I've been holding off this football season, gritting my teeth with almost each of Cory Giger's articles, but Friday's Gameday and Monday's commentary forced action.
Giger will find gloom no matter what PSU does or accomplishes.
No cloud has a silver lining in his Penn State meteorological interpretations. I'm not predicting a PSU Big Ten championship, but can't Giger write a little more positively than that oration about the ''down'' Big Ten?
The Pac-10 lost four games to the Mountain West last weekend, too. WVU, Rutgers, Pitt have lost in the Big East. The ACC has taken hits, too. It's not just the Big Ten.
Despite Giger's predetermination that Penn State fans are laughing at the Buckeyes, every PSU fan I talked to at Syracuse was hopeful of an OSU victory over USC.
Yes, we may not find our way to the national championship game, and we can thank enough media personnel like Giger for throwing a wet blanket over any PSU accomplishment. He's not happy when PSU succeeds, and he's not happy when PSU comes up short.
His Gameday column as to why Syracuse made right decision to stay in Big East is even worse. Pitt and Syracuse fans should get over it. They're in the Big East by their choice, not Joe Paterno's or PSU's.
Schools happy with 15 or less varsity sports are playing in front of 10,000-40,000 paying spectators.
The Big Ten schools average 25 varsity sports and play football every weekend in front of 40,000 to 110,000 paying spectators. Northwestern, Indiana and Minnesota play every week in front of more fans than Syracuse will see in three games (unless it's against PSU or Notre Dame).
Penn State is happy to be in the Big Ten. We are moving forward in both men's and women's sports. Yes, PSU men's basketball is at best mediocre, but I'd rather be competing with Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin and having nationally ranked volleyball, wrestling, soccer, lacrosse, etc., than languishing in the Big East.
It always amazes me how Big East fans know what's best for Penn State and its athletic programs.
P.S. Syracuse has a lovely campus, and many of their buildings are architecturally breathtaking.
EL format needs changed
At first glance, I thought the Eastern League finally changed its playoff format in 2008 when the semifinal rounds began last week to a 2-2-1 best-of-five series.
However, I see where this year's finals between Trenton and Akron have reverted back to the 2-3 format. Sometimes I think management, or whomever makes these decisions, are clueless.
First I was told the original reason for the 2-3 system was for economical reasons so that teams would only need to travel one time rather than twice.
If that's the case, then why were the semis this year in both conferences (Northern and Southern Divisions) a 2-2-1 format?
Where's the savings here?
Secondly, consider your team is the underdog. If you have a 2-3 system in place, and open at home, regardless of what you do, your fans will never see you clinch at home.
Third, if your team is the favorite or higher seed in a 2-3 format, why should you be forced to open on the road for games one and two? If you go down two games to love, you're forced to sweep three straight at home to win the title. What advantage was gained by having the best record all season and then be forced to open up with two straight road games?
Finally, in all other major sports (NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball) where a playoff is best-of-five, did you ever once see a 2-3 setup other than the Eastern League?
Gee, I wonder why not.
Pirates should surrender
If you believe in dying with dignity, it is time to let the Pittsburgh Pirates pass away.
The Pirates were once a proud organization with names like Kiner, Clemente, Stargell, Maz and Parker, but those days are long since gone.
The stars of the past are gone and so are the thoughts of ever putting a winning team on the field. The mistakes of management are so many.
Who could count them all? Still, the main goal is to show a profit and trade away veterans for minor league ballplayers who never surface to the majors.
It is time to say enough is enough and dissolve the franchise before another losing season, and there will be many more if the Pirates continue at this pace.
Please let the pain and suffering stop, and let us have our memories of the past and forget the present.
Paul M. Bottenfield Jr.