Sept. 3, 2020 Photo by Emma George Local sports reporter, Cory Giger, recently visited COMM 001 at Penn State Altoona on Tuesday, September 3 in the Hawthorn building.
By Sam Homan
If you’re a local sports fan in central Pennsylvania, odds are you’ve heard the name Cory Giger. Forty-six-year-old Giger is notorious in the area for his takes on collegiate and professional sports. Giger grew up playing sports as a kid and that’s where his love for them began, he said. He’s appeared on several radio shows, and has even made an appearance on ESPN. He’s had an illustrious career covering the Pittsburgh Pirates, Penn State football, and the minor league baseball team, the Altoona Curve. Giger has become a staple name in the area’s sports journalism field.
Giger wrote three books, including ones about the local Altoona Curve baseball team and former Penn State football Coach Joe Paterno. Cory also was at one time a sports radio talk show host. There he would discuss game results, predictions, and voice his opinions based on facts he gathered from covering the games. Minor League Baseball always held a very special place in his heart, he said. Giger recently spoke to the Collegiate Review staff about his career.
For the past 20 years, he has been covering the Altoona Curve. When asked what his favorite sports moment that he ever covered was, Giger said that the 2017 Eastern League Championship win for the Curve took first prize. Despite covering the Rose Bowl, and games on much larger scales, Giger said that he likes this event the most because it was the first time a professional sports team won a championship in Altoona.
Things have not always been easy for Giger. He has been the subject of much controversy, especially revolving around his views and takes on Penn State football. For 15 years, Giger covered the Nittany Lions football team and has interviewed many stars for the team. A challenger of the late Paterno, Giger said that he sometimes didn’t get the warmest of reception from Penn State fans. His questions would occasionally not get the best reactions from Paterno, causing the Penn State faithful to have a certain distaste for Giger. Giger, however, said that he doesn’t mind the fuss. He believes it is better to be honest about a team or its performance whether it’s a good or a bad one.
A long-time employee of the Altoona Mirror, Giger has recently been laid off. Due to the coronavirus pandemic causing the cancellation of Minor League Baseball, and the Big Ten’s decision to cancel college football for fall 2020, Giger had no line of work to cover so the Mirror had no choice but to let him go, he said.
Despite a very up and down career, Giger believes the pros outweigh the cons. His occupation has brought him many things no other could have ever done. He’s met famous athletes, been on national television, and has traveled near and far covering our local teams. Local journalism, however, is known not to pay very much, so local journalists often feel they are paid by the pride they take in their work, Giger said.
Giger likes to think of himself as a hard worker bringing the public the news and truth on local sports. Like him or hate him, he has made a name for himself here in the sporting-event-loving area of central Pennsylvania.