I have been a PSU fan since birth and have been to Beaver Stadium mostly every year of my life for the past 30 odd seasons.
I am an alumnus and will drive up from Virginia cheering my lungs out, so I guess I have the right to express what I am going to write here.
Despite the pain that this causes me to say it, I am going on record that it is past time for Joe Paterno to retire. Cory Giger's recent column on that subject was spot on. I will cite three examples to make this argument.
One, PSU has been passed by second-tier (i.e. not Michigan and Ohio State) Big Ten programs like Iowa and Wisconsin. Check out the conference records for the past 10 years if you doubt it. With Nebraska joining the conference, we risk slipping even further.
Two, over the past five years or so, take a look at the lack of high-profile Penn State players having success in the NFL. Look at Penn State's season- or all-time leaders in passing (Daryll Clark), rushing (Evan Royster) and receiving (Deon Butler).
Seen them on Sundays? This is a sign that the coaching staff cannot take solid high school talent, which they still seem to get in droves, and develop them into stars.
Lastly, check out other major programs like Florida, Michigan, LSU and Oklahoma. They have active, vibrant coaches all in their 40s and 50s. Let's face it: The current trend in the college game is akin to running a major corporation. It requires a demanding schedule and lifestyle that an 84-year old simply cannot maintain. To allow those things to simply slide by is to allow a drift to mediocrity.
There. I've said it. Sometimes the truth does hurt (me).
Offensive development lacking
While everyone talks about the Penn State quarterback situation, no one seems to be talking about the offensive coordinator issues.
When was the last time we can say that they developed someone to be better on this side of the ball? There seem to be players who come and are touted to be talented, but they never seem to get any better.
I think that it is time to look for a new coach on this side of the ball. Why not get the father of next year's quarterback recruit? He has done a great job of developing quarterbacks in the NFL, and this would help to lure the best of the crop.
Why would you want to come to a school that can't help develop you for the next level when that is your goal when you sign up?
Here's my vote for Marty Mornhinweg as Penn State's next offensive coordinator.
Sunday hunting not wanted
In the July 10 edition of the Mirror, Walt Young wrote a story encouraging Sunday hunting.
To Walt, Sunday is just another day, another way to make a buck (no pun intended). He mentions "public." Well, "public" means just that!
Public gamelands aren't just for hunters but for all Pennsylvanians.
I know groups and families who walk those gamelands - "public" gamelands - fall and winter on a Sunday. And I'm not sure our rural churches would enjoy hearing gunfire during Sunday worship.
The Game Commission has done everything it can to get more hunters in the woods.
I don't know if they fear losing their job or what. But they just keep pushing. And where is some compassion for the deer? I certainly am not opposed to hunting. My neighbors all hunt, but the avid hunters are opposed to Sunday hunting.
The amount of revenue to be gained (given by Mr. Young from the National Shooting Sports Foundation) should tell you something - that this amount was way over the top.
Young made it sound like people from all over the USA would flock to Pennsylvania just to kill a deer on Sunday. Get real! These kind of articles are written for two reasons:
1. To stir and excite hunters to push for Sunday hunting
2. To make it sound like thousands of dollars would come with those hunters and their license.
Folks, don't buy into this senseless, uncaring idea. Write Governor Corbett, local representatives and the Game Commission.
You do not want Sunday hunting.
It took me a couple of hours to get almost 100 people to sign a no hunting on Sunday petition. Churches, get involved. Don't let these money hungry people take our Sundays.
It's time to step up and say no once and for all.
Altoona doesn't belong in WPIAL
On Friday night, Sept. 30, my wife and I attended the Altoona-Woodland Hills football game.
It was great to see the alumni band, and it brought many, many memories back of a simpler time when our aunt would take my brother and I to Mansion Park.
It strikes my memory that Altoona would come to a grinding halt on Friday nights and everyone would gather at Roy's Dog House afterwards.
Gone are these days never to return again and, unfortunately, so is the football program.
Believe it or not, at one time the WPIAL did not want Altoona on their schedule because they had fear in their eyes, but that is gone.
When we speak of tradition that was a long time ago, many who are in the stands today do not remember the glory days of Altoona football.
When I look out on the field now I wonder whose bright idea was it to place Altoona in the WPIAL now? What were Superintendent Dennis Murray, Athletic Director Phil Riccio and Altoona School Board thinking?
I guess I have answered my own question: They weren't.
Paul M. Bottenfield Jr.