Bill O'Brien took the Penn State job not knowing of NCAA sanctions, or at least not the severity of those sanctions, but he did accept the position after the Sandusky scandal.
We knew he was a pro coach and deep inside, even though we hoped he would stay, we knew he wanted to be elsewhere. Our deepest thanks for his service for the last two years (reported at $3.2 million per year).
As I have watched him the last two years and listened to the radio shows Thursday nights from Damon's, I noted a deep commitment to and protection of his players. However, when faced with a critical question from a fan, I found his answers frequently abrupt and almost rude.
It didn't bother me that he did not answer or became angered at a reporter's question after a loss, but I felt he had the same attitude toward Penn State fans. I don't think he ever grasped or felt the commitment and passion and heritage of the Penn State faithful through thick and thin.
I don't feel like he "loved" Penn State, as Mickey Kwiatkowski, his ex-coach at Brown, professed.
Money, prestige, position of importance, yes, I think he loved those, but he really showed how he felt about Penn State, and I don't consider it love.
O'Brien was paid good money and did a good job. I do feel his playcalling and game-day coaching need to improve and wonder if his new employers watched the tapes of Ohio U. and Virginia last year or Indiana, UCF, Minnesota or Nebraska this year.
Good luck to O'Brien and Godspeed.
We heard Colin Cowherd repeat the remarks O'Brien made to David Jones about the PSU fans and community and the Paternos. It is filled with venom and, regretfully, O'Brien never grasped how the PSU community embraced him.
"O'Brien's Lions" adorned hundreds of thousands of T-shirts on Penn Staters, but the comments to Jones, as reported, prove that there was never such a thing because, indeed, O'Brien was never a Nittany Lion. He could have been, but he chose not to be.
Now we see how he really felt about Penn State., and we are moving forward without him. Don't look back, Bill, because unlike Tom Bodett and Motel 6, "We will NOT leave the light on for you."
Doomed to failure
As many others before him have discovered, coaching certain teams or certain players in the NFL, is the pinnacle of coaching football.
But any job in the NFL? No.
Bill O'Brien has taken a step down from what he has built here, and Christian Hackenberg, to a No. 1 draft choice. Maybe his gamble will pay off, and he'll actually be able to take that player and build a franchise around him.
But I'll go on record that in at most three years, the Texans fire O'Brien after a disastrous record.
New Year's bummer
What a way to begin the new year - only to find out:
There is no Santa Claus,
There is no Tooth Fairy,
And ... there is no Bill O'Brien.
My heart is broken.
Cmor's coverage a cut above
The Mirror's Philip Cmor is my high school football hero.
I emailed him at the beginning of the 2013 football season concerning Rockwood dropping the sport and my belief that Ferndale should. His reply, while I didn't agree with all of it, indicated his love and knowledge of high school football.
Last Sunday's Mirror contained the 2013 high school all-star team, and the end product was spot on.
I just love high school football. I have officiated the sport and, though retired, I remain fascinated by the sport and attend as many games as I can.
I saw Central, Tussey Mountain, Northern Bedford, Williamsburg, Chestnut Ridge play at least two games each.
Cmor's selection of Williamsburg's Austin McMonagle as second team quarterback was perfect. Blake Over was this area's best quarterback. Over, McMonagle and Central's Austin Cunningham were the area's three best QBs and properly ranked.
The selection of Williamsburg's Brice Young was perfect also. I am not sure who will be throwing to him next year, but he is a terrific receiver. I was very disappointed Williamsburg didn't make the playoffs; those 22 kids played hard and never gave up.
I also wanted to compliment Cmor on the selection of Central's Jared Ponder on the 2013 Blair County all-stars. Ponder never took a down off. He and Central safety Mike Mock played their collective hearts out against Christian Lezzer and the Clearfield Bison. To me, Ponder's selection meant that an athlete deserving of recognition received it.
I know Cmor didn't make the selections by himself. However, he filters all through which of these all-star teams were named, and he did a marvelous and conscientious job.
Again, Philip Cmor is my hero.