The Beckett Blog


JoePa on top by himself; Reaches exclusive 400-win mark by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Penn State coaching legend Joe Paterno reached 400 career wins today in dramatic fashion.

The Nittany Lions came back from a 21-point deficit to beat Northwestern 35-21 on Saturday at Beaver Stadium.

Paterno became the first major Division I coach to hit the 400-win plateau. Two offensive lineman carried Paterno as he smiled and waved to the crowd in Happy Valley. It only took 45 years to get there.

“People ask me why I’ve stayed here so long, and you know what, look around, look around,” Paterno said to a crowd of 100,000-plus. “Now that the celebration’s over, let’s go beat Ohio State!”

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Urban Meyer’s shocking news leads to a shocker on cardboard by Chris Olds

Urban Meyer‘s decision to step down as the coach of the Florida Gators on Saturday night citing health reasons at age 45 has sent a few shockwaves through the college football world.

But it also prompted this writer to  do a little research on college football coaches and their trading cards, which led to another shocking discovery — their near-complete lack of cards — despite there being a constant flow of cards showing athletes in their NCAA uniforms.

It seems that all of the major football card manufacturers — and all of the smaller ones, too — have dabbled with players in college uniforms in their sets, but very few have dabbled with the idea of getting the most famous names in college football (the coaches) in their sets. Or if they have, they’ve chosen not to as they’ve also failed to sit them down with a pen to sign a few cards that can be placed into packs (certified autographs for the non-collector).

In fact, it appears that among college coaching’s elite names only Florida State’s Bobby Bowden and Nebraska’s Tom Osborne have signed for a card company.

And the game’s biggest college coaching legends? If they have any autographed cards at all, they’re immensely rare cut autographs where the signatures were cut from documents and matted into the card.

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New Book Recounts Autograph Collector’s Anecdotes by Tracy Hackler

Joe Galiardi has been collecting autographs for more than 20 years, and he’s had a ball doing it. Literally. Actually, he’s had 231 balls – and counting – doing it.

Galiardi, you see, is a collector of signed golf balls. The retired PR professional’s first dimpled endeavor, inked by Arnold Palmer, remains his favorite. But that one, like the 230 others – including balls signed by the likes of Bob Hope, Jack Lemmon, Joe Paterno and Tiger Woods – has its own unique story to tell.

And it is those stories that provided the inspiration behind Galiardi’s new book Hooked on Autographs, a 154-page collection of the Pennsylvania native’s favorite trials, tribulations and anecdotes from two decades tracking true American legends.

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