Takeoffs, playoffs and sendoffs

Some general observations while missing my favorite voice on the radio:

n Penn State fans have to love seeing Matt McGloin toss three touchdown passes in the Raiders’ 28-23 win over the Texans on Sunday.

The Cinderella story has been well-documented, including his determination and persistence; now he’s sparked an all-to-familiar quarterback debate in Oakland.

But my favorite memory of McGloin was just after his senior season of high school when he came to Altoona for the PSFCA East-West All-Star game. At the time, his quest to play quarterback in Happy Valley seemed like a pipe dream, but the “Penn State” next to his name on the roster made him a favorite among the young football players taking part in the game’s youth clinic.

McGloin was almost late to the awards banquet because he didn’t want to deny a single child his autograph. Those autographs become more valuable by the week.

n Had the opportunity to watch a high school football playoff game at Northern Bedford Friday night, and in spite of the wind and rain, could not have been more impressed with Panther Community Stadium.

From the beautiful stone walls to the bright lights to the wonderful concession stand, this rural gem offers a perfect Friday-night lights experience. Looking forward to seeing many more games in Loysburg.

n It seems somewhat unbelievable – a sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship for Jimmie Johnson – but why should we be surprised?

Johnson has proven to be nothing if not consistent, and that unfailing poise and excellence already has some wondering how soon number seven might come. Johnson seems to be on track to tie and possibly even break the record seven title mark, shared by legendary drivers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.

There will be debates about the championships of past decades and today’s titles; in some ways it may be comparing apples to oranges considering the changes in the points format. Still, there is no denying the significance of Jimmy Johnson’s career accomplishments to date. It seems like number seven is just a matter of time.

n Mourning the loss of Steve “Frogman” Kelsey, like so many others in our region.

As a country music fan, I loved listening to his morning show; as a NASCAR fan, I appreciated his appreciation of the sport; and as a bride, I would have changed my wedding date if he had not been available on that day to DJ.

Thanks to him, I got to hear Johnny Cash on vinyl on my wedding day, a shout-out to my Dad in Heaven.

Steve was kind and funny; it’s amazing how many times he could work the word “frog” into a normal conversation, even when he was off-the-clock. Local radio could not have asked for a better ambassador. Our airwaves will never be the same, but now the angels are enjoying a frog-tastic playlist.

Kellie Goodman Shaffer can be reached at kellie@bedfordcountychamber.org. Her column appears on Tuesdays.