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Joe Paterno talks about newspapers and how much he misses Grantland Rice

September 18, 2009 | 11:31 am

Paterno_240 Penn State Coach Joe Paterno, who turns 82 in December, has a history of being crotchety with reporters, but he said this week he is still a fan of the ink-stained business.

"I get the paper," Paterno said at his weekly press conference. "I go to the bathroom. I take the paper in there and I can it. I look at it. The first thing I do is look at who died. All right. Second thing I look at are headliners, something that says Paterno is the greatest. I read it. [Laughter.] If it says 'I'm a bum,' I don't even look at it. No, I don't pay attention. What you are today isn't what you're going to be tomorrow, all right? What' you're going to be tomorrow is what you make happen tomorrow."

Modern technology, admittedly, has Paterno stumped. He said at Big Ten media day last summer he didn't know much about new-fangled means of communication.

He referred to Twitter, the hottest micro-blog, as "Twittle-do? Twittle-dee?"

Paterno, though, does still pine for print.

"I read the newspapers," he said. "I feel bad about the way things have gone with the newspaper business, with the guys, with the whatever they call it, computers, getting all that stuff on. Because it's taking away some of the guys, and I think some of the great guys I've known and who wrote well who set a standard for writing. People don't realize guys, they were all sports writers. They were all sports writers first. Grant Rice and those guys."

Grantland Rice, for the record, died in 1954.

-- Chris Dufresne

Photo: Joe Paterno walks on the sideline before the start of a game on September 12. Photo credit: Chris Gardner / Getty Images.