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: