Monday, August 30, 2010

Weather for Friday looking good ... so far

Actually, that should be one color ... Cherry.

Weather, SEPTA, Phillies ... no excuses on Friday. Be there and wear Cherry.

I went to bed last night and slept secure in the knowledge that the weather forecast was good for Friday afternoon's home opener with Villanova.
Adam Joseph, the Channel 6 weather guy, said it would be hot (95 degrees) and sunny.
A little too hot, probably, to be drinking alcohol in the tailgate, but I made a mental note to pack away the Diet Pepsi Wild Cherrys just in case.
I left the TV on and woke up to a nightmare.
Matt Broderick, the WFMZ weather guy, said that Hurricane Earl might make a run close enough to "even cause us some problems."
Just Temple's luck.
The Owls had a Hurricane for the UConn home game a few years ago, one so bad Channel 29's John Bolaris said on the 10 p.m. news "no way Temple will be playing in this tomorrow."
They not only played, they brought 17,000 fans, most of them drenched students, to the overtime loss.
Who knows how many fans watched Bolaris that night and decided to bag it?
Last year, the Homecoming Game was affected by a Nor'easter so bad that it was compared to the 1960 Jersey shore Hurricane. The crowd against Army was abysmal.
Now this.
Still, though, Channel 6 is sticking to their guns and predicting sunny and 95 for Friday.
Channel 3 is also predicting good weather for Friday, 90 degrees but with a "watching Earl" caveat on the five-day.
So the weather for Friday, on the whole, is looking good ... so far.
There's a part of me that thinks this bad boy named Earl will make a hard left at the last minute just to screw Temple, but I hope that's the cynic in me.
I'm counting on Channel 3 and 6 to be right and WFMZ, an Allentown station, to be wrong.
I will not bother to check out what John Bolaris says.

Friday, August 27, 2010

One week before Nova and the big news is ...

If this football thing doesn't work out, I'm sure BP can co-host sports center with fellow Temple guy (Class of 97) Kevin Neghandi.
One week before Villanova and the biggest news is that Bernard Pierce is back on the first team.
Al Golden mentioned it in passing to a couple of people at Wednesday's Fan Fest, saying "you guys" (meaning reporters) focus on it (the depth chart) too much.
You could have knocked me over with a feather with that one, not the depth chart comment but the fact that a healthy Bernard who has practiced well over the past couple of days moved past a real good, but 5-foot-5, running back into the No. 1 spot.
Funny thing is that no Daily News headlines appeared in the next day saying, "Bernard Pierce is back at No. 1." On Monday, there was a full-page story saying "Bernard Pierce Demoted to Second String."
I tried looking at the depth chart in the last couple of hours but it hasn't been changed from Matt Brown, unless they change it in the next couple of hours.
My guess is that the coaching staff doesn't get around to handing the updates to the athletic department every day.
Whatever, God-willing, expect Bernard Pierce to line up behind Chester Stewart for the first play from scrimmage against Villanova.
The Wildcats have never seen anything like Bernard Pierce so, as T.O. says, "get your popcorn ready."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Owl Outlook's great interview with Adrian Robinson

If you fast forward to the 6:13 mark, you will see why TU needs a financially secure donor to come up with the $1 million a decent practice bubble costs.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Temple's football Fan Fest is Wednesday

For those of you who haven't read this email from Temple athletics, it's worth a look, especially the part about parking:
Temple Fan –

Be a part of Temple Football Fan Fest 2010! This exciting event will take place on Wednesday, August 25 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field (Head House Plaza area). At this event, you’ll enjoy the following festivities:
Shane Artim's obit from Pottstown Mercury:
Shane M. Artim, 46, loving son and brother
Published: Monday, August 23, 2010
Shane M. Artim, 46, of Washington, DC, formerly of Pottstown, passed away suddenly on Aug. 10 at his residence.

Born in Pottstown, he was the son of John M. and Joanne M. (Ricci) Artim of Ormond Beach, Fl.

Shane was 1982 graduate of Pottsgrove High School and graduated in 1987 from Temple University with a BS in Political Science.

Shane was an award-winning journalist. He covered federal and state transportation issues for many years.

An East Capitol Hill resident, Shane was active in District transportation issues through his Advisory Neighborhood Commission.

He was a huge Temple Owl fan and was very active in the Temple Alumni Association and always known for roasting pork shoulder for tailgating. He will be sadly missed by his family and all of his Temple alumni.

Along with his parents, he is survived by his brother Craig A. Artim of Philadelphia, his maternal grandmother Josephine Ricci and a large and caring family.

Visitation will be on Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at Catagnus Funeral Home & Cremation Center, Inc., 711 N. Franklin Street, Pottstown with a memorial service to start at 11 a.m., the Rev. Alan Okon Jr. officiating.

Burial will follow in St. Aloysius New Cemetery, Pottstown.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can me made in Shane's name to Frances Hollingsworth, Asst. Dean of Development & Alumni Affairs, College of Liberal Arts, 1228 Anderson Hall, 1114 Polett Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19122.

View obituaries or send condolences at the Catagnus Funeral Homes website.
- Receive posters and autographs from the entire Temple Football team!
- Meet the Temple Football coaches!
- Live music and appearances from the Temple Cheerleaders, Diamond Gems Dance team, Hooter the Owl and the Temple Marching Band!
- Temple Locker Room Tours!
- Clowns, face painters, Philadelphia Zoo on Wheels, Temple Photo Booth, Dunk Tank and other interactive games!
Admission to Fan Fest is FREE! However, please note there is a Philadelphia Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park beginning at 7 p.m. As a result, all attendees parking in the stadium lots will need to pay to park.
We hope to see you at Temple Football Fan Fest! Plus, don’t miss our home opener versus FCS National Champion Villanova in the Mayor’s Cup game – presented by Dunkin' Donuts – on Friday, September 3 at 5 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field. Great seats are still available!

For Temple Football ticket information – including our new Partial Season Ticket Plan (3 great games of your choice!) - please call the Temple Sales Office at 215-204-8499 or visit
Go Owls!
It's not too late to get season tickets. Good seats on the Temple side are limited, but there are plenty of great seats for Owl fans on the Villanova side, so let's Cherry Out the Linc. Click on logo to join the season ticket crowd:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The CUSA move: Makes sense for Owls

Temple finally gets into the changing college football landscaping business.
It's one thing when an anonymous blogger throws out a rumor. Those kind of things happen all the time.
It's another when a respected college football journalist like's Tom Dienhart does it, followed a few hours later by an assistant AD at Rice adding the "exciting news" coming later today that Temple and one other school will join Conference USA for football only, effective starting in the 2011 season. Dienhart has broken many stories and his reputation is impeccable in the business, so his word is nothing to be trifled with and when the Rice AD says "exciting news" coming today that's as close to a two-source confirmation that you'll get in today's increasingly electronic media.
When editor John DiCarlo asked Bill Bradshaw for a comment regarding the proposed move, Bradshaw said he couldn't comment.
If nothing was happening, don't you think Bill Bradshaw would have said nothing was happening?
Something is happening.
So I'm buying it.
Temple to CUSA. Since this has to be approved by the Board of Trustees, the time frame could be a little longer than expected.

It will be released not by Temple first but by the CUSA office. Only after it is made official will Temple have some kind of comment.

(2011 sked is similar to this one)

Date Bowl (Site) Time (CT) Network

Fri., Dec. 31 AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Memphis, Tenn.) 2:30p ESPN

Thu., Dec. 30 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (Fort Worth, Texas) 11:00a ESPN

Wed., Dec. 29 EagleBank Bowl (Washington, D.C.) 1:30p ESPN

Fri., Dec. 24 Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl (Honolulu, Hawai'i) 7:00p ESPN

Tue., Dec. 21 Beef O'Brady's Bowl (St. Petersburg, Fla.) 7:00p ESPN

Sat., Dec. 18 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (New Orleans, La.) 7:00p ESPN

The Owls were wooed by CUSA a few years ago before accepting the MAC's football-only invite and that turned out to be a life-preserver for a then-drowning program.
The move was first mentioned by a Tulane blogger a couple of weeks ago and it turns out he had some pretty good sources.

Truth be told, the CUSA Bowl lineup is so much better than the MAC's it's not even funny.
Even if Temple wins the MAC this year, the, err, reward for Temple fans is a trip to Detroit for the championship game followed by another trip to Detroit for the bowl game.
No offense Detroit, but that's dreadful. I can just imagine the Temple fan now complaining that he can't go to Detroit because the walk from his car to the indoor stadium will be "too cold."
The only way Temple can avoid that is to win out, beat Penn State, Villanova and UConn and sweep the MAC. Something like that could ... could ... put Temple in the Rose Bowl or the Sugar Bowl and more likely mean a certain Heisman Trophy for Bernard Pierce.
That's my mantra this year "12-0 and we're Golden."
I'd love to meet the Temple fan who went to the last Sugar Bowl involving Temple (1934). If he/she is still alive and, say, 20 then, he/she would be 96 now.
Possible, not likely.
Still, if this turns out to be true, I'm ambivalent about this.
Seriously, I've always liked the MAC.
I liked the MAC when I was a kid.
I liked the MAC when Big Ben was at Miami.
I liked the MAC when Garrett Wolfe was making his run at the Heisman.
I liked the MAC when Northern Illinois upset Alabama a few years ago and when Central Michigan beat Michigan State last year.
I liked the MAC long before Temple even got involved with that conference.
Now that Temple's in it, I follow all the MAC games even more closely.
I don't see how Rice will put more opposing fans at Lincoln Financial Field than, say, Bowling Green but, let's face it, BG never put more than a few hundred in there anyway.
It's a step up for football certainly and Owl hoop heads will probably like the nonleague schedule a lot more than they do now.

If Temple wins the MAC this year and THEN Conference USA next, I'm loving the move and the history that comes with winning two leagues in consecutive seasons.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Temple people must support Temple

Go to the 3:53 mark to learn the Morkeith Brown chant. Fans can at least learn the final part that ends with TU.

You can learn a lot by spending five or 10 or 30 minutes with ex-Temple coach Wayne Hardin.
Hardin is in his 80s now and, unlike Joe Paterno (unfortunately), still incredibly mentally sharp.
Gosh, I wish I was that sharp.
Ten ways for Temple people to support Temple
1. Morkeith Brown's cheer (it'll take some practice, but the team has to get through two-a-days, so maybe we can get the Cherry Crusade to do this in the parking lot).
2. This site and and OwlsDaily is like preaching to the choir. I know you are going to go and you know you are going to go, but what are we doing to reach people who haven't been to a Temple game since the Beach Boys and M.C. Hammer?
3. Utilize Facebook and Twitter (I barely know how to do this). I'm sure the young folks have many more followers and friends than I do.
4. Utilize the student directory. Emphasize the fun students have (free beer and food plentiful) and how it is a great way to network with fellow students and alumni, especially the first week of the school year.
5. Heisman Trophy angle. Yes, Temple has a legitimate HT candidate this year. Tell your friends. Tell your Eagle fan friends. Tell them this guy is better than Shady McCoy. He is. Tell them he'll be a lot more legitimate when he rips off 3 bills and 3 scores against Nova, even while used sometimes to set up play-action to 4.3 wideouts.
6. Get your non-Temple friends involved (again, free beer and food angle).
7. Get fans you know who are going to the Phils' game that day involved.
8. Email everyone in your address book the Mayor's Cup Event Facebook page.
9. Put a Mayor's Cup for sale sign on your front lawn.
10. Purchase a Hunt for Heisman bumper sticker so that you can roll like the buses with a message supporting Temple football.
Hardin knows more about football than any man I've ever known and, considering that I've known Mike Pettine, Sr., perhaps the greatest high school coach of all time, that's saying a lot.
Hardin knows a lot about life and people, too.
He knows Temple University.
Hardin, pretty much through the power of his will alone, helped pack a crowd of 30,000 people, almost entirely wearing Cherry and White, into the Navy game three years ago at Lincoln Financial Field.
His message in the months leading up to the game:
Temple people must support Temple.
"Look," Hardin said, "you have a school with 250,000 (now in excess of 270,000) alumni, most of them living in a short driving distance to the stadium. You have 33,000 full-time students. You have 12,000 full-time employees. They should all be supporting Temple."
So should you.
So ARE you.
On a site like this one, I feel like I'm preaching to the choir at times.
Even though we've had enough visitors here to fill Beaver Stadium twice or Lincoln Financial Field three times, I don't feel like I'm getting to the other 250,000 alumni who've thought about attending a game in the last 30 years but didn't.
Here you have a football team coming off a school-record nine-game winning streak playing a local rival coming off a national small school championship.
All indications are the Villanova "crowd" will not top 5-7K.
That's why it's important for Temple people to get 30-40K TEMPLE people at the game.
That's why it's important for the Temple people who are there to get behind the team much like the 20,000-plus Temple fans who traveled to D.C. got behind the team then.
The "Let's Go Temple" cheer just before Temple's second touchdown literally rocked the old RFK Stadium to its foundation.
A D.C. United soccer fan told me on the way out that it was never that loud in that stadium for a D.C. United game and he said it gets loud often.
So that's why Hardin's message should be heeded now more than ever.
That message is clearer now than it was then.
Spread the word and not just to your football fan friends.
Go through the student directory and email blast every kid.
Buttonhole as many Temple alumni as you know and talk up the game.
Talk up the game to the Temple police, the kids who work at the bookstore, the person who serves you the burger at Wendy's.
Heck, get the food truck vendors down there, too. Milton Street, the ex-Mayor's brother, used to sell me cheesesteaks when I was a Temple student. I doubt he's still there, but others have taken over.
When you get to the stadium, do the Morkeith Brown cheer.
Think the football team won't be impressed with that?
They'd go crazy.
That's the idea.
Show them we're behind them and the support is there.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sad news: Shane Artim has passed away

Shane with the Poklembas at the glorious Navy game tailgate.
Photos (except for Rendell) by Joni D. Stutman, CST ’82

For the second time in this calendar year, it is my sad duty to report that a treasured member of our core fan base has passed at the all-too-young age of 46.
Shane Artim has gone too soon this time. Back in January, it was Dan Glammer.
News comes from fellow tailgater and D.C. alumnus and board member Michael Britton. Details to follow in the next couple of days. Right now, no details or arrangements have been released.
Both Artim and Glammer stuck around long enough to have the time of their young lives in the bowl game.
They will miss so many more great moments in Temple football history in the next few years.
If you look on Shane's Facebook page, Dan Glammer is right there.
Not surprising, since both were the same age, Temple grads and rabid (I mean, rabid) Temple football fans.
If all Temple grads followed Temple football like Shane Artim did, we'd never have any problems. There would be a waiting list of 175,000 alumni alone to get into the largest stadium in the MAC.
Unfortunately, too few are like Shane was.
For Artim, a leading member of Temple's D.C. Alumni group, going bowling in his adopted hometown was an extra-special treat.
He got to see Temple play a bowl game in his "second" hometown and played host to many of us who hadn't been to that beautiful city since we were kids.
Everyone who tailgates knows who Shane Artim, a 1987 Temple grad,  is.
All you have to do is look at the photos accompanying this story for the familiar friendly face.
This was a guy who had no qualms about walking up to anyone in the lot and talking Temple football.
To me, that's the beauty of our tailgates.
There are no cliques. Everyone talks to everyone else.
From Adrian Robinson's dad to regular fans like Ted DeLapp, the Temple football tailgate group is a tight one and growing into the high thousands with every game.
Shane was, like me, someone who started out in the newspaper business.
Unlike me, he wasn't willing to settle for the meager pay and benefits that come with the business so he struck out on more lucrative ventures.
He worked in government, was a legislative liaison and community activist, and even got his photo taken with Gov. Ed Rendell.
He even tried his hand at some comedy. (I got the idea he was more of a fan of comedy than someone who was funny himself.)
I would see Shane for a home game or two every year and he always had some good questions to ask.
I tried to answer them the best I could. He was a genuinely good guy.
Even though Lot K figures to be packed come Sept. 3, looking around the parking lot for Shane and realizing he won't be there will make it seem empty.
Click on Shane's photo and then SLIDESHOW to find a photo tribute:

Some great photos of Temple fan Shane Artim, enjoying the people and events, mostly tailgating, surrounding Temple football.
Photos by Joni D. Stutman, CST ’82

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Marketing Temple-Villanova football

Three weeks to the start of the season and only about 15,000 tickets have been sold for the Villanova game.
Time to panic, right?
Relax, we'll get our 37,000.
It says so right here.
I'm a firm believer in the Tom Sawyer school of marketing.
You know, it was Sawyer, through the talented pen of Mark Twain, who made an otherwise dreadful chore, painting a fence, look like it was the thing to do.
Not like going to the Temple vs. Villanova football game is a dreadful chore.
I've been looking forward to it for 330-plus days.
So has the Temple football hardcore fan base which, if you go by the EagleBank Bowl and the Kent State game to close out the season last year, is now 20,000. (Temple traveled 20K fans to D.C. for the bowl game and drew 21K at home for Kent State in the final regular-season game.)
We'll get the hardcore 20,000, whether the game is played at 5 p.m. on Friday or midnight on Friday (it's 5 p.m.).
That said, the "chore" right now is to get to my magical figure of 37K (Al Golden wants 45K and that's fine, too) by adding both the hardcore and soft core Villanova fan base and our own soft core fan base.
Evidence points to the "hardcore" Villanova fan base as being around only 5,000. You need only look at the last three playoff games in Radnor for those figures. Add in a couple of more thousand "softcore" Villanova fans just on the novelty of winning the national championship alone and we're right where we were last year.
The challenge comes in getting the "softcore" Temple fans to postpone by only a few hours a trip to the shore on the last weekend of the summer.
Chore yes, impossible no.
Need an idea?
Look no further than Tom Sawyer for one.
Make the thing so appealing that it's a "can't-miss" deal.
Say this is fun (it is), this is what everyone is going to do, that all the students are coming (15K did last year, fudge the figure upward and say 20K are expected this year) for the free food and drink and camaraderie (many are) and this is a happening like no other sports event in this town for years. Students are going to be saying, "Geez, 20,000 of my fellow students are coming, I don't want to be one of the few kids left out. Get me my ticket now." It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Mix in the primer of Bernard Pierce's Hunt for Heisman campaign and, walla, you have a walk-up crowd of people asking for an opportunity to pain this fence.
Just like Tom's friend, Ben, did in the Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Monday, August 2, 2010

TU-RU series deal signed and sealed

About the coolest-looking season tickets ever.
Photo by Owlified

Not surprisingly, all the Temple coaches are pretty good guys and down-to-earth people.
I got that impression yesterday when Mark D'Onofrio, the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator, walked up to me and extended his hand at McFadden's during the annual season ticket-holders' party.

"I'm Mark D'Onofrio," he said.

"I'm Mike Gibson," I said.

He probably knew I knew who he was, and he might have known who I was, but the pleasantries were both sincere and appreciated.

I then mentioned to D'Onofrio you could have held yesterday's season ticket holder party in a phone booth five years ago.

"That's what makes this so rewarding for me," I told him, because I knew how it used to be.

I then asked D'Onofrio to put Chris Whitney on his ass early and often.

This is my favorite photo of Adrian Robinson because it shows how much he cared about beating UCLA. I think he will have many more happy moments than sad ones this year. His sack at Navy was shown on the big screen at McFadden's.
He laughed, but had no discernible reaction. I didn't expect him to anyway.

At least, my fervent hope is that the seed for the defensive game plan against Villanova has been planted. Heck, that was my game plan last year. If Whitney is sacked nine or more times, I guarantee a convincing Temple win. If they let him sit back and dink and dunk, like last year, it'll be too close for comfort. How they get to nine or more sacks is D'Onofrio's call. What's important is pulling out all the stops to get there, including linebacker, safety and cornerback blitzes if necessary.

I thought the party was packed last season, but it looked like the big room at McFadden's was at least three times as crowded yesterday.

The party spilled over into the large outside area and that was packed, too.

That brings me to the big news.

Some Temple people in the know mentioned to me that season tickets have tripled in the past year.

Since season tickets were 3,190 sold last year, I'm guessing we're approaching 10K in season tickets alone right now.
The tickets themselves were pretty amazing. In past years, they'd put a rubber band around some pretty bland-looking tickets and stick it in an envelope.
When I went up to the table to get mine, I thought there must have been a mistake. It looked like a cool poster (see Owlified's photo), but no tickets. Then I saw the scanned code at the bottom and realized they were my season tickets.
Pretty sweet.

"We have three games to open the season and we're looking to average at least 25 thousand for those three games," Temple AD Bill Bradshaw said.

That's attainable and realistic.

I'm sticking to my prediction of 37K for the Villanova game. It'll take some doing, but that's attainable, too.

Win Villanova and you are talking 25K for each of the Central Michigan and UConn games.

Some great Temple video was shown, including Adrian Robinson's sack of Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs on the last play of that game and the ensuing Temple celebration, both on the field and in the locker room.

Great stuff.

Dobbs must have had maybe one second from the time he took the snap until the time AR cut him down. It was the most impressive and important sack of the season and great to see that moment on the video again.
    The other big news:
  • Rutgers has been signed to a home-and-home for four games starting in 2015. Bradshaw mentioned that the deal was signed "today" meaning Monday. So what was rumored is now official.
  • The Penn State series has been extended by five games.
  • Coach Al Golden reported "no academic issues" with any of his players, meaning all will be eligible for the Villanova game and the ensuing season.
  • Golden said that "we'll work toward getting Wayne Hardin in the college football Hall of Fame, where he deserves to be." Couldn't hurt to have college football's hottest young coach pursuing this issue.
  • Hardin, who was there, said that "he doesn't care" whether he gets in, but many of his former players do. I told coach to just look at the teams he put in the top 20 (Navy No. 2 in 1962 and Temple No. 17 in 1979) and neither has sniffed a ranking anywhere near as high since. For that alone (and many other accomplishments), he deserves induction.

It's not too late to join the party ... not the one at McFadden's, but the one at the Linc. Click on logo to join the season ticket crowd: