Blame Friday game on shore and Joe Banner, not in that order.
There's this thing called The Shore and it's a phenomena peculiar to Philadelphia that the town virtually empties out the weekend of Labor Day
So I'm driving on I-76 today and thinking how It's too bad I don't have a digital camera.
(When I get enough donations to buy a camera and a portable computer called a netbook, so I can take Temple Football Forever on the road with me and post daily news and photos on the Owls, I will.)
Back to the desire for a digital camera, though.
I'm driving by at 50 mph in a monsoon today on the Schuylkill Expressway and I see a Temple billboard that proclaims "Friday, Sept. 3" as the date of the home football opener with Villanova.
It meant only one thing. Temple's "negotiations" with the Eagles over its preferred date, Sept. 2, fell through.
Then I put two and two together and come up with four.
Oddly enough, that's the starting time of the game but it's not how this mostly mathematical equation was solved.
Two plus two equals 4 p.m. basically because Sept. 2, the date Temple AD Bill Bradshaw long sought as primo time for the game was denied the Owls by the landlord Eagles, leaving 4 as the only logical time for the game.
Temple could have played on the Saturday of the Labor Day weekend, when no one would have been in town. There's this thing called The Shore and it's a phenomena peculiar to Philadelphia that the town virtually empties out the weekend of Labor Day, leaving only the homeless and poor behind. Philadelphia is unique because The Shore (capital T, capital S) is only 50 miles away and Philadelphians see this weekend as their abosolutely last chance to get away before a long, cold, winter. The magnetic attraction of that to a region of 6 million people cannot be minimized.
So Saturday was out.
The Eagles could have done the "community" a favor and moved their game to Sept. 3 and allowed Temple and Villanova to play on the date best suited for a big college crowd. The Eagles being the Eagles could have gotten their 70K on either date but, no, the Eagles had to put the screws to Temple and Villanova.
"We want to play Thursday night," was basically what Joe Banner told Bradshaw.
"But, Joe, you'll get your crowd either night...."
"No, we still want to play Thursday night. Good luck, though."
The Phillies were already scheduled for Friday night (7).
Since two crowds in excess of 40,000 (hopefully for Temple, definitely for Phils) would be showing up at the same time, the Owls reluctantly were forced to pick 4 p.m.
It's a stroke of genius, in my mind.
The Temple and Villanova fans get to arrive, say, at 2 p.m. for tailgating, taking all of the tailgate spots used by Phillies fans.
Phillies fans arrive at about 4, then start frantically texting "WTF?" messages to their fellow 20-somethings.
If there's a silver lining to this scheduling nightmare, that's it.
Now let's get a crowd large enough to steal all of their parking spaces.
Better yet, let's get them into our game first by offering half-priced tickets for those who show Phils' stubs.