“JoePa’s Sports Grille” Has A Tiny Little Problem

Obviously, the patron saint of football (and maybe even sports in general) in Pennsylvania is Joe Paterno. He’s iconic. He’s superfamous. He’s more loved than Barack Obama’s puppy. And now he’s the face of a restaurant in Shippensburg.

JoePa's Sports Grille

Yes, it’s “JoePa’s Sports Grille,” replete with a cardboard cutout of the wise old coach. General Manager Mike Shall says their goal is to “offer a positive environment along with good food and drink,” and who can complain about that? And JoePa! Who know he wanted to get into the restauranting game this far along in his life?

Um, this was his idea, right? Right?

Actually, according to WGAL.COM, Shall took a more liberal approach to things like appropriation rights. After all, just because the restaurant is named after JoePa and prominently features his likeness for the purposes of turning a profit doesn’t mean he has to know about it, right?

Paterno is not affiliated with the restaurant in any way officially. In fact, he may not even be aware of it.

“So, does he (Paterno) know about this?” News 8’s Jere Gish asked during his interview with Shall. Shall chuckled and responded, “No. As far as I know, I really don’t know.”

Mike. Mike, Mike, Mike. Pray JoePa’s lawyer friends don’t watch WGAL or have the Internet, because as near as we can tell, this is textbook misappropriation and trademark dilution. We’re also legally required to remind you at this point that we are not lawyers and this does not constitute legal advice, of course, but we’re pretty sure you’re not allowed to do this.

And speaking of legal obligations, as an Iowan, I’m now required to post this video. Enjoy, Penn State fans.

Hey, it’s a Friday.