One of the Outback coaches will be sorely missed when he leaves
TAMPA - And now this Outback Bowl update: Urban Meyer is still retired. Joe Paterno is still not retired. You know, I was thinking, this could be the greatest college football bowl game in history with a little tweaking.Step 1: Urban steps down at halftime Saturday. Step 2: JoePa steps down, too, beings spending more time with Urban's family. Step 3: Urban is named Penn State coach. Step 4: Jim Leavitt runs naked across field in third quarter, screaming "What about me?' is tazered and wrestled to ground by yellow jackets, Baker Acted. Instead, it looks like Paterno is staying, and it looks like Urban -- get this -- is about to become an ESPN personality. Did you ever think "personality" and Urban Meyer would ever go together in a sentence? If Joe Paterno is going to retire, as some rumors insist, it will not be here in Tampa. Wouldn't you go to the Outback Bowl if you knew it was JoePa's last game? Urban's last game? Well, does anyone care at this point? By the way, Urban was introduced at the Lightning hockey game Tuesday night. He was booed, even with his son standing next to him. Tough crowd. Unlike millions of others, JoePa will not retire in Florida. He would never steal Urban's thunder this Saturday. He will wait to get back to Pennsylvania if in fact he is going to step down, which he says is not a fact at all. Maybe he is lying. Oops -- wrong Outback coach. Urban and JoePa sat for a news conference Tuesday, and Urban talked about his family again. "I have a great family," he said again. And I believed him, again. By the way, both coaches like instant replay (as if Urban, who has retired twice in the past year, isn't the king of instant replay). Then he said his family spent a few days in New York, because they wanted to go. Then he said ESPN just happened to call and ask if he wanted to pop up to Connecticut for a look-see. "I took my family up to New York City, that's where they wanted to go. [ESPN] called up and said, 'Why don't you drive up here today?' I brought my son and he loved it." I'm not sure I can take this guy anymore. "I found out what a great place, what great people," Urban said. No, I'm sure -- I can't take him anymore. JoePa was then asked how the end of the Ice Age helped recruiting, and what was John Adams really like? "I'm different from Urban." Paterno said. "I've got people calling up saying, 'When the hell are you getting out?'" Everyone laughed. "People think I'm going to quit this year or next year. I haven't even thought of it. I honest to goodness haven't thought about." Everyone listened. "The athletic director is a kid I recruited as a walk-on." Everyone smiled. I love JoePa. There was a report he was at a hospital last week, seriously ill. "It's ridiculous," Paterno said. After Meyer talked about his family, Paterno was asked how he has balanced coaching and family. Everyone looked to him for wisdom. "You guys ask questions as if I'm Ben Franklin." More laughter. This is the guy who should be on ESPN, not Urban, who did an ESPN segment and actually did quite well. No surprise. He just readjusted his wiring. Urban will succeed at anything. True, I still have a hard time getting past how Urban lied repeatedly as his farewell news conference in Gainesville; how he said no, this wasn't health related, only to admit it was a few days later. I understand health is a personal issue, but it isn't when you said it was an issue last year, and you were asked about it this time, directly, three or four times, in front of cameras, and denied it was a factor this time. Urban did not blink. Yes, he'll be wonderful as a performer on TV. JoePa loves the idea of Urban on TV. "Some guys are really good at that. Urban is going to be great at that," Paterno said. "I hope he never becomes Dr. Urban." Everyone laughed. "I did one game one year, I did Michigan-Ohio State one year with Keith Jackson," JoePa said. "ABC. I was getting 58 calls, guys saying 'I didn't know you were from Brooklyn.' The minute I opened my mouth, you knew." He can only be who he is. He listened about Urban and New York and ESPN and all that. JoePa told Urban, "I got an apartment I can rent you in Brooklyn." I know we're not there yet, but I'm really going to miss one of these guys.