Sports Columns

Game Commission to close two pheasant farms

Just in time to give a hearty “bah, humbug” to thousands of Pennsylvania hunters and 14 of its own employees, the Pennsylvania Game Commission announced last week it would be closing two of its four pheasant farms — the Western Game Farm in Crawford County and the Northcentral Game Farm ...

Bell a great weapon for Steelers

PITTSBURGH — There is snow falling at this moment, just as there was on Sunday when the Steelers won a game they had to win in Buffalo. So let’s take the occasion to heat up some leftovers from that game: n It’s been popular for a while to say that running backs are pretty much ...

Bedford athlete enjoying life with PSU ice hockey team

Commentary The Penn State State men’s ice hockey team is ranked No. 3 in the country, and among those Nittany Lions enjoying their history-making season is a Bedford native who cut his teeth (and skates) competing in central Pennsylvania’s youth programs. Junior goaltender Matt ...

Not all reunions are happy ones

Commentary PITTSBURGH — We love reunions and the chance they offer to catch up. We get to see who’s done well over the years and who hasn’t. What does the homecoming queen look like as a grandmother? Attendees touch base with the past, and try to condense the time that has ...

Bills may serve as trap game

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers are favored to win this Sunday’s game, but watch out for a couple of red flags. 1. The game is in Buffalo. The Steelers haven’t been very good on the road this season. Ben Roethlisberger’s home/road splits are heavily tilted in favor of Heinz Field. Is ...

The most wonderful time of year

Commentary ’Tis the season, from Thanksgiving backyard football games to the opening days of deer season, championship quests and holiday happenings ... these are some general observations while enjoying the sights, sounds and valuable lessons of the most wonderful time of the year. n ...

Lions deserve Big Ten glory

Commentary INDIANAPOLIS — Penn State won its first Big Ten championship game Saturday night, and its heroic performance was more than fitting as the Nittany Lions have shown the heart of a champion all year. But never did their heart pound harder than at Lucas Oil Stadium against a ...

McCutchen trade must be solid one

Commentary PITTSBURGH — Trade Andrew McCutchen? Sure. Just make sure to get value for him. The problem with trades is people tend to focus only on who’s leaving. McCutchen has obviously been the Pirates’ best player and was a key part in ending 20 consecutive years of ...

Experience at Pitt beneficial for Chryst

Commentary INDIANAPOLIS — It’s pretty obvious Paul Chryst feels right at home in Wisconsin. Chryst, whose Badgers are standing between Penn State and the 2016 Big Ten championship, wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire at his previous coaching stop — at Pitt. In three ...

Big Ten champion belongs in playoff field

Commentary The simple answer here is yes, and I say that whether Penn State or Wisconsin win Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium. And if it’s not yes, then why bring everybody to Indianapolis for the championship game? Why not just play out the regular season and then have a ...

Here’s why Nittany Lions probably won’t make it

Well, this stinks, but I’m here to give you the bad news. No matter how much we want to gripe or rip the process, all indications point to Penn State not getting into the College Football Playoff even if it beats Wisconsin for the Big Ten title. Our question here is whether the Big Ten ...

Coordinators play big role in success

Commentary No assistant coach in the country has done a better job this season than Joe Moorhead. Take that to the bank, regardless of what the folks say with the Broyles Award, which egregiously omitted Penn State’s offensive coordinator from its list of finalists for top assistant in ...

Steelers face challenge from visiting Giants

Commentary PITTSBURGH — The Steelers did what they had to do at Cleveland and Indianapolis. Now can they do what they want to do at home against the New York Giants on Sunday? It’s a big game with the Steelers tied with Baltimore for the AFC North lead and still in control of their ...

Holiday ode to the Nittany Lions

This particular holiday being the Big Ten Championship Game: ’Twas some time before Christmas, and all through the Valley The Lions of P-S-U prepped for a rally. Their jerseys were hung in the lockers with care In hopes that a championship soon would be theirs. A journey to Indy ...

Lions’ progress hits historic proportions

UNIVERSITY PARK — There are 16 unbeaten or championship Penn State football teams that are recognized by year, in large blue numbers, across the west side of Beaver Stadium. They span from 1894, through the early 1990s (1909, 1911, 1912) to the juggernauts of Hugo Bezdek in 1920-21 to the ...

Giger: Bonifay, now MLB coach, finally gets his promotion

Josh Bonifay was never fully rewarded as a player, but one of the best players in Curve history is finally getting his just due -- as a coach. "It's very unexpected and just overwhelming," Bonifay said of his terrific opportunity. The Texas Rangers hired Bonifay earlier this week for ...

NFL on Thursday not so appealing

Commentary PITTSBURGH —Thanksgiving was just a few days ago, so this topic is relevant: n There can be too much of a good thing. This doesn’t just refer to turkey and Aunt Helen’s special stuffing, either. Rather it’s about the NFL’s insistence on making Thursday night the ...

Nittany Lions’ focus gets final test

UNIVERSITY PARK — While Penn State’s 9-2 record this season was definitely unpredictable, the same cannot be said for James Franklin’s weekly approach. Franklin’s focus has been such that many questions throughout this seven-game win streak that even inched toward the bigger picture ...

CFP berth preferable, even if it means ’Bama

Commentary There’s a ridiculous notion that’s been debated in some circles over the past week that goes like this: Would you rather see Penn State get to the College Football Playoff and be crushed by Alabama, or go to the Rose Bowl and have a real chance to win? It’s the dumbest ...

Missing Big Ten final wouldn’t hurt progress

Commentary Penn State even being in the College Football Playoff conversation is a pinch-yourself kind of scenario. And, obviously, the best way to cap this dream season and program-restoring two-month surge would be to land in the Big Ten championship game, win it and play Alabama in ...