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Joe Paterno Remembered for Being "Human"

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"He made a mistake, but I think Joe Paterno still lived an incredibly positive life. He goes down in my book as an incredible human being,'' former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said about Joe Paterno after the former Penn State coach's death on Sunday. Amid the outpouring of emotion that's followed has been this message that Paterno was not a god and just a human being who made some mistakes. The tributes have largely focused on the good that Paterno did in his life. "Joe Paterno will be remembered in different ways," says Matt Murschel at College Insider. "For being a husband, a father, a grandfather, a coach, a mentor, an icon, a pariah, and most of all a human being." Here's what others are saying about Paterno's life, legacy, and humanity:

Philadelphia Inquirer editorial: Now that Paterno is gone, perhaps his career can be put in its proper perspective. He was human. He made mistakes. But none that are known relate to what he accomplished as a coach. In acknowledgment of that, the Big Ten Conference should restore his name to its football championship trophy.

Bernie Miklasz, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "We fail to remember that they are just men, only human, imperfect despite all of their achievements and best intentions. Their statues are sturdy and permanent and designed to last forever, but the bronze can't conceal the flaws."

Bruce Arthur, National Post: "Joe Paterno was not a monster, precisely, and he was not pure. He was human, and he faltered, and it ruined what was left of his life, and what was left of a lot of other people's lives, too. Tragedy, all around."

Mark Bradley, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "A year ago we'd have said he did it the right way and left it at that. Today we must rewrite that line to reflect the complexity that enfolded this life the same way complexity enfolds all human life. Today we must say of Joe Paterno: 'He did it the right way -- except for the one time he didn't.'"

Bob Wojnowski, Detroit News: "Ultimately, you focus on the sum of the man, a coach like no other and a human being like most. He did plenty of good things, and also had flaws. It ended with his own haunting words -- 'I wish I had done more.'"

Deron Snyder, The Washington Times: "In the end, Paterno's biggest mistake was hanging on too long. It demonstrated everything that made him a great coach and a flawed human being: dedication and stubbornness; commitment and selfishness; perseverance and obtuseness."

Ron Chimelis, MassLive.com: "Paterno's entire life, spanning his great success and also his breathtaking fall, screams out one message. Coaches are human beings. They do great things. They also make mistakes, sometimes monumental ones."

Jon Solomon, The Birmingham News: "In the end, Joe Paterno was human, not a god. Never did Paterno appear more human than in the final 11 weeks of his 85-year-old life. Long placed on a pedestal as all that's right about college sports, Paterno's image became that of a man who failed 10 years ago when faced with his biggest moral test."

Dave D'Alessandro, Star-Ledger: "Nobody wanted it to end like this, of course -- not this soon, not with the memory of an abject human failure, of an apparent moral cowardice, still so fresh... But they also need to recognize that he became so enamored of his own mythology that he somehow failed a basic test of human decency."

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