Mirror missing mark on pro soccer

I promised Neil Rudel several years ago that I wouldn’t do this, but then again the president said you could keep your health insurance, so I guess another false promise is nothing big.

In last Sunday’s Mirror, there was not a single word written about the Major League Soccer championship, MLS Cup, played the day before.

In case you hadn’t noticed, millions of kids are still playing soccer in the USA, and several of the local high school teams were quite good this year and even played in the state playoffs.

The Mirror did a pretty good job of covering the schools throughout the year so one may have expected the paper to at least publicize the result of the nation’s primary professional domestic men’s soccer league that just completed its 18th season.

I’d be willing to wager the Mirror sports department doesn’t even know who played in the final.

In keeping with the past, however, the Mirror did include an article about the World Cup selection program that was held on Dec. 6 in Brazil, primarily because it was yet another negative story regarding the sport.

I’m beginning to get the impression that American sportswriters are terribly afraid of the sport and their demonstrated ignorance of the game.

It must really irritate them that millions of Americans are rising early on Saturday and Sunday mornings just to watch the English Premier League matches and that ESPN, Fox, NBC, and even CBS show the results of games from England, Spain, Italy, Germany and Mexico on a regular basis.

Many of us watch the European Champions League matches on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons during weeks that competition is in full swing. There are plenty of soccer bars in America where people gather in great numbers to watch matches.

The U.S. men’s team has qualified for its seventh consecutive World Cup that will be played in Brazil beginning in June 2014.

Despite the fact that the USA is in what is again called the “Group of Death” with Germany, Portugal and Ghana, I think you’ll find that this will be the farthest an American men’s team has ever progressed in a World Cup.

Our women have already won two World Cups and are the favorites to win a third in 2015. So maybe the Mirror might want to wake up to the existence of the sport past the high school level.

Brian Showalter


Chambers eats words

A few weeks ago after Penn State lost to Pitt, Nittany Lion basketball coach Patrick Chambers said his team was a good team and folks better get use to it.

He actually believed it or he is an old fashioned snake-oil salesman. Actually, both are true. But my perception is Chambers is a salesman whose credibility is badly shaken now that Penn State blew a 20-point lead to a very good Ivy League team.

The Penn State men’s basketball team’s return to Rec Hall was an automatic sale. It was perfect for recruiting purposes. The problem was both Chambers and team couldn’t finish the job of selling it and so it went by the wayside and was destroyed.

The team is now 8-4 with one non-conference game left to play – today vs. Mt. St. Mary’s – before Big Ten play starts.

Penn State hasn’t won a big game yet, and this is the best team Chambers has put together yet. His post-Pitt remark is going to haunt Chambers going into conference play and right on through the season.

Les Hart, Duncansville

Coyotes persecuted, maligned

Coyotes, greatly revered by Navajo herders who called them “God’s dog,” are tragically the most persecuted predator in Pennsylvania.

Rep. Mike Peifer, R-139, introduced HB 1534 that will pay hunters and trappers a $25 bounty fee for each coyote killed. State laws currently allow hunters to kill an unlimited number of coyotes year round. This bill has passed the House and needs to get through the Senate.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission creates the overpopulation of deer and coyotes through their wildlife management propagation programs and others. They deal in hypocrisy, as they say they need hunters to kill the deer to manage the deer population, because there are no predators. Then they want to decimate the coyote population, which is a deer predator, because they are killing deer, and the coyotes which are deer predators. They don’t want coyotes around, so there will be more deer for hunters to kill.

It is urgent to contact your state senator and Gov. Corbett’s office and ask them to vote “no” on any coyote bounty related bill.

It is pointless to continue to torture and kill coyotes. They are the true natural great predators who instinctively balance the ecosystems and should be respected, not slaughtered.

Silvie Pomicter, Chinchilla