JoePa vs. The Bear on BTN

I just got this press release from the Big Ten Network. Thought you all might be interseted.

Network to Air ‘JoePa vs. The Bear’ Tuesday Night

30-minute original special examines connections between legendary college football coaches

CHICAGO – In anticipation of Penn State’s football game at Alabama, the Big Ten Network will debut JoePa vs. The Bear at 9 PM ET on Tuesday. The 30-minute original special chronicles the uncommon connections and mutual respect held by Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno and long-time Crimson Tide coach and six-time national champion Paul "Bear" Bryant.

JoePa vs. The Bear includes new interviews with Hall of Fame broadcaster Keith Jackson and Penn State assistant coaches Jay Paterno, Tom Bradley and Galen Hall, former Penn State radio announcer Fran Fisher and other former coaches such as Nebraska’s Tom Osborne and Minnesota’s Glen Mason. It also features historical footage of both iconic coaches earning recognition from sitting United States presidents.

During head coaching careers that spanned four decades together, Paterno’s and Bryant’s teams met four times, beginning with the 1975 Sugar Bowl and continuing with the 1978 Sugar Bowl and a home-and-home series in 1981 and 1982. The feature will chronicle those hard-fought battles when history seemed to repeat itself with improbable goal line stands.

History shows that Bryant’s Crimson Tide won all four meetings against Paterno’s Nittany Lions, but JoePa vs. The Bear also recounts Penn State’s 1959 Liberty Bowl win against Alabama, when Paterno was on the sidelines as an assistant coach and Hall was the Nittany Lions’ quarterback.

Finally, JoePa vs. The Bear tells the story of Jay Paterno, Joe’s son, who wrote Bryant a letter as a seventh grader for National Library Week. Bryant returned the correspondence, and that letter held such meaning to Jay Paterno that he kept it for decades. In 2001, when Joe Paterno needed one victory against Ohio State to break Bryant’s Division I coaching wins record, Jay Paterno, now the Nittany Lions’ quarterbacks coach, drew strength from the letter which he carried in his pocket while coaching from the press box.

In addition to JoePa vs. The Bear, the Big Ten Network will debut three new shows next week including Big Ten Film Vault (Tuesday, 8 PM ET), The Next Level (Thursday, 8 PM ET) and The Big Ten Pulse (Thursday, 9 PM ET).

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