A collective sigh of relief was heard in football cities around the country and throughout the world today as the NFL owners and players have finally reached a settlement agreement, ending the four-month lockout.
So football is on its way back. With lots of business still to be done, front offices will be frantic signing draft picks and free agents, while players prepare to report to camp. The battle between the millionaires and billionaires left fans in limbo. Still, it seems like the football faithful are eager to forgive and forget, as no meaningful games have been lost due to the labor dispute.
Credit the players who continued to show up for charity events throughout the summer. Many of the Pittsburgh Steelers, for example, took part in benefit golf tournaments, basketball games and other community fundraisers. Coach Mike Tomlin held his camps and youth clinics as he and his staff waited out the negotiations.
It's hard to imagine what fall would have been like without the NFL for fans, but also for cities who count on the economic impact of football and the workers who are employed in football-related businesses. The players and owners have come to an agreement, neither group getting all they wanted, but both getting something. But at the end of the day, there is no replacement for football in America, and a ten-year deal, whatever the details, is a good thing.
Get ready, get set, go!
Fair season is in full swing in central Pennsylvania, with the Bedford County Fair going on this week, and the Huntingdon County Fair starting Aug. 7.
Both events are long-standing celebrations of agriculture in our region, featuring timeless rural sports like truck and tractor pulls, demolition derby, car races, and rodeo events.
Both fairs are more than 100 years old, and have been providing family-friendly recreation for generations. Fair funding is always a question, and it would be a shame to see these long-time traditions fall by the wayside. So get out and enjoy some timeless fun this summer at a local fair.
They can stand the heat
Last week's heat was brutal, oppressive and exhausting, to say the least.
Now imagine putting on a bike helmet and saddling up for a 150-mile, 2-day ride in those record temperatures.
That's exactly what a group of dedicated cyclists did this past weekend for the Bike MS Key-stone Country Ride. Starting at Hollidaysburg Junior High School, and ending in State College, the devoted athletes peddled more than 75 miles each day.
Their mission is to help find a cure for MS, and in the meantime, to support those who are battling the devastating disease. Congratulations to all who participated; monies are still coming in, with the goal of raising more than $467,000. You can still donate online at www.nationalmssociety.org.
Kellie Goodman Shaffer can be reached at Kellie@BedfordCountyChamber.org.