Saturday, September 18, 2010

Penn State week: Robinson stole the ball

"You know I'm going to take that ball from you the next time you see me," Adrian Robinson appears to be telling his cousin, Penn State's Curtis Drake.

"I saw the ball and it was loose, I ripped it out and it was Murder-She-Wrote from there."
_ Adrian Robinson.
I don't have access to Harry Donahue's call of the play of the game Saturday vs. UConn, but if Chick Hearn was calling the game, it might go something like this (apologies to John Havlichek):
"Adrian Robinson stole the ball. Robinson stole the ball. Game over."
Well, the game wasn't over then be it might as well have been.
Adrian Robinson has been making big plays all of his life. Defensive players of the year make defensive plays of the year and Robinson's strip of Jordan Todman might have been just that.
"I saw the ball and it was loose, I ripped it out and it was Murder-She-Wrote from there," Robinson said.
It was a great non-call from the officials because Todman was fighting for extra yardage. How many times have you seen guys fighting for extra yardage break out of piles like that and score? I've seen it a lot. (How about Navy two years ago?)
Much to the credit of the UConn fans, nobody was calling for that play to be blown dead.
They were too busy killing their own team in general and their fine coach, Randy Edsall, in particular.
How is it that the Friday BEFORE the Temple game these same fans were saying Temple's got no chance, Temple's no good and the Huskies might be better than the 1966 Michigan State Spartans.
Then the day AFTER the Temple game, UConn stinks in their eyes.
Can't have it both ways.
I guess they confused Temple with Texas Southern.
Edsall gave Temple no credit, but the UConn players were unanimous in their praise of the way the Temple kids played and hit.
The kids on the field know. They know.
The adults on message boards not so much.
The implosion on, the UConn message board, is about as impressive as the explosion caused by the Enola Gay in 1945.
It's a nuclear-type jaun, as my friend, Jay "Chief" Cooke, used to say.
Yet  it's also an over nuclear reaction if you ask me.
All week long, I got responses to my messages on the Bonehead, err, I mean Boneyard, board asking me to come over and "apologize for my Temple lunacy" at about 3:30 on Saturday afternoon.
My response was simple.
"I hope you do the same, apologize for your disrespect of Temple, but I don't think you have the class to do so."
Just like the Big East ref/touchdown flag prediction, I was right.
The same guy who called me out for my "Temple lunacy" never apologized for his "UConn lunacy."
A little perspective is in order.
For three years with each MAC foe falling to Temple for the first time, I'd go over to the vanquished foe's message board.
The reaction is the same and can be summed up in one sentence.
"I can't believe we lost to Temple."
Gradually, they've gotten used to it.
UConn will, too.
Good Temple football is here to stay. Get used to it.
Al Golden promised when he arrived on North Broad Street that he was "building a house of brick, not straw."
That means IF he leaves, it will be in good hands. Whether those hands belong to Mark D'Onofrio or Bruce Arians, Golden has proven one thing.
You can win at Temple. The Owls have now won a school-record eight home games in a row.
Last year, they beat an Army team that beat Vanderbilt and a Navy team that crushed Missouri and beat Notre Dame.
This year, they beat a UConn team with a relatively recent win over South Carolina.
If he can finish that fancy porch he's putting in by Saturday, the house might be so nice Golden could take a long look at it and said, "Heck, I want to live here."
Let's hope so.
"We're finally a Division I program now,"  he said on Saturday.
There's a lot of wringing of hands on the UConn board these days but I think that's premature.
The Big East is so bad I wouldn't be surprised if UConn ran the table the rest of the way.
In fact, I hope they do.
I hope Temple beats Penn State next week (Temple is significantly better than Kent State) and I hope UConn and Penn State (and, of course, Temple) run the table after that.
Then maybe our friends at UConn will finally develop the same kind of perspective it took the MAC awhile to accept.