All of a sudden, there’s a storyline for the Saturday’s Alamo Bowl. From the Dallas Morning News’ Brian Davis.

Texas A&M officials were left red-faced Thursday night when an unidentified Yell Leader joked that Penn State coach Joe Paterno “needed a casket” during a joint pep rally.

The Yell Leader, a male student cheerleader who organizes cheers at football games, was on stage during the pep rally when he grabbed the microphone and unleashed on Paterno, 81.

“Joe Paterno’s on his death bed! And someone needs to find him a casket!” the Yell Leader screamed. Stunned PSU fans started booing. The Yell Leaders quickly left the stage, and the pep rally continued.

A&M interim president Eddie Davis and athletic director Bill Byrne apologized to their Penn State counterparts, A&M spokesman Alan Cannon said.

The Patriot News’ David Jones writes, “the man at the mike had been telling a lengthy and convoluted fantasy story that was falling flat. Finally, PSU fans began booing and chanting ‘We are!…’ At that point, the flustered yell leader fired back with his insult.”

Indeed, sometimes desperate attempts to kick-start a failing monologue just make matters worse.

(UPDATE : video of the incident. Why, oh why must Rudy’s Barbeque be dragged into this?)