SCRANTON -- Inside the Leonard Theater in Scranton, Penn State fans had quite the warm-up act to the Big 10 championship game: former Penn State quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno.
"It's kind of a fun get together, and now we got a championship that everyone can get together and watch Penn State win," said the son of Joe Paterno. The former coach talked about everything from coaching and old family stories to dealing with controversies and scandals in the program.
"Leadership is what gets you through adversity," said Jay Paterno. "Everybody loves to remember the wins, but you do things through the course of the losses, and you learn things from adversity that really carry you through."
For Penn State fans in the Scranton area, being able to watch the Big 10 championship game with Jay Paterno is the next best thing to being at the game in Indianapolis.
"He's coming to Scranton, and we don't get that opportunity all that often," said Tony Siciliano. "For somebody like that to come to Scranton and recognize us and come here and speak in front of all these people, I just think it's a great thing."
"I love Penn State," said Mark Dennebaum of Scranton. "I have season tickets for Penn State, and if it weren't for Jay being here, I'd be out at the game actually."
The last time Tom and Jo Anne Schoenagel saw Jay Paterno in person was at the Rose Bowl back in 2009, which was the last time Penn State won the Big 10 championship. It's a trip they'd gladly make again.
"It'd be a nice reunion I guess you'd call it," said Tom Schoenagel.
"I think it would be a wonderful Christmas present for my husband," added Jo Anne Schoenagel.
The teams taking part in the College Football Playoff along with the other New Years Day bowl games will be announced Sunday.