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Sports Columns

Welcome back: PSU men return to top 25 for first time in 23 years

Remember 1996? That was a cool year. I graduated from college that year, so yeah, that seems like a long, long time ago. Way back in 1996, the Penn State men’s basketball team was ranked in The Associated Press Top 25. The Nittany Lions finished that season 21-7 and No. 18 in the ...

A holiday ode to winter sports

This year’s poem celebrates the Winter Sports Season ‘Twas some time before Christmas and all through the region, The athletes were stirring… here comes a new season. With singlets and uniforms doled out with care, The hope of a championship floats through the air. The coaching ...

Giger: Fans should climb on PSU hoops bandwagon

UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State absolutely has a great chance to make the NCAA Tournament this season. Yes, it’s true. Really. No, reeeaaallly. I know, I know, PSU hoops history has beaten down so many college basketball fans around here that you just simply will not let yourself believe ...

Giger: PSU benefits from Rahne’s departure

Old Dominion did Penn State a big favor, and gave Nittany Lion fans an early Christmas present. That may sound harsh, but let’s be clear about one thing: Losing offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne is addition by subtraction for Penn State’s offense. Rahne is a good guy. A family man. A ...

Giger: Facts simply don’t back up Penn State’s Rose Bowl snub

It takes just two words to explain Penn State getting snubbed for the Rose Bowl. 1. Bogus 2. Illinois This really isn’t complicated, and anyone who tells you otherwise is fooling themselves. That goes for the College Football Playoff selection committee, which botched this thing. It’s ...

Saturday hunts change Thanksgiving

Pennsylvania’s firearm deer season is underway, though with a significant change from recent decades. Hunters took to the woods the Saturday after Thanksgiving rather than Monday, for the first time since 1963. The change was implemented to increase the number of hunters enjoying the ...

Raise a drumstick to Nittany Lions’ history

I’m thankful for Penn State’s history. Yes, the Nittany Lions have a present to feel very good about and a bright future, too, as the program has a chance to be in the College Football Playoff next year. But on this Thanksgiving Day, it’s cool that we as Penn State followers — be it ...

PSU always relevant on the national stage

This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for Penn State, and yet with a little bit of help, the Nittany Lions could be heading to the Rose Bowl. That’s certainly what you would call something to be thankful for. There are so many things that Penn State football fans can be thankful for, ...

Giger: Shorter in transfer portal bad look for Lions

The long and short of it is, Justin Shorter’s development and production at Penn State have been terribly disappointing. The how and why are debatable. Who’s to blame is debatable. What’s not debatable, though, is that Shorter is unhappy and apparently wants to leave Penn State. The ...

Elk season done; Saturday deer opener upcoming

Pennsylvania’s six-day general elk season concluded on Nov. 9. A total of 89 elk were taken by the 98 hunters who drew elk licenses for this year’s hunt. The 27 hunters who drew bull tags enjoyed a 100-percent success rate, as all 27 of them filled those tags. Sixty-two of the 71 hunters ...

Moral victory doesn’t overshadow PSU’s poor play

Far be it for me or anybody else to tell you how to be a fan. You fan the way you want to fan. Be happy about whatever it is that makes you happy. Get upset about whatever it is that makes you upset. It doesn’t matter what other people think about your team. What YOU think about your ...

MLB ignores grassroots in plan

Baseball is already struggling to attract new fans — especially younger ones. So, what brilliant idea have the powers-that-be come up with to expand the popularity of the national pastime? Contraction, of course. With its eyes firmly on the bottom line and not the future of the game, ...

Gallant effort starts with backup Levis

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Penn State left its heart on the Ohio Stadium turf Saturday, gamely fighting back from a three-touchdown deficit, and at the heart of that fight was its backup quarterback. Will Levis was outstanding. In fact, it’s difficult to remember a Penn State quarterback coming ...

OSU a glimpse of PSU’s present, future

Penn State’s 2020 season starts today. OK, maybe that’s a stretch. Maybe the Nittany Lions shock the world and, as a 19-point underdog, stun Ohio State at the Horseshoe. And, obviously, if that happens, all of a sudden Penn State lands in the Big Ten championship game – probably ...

Lions must maintain a ball-control offense

The question reminds me of the late 1970s, my very early days at the Mirror. At that time, there were three outstanding area small-school scholastic football teams that stood out — Southern Huntingdon, Bellwood-Antis and Juniata Valley. Each was coached by an old-school, run-first, tough ...

PSU defense must find ways to pressure OSU QB Fields

Penn State’s defense is not as good as everyone thought it was just a few weeks ago, which has been proven the past two games with the Nittany Lions looking inept at times against the pass. If PSU doesn’t fix that Saturday, it is going to get pounded by Ohio State. A painful reminder: The ...

Giger: Anti-social behavior: Death threats made to Clifford are appalling

We live in sad times, and there are reminders of that every single day. Now, I could go any one of 100 different directions with that setup. In this case, I’m going to stick to sports. Penn State football, specifically, and the troubling news that came out Tuesday. Nittany Lion quarterback ...

Sports gives much thanks for service

A pastor friend recently provided opening remarks at a business meeting I attended, using the opportunity to remind us the month of November should be spent in giving thanks. The traditional holiday of turkey and football first came to mind: the heat of the oven warming the kitchen; the ...

PSU a huge underdog against Buckeyes

Penn State’s players say they’re ready for Ohio State. Vegas disagrees — in a big way. The Nittany Lions are 18-point underdogs for this week’s huge showdown in Columbus that will decide the Big Ten East regular-season champ and a whole lot more. The Buckeyes have throttled everyone ...

Lions need to get better defensively

UNIVERSITY PARK – Penn State is 9-1, which means the valley is happy. Right? Well, almost. The Nittany Lions held off Indiana, 34-27, on a cool, sunny Saturday afternoon at Beaver Stadium, but for the second straight week, their defense raised another caution flag. It just may be the ...