Sports Columns

Penn State women’s soccer celebrates 25th season

Looking back at 1994, Forest Gump, Pulp Fiction and The Lion King were big at the box office; computer zip drives and the George Foreman grill were new inventions on the market; a gallon of gasoline cost just $1.11, and the Penn State varsity women’s soccer team took the field for the first ...

That kind of ‘D’ won’t cut it

Penn State gave up 38 points to a mid-major at home Saturday night, barely escaping Appalachian State with a 45-38 OT victory. So, the defense is awful, right? It sure looked that way. But maybe, just maybe things won’t be as bad as they appeared in the opener. I’ve made no secret of ...

For openers, Lions raise their share of questions

UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State opened its season with a wildly-entertaining 45-38 overtime victory Saturday over Appalachian State that anyone who witnessed had to enjoy. Well, almost anyone. “I started the game at 46 years old,” James Franklin said afterward. “I ended it at ...

QB choice raises a few questions

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers had four quarterbacks for three spots, so one of them had to go. Conventional wisdom held that Josh Dobbs would be headed out, probably traded for a draft pick. Ben Roethlisberger was untouchable, of course. Landry Jones was thought to be in solid because he was ...

Woods-Mickelson will be worth watching

It’s been the talk of the golfing world for weeks now, and it seems like the winner-take-all match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will finally take place. This pay-per-view event, being promoted as “The Match,” will be an 18-hole battle between Woods and Mickelson held ...

Thankfully, real games about to start

PITTSBURGH — There should be a celebration this Thursday night. The Steelers will end the preseason with their fourth not-quite-a-game. No more pretend NFL football. From that point forward, every game counts. Every one will be taken seriously with preparation and strategy and urgency. ...

Meyer issue the bad side of college sports

PITTSBURGH — College football game day is coming. That means cheerleaders, bands, the stadium packed with fans wearing school colors and, ideally, a competitive game. That’s what people love about college football. It’s everything else about it that should make them sick. The ...

Yes, the game builds character

The answer for me is easy since I already have. And I did so with, thankfully, with no regrets. Numbers have steadily declined in football with more information on concussions and their long-term effects. Because of awareness, changing rules and better ...

No, it’s just not worth the risks

Just be informed. That’s the most important thing. If you’re a parent considering whether your child will play high school football, please educate yourself. Read as much as you can on the prevalence of concussions and the dangers. Understand the ...

Beavers are amazing mammals

Last weekend, I traveled to Armstrong County to visit my friend Joanie Haidle. Joanie has two small ponds on her property, and last spring, a beaver took up residence on the larger one. When I drove up the lane next to that pond, I spied Joanie’s new tenant immediately as it swam across ...

Kotchey claims world champion elk call title

It’s elk bugling season in Pennsylvania now and there are few sounds one can hear thundering over the autumn trees than the bugling of a bull elk in his prime seeking for love. It’s a high-pitched squeal underpinned with a deep grunt or two and if you were alone in the woods and heard ...

Don’t expect NCAA to react to OSU

The question often comes up when a serious scandal hits college sports: Where is the NCAA? Why isn’t the governing body of major college sports, you know, governing? Ohio State suspended Urban Meyer for three games for mishandling allegations of domestic violence against one of his ...

Leagues need to find room for rivalries

Believe it or not, the high school football season kicks off tonight. Along with the Bellwood-Antis, Tyrone “Backyard Brawl,” Blair County rivals Altoona and Hollidaysburg will renew their rivalry to highlight tonight’s slate of games. Other non-league battles include Central at ...

Woods’ caddie puts heckler in his place

Golf is a sport known for the typically good behavior of its fans. However, with each passing year, it seems an ever-growing number of fans feel the need to impose themselves into the competition. Any weekend now, you can hardly watch a golf broadcast without hearing any number of unruly ...

Football shouldn’t be treated as family

Football coaches talk a lot about creating a family atmosphere in their programs. They walk into the homes of teenagers and tell the loved ones of each recruit: We’ll make him not only a better player, but a better person. College football media guides are filled with coaching staff bios ...

Marte deserving of benching

PITTSBURGH — Clint Hurdle did what he had to do, and that was the right thing. He benched Starling Marte for Monday’s game against the Atlanta Braves one day after Marte embarrassed the team — and by extension, the manager — with apathetic play against the Chicago Cubs. Marte failed ...

By the numbers: NASCAR heads toward playoffs

With summer quickly winding down, NASCAR’S Monster Energy Cup Series is gearing up for what could be an exciting post-season. The only question will be — will anyone care? Two regular-season races remain with Kevin Harvick leading the playoff standings as one of a dozen teams whose spot ...

Mehno: Pirates’ next TV deal needs to be fruitful

PITTSBURGH — The Pirates’ TV deal is up for renewal after next season, and what happens with that could have an impact on franchise finances for at least a decade. The Pirates are currently in a contract with AT&T Sports Net. It’s been reported — but never confirmed — that it ...

Injuries can happen at nearly any time

PITTSBURGH — It was just a routine practice on the last day of Steelers training camp in Latrobe. Business as usual, a sleepy day in the monotonous drudgery of training camp. Next thing anybody knew, Ben Roethlisberger was being checked for a concussion and everything changed. A big ...

Time for us to go back to school

It seems like fall comes a little earlier every year. Even as summer feels far from over, students throughout the region are getting ready to go back to the classroom: school supplies abundantly line the shelves of department stores, seasonal harvest spice cookies temptingly grace the bakery ...