The front and back covers of the Paul Palmer comic book.
This may or may not be a moot point, depending upon whether or not Bernard Pierce comes back for his senior year, but it's something I had to ask the other great Temple running back.
"Would you mind if Temple used the same comic book campaign for Bernard Pierce than it used for you?" I wrote him.
I just got the reply this morning.
"I'd be flattered," Paul Palmer said.
Heck, I know that Bernard has a tough call in the days ahead.
Not tough for me or Steve Addazio, but for him.
|Paul Palmer (middle, between Vinny Testaverde and Brian |
Bosworth) at Heisman awards: "I'd be flattered" by
a Bernard Pierce comic book. Notice all three are wearing
That's reasonable. If there is money now (by comparison a paltry and not guaranteed amount), it only figures to double and triple next year and then it becomes guaranteed money as a No. 1.
I think, and Addazio seems to agree, that Bernard can raise his stock one or two rounds with another solid year at Temple.
And, who knows, if everything breaks right, catapult himself into a Heisman Trophy race.
These are things that are all weighing heavily on Bernard's mind right now, so maybe a little comic relief is in order.
As in comic book relief.
I came out in favor of this comic book as early as Bernard's sophomore year but Temple's promotions people went all high-tech on me with a Facebook page and a Bernard for Heisman website.
Nice, but sometimes the old ideas are the best ones.
Simply replace every Palmer image and stats with those of Pierce and you got yourself a damn good Heisman campaign for 2012 right there. The template and story board is right there. Replacing Palmer's life story and stats with Pierce's should be a snap.
The only missing element would be someone to draw the illustrations.
If the illustrator for that is dead, there's a sports anchor guy in Allentown named Troy Hein who wrote a children's book and has the best illustrator around. Hire that gal (her name is Kathryn Roman).
Heck, Temple would be stealing its own terrific idea and Palmer benefited from it to the tune of a second-place finish in the Heisman Trophy balloting of 1986. The Owls' promotion department send 1,050 comic books to 1,050 Heisman Trophy voters. It was the best $10,000 Temple spent on anything. It came back 10,000,000-fold (that's 10 million) in terms of viewers who saw Temple associated with good football while watching the Heisman Trophy ceremony on CBS-TV that year.
That (and a 1,866-yard season) got Palmer a seat at the table in between Miami's Vinny Testaverde (the eventual winner) and third-place finisher Brian Bosworth of Oklahoma.
It also might have helped Palmer get drafted in the first round.
I've watched every game of both careers and I happen to think Bernard is the better player (sorry, Paul). I usually (though not always) side with the older guys (nobody can tell me that Mo Wilkerson was better than either Joe or Dan Klecko), so that's saying something.
If Bernard comes back, he should get that comic book and whatever help Temple can offer him along the path to a Heisman and a first-round pick.