Sports Columns

Sports becoming political

Some general observations while growing sadder by the day at the interjection of politics and protests into our favorite pastimes: While much of the nation was focused on the NFL on Sunday, and with it, the swirling of politically-charged tweets, high-profile-albeit-peaceful protests, and ...

Two ways to view Lions’ win

Commentary How on earth did Penn State only win 21-19 Saturday at Iowa after dominating statistically? And did we see some things to be concerned about for the long haul in the game? Let’s play the glass is half full/half empty game. Half full: A win is a win is a win, especially on the ...

Lions deliver another classic

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The road to the Big Ten championship still runs through State College. The Iowa Hawkeyes — always game and especially so here at night — did more than threaten to knock the Nittany Lions off their perch Saturday night at Kinnick Stadium. They actually grabbed the ...

Too many numbers can ruin things

Commentary PITTSBURGH — Sports statistics are everywhere. The explosion is so profound, we’re all lucky decimal points are round and less dangerous as shrapnel. When Bob Prince called the Pirates games a million years ago, he wouldn’t even give a batting average for the first six weeks ...

No reason to nitpick so far

We love to nitpick in sports. When all else fails, let’s just find something to complain about. But here’s a nifty little idea: Let’s not. Not when it comes to Penn State’s 3-0 start, during which the Nittany Lions have outscored their opponents, 141-14. The belief here is that ...

Lions have room for growth

Since the Nittany Lions outscored their three non-conference opponents, 141-14, the answer to this week’s question is obvious. Or is it? Certainly Penn State’s 3-0 start has been successful, but whether it fully prepared the Lions for what lies ahead will not be determined until the ...

Younger is better for Steelers

Commentary PITTSBURGH — Two games into the season, James Harrison has played a total of four snaps for the Steelers. All of those came in the season opener at Cleveland. He didn’t get on the field last Sunday against Minnesota. Naturally, this came up as the second question during Mike ...

Lady Lions planning LeadHERship Academy

Of all the skills and values taught through athletics, perhaps one of the most significant is that of leadership. While team sports extol the importance of each team member knowing their role, working together, and putting the greater good above oneself, all teams also need leaders. ...

Giger: Let’s be honest in sports

This is always an interesting time of year for me because I’m finished covering the Curve and now focus pretty much solely on Penn State football for several months. I’m one of the few full-time baseball beat writers around who also covers a major college or pro football team on a daily ...

PSU now 3-0, but road just starting

UNIVERSITY PARK — OK, let’s get to the real thing. Penn State’s non-conference/exhibition season is over, and to the surprise of no one, the Nittany Lions will enter Big Ten play unscathed at 3-0 following Saturday night’s 56-0 demolition of Georgia State. Based on the way Penn ...

Having two qbs not helping Panthers

Commentary PITTSBURGH — There’s no way to spin anything good out of being on the wrong end of 59-21 score, as Pitt was against Oklahoma State on Saturday. n Pitt apparently has two quarterbacks, senior transfer Max Browne and redshirt freshman Ben DiNucci. It’s true what they say: ...

Curve title a great moment for Altoona sports fans

We are so, so lucky as sports fans to be living in an area where championships aren’t just the hope, they are the expectation. Since 1971, there have been 16 major sports titles won by teams from central and western PA, including the Steelers (6), Penguins (5), Pirates (2), Penn State ...

Altoona playing with cohesion

TRENTON, N.J. — A win tonight would cap a remarkable season for the Curve by giving them a clean sweep of the Eastern League playoffs and just the second championship in franchise history. This is a terrific Double-A team. And the key word is team. The Curve’s tremendous pitching is ...

Maybe Bell did need to practice

Commentary PITTSBURGH — A handful (or two) of takeaways from the NFL’s first weekend: n Practice may not make perfect, but it’s helpful. That’s especially true for a player who skipped training camp. Clearly Le’Veon Bell could have used more than a week’s worth of practice for ...

Sports help in times of trouble

Commentary There are times when talking about sports seems very small compared to the overwhelming things going on in the world. Over the last few weeks, millions of Americans have been impacted by devastating hurricanes in Texas and Florida. Lives and livelihoods, homes and so much more ...

Yes, Franklin got dig in at Pitt, but so what?

I usually spend this Monday column looking ahead to Penn State’s next opponent or weekly story lines, but despite what James Franklin says, no one in the world considers playing Georgia State like the Super Bowl. So, let’s take one last look back at that doozy of a comment Franklin tossed ...

Penn State report card

Following is Neil Rudel’s report card from Penn State’s 33-14 victory over Pitt on Saturday at Beaver Stadium: POSITION GRADE COMMENT Quarterback C McSorley went 15-28 for 164 yards, three TDs and one pick and didn’t have his best game. Missed several open targets high. ...

PSU leaves itself wanting more

UNIVERSITY PARK — Trailing 33-14 at its own 25 with 3:34 remaining and down to one timeout left, Pitt seemed to raise the white flag Saturday by running the football on first down. James Franklin, at that point, had other ideas: He immediately decided to call timeout. So if you left here ...

Ex-49ers QB made anthem relevant again

Commentary PITTSBURGH — There’s a full NFL schedule today, which means the potential for national anthem protests is abundant. Here’s the thing about the perceived sanctity of the anthem: It was purged from most sports broadcasts years ago. Unless it’s a celebrity performance or ...

Shining moment for LPGA gem

LPGA star Stacy Lewis scored more than just a victory after winning last week’s Cambria Portland Classic in western Oregon. The American golfer hadn’t won since 2014, but knowing the devastation that had taken place recently in her hometown of Houston, Lewis pledged her week’s earnings ...