Sports Columns

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 ...

Important to look to future

Nostalgia is very nice. I, for one, listen to nothing but 1980s music and still dress like it’s 1996, so I know plenty about getting stuck in the past. The rivalry with Pitt is a huge part of Penn State’s past. And for a legion of Nittany Lion fans — older ones who grew up with the ...

Pitt series never will be matched

Ohio State is now a bigger game than Pitt, of course, and always will be unless the Panthers someday enter the Big Ten, and that ship has probably sailed for our lifetime. But that doesn’t mean the Buckeyes are a bigger rival, especially among the fans who make rivalries what they ...

Pirates make correct call on extensions

PITTSBURGH — The Pirates handed out a couple of long-term contracts on Tuesday, and the celebration seems to be limited to the men who received them. Manager Clint Hurdle and general manager Neal Huntington both got new four-year deals. Based on a quick scan of talk radio and a few ...

Skipper, GM sign 4-year contract extensions

PITTSBURGH — Now that the Pirates have their management team in place for the next four years, they can get to work on the big task. They have to figure out how to reach the level of success they did in 2013-15 when they qualified for the playoffs as a wild card. It’s not easy, but ...

Several things observed on Labor Day

Some general observations while bidding an unofficial farewell to summer… For many, Labor Day offers a final chance for camping and cookouts as the school year and fall sports kick into high gear. It’s the last weekend before NFL games start to count, and the height of the US Open Tennis ...

CB Haden worth the risk for Steelers

Commentary PITTSBURGH — The Steelers made the splash of the week by signing cornerback Joe Haden shortly after the Cleveland Browns released him. There are a couple of ways to look at this. 1. The Steelers were able to acquire a quality player to beef up their iffy secondary. 2. The ...

Lions answer call for faster start

UNIVERSITY PARK — Of all the things that far exceeded expectations during Penn State’s stunning march to the 2016 Big Ten championship, the Nittany Lions’ ability to start games quickly wasn’t one of them. In fact, their 11-3 record came despite repeated late alarms. The Lions ...

Too much for first Steelers HOF

Commentary PITTSBURGH — Now we know who the Steelers will induct into their new Hall of Honor. Just about everybody. The inaugural class was announced Tuesday, and there were 27 names — 23 Hall of Fame members and four others. It says here that was a mistake. The first class ...

Fishertown’s Godissart paves way for women officials

Friday nights are special for Annette Godissart of Fishertown. Each week, she makes her way to a high school football field, not to watch from the bleachers or work the concession stand, but to put on her black and white uniform and referee the game. “I love football … it’s just a ...

After holdout, Bell better be ready

Commentary PITTSBURGH — There’s no mystery about what Le’Veon Bell’s end game is. He wants to be paid a lot of money. He’s not wrong about that, either. If he’s not the best running back in the NFL, it wouldn’t take long to list the ones who are ahead of him. He’s cornered ...