Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Temple and Rutgers close to a 2-for-2 deal

Rivalries are a beautiful thing.
I'm old enough to know when Temple and Delaware were rivals.
One of my fondest days was spent in Newark, Del., when Temple beat Delaware, 31-8, in front of a still-record and still-stunned crowd of 23,619.
An even fonder day was Temple's 45-0 win in Newark on another beautiful Saturday. The hot dogs in that post-game tailgate tasted like Filet Mignon.
Temple even got grief from the local media by scheduling Delaware.
"I believe in scheduling Delaware ... and then beating the crap out of them," was the way Wayne Hardin was quoted in response.
I loved it.
Could you imagine Al Golden saying that about any opponent?
"Temple's program is a big-time song and dance," Delaware coach Tubby Raymond said.
Now that's a rivalry.
That's what I'm talkin' about.
Hardin must've really enjoyed it because he beat Raymond seven of the last nine times he faced him on the football field. Hardin could talk the talk, but one of the most admirable things about him (of many) is that he backed that up by walking the walk.
Penn State is a rival but, to be one, you've got to prove that you can beat one.
Temple's proven that against Rutgers numerous times and the proximity of the schools combined with an animosity factor qualifies this as a real rivalry.
You've got to have a little animosity to stir the rivalry pot and, in Rutgers, there's some of that.

That's why the news today of a 2-for-2 deal (twice in Philadelphia, twice in Piscataway) is terrific for me.
Since Delaware, Rutgers has always been Temple's biggest rival.
With the Big East expulsion backdrop, there's plenty of animosity.
This is something Rutgers wanted five years ago, but approached Temple with a 3-for-2 deal.
Temple, I'm told, said no dice.
"We want to play you, but it's 2-for-2 or nothing," was Temple's response.
So, for five years, it's been nothing.
Temple would have been very happy waiting until Kingdom Come with the nothing and Rutgers' brass finally realized that the extra game demand did not make sense if it meant the schools would never play again.
Rutgers finally gave in last week.
I'm amused when I hear from my Rutgers friends (and I have a few) demanding that Temple give Rutgers an extra home game "because Temple is a MAC school."
Dude, you are the reason we're a MAC school.
If you supported us, Virginia Tech and Pitt would have joined in and blocked the Big East expulsion.
So there's some animosity there.
There's no animosity, for me at least, against Buffalo, Kent State and the fake Miami.
The only discordant note is that this series won't start until 2015. Al Golden will be 45 years old and working on a Wayne Hardin-like legacy in Philadelphia (I hope).
By then, I hope he talks the Hardin talk and walks the Hardin walk.