Atlantic Broadband in Altoona and western Pennsylvania is the only cable company in this and surrounding area which refuses to provide us with the Big Ten Network.
Penn State fans should flood the office of David Dane's boss with complaints about Dane, the company official for this area, with calls and letters from those who missed three telecasts of Penn State football games, and now will miss almost all the men's and women's basketball games for this year and the future.
(I have given the corporate address for Dane's boss in this letter.)
The men's basketball team this year appears to be the best it's been for at least seven or eight years, having just beaten No. 14 Purdue and having won two of three Big Ten games as of this writing, the loss being 65-61 at Wisconsin - a game that was in doubt until the last few seconds.
Penn State fans would like to see these games as we were accustomed to seeing them in the past.
Penn State football is a big deal for many thousands of Pennsylvanians. Every home game is attended by 107,000 people who drive from all points of the state, and many who come from out of state.
We have the largest alumni association of all universities. The greatest number of viewers in history who ever saw a college football game watched the 1987 Fiesta Bowl national championship game between Penn State and Miami of Florida.
Of the highest-rated college games on ESPN, out of the top 11, Penn State played in seven of them. And for the largest number of viewers, out of the top 15 ESPN games, Penn State participated in eight of them. I'd say that was a big deal for any cable company.
Dane is willing to deprive us of all the Penn State men and women's basketball games as well, denying us the chance to see some wholesome, exciting sports activities. Atlantic Broadband could pick up the BTN and carry it on the standard service instead of demanding that we pay for another tier of services.
Dane has made no effort to find out what his consumers actually want, and obviously he doesn't care.
He should think of the future customers Atlantic will be losing and the dissatisfied ones he has created. He is forcing people to go to Direct TV.
Sadly, Altoona City Council, which determines which company will get the cable franchise for this region, has made no effort to represent us by insisting that Atlantic carry the BTN. For $733.68 in taxes per year, we should get something we want!
Contact Dane's boss: Edward T. Holleran Jr., President and CEO, Atlantic Broadcasting Corporate Offices, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy MA 02169.
I hope our mayor and councilmen will also put some pressure on Holleran and Atlantic Broadband.
Durwood B. Hatch
Williamsburg loses friend
The town of Williamsburg and the entire sports community suffered a great loss on Dec. 26, 2008.
Lynn ''Wimp'' Ranalli left us too soon but not before touching so many lives. He was always there to offer a hand to anyone and everyone who needed it. He was a friend to many and a brother to others.
Wimp was a proud 1980 graduate of Williamsburg High School, where he participated in basketball and baseball. He continued his education at Penn State University and upon graduation, he worked at Edgemate for 24 years.
Wimp was an avid Penn State fan who always teared up during the alma mater. He loved attending games with his father and many friends. He also enjoyed watching the Georgetown Hoyas, Philadelphia Phillies and New England Patriots.
But, first and foremost, Wimp was a Williamsburg High School sports fan. He loved watching games and was always there to help the athletic programs.
For many years, Wimp volunteered his time as a scout for the Lady Pirate basketball program. He'd travel hours at a time just to help the program and the school.
Wimp will be sadly missed, but will remain forever in our hearts and in the town of Williamsburg.
Dale and Charlene Brantner
Jeff and Tracy Colbert
(Note: The writers are the siblings and in-laws of Lynn "Wimp" Ranalli).
Eagles merit more coverage
Why is that the Altoona Mirror, news stations and stores and even the people here support only the Steelers as our Pennsylvania football team?
The Eagles are a Pennsylvania team also, and a very worthy one.
You can't go anywhere in Altoona without seeing black and gold, and that's okay, but how about some McNabb or Westbrook and some green and white?
How about some newspaper writeups on the Eagles and some Eagles' talk on our local news? We have two great football teams in Pennsylvania.
Give credit where credit is due. The Super Bowl has a good chance of being an all-Pennsylvania game. How will you decide who to report about then?
That should be very exciting to every football fan in Pennsylvania so let's cheer them both on. Let them both shine, and be proud of our Pennsylvania teams.
Iowa game haunts PSU
Penn State finished the Big Ten season as co-champions along with Ohio State, finished in eighth place in the BCS polls and represented the Big Ten Conference in the Rose Bowl with an 11-1 record.
Based on the above, I should have been satisfied. If I were to give a grade, it would be a B+.
But with tongue in cheek, I could have given a higher grade, but I didn't. It still sticks in my crawl that the Nittany Lions didn't go for the jugular vein of the Iowa Hawkeyes but played the ''sticks and stones and names'' game and lost.
As for the USC Trojans, Penn State just couldn't compete for lack of talent and poor coaching. Say what you want whether Pete Carroll called off the dogs or not in the second half. It is only academic! Penn State lost the game in the first half.
Switching gears, I'm glad Larry Johnson is staying at Penn State. He is one of the best coaches in the college ranks who is neither a head coach nor a coordinator.
Memo to JoePa
Okay, JoePa: Now that you've dodged a bullet with Larry Johnson's decision to remain at Penn State stop being so self-indulgent and name him as your successor.