Check out the video around :40 or so (video via GoPSUSports.com):
Look, I'll start off saying I'm writing this as a realist. As depressed and as sad as it makes me to think about the end of the Paterno era at PSU, I know it's on our doorstep (whenever the doorbell rings however is subject to debate).
People like my own father surprisingly were taking these posts containing anonymous e-mails about Joe's dwindling health and the impending coaching change on FOS or Lions247 as fact (obviously none of you know my father, but let's just say I was shocked he would fall for and believe a message board rumor mill). Then I got a text message from a close friend, of mine from high school who graduated last fall from PSU (and had student taught with a member of the football team at State HIgh) who told me a friend of his that is close to the program (he didn't specify whether it was a player or not) informed him that the coaching staff is beginning to brief the players that there will be a coaching change soon. When I asked if his source was the player I knew he taught with, he said no. When I questioned it further, he said that his friend didn't necessarily imply that Joe was retiring immediately, but that they were going to name a successor (to which I instinctively bashed my head against my desk after having flashbacks of the Bowden debacle). While I trust my friend, I have no idea how reliable his source is or his source's info is, however, I should say that I don't think my friend would text me out of the blue on Christmas day/night if he didn't believe it himself.
That was longer than I wanted to rant about the rumors being presented. My point is made by the video above. That didn't look like a guy on his deathbed. It didn't look like a guy who has been suffering from numerous micro-strokes, as one of the rumor posts suggested. Hell, it didn't even look like the same guy that was doing the press conferences all season. It looked like same guy from the past few years with the incredible memory for details (like remembering who the coach of Florida was in 1966), and the sharp-as-a-knife wit, who's comedic timing defies his 84 year-old age, who was playing to a crowd of people he actually liked (or at least half respected) and not to beat writers asking the same questions over and over that would give any of us micro-strokes if we had to deal with it on a weekly basis.
Which brings me back to realism. My last remaining grandparent is a perfect example that anyone at that age has good days and bad (she's a year or so younger than Joe is). My grandmother can on some days remember all of her grand and great grandchildrens' names, and on others, not be able to name all of the people in the same room with her. Maybe this was one of Joe's good days, and this is really nearing the end for him, but the guy I just watched in the video makes that eternal Mark Twain quote about rumors of his demise being greatly exaggerated ring very true. The guy in the video is the same coach I've seen for years, and while this year could be the end, I think it at least points out the folly in believing internet rumors.