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Joe Paterno’s Final Speech Immortalized by his Former Players

When former Penn State football lettermen Evan Lewis and Andrew Pitz walked into the team meeting room on November 9, 2011, they had no idea that it would be the last time they would hear Joe Paterno address his team.

“I’ll never forget what he said that day,” Lewis said. “I never wanted to forget what he told us, but I was only able to fully document the last 29 words. I shared with my friends and family exactly what he said, but as the days went by, and as things changed, I had more time to reflect on everything that had happened, I felt that it was only right to share his message with everyone who shared the same reverence and adoration for Joe Paterno that I did.”

Now, Lewis and Pitz are giving everyone else a chance to hear Coach Paterno’s final message.

The two have teamed up with Success with Honor, a non-profit organization that donates to different charities throughout the state, to create a plaque to immortalize that fateful day. The glass plaques, priced at $99, include a picture of the legendary coach, and the last paragraph of his final speech. All of the profits will be donated to Success with Honor and other organizations.

“I wanted everyone to know what he said, because everything that Joe Paterno is and was, was summarized in the last few sentences that he said to us,” Lewis said. “I originally put it in a picture frame, and as I was talking to Andrew (Pitz), he had the idea of making it into a plaque. It’s really something special, and it’s exactly what we were looking for.”

The Paterno family gave its permission and help to Pitz and Lewis and has agreed to donate its royalties from the project to Uplifting Athletes. In addition to Success with Honor, part of the proceeds will be donated to the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania in Sue Paterno’s name.

The first batch of these unique plaques will be ready for shipment or pickup by Homecoming week. With Christmas fast approaching, one of these might be the perfect gift for any Penn State fan.

You can order your plaque now through thee website

As for coach’s final words to the team?

We’re a team, alright?

We’ll always, always…

We will always be a team.

Not just now.

Not just next year.

It’s not over.

We will always be…

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About the Author

Alex Robinson

Alex Robinson was Onward State's Acting Managing Editor/Resident Old Man. He lived in Harrisburg almost his whole life, but he says he's from California -- where he was born -- because that's more fun. He loves cats and Chinese food, but only separately. He met both Ben Affleck and Kanye West within a half hour, so the three of them are basically best friends. If you want to hear his #scorching #hot #takes, you can follow him at @ARobinsonPSU or email him at [email protected].

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