Paterno's Fake Branding
While one might argue that all college football is fake (in that it involves a symbiotic relationship between pro ball farm leagues and universities that pretends to be some kind of extension of the academy) Howard Fineman argues that Paterno had it down to an art. "The Penn State football team was a secular holy order, and because they looked so clean -- and because Paterno made sure they graduated -- he was seen as the pope of college football," writes Fineman, who adds that it was all a facade. "And those who knew the story from the inside knew that. The program wasn't clean. Paterno wasn't clean. Penn State wasn't clean. It was a masterpiece of relentless branding, built on a product that wasn't as advertised. It was a fake."