters.</p><p>4. I think these are my quick thoughts on Week 12:</p><p>a. What a great game Green Bay-Pittsburgh was.</p><p>b. Man, Brett Hundley proved me wrong, at least this week. What a tremendous late-fourth-quarter drive, including 72 yards passing, moving the Packers for six first downs and the tying touchdowns—and converting a fourth down with under three minutes left to make the tying score possible.</p><p>c. Huge sack by T.J. Watt, nailing Hundley with a minute to go and enabling the Steelers to get the ball back with just enough time.</p><p>d. Russell Wilson: To have the Seahawks at 7-4, as beat up as the team is, is a tribute to a very good defense to be sure. But mostly it’s a tribute to you.</p><p>e. Thanks, Drew Bledsoe, for <a href="https://www.si.com/nfl/2017/11/20/terry-glenn-remembered-drew-bledsoe-patriots-cowboys" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:the terrific tribute written for The MMQB" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">the terrific tribute written for The MMQB</a>to the late Terry Glenn.</p><p>f. Good stats by Andrew Catalon on CBS: Zane Gonzalez of the Browns has missed five field goals this year, all wide left. Hope you’re renting, Zane.</p><p>g. Christian Jones, the Chicago middle linebacker no one knows, sure makes a lot of plays for an unknown guy.</p><p>h. When Keenan Allen next negotiates a contract with the Chargers, all he has to do is bring a tape of his last eight quarters in two must-wins for the Chargers, against Buffalo and Dallas, in a five-day span: 23 catches in 27 targets, 331 yards, three touchdowns.</p><p>i. The reception, run and stretch for the first down in the fourth quarter by Minnesota’s Stefon Diggs, making the first down by an inch, was a truly great awareness play by Diggs. Kudos to him.</p><p>j. Detroit’s Akeem Spence dropping Jerick McKinnon late in the first half for a loss was the kind of textbook run-stuff every defensive-line coach should show his players.</p><p>k. Kai Forbath makes me nervous. Very nervous. And if he makes me nervous, imagine what he does to that pepperpot Mike Zimmer.</p><p>l. Why, with the game on the line, on fourth-and-eight when the Lions needed a conversion, did Matthew Stafford throw to a blanketed receiver—covered by the Vikes’ best corner, Xavier Rhodes—with almost zero chance for completion?</p><p>m. Yikes: Dak Prescott’s passer rating this year with Zeke Elliott in the lineup: 97.9. Prescott without Elliott: 57.0.</p><p>n. Looks like Eli Apple is turning into a lost top pick for the Giants, <a href="https://nypost.com/2017/11/25/eli-apples-attitude-towards-criticism-led-to-near-walk-out/?utm_campaign=iosapp&#38;utm_source=twitter_app" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:per Paul Schwartz" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">per Paul Schwartz</a> of the New York Post.</p><p>o. Prince Amukamara could take the video of his pass-breakup of the Carson Wentz-to-Torrey Smith throw in Philadelphia and show it to young corners everywhere. Perfect timing, mechanics of a pass breakup.</p><p>p. Gotta catch that ball, Austin Seferian-Jenkins. That drop of a first-quarter touchdown pass cost the Jets four points.</p><p>5. I think I do not mean to be cruel, but this is the truth: Brock Osweiler has gotten two offensive coordinators (George Godsey, Mike McCoy) fired from two teams (Houston, Denver) in consecutive seasons. Also:</p><p>• Osweiler has played so poorly in Houston that he had to be traded to Cleveland <em>along with a second-round pick so the Browns would take him. </em>He played so poorly in training camp in Cleveland that the Browns, desperate for a placeholder quarterback, fired him anyway. He played so poorly in Denver in relief of Trevor Siemian that he was demoted the other day from number one to number three quarterback.</p><p>• Osweiler is employed in the NFL today. Colin Kaepernick is not. It helps explain why so many people are rooting hard for Kaepernick’s longshot collusion case against the NFL.</p><p>6. I think it’s time to sound the TV ratings alarm—if you haven’t already heard it clanging from coast to coast. It looks even worse when considering that the NFL, perhaps rightfully, blamed last year’s ratings decline on the attention magnet that the 2016 presidential election was. But Thanksgiving week is two weeks clear of the election season. So let’s compare some of the numbers to each of the past two years to see where we are (thanks to Sports Media Watch for the ratings info):</p><p>• ESPN, Monday night, Atlanta at Seattle: 6.4 rating, a decline of 28.1 percent from Buffalo-New England in 2015 … a decline of 7.2 percent from Houston-Oakland last year.</p><p>• FOX, Thanksgiving Day, Minnesota at Detroit: 11.4 rating, a drop of 7.3 percent from Philadelphia-Detroit in 2015 … a drop of 12.3 percent from Minnesota-Detroit last year.</p><p>• CBS, Thanksgiving Day, Los Angeles Chargers at Dallas: 12.4 rating, a decrease of 19.0 percent from Dallas-Carolina in 2015 … a decrease of 20.5 percent from Dallas-Washington last year.</p><p>• NBC, Thanksgiving night, New York Giants at Washington: 9.7 rating, a drop of 33.6 percent from Chicago-Green Bay in 2015 … a drop of 10.2 percent from Indianapolis-Pittsburgh last year.</p><p>A bit of clarification: CBS did the early-window game from Detroit last year; FOX did the early game from Detroit this year. So the numbers on FOX and CBS are window versus window, not network versus network. But in window versus window, the numbers of ’17 versus ’16 were down 7.2, 12.3, 20.5 and 10.2 percent on Monday and Thursday of Thanksgiving week. Not good.</p><p>7. I think I don’t want to rain on the Matthew Stafford parade, and I get that he is struggling with a sore ankle, but man, that was an underwhelming performance Thursday in a game the Lions had to have.</p><p>8. I think the Eagles have a very interesting road trip coming up: at Seattle on Sunday night, against the beat-up but still dangerous Seahawks; then working out on Eagle season-ticket-holder Mike Trout’s baseball field in Anaheim for the following week; then playing the dangerous Rams (in a preview of my prospective NFC title game) the following Sunday.</p><p>9. I think <a href="http://m.fox8live.com/wvuefox8/db_344663/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=V4IAWNSY" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:congrats are in order" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">congrats are in order</a> for Archie and Olivia Manning’s grandson, Cooper Manning’s son, Peyton Manning’s nephew and Eli Manning’s nephew. A 70-percent passing day for Arch Manning in a big game. Heck of a game, kid. (And yes, the boy goes by “Arch.”)</p><p>10. I think these are my non-NFL thoughts of the week:</p><p>a. <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/21/opinion/kaepernick-negro-national-anthem.html?_r=0" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Op-Ed of the week" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Op-Ed of the week</a>: from Brent Staples of the New York Times<em>, </em>some good lessons on the legacy of national anthems in our country.</p><p>b. <a href="http://joeposnanski.com/kidney-stones-electric-cars-pixelbooks-and-twitter/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Internet column of the Week" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Internet column of the Week</a>: The great Joe Posnanski, on (mostly) quitting Twitter at the same time as he gets a kidney stone.</p><p>c. Have you considered the two might be related, Joe? That <em>not </em>being on Twitter may have caused this malady?</p><p>d. <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/alex-ovechkin-is-one-of-putins-biggest-fans-the-question-is-why/2017/11/25/c5f8bb2e-ce36-11e7-9d3a-bcbe2af58c3a_story.html?utm_term=.9c251dc9b82e" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Sports/politics story of the week" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Sports/politics story of the week</a>: by Rick Maese, Isabelle Khurshudyan and Andrew Roth of the Washington Post<em>, </em>on the bizarre intersection of a big hockey star and Vladimir Putin.</p><p>e. I looked the other day at SeatGeek just to see about the “Springsteen on Broadway” show, which of course intrigues me. Two tickets to a January show: $4,882. No thanks.</p><p>f. I read a book on the day after Thanksgiving. A whole book! <a href="http://amzn.to/2A7JjMR" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:“The Rooster Bar,” by John Grisham." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">“The Rooster Bar,” by John Grisham.</a> As usual, Grisham put his hooks in me, and I finished it in six hours. I had a couple of plot problems (I’m sure Mr. Grisham will call me to discuss), but it was easy and fun and the kind of book I love on off-time. It took me to a place and provided great entertainment and made me think.</p><p>g. I am nearly finished with another book I have enjoyed quite a bit: <a href="http://amzn.to/2zsgLdz" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:“Ballplayer,” by Chipper Jones, with Carroll Rodgers Walton" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">“Ballplayer,” by Chipper Jones, with Carroll Rodgers Walton</a>. Good job by Jones talking about life invading his professional space. Funny how that happens.</p><p>h. Annual question: Why are college coaching contracts so incredibly one-way in favor of the coaches?</p><p>i. I cannot believe anyone in the Ohio State athletic department looked at that team on the field Saturday and said, “I really love those uniforms.” Black and white? In the game against Michigan?</p><p>j. Wow. Michigan 1-5 versus Ohio State and Michigan State, its two big rivals, under Jim Harbaugh?</p><p>k. That Auburn-Alabama crowd was ridiculously loud. What a home-field advantage for Auburn. Nick Saban struggled to hear Allie LaForce for the halftime on-field interview. At halftime. When no football was being played.</p><p>l. Coffeenerdness: <a href="https://www.davescoffee.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Dave’s Coffee" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Dave’s Coffee</a> of Rhode Island—you’ve got a good thing going. The stronger the better.</p><p>m. Beernerdness: My wife and I spent a couple of days away in Westerly, R.I., over Thanksgiving, and we gave thanks not only for the time away but for our time at <a href="http://greysailbrewing.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Gray Sail Brewery" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Gray Sail Brewery</a> on a quiet street not far from the Amtrak station and a very cute downtown Westerly. The little brew pub next to the brewery is in a 90-year-old home with original murals on the wall, painted by an Italian artist of lovely scenes in the old country. And on the main floor of the house, locals and tourists lounge around drinking good beer. My pick: The Gray Sail Flagship cream ale, easy to drink and light. Lovely. We got a tour of the brewery (a former macaroni factory, of all things) and a T-shirt, and were on our way. How great is it that in cute little towns all over America local breweries are popping up and thriving? Gray Sail is six years old, and the folks there Friday evening included two families in the converted den, with a couple of tykes running around. Strongly recommend that on your trip up I-95 along the New England coast, just over the border from Connecticut into Rhode Island, you stop there and have a beer.</p><p>n. I’m not sure of this, and maybe it’s because we had to wait so long for it to come, but this season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” has been fairly meh. Even with the fatwa on Larry. Some of the stuff is more than slightly preposterous. More Susie. More Jeff. More Funkhauser.</p><p>o. Happy 64th birthday (Sunday) to one of the best people I’ve covered, Hall of Fame Giants linebacker Harry Carson.</p><p>p. Happy 44th birthday (today) to Renaissance man Jon Runyan, the former tackle and Jersey congressman and current NFL exec.</p><h3>Who I Like Tonight</h3><p><strong>Baltimore 17, Houston 9. </strong>The Ravens have three shutouts this year, and the Texans have allowed 22 touchdown passes and a passer rating of 98.9. If Baltimore, at home, can’t win a game it absolutely has to have (next two games: Detroit, at Pittsburgh) to go to 6-5, the Ravens will soon be playing for 2018.</p><h3>The Adieu Haiku</h3><p>Schiano got jobbed.<br>The moral of the story?<br>Scream loudest, you win.</p><p><strong><em>• We have a newsletter, and you can subscribe, and it’s free</em></strong>. Get “The Morning Huddle” delivered to your inbox first thing each weekday, by <a href="https://www.si.com/static/newsletter/signup" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:going here and checking The MMQB newsletter box." class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><em>going here and checking The MMQB newsletter box.</em></a> Start your day with the best of the NFL, from The MMQB.</p><p><strong>•<em>Question or comment? Story idea?</em></strong> Email us at <span><em>talkback@themmqb.com</em></span>.</p>
Ten Things I Think I Think: On NFL Coaching Candidates, Week 12 Reactions, TV Ratings

1. I think Stanford’s David Shaw had better be in the top two, or one, for any NFL team looking for a head coach in 2018. But remember what he told me two years ago about having a better job than any NFL coach, and whoever wants him is going to have to convince his wife that it’s a better place than Palo Alto. Good luck. My sense is that Shaw will one day coach in the NFL, just not in the next couple of years. My early list of calls I’d make if I had a coach to hire, after I called Shaw:

• New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels
• Kansas City special teams coordinator Dave Toub
• Philadelphia defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz
• Detroit defensive coordinator Teryl Austin
• New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.

2. I think I also would fact-find about Carolina defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, University of Washington coach Chris Petersen (who likely wants to stay on the West Coast), Minnesota offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and Houston defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel. I’d phone Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz; I don’t think he’d leave, but I’d make him tell me that. Finally, I don’t know Jacksonville defensive coordinator Todd Wash or Kansas City offensive coordinator Matt Nagy (just 39) but hear good things about them. And as for those who say the pool of available coaches is grim, I would remind you of three names:

• Chuck Noll was an unknown and a distant second to Joe Paterno when the Steelers hired him in 1969. Four Super Bowl wins followed.

• “An inspired choice or a real mistake?” the Philadelphia Inquirer wondered after the hire of Andy Reid in 1999—and he proceeded to win 74 more games than anyone else in club history.

• Robert Kraft told me earlier this year he was warned by former Browns owner Art Modell to stay far away from Bill Belichick—and all Belichick has done is win 235 games in New England.

Moral of the story: There are scores of good coaches out there. They need good quarterbacks and good organizations to succeed.

Last point to make: Jon Gruden might be interested in going back to the Raiders. I hear he loves Derek Carr and would like to see once in his career what he could do with a franchise quarterback. But I think it’s not likely Jack Del Rio gets fired.

3. I think this story about Greg Schiano having a deal to coach Tennessee, then having the deal walked back Sunday evening because of the outcry over what mighthave happened at Penn State connected to the Jerry Sandusky case, over what was never proven and was denied by the relevant parties under oath, over what Tennessee never investigated thoroughly, is a disgrace to thinking people. It also emboldens the screamers on social media, a nod to those who think if you scream loud enough in this current iteration of America you can overcome reason, and a totally unfair slap at a good man in Schiano. The pathetic result of this caper is that the social-media lynch mob won, and no matter how well Schiano does as an assistant at Ohio State, it may never be good enough for him to get a head-coaching job. The water has been poisoned by the crazies. In America today, that matters.

4. I think these are my quick thoughts on Week 12:

a. What a great game Green Bay-Pittsburgh was.

b. Man, Brett Hundley proved me wrong, at least this week. What a tremendous late-fourth-quarter drive, including 72 yards passing, moving the Packers for six first downs and the tying touchdowns—and converting a fourth down with under three minutes left to make the tying score possible.

c. Huge sack by T.J. Watt, nailing Hundley with a minute to go and enabling the Steelers to get the ball back with just enough time.

d. Russell Wilson: To have the Seahawks at 7-4, as beat up as the team is, is a tribute to a very good defense to be sure. But mostly it’s a tribute to you.

e. Thanks, Drew Bledsoe, for the terrific tribute written for The MMQBto the late Terry Glenn.

f. Good stats by Andrew Catalon on CBS: Zane Gonzalez of the Browns has missed five field goals this year, all wide left. Hope you’re renting, Zane.

g. Christian Jones, the Chicago middle linebacker no one knows, sure makes a lot of plays for an unknown guy.

h. When Keenan Allen next negotiates a contract with the Chargers, all he has to do is bring a tape of his last eight quarters in two must-wins for the Chargers, against Buffalo and Dallas, in a five-day span: 23 catches in 27 targets, 331 yards, three touchdowns.

i. The reception, run and stretch for the first down in the fourth quarter by Minnesota’s Stefon Diggs, making the first down by an inch, was a truly great awareness play by Diggs. Kudos to him.

j. Detroit’s Akeem Spence dropping Jerick McKinnon late in the first half for a loss was the kind of textbook run-stuff every defensive-line coach should show his players.

k. Kai Forbath makes me nervous. Very nervous. And if he makes me nervous, imagine what he does to that pepperpot Mike Zimmer.

l. Why, with the game on the line, on fourth-and-eight when the Lions needed a conversion, did Matthew Stafford throw to a blanketed receiver—covered by the Vikes’ best corner, Xavier Rhodes—with almost zero chance for completion?

m. Yikes: Dak Prescott’s passer rating this year with Zeke Elliott in the lineup: 97.9. Prescott without Elliott: 57.0.

n. Looks like Eli Apple is turning into a lost top pick for the Giants, per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post.

o. Prince Amukamara could take the video of his pass-breakup of the Carson Wentz-to-Torrey Smith throw in Philadelphia and show it to young corners everywhere. Perfect timing, mechanics of a pass breakup.

p. Gotta catch that ball, Austin Seferian-Jenkins. That drop of a first-quarter touchdown pass cost the Jets four points.

5. I think I do not mean to be cruel, but this is the truth: Brock Osweiler has gotten two offensive coordinators (George Godsey, Mike McCoy) fired from two teams (Houston, Denver) in consecutive seasons. Also:

• Osweiler has played so poorly in Houston that he had to be traded to Cleveland along with a second-round pick so the Browns would take him. He played so poorly in training camp in Cleveland that the Browns, desperate for a placeholder quarterback, fired him anyway. He played so poorly in Denver in relief of Trevor Siemian that he was demoted the other day from number one to number three quarterback.

• Osweiler is employed in the NFL today. Colin Kaepernick is not. It helps explain why so many people are rooting hard for Kaepernick’s longshot collusion case against the NFL.

6. I think it’s time to sound the TV ratings alarm—if you haven’t already heard it clanging from coast to coast. It looks even worse when considering that the NFL, perhaps rightfully, blamed last year’s ratings decline on the attention magnet that the 2016 presidential election was. But Thanksgiving week is two weeks clear of the election season. So let’s compare some of the numbers to each of the past two years to see where we are (thanks to Sports Media Watch for the ratings info):

• ESPN, Monday night, Atlanta at Seattle: 6.4 rating, a decline of 28.1 percent from Buffalo-New England in 2015 … a decline of 7.2 percent from Houston-Oakland last year.

• FOX, Thanksgiving Day, Minnesota at Detroit: 11.4 rating, a drop of 7.3 percent from Philadelphia-Detroit in 2015 … a drop of 12.3 percent from Minnesota-Detroit last year.

• CBS, Thanksgiving Day, Los Angeles Chargers at Dallas: 12.4 rating, a decrease of 19.0 percent from Dallas-Carolina in 2015 … a decrease of 20.5 percent from Dallas-Washington last year.

• NBC, Thanksgiving night, New York Giants at Washington: 9.7 rating, a drop of 33.6 percent from Chicago-Green Bay in 2015 … a drop of 10.2 percent from Indianapolis-Pittsburgh last year.

A bit of clarification: CBS did the early-window game from Detroit last year; FOX did the early game from Detroit this year. So the numbers on FOX and CBS are window versus window, not network versus network. But in window versus window, the numbers of ’17 versus ’16 were down 7.2, 12.3, 20.5 and 10.2 percent on Monday and Thursday of Thanksgiving week. Not good.

7. I think I don’t want to rain on the Matthew Stafford parade, and I get that he is struggling with a sore ankle, but man, that was an underwhelming performance Thursday in a game the Lions had to have.

8. I think the Eagles have a very interesting road trip coming up: at Seattle on Sunday night, against the beat-up but still dangerous Seahawks; then working out on Eagle season-ticket-holder Mike Trout’s baseball field in Anaheim for the following week; then playing the dangerous Rams (in a preview of my prospective NFC title game) the following Sunday.

9. I think congrats are in order for Archie and Olivia Manning’s grandson, Cooper Manning’s son, Peyton Manning’s nephew and Eli Manning’s nephew. A 70-percent passing day for Arch Manning in a big game. Heck of a game, kid. (And yes, the boy goes by “Arch.”)

10. I think these are my non-NFL thoughts of the week:

a. Op-Ed of the week: from Brent Staples of the New York Times, some good lessons on the legacy of national anthems in our country.

b. Internet column of the Week: The great Joe Posnanski, on (mostly) quitting Twitter at the same time as he gets a kidney stone.

c. Have you considered the two might be related, Joe? That not being on Twitter may have caused this malady?

d. Sports/politics story of the week: by Rick Maese, Isabelle Khurshudyan and Andrew Roth of the Washington Post, on the bizarre intersection of a big hockey star and Vladimir Putin.

e. I looked the other day at SeatGeek just to see about the “Springsteen on Broadway” show, which of course intrigues me. Two tickets to a January show: $4,882. No thanks.

f. I read a book on the day after Thanksgiving. A whole book! “The Rooster Bar,” by John Grisham. As usual, Grisham put his hooks in me, and I finished it in six hours. I had a couple of plot problems (I’m sure Mr. Grisham will call me to discuss), but it was easy and fun and the kind of book I love on off-time. It took me to a place and provided great entertainment and made me think.

g. I am nearly finished with another book I have enjoyed quite a bit: “Ballplayer,” by Chipper Jones, with Carroll Rodgers Walton. Good job by Jones talking about life invading his professional space. Funny how that happens.

h. Annual question: Why are college coaching contracts so incredibly one-way in favor of the coaches?

i. I cannot believe anyone in the Ohio State athletic department looked at that team on the field Saturday and said, “I really love those uniforms.” Black and white? In the game against Michigan?

j. Wow. Michigan 1-5 versus Ohio State and Michigan State, its two big rivals, under Jim Harbaugh?

k. That Auburn-Alabama crowd was ridiculously loud. What a home-field advantage for Auburn. Nick Saban struggled to hear Allie LaForce for the halftime on-field interview. At halftime. When no football was being played.

l. Coffeenerdness: Dave’s Coffee of Rhode Island—you’ve got a good thing going. The stronger the better.

m. Beernerdness: My wife and I spent a couple of days away in Westerly, R.I., over Thanksgiving, and we gave thanks not only for the time away but for our time at Gray Sail Brewery on a quiet street not far from the Amtrak station and a very cute downtown Westerly. The little brew pub next to the brewery is in a 90-year-old home with original murals on the wall, painted by an Italian artist of lovely scenes in the old country. And on the main floor of the house, locals and tourists lounge around drinking good beer. My pick: The Gray Sail Flagship cream ale, easy to drink and light. Lovely. We got a tour of the brewery (a former macaroni factory, of all things) and a T-shirt, and were on our way. How great is it that in cute little towns all over America local breweries are popping up and thriving? Gray Sail is six years old, and the folks there Friday evening included two families in the converted den, with a couple of tykes running around. Strongly recommend that on your trip up I-95 along the New England coast, just over the border from Connecticut into Rhode Island, you stop there and have a beer.

n. I’m not sure of this, and maybe it’s because we had to wait so long for it to come, but this season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” has been fairly meh. Even with the fatwa on Larry. Some of the stuff is more than slightly preposterous. More Susie. More Jeff. More Funkhauser.

o. Happy 64th birthday (Sunday) to one of the best people I’ve covered, Hall of Fame Giants linebacker Harry Carson.

p. Happy 44th birthday (today) to Renaissance man Jon Runyan, the former tackle and Jersey congressman and current NFL exec.

Who I Like Tonight

Baltimore 17, Houston 9. The Ravens have three shutouts this year, and the Texans have allowed 22 touchdown passes and a passer rating of 98.9. If Baltimore, at home, can’t win a game it absolutely has to have (next two games: Detroit, at Pittsburgh) to go to 6-5, the Ravens will soon be playing for 2018.

The Adieu Haiku

Schiano got jobbed.
The moral of the story?
Scream loudest, you win.

• We have a newsletter, and you can subscribe, and it’s free. Get “The Morning Huddle” delivered to your inbox first thing each weekday, by going here and checking The MMQB newsletter box. Start your day with the best of the NFL, from The MMQB.

Question or comment? Story idea? Email us at talkback@themmqb.com.

<p>1. I think Stanford’s David Shaw had better be in the top two, or one, for any NFL team looking for a head coach in 2018. But remember what he told me two years ago about having a better job than any NFL coach, and whoever wants him is going to have to convince his wife that it’s a better place than Palo Alto. Good luck. My sense is that Shaw will one day coach in the NFL, just not in the next couple of years. My early list of calls I’d make if I had a coach to hire, after I called Shaw:</p><p>• New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels<br>• Kansas City special teams coordinator Dave Toub<br>• Philadelphia defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz<br>• Detroit defensive coordinator Teryl Austin<br>• New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.</p><p>2. I think I also would fact-find about Carolina defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, University of Washington coach Chris Petersen (who likely wants to stay on the West Coast), Minnesota offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and Houston defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel. I’d phone Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz; I don’t think he’d leave, but I’d make him tell me that. Finally, I don’t know Jacksonville defensive coordinator Todd Wash or Kansas City offensive coordinator Matt Nagy (just 39) but hear good things about them. And as for those who say the pool of available coaches is grim, I would remind you of three names:</p><p>• Chuck Noll was an unknown and a distant second to Joe Paterno when the Steelers hired him in 1969. Four Super Bowl wins followed. </p><p>• “An inspired choice or a real mistake?” the Philadelphia Inquirer wondered after the hire of Andy Reid in 1999—and he proceeded to win 74 more games than anyone else in club history.</p><p>• Robert Kraft told me earlier this year he was warned by former Browns owner Art Modell to stay far away from Bill Belichick—and all Belichick has done is win 235 games in New England.</p><p>Moral of the story: There are scores of good coaches out there. They need good quarterbacks and good organizations to succeed.</p><p>Last point to make: Jon Gruden might be interested in going back to the Raiders. I hear he loves Derek Carr and would like to see once in his career what he could do with a franchise quarterback. But I think it’s not likely Jack Del Rio gets fired.</p><p>3. I think this story about Greg Schiano having a deal to coach Tennessee, then having the deal walked back Sunday evening because of the outcry over what <em>might</em>have happened at Penn State connected to the Jerry Sandusky case, over what was <em>never proven and was denied by the relevant parties under oath</em>, over what Tennessee <em>never investigated thoroughly, </em>is a disgrace to thinking people. It also emboldens the screamers on social media, a nod to those who think if you scream loud enough in this current iteration of America you can overcome reason, and a totally unfair slap at a good man in Schiano. The pathetic result of this caper is that the social-media lynch mob won, and no matter how well Schiano does as an assistant at Ohio State, it may never be good enough for him to get a head-coaching job. The water has been poisoned by the crazies. In America today, that matters.</p><p>4. I think these are my quick thoughts on Week 12:</p><p>a. What a great game Green Bay-Pittsburgh was.</p><p>b. Man, Brett Hundley proved me wrong, at least this week. What a tremendous late-fourth-quarter drive, including 72 yards passing, moving the Packers for six first downs and the tying touchdowns—and converting a fourth down with under three minutes left to make the tying score possible.</p><p>c. Huge sack by T.J. Watt, nailing Hundley with a minute to go and enabling the Steelers to get the ball back with just enough time.</p><p>d. Russell Wilson: To have the Seahawks at 7-4, as beat up as the team is, is a tribute to a very good defense to be sure. But mostly it’s a tribute to you.</p><p>e. Thanks, Drew Bledsoe, for <a href="https://www.si.com/nfl/2017/11/20/terry-glenn-remembered-drew-bledsoe-patriots-cowboys" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:the terrific tribute written for The MMQB" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">the terrific tribute written for The MMQB</a>to the late Terry Glenn.</p><p>f. Good stats by Andrew Catalon on CBS: Zane Gonzalez of the Browns has missed five field goals this year, all wide left. Hope you’re renting, Zane.</p><p>g. Christian Jones, the Chicago middle linebacker no one knows, sure makes a lot of plays for an unknown guy.</p><p>h. When Keenan Allen next negotiates a contract with the Chargers, all he has to do is bring a tape of his last eight quarters in two must-wins for the Chargers, against Buffalo and Dallas, in a five-day span: 23 catches in 27 targets, 331 yards, three touchdowns.</p><p>i. The reception, run and stretch for the first down in the fourth quarter by Minnesota’s Stefon Diggs, making the first down by an inch, was a truly great awareness play by Diggs. Kudos to him.</p><p>j. Detroit’s Akeem Spence dropping Jerick McKinnon late in the first half for a loss was the kind of textbook run-stuff every defensive-line coach should show his players.</p><p>k. Kai Forbath makes me nervous. Very nervous. And if he makes me nervous, imagine what he does to that pepperpot Mike Zimmer.</p><p>l. Why, with the game on the line, on fourth-and-eight when the Lions needed a conversion, did Matthew Stafford throw to a blanketed receiver—covered by the Vikes’ best corner, Xavier Rhodes—with almost zero chance for completion?</p><p>m. Yikes: Dak Prescott’s passer rating this year with Zeke Elliott in the lineup: 97.9. Prescott without Elliott: 57.0.</p><p>n. Looks like Eli Apple is turning into a lost top pick for the Giants, <a href="https://nypost.com/2017/11/25/eli-apples-attitude-towards-criticism-led-to-near-walk-out/?utm_campaign=iosapp&#38;utm_source=twitter_app" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:per Paul Schwartz" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">per Paul Schwartz</a> of the New York Post.</p><p>o. Prince Amukamara could take the video of his pass-breakup of the Carson Wentz-to-Torrey Smith throw in Philadelphia and show it to young corners everywhere. Perfect timing, mechanics of a pass breakup.</p><p>p. Gotta catch that ball, Austin Seferian-Jenkins. That drop of a first-quarter touchdown pass cost the Jets four points.</p><p>5. I think I do not mean to be cruel, but this is the truth: Brock Osweiler has gotten two offensive coordinators (George Godsey, Mike McCoy) fired from two teams (Houston, Denver) in consecutive seasons. Also:</p><p>• Osweiler has played so poorly in Houston that he had to be traded to Cleveland <em>along with a second-round pick so the Browns would take him. </em>He played so poorly in training camp in Cleveland that the Browns, desperate for a placeholder quarterback, fired him anyway. He played so poorly in Denver in relief of Trevor Siemian that he was demoted the other day from number one to number three quarterback.</p><p>• Osweiler is employed in the NFL today. Colin Kaepernick is not. It helps explain why so many people are rooting hard for Kaepernick’s longshot collusion case against the NFL.</p><p>6. I think it’s time to sound the TV ratings alarm—if you haven’t already heard it clanging from coast to coast. It looks even worse when considering that the NFL, perhaps rightfully, blamed last year’s ratings decline on the attention magnet that the 2016 presidential election was. But Thanksgiving week is two weeks clear of the election season. So let’s compare some of the numbers to each of the past two years to see where we are (thanks to Sports Media Watch for the ratings info):</p><p>• ESPN, Monday night, Atlanta at Seattle: 6.4 rating, a decline of 28.1 percent from Buffalo-New England in 2015 … a decline of 7.2 percent from Houston-Oakland last year.</p><p>• FOX, Thanksgiving Day, Minnesota at Detroit: 11.4 rating, a drop of 7.3 percent from Philadelphia-Detroit in 2015 … a drop of 12.3 percent from Minnesota-Detroit last year.</p><p>• CBS, Thanksgiving Day, Los Angeles Chargers at Dallas: 12.4 rating, a decrease of 19.0 percent from Dallas-Carolina in 2015 … a decrease of 20.5 percent from Dallas-Washington last year.</p><p>• NBC, Thanksgiving night, New York Giants at Washington: 9.7 rating, a drop of 33.6 percent from Chicago-Green Bay in 2015 … a drop of 10.2 percent from Indianapolis-Pittsburgh last year.</p><p>A bit of clarification: CBS did the early-window game from Detroit last year; FOX did the early game from Detroit this year. So the numbers on FOX and CBS are window versus window, not network versus network. But in window versus window, the numbers of ’17 versus ’16 were down 7.2, 12.3, 20.5 and 10.2 percent on Monday and Thursday of Thanksgiving week. Not good.</p><p>7. I think I don’t want to rain on the Matthew Stafford parade, and I get that he is struggling with a sore ankle, but man, that was an underwhelming performance Thursday in a game the Lions had to have.</p><p>8. I think the Eagles have a very interesting road trip coming up: at Seattle on Sunday night, against the beat-up but still dangerous Seahawks; then working out on Eagle season-ticket-holder Mike Trout’s baseball field in Anaheim for the following week; then playing the dangerous Rams (in a preview of my prospective NFC title game) the following Sunday.</p><p>9. I think <a href="http://m.fox8live.com/wvuefox8/db_344663/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=V4IAWNSY" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:congrats are in order" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">congrats are in order</a> for Archie and Olivia Manning’s grandson, Cooper Manning’s son, Peyton Manning’s nephew and Eli Manning’s nephew. A 70-percent passing day for Arch Manning in a big game. Heck of a game, kid. (And yes, the boy goes by “Arch.”)</p><p>10. I think these are my non-NFL thoughts of the week:</p><p>a. <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/21/opinion/kaepernick-negro-national-anthem.html?_r=0" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Op-Ed of the week" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Op-Ed of the week</a>: from Brent Staples of the New York Times<em>, </em>some good lessons on the legacy of national anthems in our country.</p><p>b. <a href="http://joeposnanski.com/kidney-stones-electric-cars-pixelbooks-and-twitter/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Internet column of the Week" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Internet column of the Week</a>: The great Joe Posnanski, on (mostly) quitting Twitter at the same time as he gets a kidney stone.</p><p>c. Have you considered the two might be related, Joe? That <em>not </em>being on Twitter may have caused this malady?</p><p>d. <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/alex-ovechkin-is-one-of-putins-biggest-fans-the-question-is-why/2017/11/25/c5f8bb2e-ce36-11e7-9d3a-bcbe2af58c3a_story.html?utm_term=.9c251dc9b82e" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Sports/politics story of the week" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Sports/politics story of the week</a>: by Rick Maese, Isabelle Khurshudyan and Andrew Roth of the Washington Post<em>, </em>on the bizarre intersection of a big hockey star and Vladimir Putin.</p><p>e. I looked the other day at SeatGeek just to see about the “Springsteen on Broadway” show, which of course intrigues me. Two tickets to a January show: $4,882. No thanks.</p><p>f. I read a book on the day after Thanksgiving. A whole book! <a href="http://amzn.to/2A7JjMR" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:“The Rooster Bar,” by John Grisham." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">“The Rooster Bar,” by John Grisham.</a> As usual, Grisham put his hooks in me, and I finished it in six hours. I had a couple of plot problems (I’m sure Mr. Grisham will call me to discuss), but it was easy and fun and the kind of book I love on off-time. It took me to a place and provided great entertainment and made me think.</p><p>g. I am nearly finished with another book I have enjoyed quite a bit: <a href="http://amzn.to/2zsgLdz" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:“Ballplayer,” by Chipper Jones, with Carroll Rodgers Walton" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">“Ballplayer,” by Chipper Jones, with Carroll Rodgers Walton</a>. Good job by Jones talking about life invading his professional space. Funny how that happens.</p><p>h. Annual question: Why are college coaching contracts so incredibly one-way in favor of the coaches?</p><p>i. I cannot believe anyone in the Ohio State athletic department looked at that team on the field Saturday and said, “I really love those uniforms.” Black and white? In the game against Michigan?</p><p>j. Wow. Michigan 1-5 versus Ohio State and Michigan State, its two big rivals, under Jim Harbaugh?</p><p>k. That Auburn-Alabama crowd was ridiculously loud. What a home-field advantage for Auburn. Nick Saban struggled to hear Allie LaForce for the halftime on-field interview. At halftime. When no football was being played.</p><p>l. Coffeenerdness: <a href="https://www.davescoffee.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Dave’s Coffee" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Dave’s Coffee</a> of Rhode Island—you’ve got a good thing going. The stronger the better.</p><p>m. Beernerdness: My wife and I spent a couple of days away in Westerly, R.I., over Thanksgiving, and we gave thanks not only for the time away but for our time at <a href="http://greysailbrewing.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Gray Sail Brewery" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Gray Sail Brewery</a> on a quiet street not far from the Amtrak station and a very cute downtown Westerly. The little brew pub next to the brewery is in a 90-year-old home with original murals on the wall, painted by an Italian artist of lovely scenes in the old country. And on the main floor of the house, locals and tourists lounge around drinking good beer. My pick: The Gray Sail Flagship cream ale, easy to drink and light. Lovely. We got a tour of the brewery (a former macaroni factory, of all things) and a T-shirt, and were on our way. How great is it that in cute little towns all over America local breweries are popping up and thriving? Gray Sail is six years old, and the folks there Friday evening included two families in the converted den, with a couple of tykes running around. Strongly recommend that on your trip up I-95 along the New England coast, just over the border from Connecticut into Rhode Island, you stop there and have a beer.</p><p>n. I’m not sure of this, and maybe it’s because we had to wait so long for it to come, but this season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” has been fairly meh. Even with the fatwa on Larry. Some of the stuff is more than slightly preposterous. More Susie. More Jeff. More Funkhauser.</p><p>o. Happy 64th birthday (Sunday) to one of the best people I’ve covered, Hall of Fame Giants linebacker Harry Carson.</p><p>p. Happy 44th birthday (today) to Renaissance man Jon Runyan, the former tackle and Jersey congressman and current NFL exec.</p><h3>Who I Like Tonight</h3><p><strong>Baltimore 17, Houston 9. </strong>The Ravens have three shutouts this year, and the Texans have allowed 22 touchdown passes and a passer rating of 98.9. If Baltimore, at home, can’t win a game it absolutely has to have (next two games: Detroit, at Pittsburgh) to go to 6-5, the Ravens will soon be playing for 2018.</p><h3>The Adieu Haiku</h3><p>Schiano got jobbed.<br>The moral of the story?<br>Scream loudest, you win.</p><p><strong><em>• We have a newsletter, and you can subscribe, and it’s free</em></strong>. Get “The Morning Huddle” delivered to your inbox first thing each weekday, by <a href="https://www.si.com/static/newsletter/signup" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:going here and checking The MMQB newsletter box." class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><em>going here and checking The MMQB newsletter box.</em></a> Start your day with the best of the NFL, from The MMQB.</p><p><strong>•<em>Question or comment? Story idea?</em></strong> Email us at <span><em>talkback@themmqb.com</em></span>.</p>
Ten Things I Think I Think: On NFL Coaching Candidates, Week 12 Reactions, TV Ratings

1. I think Stanford’s David Shaw had better be in the top two, or one, for any NFL team looking for a head coach in 2018. But remember what he told me two years ago about having a better job than any NFL coach, and whoever wants him is going to have to convince his wife that it’s a better place than Palo Alto. Good luck. My sense is that Shaw will one day coach in the NFL, just not in the next couple of years. My early list of calls I’d make if I had a coach to hire, after I called Shaw:

• New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels
• Kansas City special teams coordinator Dave Toub
• Philadelphia defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz
• Detroit defensive coordinator Teryl Austin
• New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.

2. I think I also would fact-find about Carolina defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, University of Washington coach Chris Petersen (who likely wants to stay on the West Coast), Minnesota offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and Houston defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel. I’d phone Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz; I don’t think he’d leave, but I’d make him tell me that. Finally, I don’t know Jacksonville defensive coordinator Todd Wash or Kansas City offensive coordinator Matt Nagy (just 39) but hear good things about them. And as for those who say the pool of available coaches is grim, I would remind you of three names:

• Chuck Noll was an unknown and a distant second to Joe Paterno when the Steelers hired him in 1969. Four Super Bowl wins followed.

• “An inspired choice or a real mistake?” the Philadelphia Inquirer wondered after the hire of Andy Reid in 1999—and he proceeded to win 74 more games than anyone else in club history.

• Robert Kraft told me earlier this year he was warned by former Browns owner Art Modell to stay far away from Bill Belichick—and all Belichick has done is win 235 games in New England.

Moral of the story: There are scores of good coaches out there. They need good quarterbacks and good organizations to succeed.

Last point to make: Jon Gruden might be interested in going back to the Raiders. I hear he loves Derek Carr and would like to see once in his career what he could do with a franchise quarterback. But I think it’s not likely Jack Del Rio gets fired.

3. I think this story about Greg Schiano having a deal to coach Tennessee, then having the deal walked back Sunday evening because of the outcry over what mighthave happened at Penn State connected to the Jerry Sandusky case, over what was never proven and was denied by the relevant parties under oath, over what Tennessee never investigated thoroughly, is a disgrace to thinking people. It also emboldens the screamers on social media, a nod to those who think if you scream loud enough in this current iteration of America you can overcome reason, and a totally unfair slap at a good man in Schiano. The pathetic result of this caper is that the social-media lynch mob won, and no matter how well Schiano does as an assistant at Ohio State, it may never be good enough for him to get a head-coaching job. The water has been poisoned by the crazies. In America today, that matters.

4. I think these are my quick thoughts on Week 12:

a. What a great game Green Bay-Pittsburgh was.

b. Man, Brett Hundley proved me wrong, at least this week. What a tremendous late-fourth-quarter drive, including 72 yards passing, moving the Packers for six first downs and the tying touchdowns—and converting a fourth down with under three minutes left to make the tying score possible.

c. Huge sack by T.J. Watt, nailing Hundley with a minute to go and enabling the Steelers to get the ball back with just enough time.

d. Russell Wilson: To have the Seahawks at 7-4, as beat up as the team is, is a tribute to a very good defense to be sure. But mostly it’s a tribute to you.

e. Thanks, Drew Bledsoe, for the terrific tribute written for The MMQBto the late Terry Glenn.

f. Good stats by Andrew Catalon on CBS: Zane Gonzalez of the Browns has missed five field goals this year, all wide left. Hope you’re renting, Zane.

g. Christian Jones, the Chicago middle linebacker no one knows, sure makes a lot of plays for an unknown guy.

h. When Keenan Allen next negotiates a contract with the Chargers, all he has to do is bring a tape of his last eight quarters in two must-wins for the Chargers, against Buffalo and Dallas, in a five-day span: 23 catches in 27 targets, 331 yards, three touchdowns.

i. The reception, run and stretch for the first down in the fourth quarter by Minnesota’s Stefon Diggs, making the first down by an inch, was a truly great awareness play by Diggs. Kudos to him.

j. Detroit’s Akeem Spence dropping Jerick McKinnon late in the first half for a loss was the kind of textbook run-stuff every defensive-line coach should show his players.

k. Kai Forbath makes me nervous. Very nervous. And if he makes me nervous, imagine what he does to that pepperpot Mike Zimmer.

l. Why, with the game on the line, on fourth-and-eight when the Lions needed a conversion, did Matthew Stafford throw to a blanketed receiver—covered by the Vikes’ best corner, Xavier Rhodes—with almost zero chance for completion?

m. Yikes: Dak Prescott’s passer rating this year with Zeke Elliott in the lineup: 97.9. Prescott without Elliott: 57.0.

n. Looks like Eli Apple is turning into a lost top pick for the Giants, per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post.

o. Prince Amukamara could take the video of his pass-breakup of the Carson Wentz-to-Torrey Smith throw in Philadelphia and show it to young corners everywhere. Perfect timing, mechanics of a pass breakup.

p. Gotta catch that ball, Austin Seferian-Jenkins. That drop of a first-quarter touchdown pass cost the Jets four points.

5. I think I do not mean to be cruel, but this is the truth: Brock Osweiler has gotten two offensive coordinators (George Godsey, Mike McCoy) fired from two teams (Houston, Denver) in consecutive seasons. Also:

• Osweiler has played so poorly in Houston that he had to be traded to Cleveland along with a second-round pick so the Browns would take him. He played so poorly in training camp in Cleveland that the Browns, desperate for a placeholder quarterback, fired him anyway. He played so poorly in Denver in relief of Trevor Siemian that he was demoted the other day from number one to number three quarterback.

• Osweiler is employed in the NFL today. Colin Kaepernick is not. It helps explain why so many people are rooting hard for Kaepernick’s longshot collusion case against the NFL.

6. I think it’s time to sound the TV ratings alarm—if you haven’t already heard it clanging from coast to coast. It looks even worse when considering that the NFL, perhaps rightfully, blamed last year’s ratings decline on the attention magnet that the 2016 presidential election was. But Thanksgiving week is two weeks clear of the election season. So let’s compare some of the numbers to each of the past two years to see where we are (thanks to Sports Media Watch for the ratings info):

• ESPN, Monday night, Atlanta at Seattle: 6.4 rating, a decline of 28.1 percent from Buffalo-New England in 2015 … a decline of 7.2 percent from Houston-Oakland last year.

• FOX, Thanksgiving Day, Minnesota at Detroit: 11.4 rating, a drop of 7.3 percent from Philadelphia-Detroit in 2015 … a drop of 12.3 percent from Minnesota-Detroit last year.

• CBS, Thanksgiving Day, Los Angeles Chargers at Dallas: 12.4 rating, a decrease of 19.0 percent from Dallas-Carolina in 2015 … a decrease of 20.5 percent from Dallas-Washington last year.

• NBC, Thanksgiving night, New York Giants at Washington: 9.7 rating, a drop of 33.6 percent from Chicago-Green Bay in 2015 … a drop of 10.2 percent from Indianapolis-Pittsburgh last year.

A bit of clarification: CBS did the early-window game from Detroit last year; FOX did the early game from Detroit this year. So the numbers on FOX and CBS are window versus window, not network versus network. But in window versus window, the numbers of ’17 versus ’16 were down 7.2, 12.3, 20.5 and 10.2 percent on Monday and Thursday of Thanksgiving week. Not good.

7. I think I don’t want to rain on the Matthew Stafford parade, and I get that he is struggling with a sore ankle, but man, that was an underwhelming performance Thursday in a game the Lions had to have.

8. I think the Eagles have a very interesting road trip coming up: at Seattle on Sunday night, against the beat-up but still dangerous Seahawks; then working out on Eagle season-ticket-holder Mike Trout’s baseball field in Anaheim for the following week; then playing the dangerous Rams (in a preview of my prospective NFC title game) the following Sunday.

9. I think congrats are in order for Archie and Olivia Manning’s grandson, Cooper Manning’s son, Peyton Manning’s nephew and Eli Manning’s nephew. A 70-percent passing day for Arch Manning in a big game. Heck of a game, kid. (And yes, the boy goes by “Arch.”)

10. I think these are my non-NFL thoughts of the week:

a. Op-Ed of the week: from Brent Staples of the New York Times, some good lessons on the legacy of national anthems in our country.

b. Internet column of the Week: The great Joe Posnanski, on (mostly) quitting Twitter at the same time as he gets a kidney stone.

c. Have you considered the two might be related, Joe? That not being on Twitter may have caused this malady?

d. Sports/politics story of the week: by Rick Maese, Isabelle Khurshudyan and Andrew Roth of the Washington Post, on the bizarre intersection of a big hockey star and Vladimir Putin.

e. I looked the other day at SeatGeek just to see about the “Springsteen on Broadway” show, which of course intrigues me. Two tickets to a January show: $4,882. No thanks.

f. I read a book on the day after Thanksgiving. A whole book! “The Rooster Bar,” by John Grisham. As usual, Grisham put his hooks in me, and I finished it in six hours. I had a couple of plot problems (I’m sure Mr. Grisham will call me to discuss), but it was easy and fun and the kind of book I love on off-time. It took me to a place and provided great entertainment and made me think.

g. I am nearly finished with another book I have enjoyed quite a bit: “Ballplayer,” by Chipper Jones, with Carroll Rodgers Walton. Good job by Jones talking about life invading his professional space. Funny how that happens.

h. Annual question: Why are college coaching contracts so incredibly one-way in favor of the coaches?

i. I cannot believe anyone in the Ohio State athletic department looked at that team on the field Saturday and said, “I really love those uniforms.” Black and white? In the game against Michigan?

j. Wow. Michigan 1-5 versus Ohio State and Michigan State, its two big rivals, under Jim Harbaugh?

k. That Auburn-Alabama crowd was ridiculously loud. What a home-field advantage for Auburn. Nick Saban struggled to hear Allie LaForce for the halftime on-field interview. At halftime. When no football was being played.

l. Coffeenerdness: Dave’s Coffee of Rhode Island—you’ve got a good thing going. The stronger the better.

m. Beernerdness: My wife and I spent a couple of days away in Westerly, R.I., over Thanksgiving, and we gave thanks not only for the time away but for our time at Gray Sail Brewery on a quiet street not far from the Amtrak station and a very cute downtown Westerly. The little brew pub next to the brewery is in a 90-year-old home with original murals on the wall, painted by an Italian artist of lovely scenes in the old country. And on the main floor of the house, locals and tourists lounge around drinking good beer. My pick: The Gray Sail Flagship cream ale, easy to drink and light. Lovely. We got a tour of the brewery (a former macaroni factory, of all things) and a T-shirt, and were on our way. How great is it that in cute little towns all over America local breweries are popping up and thriving? Gray Sail is six years old, and the folks there Friday evening included two families in the converted den, with a couple of tykes running around. Strongly recommend that on your trip up I-95 along the New England coast, just over the border from Connecticut into Rhode Island, you stop there and have a beer.

n. I’m not sure of this, and maybe it’s because we had to wait so long for it to come, but this season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” has been fairly meh. Even with the fatwa on Larry. Some of the stuff is more than slightly preposterous. More Susie. More Jeff. More Funkhauser.

o. Happy 64th birthday (Sunday) to one of the best people I’ve covered, Hall of Fame Giants linebacker Harry Carson.

p. Happy 44th birthday (today) to Renaissance man Jon Runyan, the former tackle and Jersey congressman and current NFL exec.

Who I Like Tonight

Baltimore 17, Houston 9. The Ravens have three shutouts this year, and the Texans have allowed 22 touchdown passes and a passer rating of 98.9. If Baltimore, at home, can’t win a game it absolutely has to have (next two games: Detroit, at Pittsburgh) to go to 6-5, the Ravens will soon be playing for 2018.

The Adieu Haiku

Schiano got jobbed.
The moral of the story?
Scream loudest, you win.

• We have a newsletter, and you can subscribe, and it’s free. Get “The Morning Huddle” delivered to your inbox first thing each weekday, by going here and checking The MMQB newsletter box. Start your day with the best of the NFL, from The MMQB.

Question or comment? Story idea? Email us at talkback@themmqb.com.

<p>Tennessee was finalizing a deal with Greg Schiano Sunday to become the team&#39;s new head coach and it did not go over too well with fans in Knoxville. The backlash eventually led to the Vols backing out of the deal, <a href="https://www.si.com/college-football/2017/11/26/tennessee-greg-schiano-deal-off-backlash" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:sources told SI.com&#39;s Bruce Feldman" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">sources told SI.com&#39;s Bruce Feldman</a>.</p><p>Schiano is currently serving as the defensive coordinator at Ohio State. He previously coached at Rutgers for 11 seasons and helped make the Scarlet Knights into a relevant football program in the Big East. He coached in the NFL for two seasons. </p><p>Schiano&#39;s time as an assistant under Joe Paterno at Penn State has been the subject of controversy and a source of Tennessee fans&#39; unrest. Documents released in July 2016 contain testimony that alleges Schiano had knowledge of the sexual abuse that was perpetrated by defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who is serving a minimum 30-year sentence after his 2012 conviction on 45 charges of sexually abusing 10 boys. Schiano denies ever seeing any abuse or having any reason to suspect any abuse in his time at Penn State.</p><p><em>Here&#39;s what some notable figures and fans said about the potential deal:</em></p><p>Tennessee fired Butch Jones on Nov. 12 after they dropped to 0–6 in SEC play. He went 34–27 in his five seasons with the Vols.</p>
Tennessee Fans in Uproar Over Reports School Is Hiring Greg Schiano

Tennessee was finalizing a deal with Greg Schiano Sunday to become the team's new head coach and it did not go over too well with fans in Knoxville. The backlash eventually led to the Vols backing out of the deal, sources told SI.com's Bruce Feldman.

Schiano is currently serving as the defensive coordinator at Ohio State. He previously coached at Rutgers for 11 seasons and helped make the Scarlet Knights into a relevant football program in the Big East. He coached in the NFL for two seasons.

Schiano's time as an assistant under Joe Paterno at Penn State has been the subject of controversy and a source of Tennessee fans' unrest. Documents released in July 2016 contain testimony that alleges Schiano had knowledge of the sexual abuse that was perpetrated by defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who is serving a minimum 30-year sentence after his 2012 conviction on 45 charges of sexually abusing 10 boys. Schiano denies ever seeing any abuse or having any reason to suspect any abuse in his time at Penn State.

Here's what some notable figures and fans said about the potential deal:

Tennessee fired Butch Jones on Nov. 12 after they dropped to 0–6 in SEC play. He went 34–27 in his five seasons with the Vols.

FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2017, file photo, Penn State head coach James Franklin, left, celebrates with tight end Mike Gesicki (88) after Gesicki scored a touchdown against Pittsburgh during the first half of an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa. In his fourth season as Penn State coach, James Franklin has the No. 2 team in the country. He has not just restored the pride in Penn State football to pre-Sandusky scandal levels, the Nittany Lions are playing as well as they did during Joe Paterno&#39;s prime. (AP Photo/Chris Knight, File)
Franklin leads Penn State with grand vision, big personality
FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2017, file photo, Penn State head coach James Franklin, left, celebrates with tight end Mike Gesicki (88) after Gesicki scored a touchdown against Pittsburgh during the first half of an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa. In his fourth season as Penn State coach, James Franklin has the No. 2 team in the country. He has not just restored the pride in Penn State football to pre-Sandusky scandal levels, the Nittany Lions are playing as well as they did during Joe Paterno's prime. (AP Photo/Chris Knight, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2017, file photo, Penn State head coach James Franklin stands on the sidelines as the team takes on Georgia State during the first half of an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa. In his fourth season as Penn State coach, James Franklin has the No. 2 team in the country. He has not just restored the pride in Penn State football to pre-Sandusky scandal levels, the Nittany Lions are playing as well as they did during Joe Paterno&#39;s prime. (AP Photo/Chris Knight, File)
Franklin leads Penn State with grand vision, big personality
FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2017, file photo, Penn State head coach James Franklin stands on the sidelines as the team takes on Georgia State during the first half of an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa. In his fourth season as Penn State coach, James Franklin has the No. 2 team in the country. He has not just restored the pride in Penn State football to pre-Sandusky scandal levels, the Nittany Lions are playing as well as they did during Joe Paterno's prime. (AP Photo/Chris Knight, File)
<p><em>Sports Illustrated is celebrating Penn State’s last quarter-century of Big Ten play with a special issue, honoring the school’s greatest players and games from the era. <a href="https://backissues.si.com/storefront/2017/penn-state-25-years-in-the-big-10/prodSI20171020SPEC.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:You can get your copy at newsstands now, or order it online here." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">You can get your copy at newsstands now, or order it online here.</a></em></p><p>The new era began with a secret dinner.</p><p>In the spring of 1989, a delegation from Penn State, including football coach Joe Paterno, flew to Champaign, Ill., in a private plane to not draw attention. The president of the University of Illinois, Stanley Ikenberry, sent a driver to the airport but didn’t go himself to avoid being seen. Back at the President’s House on campus, just a single staff member was asked to work that night.</p><p>The purpose of the dinner was to discuss the possibility of Penn State’s joining the Big Ten. They didn’t want anybody to know, in case it didn’t work out.</p><p>At that point Penn State was competing as an independent in football, as it had done for a century, but going it alone was becoming less desirable. In 1981, Paterno had worked to establish an Eastern sports conference, but Penn State was left out in the cold as Syracuse and other basketball-centric schools joined the Big East. And, while it certainly didn’t turn out this way, Paterno at the time had said he planned to retire at 65, which was just a few years off. His expected departure was another reason the university longed for the stability of a conference affiliation.</p><p>Penn State’s president, Bryce Jordan, was the one who had contacted Ikenberry. As chairman of the Council of 10, the Big Ten’s governing body, Ikenberry held considerable influence—and he was also a former Penn State senior vice president. “What would you think about Penn State joining the Big Ten?” Jordan asked him. Ikenberry agreed to meet with Paterno et al., before raising the topic with the other nine university presidents.</p><p>Several months after the dinner, word reached the media that an invitation had been extended to Penn State to join the Big Ten. In June 1990, the Council of 10 convened in Iowa City for the official vote while Penn State administrators waited apprehensively in Old Main. After two days of deliberations, the conference presidents voted the Nittany Lions in 7–3, the minimum margin needed to pass. (Indiana was the only school to state publicly it had voted against the move.) The 1993 season was Penn State football’s first as a member of the Big Ten. Today it is hard to imagine the Big Ten without Penn State, and vice versa.</p><p>• <strong><a href="https://www.si.com/college-football/photo/2017/10/20/penn-state-nittany-lions-lavar-arrington-whiteout" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Vault: Classic Penn State photos" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Vault: Classic Penn State photos</a> | <a href="https://www.si.com/college-football/2017/10/23/penn-state-offense-michigan-ohio-state" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:STAPLES: How Joe Moorhead messed with Michigan" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">STAPLES: How Joe Moorhead messed with Michigan</a></strong></p><p>“I don’t think there’s any doubt that it was the right decision then, the right decision now,” says Jim Delany, who has been Big Ten commissioner since 1989, “and that while there has been a lot of conference expansion since, I’m not sure there has ever been a better fit or match.”</p><p>Pennsylvania was a contiguous state to Big Ten territory, and Penn State was a land-grant institution like many of the conference’s members, but its most appealing attributes were ones that would help the Big Ten grow: Its football team brought the conference a third national brand, along with Ohio State and Michigan, and Penn State was also a bridge to the East, opening up a larger media audience, a broader recruiting base and the potential for expansion.</p><p>The reception at first, however, could be generously described as lukewarm. Traditionalists didn’t like the fact that the Big Ten now had 11 teams; others grumbled that tiny State College was inaccessible. Among the discontented was Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight, who said, “I’ve been to Penn State, and Penn State is a camping trip. There is nothing for 100 miles.” Northwestern, meanwhile, feared that it was about to be pushed out. Penn State, which had won two national titles in the previous decade, also figured to make the football competition stiffer—not necessarily good news for all.</p><p>Penn State won its first Big Ten title in its second season in the conference, but memories of that undefeated 1994 team inspire ire as well as awe. The Lions headed to the Rose Bowl knowing that a victory over a three-loss Oregon team might not earn the poll votes needed to be named national champions—and that is exactly what happened. Had we still been an independent, fans griped, the Lions could have had the chance to play fellow undefeated—and eventual national champion—Nebraska, in the Orange Bowl, and win the title on the field.</p><p>Over the years the changes in major college football have confirmed the original analysis: joining a conference was a business necessity, as well as a competitive one. (Penn State’s other sports have benefitted, too: The Big Ten era hastened the construction of a new basketball arena, named after Bryce Jordan; and the Olympic sports have combined for 30 NCAA championships, more than any other Big Ten school.)</p><p>The move meant that regional rivalries like Pitt–Penn State went on hiatus for 15 years, but the Big Ten schedule quickly became the tablet on which Lions history was written. The LaVar Leap happened against Illinois; Larry Johnson broke the 2,000-yard rushing mark against Michigan State; and no matter their records, <a href="https://www.si.com/college-football/2017/09/24/penn-state-iowa-last-second-touchdown" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:the Hawkeyes always seem to give the Lions trouble" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">the Hawkeyes always seem to give the Lions trouble</a>. After losing seasons in the early 2000s, Penn State declared its comeback on an October night in 2005 when defensive end Tamba Hali upended Buckeyes quarterback Troy Smith to seal a victory against Ohio State. Were it not for a mysterious two seconds added back to the clock at Michigan Stadium the following week, the Lions would have been unbeaten. In 2016, when Penn State won its fourth Big Ten football championship, the season turned with an underdog win against the No. 2 Buckeyes, delivered on a blocked field goal returned for a game-winning touchdown.</p><p>The 2016 season was a comeback for Lions football, but Penn State had to return from a place no school ever had before. The program and community had been stunned by the November 2011 indictment of Jerry Sandusky, who had retired as defensive coordinator in 1999 after 32 years in State College. Sandusky was charged with sexually abusing boys he had met through his charity for at-risk youth. The arrest was the first in a series of shocks. Paterno was fired after Sandusky’s arrest, and the Big Ten decided to remove his name from the conference championship trophy; Paterno died from lung cancer two months later. Sandusky was found guilty of 45 counts of child sex abuse and will spend the rest of his life in prison. In 2017 three university officials, including former president Graham Spanier, were sentenced to jail time for failing to alert authorities to allegations against Sandusky.</p><p>The NCAA issued a four-year postseason ban to Penn State, reduced scholarships and vacated wins from 14 seasons. Bill O’Brien in 2012 and then James Franklin in ’14 were brought in to lead the football program as the first new head football coaches in Happy Valley since 1966. In ’14 penalties were rolled back, gradually returning scholarships and lifting the postseason ban, and Paterno was later restored in the record books as the winningest coach in major college football history. In ’16 the team again earned an invitation to the Rose Bowl.</p><p>At the Big Ten media days in the summer of 2017, Delany called the Sandusky case and its aftermath the “most difficult set of circumstances” he’d been confronted with, but he also commended Penn State’s road back. “They’ve got great leadership, great players,” he said, “and we’re really happy that they’ve gotten to the other side, if you will, after five years.”</p><p>Today, in the age of super-conferences, the Big Ten’s further expansion seems inevitable. But for two decades, Penn State had stood alone as the 11th and final member of the Big Ten. There had been a temporary moratorium on further expansion after Penn State was added, but in 2011, Nebraska joined. In ’14 came two more Eastern neighbors, Rutgers and Maryland. The clever Big Ten logo the conference commissioned when Penn State joined—the one with the “11” tucked in—was replaced with “B1G.”</p><p>Each subsequent expansion of the Big Ten may have been easier—but in the landscape of college football, not more significant than adding Penn State 25 years ago.</p><p><em>Jenny Vrentas, a writer for The MMQB, grew up in State College and graduated from Penn State in 2006.</em></p>
Twenty-Five Seasons Later, Penn State and the Big Ten Remain a Perfect Match

Sports Illustrated is celebrating Penn State’s last quarter-century of Big Ten play with a special issue, honoring the school’s greatest players and games from the era. You can get your copy at newsstands now, or order it online here.

The new era began with a secret dinner.

In the spring of 1989, a delegation from Penn State, including football coach Joe Paterno, flew to Champaign, Ill., in a private plane to not draw attention. The president of the University of Illinois, Stanley Ikenberry, sent a driver to the airport but didn’t go himself to avoid being seen. Back at the President’s House on campus, just a single staff member was asked to work that night.

The purpose of the dinner was to discuss the possibility of Penn State’s joining the Big Ten. They didn’t want anybody to know, in case it didn’t work out.

At that point Penn State was competing as an independent in football, as it had done for a century, but going it alone was becoming less desirable. In 1981, Paterno had worked to establish an Eastern sports conference, but Penn State was left out in the cold as Syracuse and other basketball-centric schools joined the Big East. And, while it certainly didn’t turn out this way, Paterno at the time had said he planned to retire at 65, which was just a few years off. His expected departure was another reason the university longed for the stability of a conference affiliation.

Penn State’s president, Bryce Jordan, was the one who had contacted Ikenberry. As chairman of the Council of 10, the Big Ten’s governing body, Ikenberry held considerable influence—and he was also a former Penn State senior vice president. “What would you think about Penn State joining the Big Ten?” Jordan asked him. Ikenberry agreed to meet with Paterno et al., before raising the topic with the other nine university presidents.

Several months after the dinner, word reached the media that an invitation had been extended to Penn State to join the Big Ten. In June 1990, the Council of 10 convened in Iowa City for the official vote while Penn State administrators waited apprehensively in Old Main. After two days of deliberations, the conference presidents voted the Nittany Lions in 7–3, the minimum margin needed to pass. (Indiana was the only school to state publicly it had voted against the move.) The 1993 season was Penn State football’s first as a member of the Big Ten. Today it is hard to imagine the Big Ten without Penn State, and vice versa.

Vault: Classic Penn State photos | STAPLES: How Joe Moorhead messed with Michigan

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that it was the right decision then, the right decision now,” says Jim Delany, who has been Big Ten commissioner since 1989, “and that while there has been a lot of conference expansion since, I’m not sure there has ever been a better fit or match.”

Pennsylvania was a contiguous state to Big Ten territory, and Penn State was a land-grant institution like many of the conference’s members, but its most appealing attributes were ones that would help the Big Ten grow: Its football team brought the conference a third national brand, along with Ohio State and Michigan, and Penn State was also a bridge to the East, opening up a larger media audience, a broader recruiting base and the potential for expansion.

The reception at first, however, could be generously described as lukewarm. Traditionalists didn’t like the fact that the Big Ten now had 11 teams; others grumbled that tiny State College was inaccessible. Among the discontented was Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight, who said, “I’ve been to Penn State, and Penn State is a camping trip. There is nothing for 100 miles.” Northwestern, meanwhile, feared that it was about to be pushed out. Penn State, which had won two national titles in the previous decade, also figured to make the football competition stiffer—not necessarily good news for all.

Penn State won its first Big Ten title in its second season in the conference, but memories of that undefeated 1994 team inspire ire as well as awe. The Lions headed to the Rose Bowl knowing that a victory over a three-loss Oregon team might not earn the poll votes needed to be named national champions—and that is exactly what happened. Had we still been an independent, fans griped, the Lions could have had the chance to play fellow undefeated—and eventual national champion—Nebraska, in the Orange Bowl, and win the title on the field.

Over the years the changes in major college football have confirmed the original analysis: joining a conference was a business necessity, as well as a competitive one. (Penn State’s other sports have benefitted, too: The Big Ten era hastened the construction of a new basketball arena, named after Bryce Jordan; and the Olympic sports have combined for 30 NCAA championships, more than any other Big Ten school.)

The move meant that regional rivalries like Pitt–Penn State went on hiatus for 15 years, but the Big Ten schedule quickly became the tablet on which Lions history was written. The LaVar Leap happened against Illinois; Larry Johnson broke the 2,000-yard rushing mark against Michigan State; and no matter their records, the Hawkeyes always seem to give the Lions trouble. After losing seasons in the early 2000s, Penn State declared its comeback on an October night in 2005 when defensive end Tamba Hali upended Buckeyes quarterback Troy Smith to seal a victory against Ohio State. Were it not for a mysterious two seconds added back to the clock at Michigan Stadium the following week, the Lions would have been unbeaten. In 2016, when Penn State won its fourth Big Ten football championship, the season turned with an underdog win against the No. 2 Buckeyes, delivered on a blocked field goal returned for a game-winning touchdown.

The 2016 season was a comeback for Lions football, but Penn State had to return from a place no school ever had before. The program and community had been stunned by the November 2011 indictment of Jerry Sandusky, who had retired as defensive coordinator in 1999 after 32 years in State College. Sandusky was charged with sexually abusing boys he had met through his charity for at-risk youth. The arrest was the first in a series of shocks. Paterno was fired after Sandusky’s arrest, and the Big Ten decided to remove his name from the conference championship trophy; Paterno died from lung cancer two months later. Sandusky was found guilty of 45 counts of child sex abuse and will spend the rest of his life in prison. In 2017 three university officials, including former president Graham Spanier, were sentenced to jail time for failing to alert authorities to allegations against Sandusky.

The NCAA issued a four-year postseason ban to Penn State, reduced scholarships and vacated wins from 14 seasons. Bill O’Brien in 2012 and then James Franklin in ’14 were brought in to lead the football program as the first new head football coaches in Happy Valley since 1966. In ’14 penalties were rolled back, gradually returning scholarships and lifting the postseason ban, and Paterno was later restored in the record books as the winningest coach in major college football history. In ’16 the team again earned an invitation to the Rose Bowl.

At the Big Ten media days in the summer of 2017, Delany called the Sandusky case and its aftermath the “most difficult set of circumstances” he’d been confronted with, but he also commended Penn State’s road back. “They’ve got great leadership, great players,” he said, “and we’re really happy that they’ve gotten to the other side, if you will, after five years.”

Today, in the age of super-conferences, the Big Ten’s further expansion seems inevitable. But for two decades, Penn State had stood alone as the 11th and final member of the Big Ten. There had been a temporary moratorium on further expansion after Penn State was added, but in 2011, Nebraska joined. In ’14 came two more Eastern neighbors, Rutgers and Maryland. The clever Big Ten logo the conference commissioned when Penn State joined—the one with the “11” tucked in—was replaced with “B1G.”

Each subsequent expansion of the Big Ten may have been easier—but in the landscape of college football, not more significant than adding Penn State 25 years ago.

Jenny Vrentas, a writer for The MMQB, grew up in State College and graduated from Penn State in 2006.

<p>A Pennsylvania judge rejected former Penn State football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky&#39;s request for a new trial and dismissal of sexual abuse charges.</p><p>Sandusky is serving 30 to 60 years in prison for his 2012 conviction on charges he molested several boys he met through The Second Mile, a charity he founded.</p><p>Sandusky, 73, has said that he did not receive a proper defense during his trial.</p><p>The case led to the firing of head coach Joe Paterno and several high ranking administrators also lost their jobs.</p><p>The school&#39;s former president, Graham Spanier, and two other former administrators, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, were sentenced for child endangerment for their handling of a report that Sandusky acted inappropriately with a young boy.</p><p>Spanier was found guilty during his trial and is free on bail while he is appealing his case.</p><p>The fallout from the scandal cost the school tens of millions of dollars in fines and lawsuits. The football program was banned from postseason play, fined $60 million and stripped of scholarships.</p><p>Sandusky will have 30 days to appeal his to the state Superior Court.</p>
Jerry Sandusky Denied New Trial on Child Sex Abuse Charges

A Pennsylvania judge rejected former Penn State football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky's request for a new trial and dismissal of sexual abuse charges.

Sandusky is serving 30 to 60 years in prison for his 2012 conviction on charges he molested several boys he met through The Second Mile, a charity he founded.

Sandusky, 73, has said that he did not receive a proper defense during his trial.

The case led to the firing of head coach Joe Paterno and several high ranking administrators also lost their jobs.

The school's former president, Graham Spanier, and two other former administrators, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, were sentenced for child endangerment for their handling of a report that Sandusky acted inappropriately with a young boy.

Spanier was found guilty during his trial and is free on bail while he is appealing his case.

The fallout from the scandal cost the school tens of millions of dollars in fines and lawsuits. The football program was banned from postseason play, fined $60 million and stripped of scholarships.

Sandusky will have 30 days to appeal his to the state Superior Court.

A police report suggests that the late former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno knew that Jerry Sandusky may have been molesting children years before Sandusky&#39;s arrest.
Report: Joe Paterno May Have Known About Earlier Sandusky Abuse Claim
A police report suggests that the late former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno knew that Jerry Sandusky may have been molesting children years before Sandusky's arrest.
A police report suggests that the late former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno knew that Jerry Sandusky may have been molesting children years before Sandusky&#39;s arrest.
Report: Joe Paterno May Have Known About Earlier Sandusky Abuse Claim
A police report suggests that the late former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno knew that Jerry Sandusky may have been molesting children years before Sandusky's arrest.
A police report suggests that the late former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno knew that Jerry Sandusky may have been molesting children years before Sandusky's arrest.
Report: Joe Paterno May Have Known About Earlier Sandusky Abuse Claim
A police report suggests that the late former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno knew that Jerry Sandusky may have been molesting children years before Sandusky's arrest.
A police report suggests that the late former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno knew that Jerry Sandusky may have been molesting children years before Sandusky&#39;s arrest.
Report: Joe Paterno May Have Known About Earlier Sandusky Abuse Claim
A police report suggests that the late former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno knew that Jerry Sandusky may have been molesting children years before Sandusky's arrest.
Joe Paterno knew of Jerry Sandusky accusations before 2001, assistant told police
Joe Paterno knew of Jerry Sandusky accusations before 2001, assistant told police
Joe Paterno knew of Jerry Sandusky accusations before 2001, assistant told police

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