I'll never forget the day I began to understand your importance. It was on October 27, 2007, a day when your team would take on Ohio State. This wasn't my first Penn State game, but it was the first time I had the opportunity to experience the gameday culture that you inadvertently created. We had the chance to visit your statue, a symbol and indescribably small token of your impact on this university. When my Dad told me to take a picture with our family friend, Dave, we decided to act like we were running out of the tunnel with you.
That's when I made the most rewarding mistake of my life. You see, I posed in front of your statue, Joe. I stepped in front of it, acting as if I was running out of the tunnel with you. That's when Dave said something that made me begin to realize who you really were.
"Do you ever see anybody run in front of JoePa? Nobody ever runs in front of JoePa."
As much as my parents hate when I say it, the only real reaso...