Sports Columns

Pennsylvania’s elk herd presents a special treat

The peak of the mating season for our Pennsylvania elk herd, commonly called the “rut,” occurs from mid-September to early October and provides a special experience for dedicated wildlife watchers. During the next several weeks, thousands of visitors armed with binoculars, spotting ...

New MNF crew to size up Steelers

Steelers fans get their first experience with their team playing on the revamped “Monday Night Football” this week, and it should be an enjoyable broadcast — even if it might not be an enjoyable result. Play-by-play man Joe Tessitore really enjoys the “MNF” assignment and all that ...

With OSU next, real Lions must stand up

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Bring on Ohio State. Game of the year. Do you think Penn State is ready? The answer is a resounding no — if it’s the Nittany Lion team that looked uninspired and got run over defensively by woeful Illinois for the first two quarters and five minutes of the third ...

Friday games are good exposure for lesser teams

One of my favorite stories about working in the office at the Mirror is from Oct. 22, 2005, when Penn State visited Illinois. Michael Robinson and the Nittany Lions were destroying the Illini, up 56-3 at the half. My colleague, Scott Franco, somehow is a lifelong Illinois fan, and at one ...

Watching ‘As The Steelers Turn’

PITTSBURGH — This should be an interesting morning at Steelers headquarters. The players are due in this morning to start preparations for Monday night’s game at Tampa Bay. Presumably Antonio Brown will be there, and maybe he can take a detour to Mike Tomlin’s office before he suits up ...

Glasnow vs. Sampson a fun matchup

It might have been a boring September MLB pitching matchup to most people, but if you know and love Curve history, it was a fun, blast-from-the-past showdown. Monday night, Tyler Glasnow started for the Tampa Bay Rays in Texas against Adrian Sampson of the Rangers. Based on what those guys ...

Observations on another rainy day

Weather is not a factor at Penn State’s Rec Hall, unless you count the rainstorm of women’s volleyball wins for as long as most of us can remember. Legendary head coach Russ Rose is well into his 40th season at the helm of the Nittany Lion program. He has taken his team, currently ranked ...

Tomlin’s assessment: ‘We’ve got a lot of work to do’

PITTSBURGH — Is this the way it’s going to be? Are we in a Steelers world where 37 points aren’t enough to win a home game? First-year starter Patrick Mahomes sliced and diced a confused Steelers defense and led the Kansas City Chiefs to a 42-37 victory at Heinz Field Sunday ...

West’s embarrassing day should spark Big Ten realignment talk

Saturday was humiliating for the Big Ten West and really the best example yet of why the conference’s division alignment is laughable. Everyone knows the division setup is incredibly lopsided. Everyone knows the Big Ten has received criticism for the imbalance. And everyone knows the league ...

Lions’ talent masking their youth, mistakes

UNIVERSITY PARK — Only a true Penn State nitpicker would witness a 53-point victory and come away somewhat unimpressed. So be it. Yes, the Nittany Lions demolished Kent State, 63-10, on Saturday afternoon at Beaver Stadium. Yes, they are 3-0 heading into their Big Ten opener at Illinois ...

Steelers more than just football

PITTSBURGH — The great thing about following the Steelers is you don’t just get a football team. You get a soap opera, too. Where’s Le’Veon Bell? Has anyone checked his social media feeds in the last hour? When will he get here? It’s a cliffhanger. Speaking of social media, ...

Rivalry with Syracuse one-sided but memorable

A rivalry suggests both teams have a pretty good chance of winning, but if you look at the history of Penn State football, that has never been the case with most of its old Eastern cohorts. The Nittany Lions pretty much destroyed them all. They’re 38-2-1 all-time against Maryland and 20-4 ...

Guess that 10-6 record won’t do

PITTSBURGH — No sooner than I predicted a 10-6 season for the Steelers, that prognostication was rendered obsolete with a tie in Cleveland. It took just four hours to make a season prediction totally incorrect. Is it going to be that kind of season? Picking apart the season opener: n ...

Pitt was so bad that it masked PSU’s trouble spots

Through two weeks, I still have no idea if Penn State is a really good football team. And the next two weeks won’t tell us much, either. We’re all just going to have to wait until Ohio State visits on Sept. 29 to find out. The Nittany Lions barely won their opener in OT, 45-38, against ...

Panthers collapse on their own stage

PITTSBURGH — Pat Narduzzi entered the final scheduled home game between these two old Eastern foes making no bones about the fact that the Penn State rivalry has extra meaning to his program. Maybe, in fact, it means too much. Pitt rolled out the most decorated of its incredibly ...

Steelers fans should aim for 10-6

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers begin their 2018 adventure today in Cleveland, playing the Browns at 1 o’clock. The regular season will wind up in 17 weeks with a home game against the Bengals and probably a 10-6 record. There’s a lot of travel, and too many playoff-caliber opponents. The ...

Lightning delays causing confusion

Lightning struck twice last Friday night, well actually quite a few more times than that, and caused havoc at many of the area’s high school football games. Among the games stopped for at least the mandatory 30 minutes were Tyrone at Central, Johnstown at Chestnut Ridge, Williamsburg at ...

Keeping eye on Ryder Cup team

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk surprised no one earlier this week when he announced his first three captain’s picks for the 2018 Ryder Cup Team. Furyk announced Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau would join the eight U.S. men who had already earned spots on this year’s ...

PSU has bigger concerns than scheduling Pitt

Think with your head, not your heart. Penn State has to pay for 31 athletic programs. Pitt has only 19. Penn State’s attendance average last year at Beaver Stadium was 106,707. Pitt’s average at Heinz Field was 46,076. The value of Penn State’s football program is $549.5 ...

All Steelers can do is just wait

PITTSBURGH — Today is the day! Well, maybe it is. This is the day the Steelers will cast their eyes toward the door of the locker room and full expect to see Le’Veon Bell there, ready to join the team at practice. Just about everyone expected Bell to report on Monday to sign his ...