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“1986 Sportsman of the Year: Joe Paterno,” by Rick Reilly

Oct 26, 2009
By Rick Reilly, Sports Illustrated

In 1986, Joe Paterno was named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year, in spite of the fact that he hadn’t done anything more in 1986 than he had done for the previous 21 years as the head football coach at Penn State: winning games and inspiring players to excel on the field, in school and in life. In the cover story to Sport’s Illustrated‘s issue from December 22, 1986, Rick Reilly explained SI’s choice this way: “This is for the guy who keeps churning out good stuff, always kicks in when the birthday hat comes around and never punches out before seven.” Listen to the original story on this podcast.



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