Voice of the Fan

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 ...

Franklin, PSU have earned trust

Commentary I wrote to the Mailbag back in January of this year, expressing my unconditional support for James Franklin, despite the many naysayers who claimed that his coaching style may not be a good fit for Happy Valley. This followup is not intended to serve as an, “I told you ...

Fandom: Greg Meloy

Name: Greg Meloy Age: 31 Residence: Pittsburgh High school: Altoona College: Pitt My favorite sport: Football I usually attend games with: My wife, Kim Favorite high school team: South Fayette Lions Favorite college team: Pitt Panthers Favorite pro team: Pittsburgh ...

Shelton concert gets first gauge

Tickets for the first-ever concert in Beaver Stadium go on sale to the public Wednesday, and we’ll get a better sense then of the response to the lineup led by Blake Shelton, Chris Young and Big & Rich for the July 8 event. With the concert eight months away, it simply might be too ...

Saint Francis completes journey

Once a doormat, football team caps amazing turnaround On Sept. 14, 1996, the Saint Francis football team traveled to West Long Branch, New Jersey, to face Monmouth in the first-ever Northeast Conference football game. The Red Flash lost to the Hawks, 46-17. To say that the going has ...

Finally, Cubs banish their curse

Commentary They’ll relive the game for generations, these Cubs fans, talking about the magical night in Cleveland when the skies opened up and the curse of the Billy Goat was buried once and for all. Somewhere along the way the stories will be embellished, as if that is even possible. ...

Fandom

Commentary Name: Dave Westley Age: 50 Residence: Hollidaysburg High school: Altoona, class of 1984 College: Penn State, class of 1988 My favorite sport: Football I usually attend games with: My wife, Carol, and my three children, Ben, Audrey and Rachel Favorite high school ...

Be careful about reducing stadium

Commentary Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour stated she wants to reduce the capacity of Beaver Stadium to 100,000 (NitWits, Oct. 16, 2016), for a better fan experience. If she had her druthers, there would have been 7,000 fans denied the opportunity to experience the PSU-Ohio ...

Janocko, Tiracorda a cut above

Commentary There has not been enough said about the fine coaching this area has in our local sports programs. Although winning is always the goal in any game, it is not the primary focus of a good coach.  Building character, discipline and teamwork is the most important objective in the ...

Competitors chip away at ESPN

Commentary Since 1979, sports fans have mostly known one and only one outlet for sports on television: ESPN. In point of act, nobody really knew about ESPN during those first few years of its existence, but it quickly built a following and filled a niche. As earlier brand names, ...

Altoona in need of new affiliation

Watching Altoona’s heartbreaking loss to Pittsburgh Central Catholic again reminded me of the recurring questions such as why are we in the WPIAL and why isn’t the athletic council reviewing options? It is well documented where our illustrious athletic director, Phil Riccio, stands on the ...

Fandom

Name: Jim Kimble Age: 49 Residence: Hollidaysburg High school: Abington Heights Class of 1985 College: Penn State My favorite sport: Basketball I usually attend games with: My wife, Kathleen, and my son, Noah Favorite high school team: Abington Heights Favorite college team: ...

Give Franklin credit for improvement

Why does the Sunday Sports Mailbag consistently publish anti-James Franklin letters?Is it simply to provoke readers so they will be compelled to respond?Well, if this was the case, your scheme was successful.The Mailbag frequently publishes letters from a gentleman from Texas who recently ...

Berman’s ESPN career winding down

One of ESPN's longest-tenured employees gets his usual primetime perch each Monday night this season, but this has been anything but business as usual for Chris Berman - and what's next for the broadcaster could be interesting.Berman has been at ESPN since 1979, joining the then one-month-old ...

PSU job would still attract candidates

Cory Giger provided another good commentary in the Sept. 26 Mirror that essentially supports James Franklin as head coach for the Penn State football team through the 2017 season.With all due respect to Giger, who is much closer to the program than I am, I personally don't think things are ...

Tyrone doesn’t need artificial turf

I've been a Tyrone Area High School football fan for 70 years.Through rain, snow, ice and cancer, I've been in the stands - home and away - and watched the rise and fall of crowds. The caravans that set records at Hershey are now a trickle of booster-club parents and loyal old guys like me.I ...

Fandom

Name: David PayneAge: 21Residence: State CollegeHigh school: Dallas High SchoolCollege: Penn StateMy favorite sport: Ice hockeyI usually attend games with: My dadFavorite high school team: Dallas High SchoolFavorite college team: Penn StateFavorite pro team: Washington CapitalsMy favorite ...

ESPN ponders Mike and Mike split

A national media-related trial balloon went up this week, and if the idea ever becomes a reality, morning sports-talk radio in the region might sound significantly different.And that's not a good thing.Usually well connected Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated reported the suits at ESPN were ...

Scully gave us soundtrack to life

It was in the middle of the Barry Bonds home run chase, and I was sitting with Vin Scully in the broadcast booth at Dodger Stadium.The Dodgers were playing the Giants, and Vin had been kind enough to agree to an interview before the game. I was writing a column about his views on Bonds, though ...

CBS pulls plug on its rules expert

It's early in the NFL season. Week 3 features the Steelers at the Eagles this afternoon (4:25 p.m., WTAJ-TV), so pro football fans in our region might have missed one of the biggest personnel moves of the offseason - at least in terms of the league's TV presentation.CBS relieved former official ...