Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fans have to be Temple TUFF, too

Temple TUFF: Behind The Scenes With Temple Football - EP. 1 from 20/20 Visual Media on Vimeo.

It was about this time a year ago when I was trying to drum up Temple alumni support for attending the second annual Mayor's Cup that an old Temple football player reached out to me.

No excuses, Temple fans. Thursday will be a great night
for both football and the Owls. Be there.

The guy, a good guy and someone who I remembered as a player, said:
"Mike, I love your blog and I'm going to try to get to a game this year."
I wrote him back something to the effect that: "See you in the parking lot at the Villanova game, then."
"I won't be able to make that one, but maybe one later in the season," he replied.
I've never understood that line of thinking.
Temple fans, if you are going to make a game, make this one.
It's important for a number of reasons:
One, you can't lose to Villanova. A lot of the euphoria over the nine-game winning streak and the bowl game against UCLA was wiped out for me by a loss to Villanova in the opening game that year. Every Temple detractor (and we all know there are many) added a "yeah, but" ... as in Temple's good, but yeah but it is in the MAC or "how good could Temple be" because it did not beat Villanova?
Updated Temple vs. Villanova depth chart is here: thanks to
Getting your Temple TUFF fan butt in the seats and yelling your lungs out for this team will insure there are no "yeah buts" at the end of the season.
Two, this is a message game. It's a message to the college football world that Temple, not Villanova, rules the city's college football's rooting interest. It's a message to the Big East that they are missing out on something, a school with 270K alumni and 37K full-time students in the heart of the nation's fourth (not fifth) largest market. Temple football has a documented history, hard ratings numbers, of doing well on TV. What it doesn't have is a documented history of adding fannies in the seats to those numbers. A crowd of 40,000, mostly Cherry-clad fans, would send that message to the Big East and the rest of the college football world. Wear Cherry, not white.
Three, this is new Temple coach Steve Addazio's first game.  Daz says everywhere he goes Temple alumni keep asking him about the third game. He said he's not even thinking about the third game, that all he's thinking about is beating Villanova.
That's not coachspeak. This game is that important.
Temple must not only beat this team, but beat it bad, both on the field and in the stands.
That's what creates a sustainable momentum.
That's the only way to make the rest of the games after that meaningful.
Making time to be there for three hours on a Thursday night is not too much to ask any Temple alumni or student.