Some observations on a Halloween weekend that felt more like Christmas
I must admit, was hoping to see a Cardinals-Tigers, Tony La Russa-Jim Leyland World Series. They're not only two of my favorite baseball managers, they're two of the greatest leaders in the history of the game, and more importantly a couple of the last bastions of old-time baseball. It would have been great to see them match wits on baseball's biggest stage.
That said, we could not have asked for a much better series between St. Louis and Texas: seven exciting games, last-out heroics, good pitching, and come-from-behind victories. The drama that makes America love baseball was on full display. As heartbreaking as back-to-back runner-up finishes must be for the Texas Rangers, the worst part has to be living with knowing they were one strike away from the World Championship. A great lesson Yogi Berra lesson for all athletes: "It ain't over till it's over."
There's something strange about seeing your jack-o-lantern peeking out from behind a drift of snow. Waking up to a beautiful blanket of white on Saturday was somewhat surreal. Surely the snow made skiers excited about the pending season.
Trick-or-treating and homecoming dances were postponed because of the October snow, but on the gridiron, the show went on. Kudos to the die-hard fans who braved the wintry-type "fall" weather, though it was a pleasure to be sitting next to a cozy fire watching football on TV, while friends shared their freezing statuses on Facebook.
It was great to see former WTAJ sportscaster, Paul Alexander broadcasting the snowy California-IUP "Coal Bowl" on Saturday with Stan Savran, a reminder of the PIAA playoff games that used to be broadcast locally. And it was great to hear the name "Franco" called so many times throughout the broadcast. Tyrone's Johnny Franco, a senior defensive back, recorded four tackles and one pass break-up in the game. IUP travels to Lock Haven next week looking for the 500th win in program history.
It's always as struggle to come up with an interesting Halloween costume. Luckily, there are some larger-than-life sports figures to impersonate, particularly on the Pennsylvania gridiron. There were lots of Joe Paterno costumes on display in the Beaver Stadium stands on Saturday as JoePa passed legendary Grambling coach, Eddie Robinson with win No. 409 (but it doesn't have to be Halloween for Nittany Lion faithful to don their Paterno garb).
Or put on some black and gold coaching clothes, cool sunglasses, and beard and sport an intense gaze, and you're Mike Tomlin, guiding the Steelers to an important win over the New England Patriots. Perhaps fittingly close to Halloween, the Baltimore Ravens come to Pittsburgh this week as the black and gold look for payback for their season-opening humiliation. In a game that will feel like a playoff contest, certainly, ala-Poe, the Steelers to the Ravens hope to say"Nevermore."
Kellie Goodman Shaffer can be reached at Kellie@BedfordCountyChamber.org. Her column appears on Tuesdays.