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New York state of mind

December 7, 2007 - Neil Rudel

Just back from a couple of days in New York for Joe Paterno's induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Some thoughts ...

*New York is a city I could never live but think everyone should visit at least once. You can tell the people not from there: They're the ones, like me, frequently looking up.

*It's also a city that doesn't blink when a star walks down the street. En route to our hotel with traveling comrade Rich Scarcella of the Reading Eagle, none other than Dicky V. approached our street corner: We were the only ones who noticed and/or acknowledged him.

*If you're in New York sometime and need a place to watch the Steeler game, Scruffy Duffy's at 743 Eighth Avenue is the place. We watched the Pats rally to beat the Ray Lewises there Monday night. The place is full of Steeler memorabilia, and the locals said The Bus -- Jerome Bettis -- made a stop in there after his NBC gig on Sunday night to watch the Steelers-Bengals. He, of course, was mobbed.

*After arriving late and leaving early from Tuesday's morning press conference for the Hall of Famers -- which can happen when you deal with an active player or coach; the retirees seem to appreciate it more -- JoePa came up big at the induction ceremony. He was humerous, inspiring and humbled.

*At least Joe didn't wrestle with the wording of any questions, ala his Tuesday press conferences.

*The further away you get from central Pennsylvania, the more the sentiment is that JoePa should coach forever, if he wants to, which he apparently does.

*Rooms at the famed Waldorf-Astoria were going for $900 per night. We stayed down the street -- way down the street! -- at the more spartan Milford.

*Kudos to Pitt voice Bill Hillgrove on the Hlal of Fame's Chris Schenkel award. Kudos also to Hillgrove, knowing his was the first honor of a long night, for accepting by saying, "thank you: Go Panthers!"

*The most touched and touching of the inductees were the widows of Dave Brown and Wilson Whitney who represented on behalf of their departed husbands.





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