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Sports Columns

Curve franchise future stable, even if 2020 season canceled

These are the most tumultuous times minor league baseball has ever encountered during the modern era, facing not one, but two calamities at once — the threat of missing an entire season, plus the likelihood of severe contraction that will lead to extensive reshuffling of leagues. Let me ...

Spitting image may disappear from sports

We come not to praise the loogie, but to bury it. Already banned on sidewalks, outlawed indoors and pooh-poohed by polite society, that gob of saliva and Lord-knows-what-else is done mucking up sports. In the wake of the new coronavirus, teams are revoking the germ-landing privileges that ...

Play all games as scheduled, but keep the fans away

We are not out of the woods yet with the coronavirus. Not by a long, long shot. This thing isn’t just miraculously going to go away. Tragically, people are still going to die. The death toll already has topped 75,000, and that number could reach 200,000 or more by the end of the ...

Cut non-conference, trim season, start all teams on Sept. 26

More than anything, I would like to see uniformity across college football. I don’t think it’s fair for the SEC or Pac-12 to be playing if the Big Ten or ACC is not. James Franklin said the other day he’s seeking “NCAA guidance,” and we all should be. The organization that has ...

It’s a fun time revisiting Penn State football’s finest hour

With live sports on hold due to the coronavirus, many media outlets, including the Mirror, are digging into their archives to provide meaningful content and filling up newspaper pages and TV time slots. Penn State fans got a treat the other night when NBCSN (NBC Sports Network) replayed the ...

Warriors wouldn’t stand chance against Jordan’s Bulls dynasty

This is a fun and timely topic with the Michael Jordan documentary currently airing on ESPN, but I also believe it’s somewhat of a silly debate. The Warriors of recent years wouldn’t stand a chance against Jordan’s Bulls of the ’90s in a seven-game series. I’ve long said the most ...

Curry, Durant, Golden State benefit from today’s technology

It looks like my first point-counterpoint has me as a pretty big underdog. As ESPN’s documentary “The Last Dance” continues to chronicle Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls dynasty for both fans who enjoyed watching the original run and people just being introduced to it now, the Bulls’ ...

Running is a panacea for troubled times

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken away so much from so many of us. Livelihoods. Health. Peace of mind. And most tragically, lives. But exercise is still a treasured blessing for those who enjoy participating in it. Stay-at-home orders from the government are the rule now rather than the ...

Trying to find the good in a bad situation

Notes and observations while thoroughly enjoying 11 more days of trout season: A WISE AND PRUDENT DECISION: The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission thoroughly hit it out of the park with its decision — in conjunction with the Office of the Governor, the Department of Health, and the ...

Commentary: Some ideas may be worth keeping

While sports is on hold during the coronavirus pandemic, there are surely lessons to be learned. When normality does return to our stadiums and arenas, maybe we can put them to use. Certainly, this unprecedented shutdown has changed life — and sports — in ways we never expected. But ...

Remembering Stokes, plus not a good 2020 for minor league ball

Even though no sports are being played right now because of the coronavirus, there’s a whole bunch going on in the sports world worthy of commentary. Stokes’ legacy Monday marked the 50th anniversary of the passing of Saint Francis basketball legend Maurice Stokes, who died at age 36 in ...

PIAA decision tough for everyone

Throughout my 15 years working in the sports department at the Altoona Mirror, I have had to conduct some very emotionally tough interviews. Talking with Juniata Valley girls basketball coach Rachelle Hopsicker and her team after the Lady Hornets led Jenkintown by nine points in the 2018 PIAA ...

Man witha plan: New Bucs GM thinking young at AA

The Curve were supposed to open their 22nd season tonight at Peoples Natural Gas Field, and it was supposed to be a season that would answer a couple of big questions going forward. Now, it’s quite possible there won’t even be a minor league baseball season, making for potentially another ...

Virus will make the timeline for sports, too

The unthinkable, at least for sports fans, already has happened. The games, as we know them, are shut down. We’ll never know if San Diego State was a Final Four contender or if Tiger Woods would have defended his green jacket at the Masters. There was no opening day in baseball. The odds ...

Spring brings memories of baseball

Living without spring sports gives everyone a chance to reflect on some of their memories of years past. Staring out the window into the sun and an empty baseball field while visiting my father in Tyrone a couple weeks ago, I started to think about one of the most memorable high school ...

Time at home now vital to PSU’s future

Penn State has a chance to enjoy a great football season this fall — if there actually is football — but a lot of what happens months from now on the field will depend on what the players do at home over the coming weeks and months. There’s no spring practice, no Blue-White Game, no ...

A ‘Classic’ case of ‘what if?’

Readers of our newspaper should be pulling out their sports pages to read about last night’s Altoona Mirror Basketball Classic. It could have been one of the most memorable yet, with at least seven future NCAA Division I girls players set to lace up their shoes and one of the strongest ...

Giger: Sports may not return to normal for rest of year

This. Stinks. What we’re going through in this country because of the coronavirus is terrible, for tens of millions of people. And things still are expected to get worse before they get better. We're all looking for good news. For slivers of hope. For reasons to think that maybe some of ...

Pearl Washington’s shot changed my life, and I have no idea why

Today would have been the start of the magical two-day extravaganza of the first round of NCAA Tournament, the greatest sports event in our country. I love, love, love the tournament. Always have. But we won’t get to see it this year because the coronavirus has forced a nationwide shutdown ...

No ‘Mania’ for this fan of wrestling

I’m never quite sure whether professional wrestling stories belong in the sports or lifestyle section of the newspaper, but with concerns over the coronavirus, pro wrestling may be the closest thing to sports still appearing live on our televisions every week. Friday’s Smackdown on Fox ...