Guest Columns

Williamsport exposure a home run

Commentary It’s hard to argue that a regular season baseball game five months from now ranks as must-see TV, but Cardinals-Pirates on Aug. 20 will not be just another baseball game. The MLB Little League Classic will be played at BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field, home of the ...

CBS greed hurts Selection Show

Kudos to CBS Sports and the NCAA, which shortened tonight’s NCAA Tournament selection show from last year’s super-sized, two-hour version to 90 minutes this year. The show will air at 5:30 p.m. on WTAJ (Channel 10) in our region. Before last year, the show was only an hour long. But ...

Annual Altoona Day stirs memories

When I was growing up in Altoona, I used to read a column in the Mirror by a man named Os Figard, who shared about the happenings in Florida. Now that was at least 50 years ago, so my memory may be a little foggy, but I recall that he wrote about Altoonans who spent their winters in The ...

PSU basketball presents tough call

To be clear, Steve Jones and Dick Jerardi might have a couple of the toughest jobs in college basketball. Working as the play-by-play man and color commentator, respectively, for Penn State men’s basketball comes with challenges. The most obvious of those is the conflict between being ...

Storylines abound at Daytona 500

The 2017 Daytona 500, the 59th annual running of the event, is packed with storylines that have been building throughout Speedweek. Most notable is the return of Dale Earnhardt Jr. from a concussion that forced him to miss half of the NASCAR season in 2016. NASCAR’s most popular driver ...

‘Mike and Mike’ chemistry was real

News, and even new rumors, out of ESPN has been almost nonexistent as the supposed breakup of ESPN Radio’s longtime morning drive program, “Mike & Mike,” nears its apparent end. Sports Illustrated first reported the program might end, but no timetable has been specified since that ...

Knicks’ train wreck hits rock bottom

A dozen security guards handcuffing and dragging out a legendary player from courtside seats in the middle of a game would probably be considered the most embarrassing thing ever for almost every sports team. Unfortunately — or fortunately — the New York Knicks are unlike any other ...

Knox’s legacy worthy of Hall of Fame

We are nearing the end of the game, and time is running out. In the clamor and uproar of the modern sports marketing machine, a great man’s achievements are undeservedly dissipating like the roar of the crowd after a Hail Mary touchdown. Around the time of the Super Bowl, we celebrate ...

PSU grad in middle of ‘super’ telecast

Sports on TV can be unpredictable, but for people watching the Super Bowl tonight there are two guarantees: First, Patriots receiver Chris Hogan will get some airtime and, second, the postgame trophy presentation will get the attention viewers expect — especially if New England wins. Rich ...

Steelers hit home run in ratings

Commentary By any measure (and there were many, according the NBC Sports public relations team), the Steelers-Chiefs divisional playoff game last week was a success. It was the most-watched primetime game on any network since last year’s Super Bowl, attracting an average of 37.1 ...

Steeler pregame show worth listen

Getting ready to watch the Steelers-Kansas City Chiefs playoff game tonight? Before you do, listen. Seriously, find the Steelers pregame show on radio, about 45 minutes before kickoff if you can, and listen to the question-and-answer session with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and Steelers.com ...

Fandom

Commentary Name: Tony Miller Age: 49 Residence: Altoona High school: Cambria Heights College: Penn State University My favorite sports is: Football I usually attend games with: My wife, Carol, and my kids, Jason and Casey Favorite high school team: Altoona Favorite college ...

Time for postseason awards

It’s the first day of 2017, and that’s just enough time to take one last look back at 2016 in terms of sports television with my selections for the best individuals and moments of the year. Here we go: Best studio show: “College GameDay,” ESPN. The show remains, by just a smidge over ...

Altoona’s 1962 team turns back clock

In the fall of 1962 for 14 weeks, 51 young men started on a journey that continues to this day. It has been 54 years since those young men completed, and competed, on the football field. Their record still stands as the last undefeated football team at Altoona Area High School. We all live ...

PSU maximizing its exposure

Kudos to Penn State coach James Franklin and his team for how they’ve dealt with the media in the aftermath of the Big Ten Conference championship game and leading up to the Rose Bowl. Their message has been one of determination, focus and thankfulness. They’ve embraced the opportunity, ...

Will ‘Hall’ door crack for Selig?

Commentary Everything about baseball got bigger during Bud Selig’s reign as commissioner. What’s important to remember is how. Because the same outsized contributions that earned him entry into the Hall of Fame should crack open the door wide enough for stars from the super-sized era ...

Branca passing stirs memories

Ralph Branca, the Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher who died last week at 90 years old, will always be remembered as the pitcher who threw the pitch to Bobby Thomson of the hated New York Giants. Thomson hit a “bloop” home run (285-footer) into the left-field stands in the old Polo Grounds in New ...

PSU shoud get used to Fox

After two postseason firsts for Penn State in one game Saturday night — playing in the Big Ten Conference championship game for the first time and playing in game broadcast by Fox for the first time — fans can expect more of the latter over the next six years. Fox picked up the broadcast ...

Fandom

Name: Joel McElhinney Age: 43 Residence: Altoona High school: Altoona, class of 1991 My favorite sport: Football I usually attend games with: My buddies or my daughter Favorite high school team: Altoona Favorite college team: Penn State Favorite pro team: Steelers My favorite ...

Silence deafening at Carolina

Commentary In case you missed it during this week devoted to indigestion and brawling during Black Friday over that toy your child just has to have, the NCAA dropped the hammer on Notre Dame for academic shenanigans that occurred in its once-storied football program. It was an ...