Latest Issue

Pumpkins, Plumbers and Pigskin

What an amazing time of year to call our neck of Penns Woods home. As the calendar officially reads Autumn, it signifies the beginning of so many wonderful happenings and traditions. Soon, the fall foliage will illuminate both mountainsides that frame the Susquehanna River. Mother Nature’s perfect fall decorating of the West Branch Valley. The fall harvest is in full swing. Our locally grown pumpkins provide the perfect color accent for every farm market and roadside stand.

If a little brighter orange is of your liking, the Pennsylvania hunting season is just around the corner. What a great job the Pennsylvania Game Commission has done. There are more trophy bucks roaming around then could ever be imagined. I can’t wait to see what comes through the door during our Webb Weekly Uncle Ron’s Monster Buck Contest.

Before long the Mummers’ Parade will be marching up and down the streets of South Side. Shortly followed by the trick-or-treaters knocking at your door as those perfect pumpkins turn into jack-o’-lanterns.

It’s just a wonderful time of year to get out and enjoy everything nature has to offer. Whether it be fall fishing, kayaking, hiking, or biking, please don’t be a spectator to the beauty of God’s green changing to brightly colored Earth. Get out and about, and you will feel so much better about life. More importantly, share all we are blessed with your children. Let them see, hear, and feel the most amazing things in life — teach them they’re not found on any type of electronic screen.

The unofficial beginning of the Autumn Equinox for all of us at Webb Weekly has become our Fall Home Improvement Guide, which can be found inside this week’s publication. If you are looking to do any type of project around your house, it’s a must-read and save. We have tremendously talented folks in our area that work with their hands. They take great pride in what they do and can help you with anything from building a new home to fixing whatever didn’t get checked off that honey-do list.

Thank you to all that reached out to me about last week’s column. It was great to talk to so many about the old West Branch Football Conference. I heard so many great stories about rivalry games and playing all the local schools; it’s a shame that’s being missed by the players of today. I heard the words Bald Eagle Nittany more times last week than when Coach Ken Robbins was coaching us up for those Saturday 1 p.m. games at BEN. Sticking with our fall theme of this week’s article, I’ll never forget Coach Robbins’ words, “Playing up there is like playing on Halloween; you never know what’s going to happen.” And that was often the case for the Lancers.

There is no doubt in my mind that the time is right to stop driving by neighboring schools and get them back on the schedule.

While I’m talking football, scheduling, and money, I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about Penn State. The Nittany Lions defeated Keystone State rival, Pitt, this past week. The game marked the 100th meeting between the two schools, and possibly the last, which is not acceptable.

Penn State and Pitt should play every year, the last game of the season, no questions asked. This should have never changed, and it’s time that common dollars and sense prevail. I don’t want to hear any of the naysayers’ poppycock of why the two can’t play. Governor Wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing should step in and demand legislation to bring the state rivalry back to prominence.

The game is great for the state and its economy. It used to be a nationally recognized rivalry with Bowl implications and a possible National Championship hanging in the balance. Somehow it has now become an inconvenience just to get the state’s two big cats together on the same field. Just ridiculous.

As far as Penn State’s two other non-conference opponents, that has got to change too. National sportswriters used to knock Penn State’s schedule during Joe Pa’s Glory Days as being soft. The schedule currently being played is a JV schedule in comparison.

This can also be fixed easily by common sense. Penn State has three non-conference games. The Pitt rivalry game should be one, another game against an in-state school should be the second, and the third should be a matchup against a National power.

There is absolutely no way the Pennsylvania State University should be playing Idaho, Buffalo, or some other Sister’s of the Poor School from another state and paying them a million bucks to play at Beaver Stadium. That money should stay within the boundaries of the State with a rotation of Temple, Villanova, Bucknell, or any other state school that would like to take on the Nits.

This would keep the revenue produced within the Keystone State and help build another state school’s football program. No offense to Idaho, but I don’t believe they could even win the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and the PSAC is Division II.

The last non-conference game should be a national showcase. The Nittany Lions should play Alabama, Notre Dame, USC, Texas — just like they used to back in the Paterno days. Let’s buckle up the helmet and see what the Nittany Lions have compared to the nation’s elite. This will help with national recruiting and recognition. Not to mention at the end of the season when you’re trying to secure a playoff spot, a close loss to Alabama is better than beating up on the Balls Mills Naval Academy. However, at least that would be an in-state opponent, and the money wouldn’t be going to help build the Timbuktu State program.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *