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Franco justified on WPIAL concerns

June 16, 2013
The Altoona Mirror

I know that Neil Rudel seems to disagree with John Franco's desire for Altoona to pull out of the WPIAL and play more of a District 6 schedule, and the debate seems to be on.

Personally, if I were a taxpayer in the Altoona Area School District, I think I'd listen long and hard to Franco's opinion.

I don't know him or the Altoona athletic director, Phil Riccio, personally, but I have read a lot over the years, in the Altoona Mirror, about Franco's first departure from Altoona, his years and years of success at Tyrone and then his return to Altoona.

Given that scenario, I'd be inclined to listen closely to what Franco thinks might be best for the Altoona High football team.

Some of the recent articles I've read seem to imply that attendance and interest for the Altoona football program have been down in recent years, which was quite astonishing news to me as that wasn't the way I always remembered Altoona football, albeit years ago.

I think Franco is trying to restore that tradition and probably has the best plan to make it happen. I personally believe that there are other big-time schools that have been mentioned in recent articles that would love nothing more than the opportunity to land Franco as their head coach.

I don't think Franco will make a willy-nilly decision about leaving Altoona based on his loyalty to Tyrone over the years and considering he could have taken other jobs and didn't. He stayed the course there and put the school, the town and the athletes on the map throughout the state.

Will Walk

Spring, Texas

ESPN's information overload

Am I the only one that is bothered by the endless stream of completely useless dribble that pours out of our collective radios and TV sets every day from our favorite sports information sources, with ESPN leading the charge?

I learned this morning that the Seattle Mariners tying the game last night with a grand slam in the ninth inning was the first since occurrence since 1961.

In the NBA Finals, whoever loses the first game only has a 26 percent chance of winning the title.

If the same team wins the next two, they now have a 63.3 percent chance to garner the trophy. In the NFL, any team starting 0-2 should really mail in the rest of the season, as they only make the playoffs 21 percent of the time. You don't want to know the fate given to an 0-3 club.

The Elias Sports Bureau with their gang of wire-rimmed researchers, along with the infinite capabilities of the Internet, are really to blame.

I miss the days when I hear the Pirates beat the Cubs 5-2 along with who homered and the winning pitcher. What I get is the Pirates' victory was their first on a Tuesday, when the wind was blowing in from right field at Wrigley with less than 30,000 in attendance and the temperature below 70 degrees.

The Pirates are something like 9-48 against the Milwaukee Brewers in Milwaukee. The Grizzlies were 0-17 on the road against the Atlanta Hawks before the playoffs started.

These type of stats are totally ridiculous.

The team name on the jerseys holds these records. The current band of players on these teams shouldn't be tied to these records, good or bad. Saying the Lakers have won 15 consecutive playoff series against the Houston Rockets since 1952 shouldn't be an indictment against those donning the sneakers on today's team. It's crazy.

So the next time you hear that the Penguins win 65 percent of the time when Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin score a point and 9 percent when they don't, just take a deep breath and realize that these number crunchers need jobs too.

I have to go now: My performance at work shows a 28.3 percent improvement rate if I make it to the office by 7:30 - and only if I catch two consecutive lights on a morning following a full moon.

Jeff Bartlett

Bellwood

 
 

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