With college football season upon us, I wanted to take a minute to stress how well we were treated when we, as Penn State fans, made the trip to Alabama last year.
In the rabid landscape that is college football, we were expecting the worst. What we were greeted with was the true definition of southern hospitality.
From our stay in Tuscaloosa, to our pregame visits to Gallette's, a local college bar just blocks from Bryant-Denny Stadium, we were welcomed with "Thanks for coming down!" and "We love Penn State!" - even though we were about to meet on the field in just a few hours.
After walking around and talking to the 'Bama faithful, it was the respect for Joe Paterno and Penn State University that stuck with me. (Even the students had T-shirts made up that said, "Welcome back JoePa!")
The southern faithful kept saying, "Penn State is all class" and "you boys represent what college football is all about." So even though we were 1,000 miles from home, we felt welcomed.
It made me even more proud to be a Penn State fan.
So I hope this letter will let people know that even though we want to win all of the games we play, and good, strong fan support is important, that Penn State is class and tradition and honor - and we show that with how we treat visitors.
I, personally, will do all I can to make the 'Bama faithful feel at home and welcome all to Happy Valley with open arms. Except the Buckeyes. (Sorry, couldn't resist that one.)
So let's represent Dear Old State and show all of college football what class is. We are, Penn State!
LLWS?coverage has benefits
John Mehno's criticism of Little League World Series broadcasts (August 31) raises a valid point that we need to be careful about when and where we choose to put youngsters on television.
Too much of young athletes on television could turn into a negative thing. However, I don't see the harm in televising this annual event and think that there are some benefits.
With all kinds of labor issues clouding the professional sports landscape in recent months, it was enjoyable to watch these games unfold in nearby Williamsport. It has been fun to watch talented 11- and 12-year-olds demonstrate their enjoyment of baseball, and it is something that I regard as inspirational to my young sons who also play baseball each year.
This year's series was filled with many great plays, but even the few mistakes and players' reactions to them were not a problem in my eyes.
These broadcasts encourage youngsters to see both the benefits of hard work and the reality that errors can be part of the game even at the highest level of youth sports.
While saddened to see the Pennsylvania entry eliminated after such an impressive run, they had a great season, and each and every team member ought to be proud of their outstanding work, as should any of the players who qualified to make the trip to Williamsport this year.
I hope the event remains on television for a long time but that televising youth sports remains rare.
Although Mehno raises a credible point, the Little League World Series is a refreshing once-a-year alternative to the professional and top-level college sports that we routinely see on ESPN and elsewhere.
Kudos to Hartsock's 'positive writing'
John Hartsock's article in the Aug. 21 sports section entitled, "There are good kids out there" is a refreshing piece of positive writing.
When I was a public-school teacher, I found the same thing that Hartsock did - that a large majority of kids are good kids.
When I began to teach in 1971, I was fortunate to encounter many good kids in the Bellwood-Antis school system. When I retired in 2006, I was still encountering lots of good kids, as I had throughout my teaching career.
These kids, along with a wonderful group of fellow teachers and support staff, helped to make teaching a rewarding profession.
Hartsock's fine sports-based article helped to remind me of this.
Did Sanderson compromise himself?
I am wondering if PSU fans are experiencing some level of ambivalence about their national title in wrestling in light of the Andrew Long scenario.
Granted, he now only stands "accused" of rape. However, one has to wonder if Cael Sanderson reached out to this obviously troubled fellow who has a trail of legal issues, and was dismissed from Iowa State, in large part because he knew he was a key link for the PSU team.
Long had finished third in the national title tournament in 2009 and finished second this past year in the nationals. In addition, he won the Big Ten title this year. So now Long has left the team and school, but the national team title is safely tucked away.
Denis J. Navarro
Tiger soccer deserves more respect
Didn't the Hollidaysburg boys soccer team win the District 6 championship last year?
I think this fact merited more attention in Tom Schmitt's Aug. 25 preseason column. It would have made it more balanced had he devoted more than part of a sentence at the end of the seventh paragraph to covering the Tigers' prospects for this year.
R.C. De Prospo, Hollidaysburg