Video Echoes “We’ll Take It From Here” For Paterno Legacy
“We’ll take it from here.”
50 days ago, Charlie Pittman called the Penn State community to action with these words at Joe Paterno’s memorial service. While we have all tried to “make an impact” and carry on Coach Paterno’s legacy in our own lives, a few prominent Penn State alumni took a step further by creating a video designed to do both in the name of JoePa.
The project’s purpose is twofold, as it also promotes prominent Penn State alum Anthony Lubrano’s campaign. Lubrano teamed up with Ralph Vuono, who created the original version of the tribute video which later became a fundraiser for THON 2012, to create the video.
“Anthony reached out and told me that he and Franco Harris wanted to put together a video honoring Joe,” said Vuono. “He suggested later that we combine it with his candidacy for the Board of Trustees.”
The video runs just over five minutes and includes a statement from Lubrano to the Penn State community. It incorporates elements of Paterno’s 61 years at Penn State in a wide array of video, images, and audio clips ranging from photos of Paterno’s early years to his speech at THON 2009. Perhaps the most powerful image appears early in the video when the note delivered to Coach Paterno the night of his termination, which had previously not been released to the public, ominously lingers on the screen.
Lubrano believed that the only way to properly convey their message to the Board of Trustees was to develop a commercial and video that would go viral through the Penn State community.
“I felt as though we couldn’t let this rest,” he added before touching on the three objectives of the video, which are:
- To obtain public apology from the Board of Trustees, to rescind Coach Paterno’s firing and grant head football coach emeritus status posthumously
- To encourage Penn State alumni to vote in the upcoming Board of Trustees elections
- To honor the legacy of Joe Paterno
“Frankly, I don’t expect that they will ever admit their mistake,” Lubrano said of the Board of Trustees. “That would be the appropriate and respectful course of action to take. But their actions thus far suggest they’re just not interesting in correcting this egregious wrong.”
As far as the handling of Paterno’s legacy, Vuono remarked that people often make the mistake of thinking that they have to forget in order to move on. He asserted that Penn State should strive to move on “as a community, a school, a football program, and a family while protecting and honoring Joe Paterno’s legacy at the same time.”
For Vuono, the commercial and video allow him to continue to honor Joe Paterno while also making sure the Paterno voice remains heard moving forward.
“I’m doing this to honor Coach Paterno, I’d do anything to help out the Paterno family,” he said of the project. “When I made that first video, my only intention was to put it on Facebook as a tribute for my friends to see. It’s pretty cool to see how it’s evolved.”
Vuono estimated that the video took about a month to put together, noting that Penn State football letterman Brad Jones, who played for Paterno in the 1990s, served as the primary editor. Penn State football legend and outspoken critic of the Board of Trustees Franco Harris also had a good deal of input in the direction of the video, and Nike Chairman and CEO Phil Knight also contributed by approving the use of audio clips taken from his speech at Paterno’s memorial service.
“That’s exactly it. That’s what we’re trying to do,” Vuono stated when asked if he feels the project captures the spirit of Pittman’s “we’ll take it from here” call to action. “We all believe in equal voice, and right now Joe is not getting an equal voice. We want to continue to get his side of the story out there.”
With the view count already over 4,300 at the time of publishing, Vuono hopes the video will help continue to celebrate Paterno’s life and accomplishments at Penn State while also calling the Penn State community into action to do the same.
“Frankly, there’s no one out there right now representing the voice of the Penn State community,” he said on the video’s message. “We think it’s important for alumni to step up and be that voice, and we think this is a good first step. If we can rally the Penn State community to go out there and fight for Joe and his legacy, that’s the ultimate goal.”
You can view the video below, and Pennsylvania residents will also be able to see it on television in commercial form leading up to the Board of Trustees elections.