One was a king, the other was a coach. Both were rulers of their own domains. One ruled a city, the other a school. Both would lose their kingdoms, and so much more. Oedipus and Joe Paterno were from different times and different worlds, but they shared the same downfall. For Oedipus, his fate was chosen for him by the gods. For Paterno, it was his own doing that led to his demise. Each of them made mistakes that would change their lives and the lives of those around them, and not for the better. Both offer us lessons that we should carry with us as we continue our lives, so we do not share in the same fate as they did.
Oedipus was the king of Thebes. He was more than just a king, though. He was the city’s savior. When Thebes was being terrorized by a sphinx, Oedipus was the only one that could solve the riddle, which saved the city. After this, he married the now widowed queen, Jacosta, and became Thebes’ new king. He was brave and courageous, albeit arrogant, and he was revered by the people of Thebes. He was a man full of pride, but he had much to be proud of at the time. Of course, there was much that he did not know. Oedipus would soon find out that his queen and mother of his children, Jacosta, was actually his own mother who had given him away when he was a baby. In addition to this, Oedipus himself was the one who killed King Laius, his own father, whose murder he was trying so desperately to solve.
Joe Paterno became head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions in 1966. Before Joe, whom many referred to as JoePa, took over, the Lions had not had a double-digit wins season in their football team’s history. The program was in need of a savior, much like the city of Thebes was. They did not need a king, however, they needed a coach, and they found their coach in Joe Paterno. Within his first five seasons as head coach, Paterno had led the team to two undefeated seasons and consecutive Orange Bowl wins. When it was all said and done, he had...