Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Subbuteo Catalogue 1973-74

Before I start, a slight disclaimer. This isn't a catalogue in the way we normally think of such things these days. It's actually a folded poster, but given the fact that it lists all the Subbuteo teams and accessories available to buy throughout the 1973-74 season, one shouldn't be too critical - not least at this early stage.

And not least too because this is a lovely piece of football memorabilia that evokes that charming crudeness that comes with all things created decades ago. The cover, for instance, shows us four young Subbuteo players from Great Britain, France, Italy and Germany extolling the virtues of this truly international table soccer game. Throw in a few tried and trusted stereotypical phrases from the continent ("Wunderbar!") and you're off to a flyer.

Elsewhere on the unfolded front of this big 50 x 70cm poster, there were neat pictures of 'some exciting accessories by Subbuteo', if indeed fence surround panels could be deemed exciting. Still, to the young boy or girl entering this plastic fantasy world, what could be more thrilling than the thought of buying some splendid floodlights or indeed a pair of new 'World Cup-type Goals'?

If that wasn't enough to satiate your Subbuteo appetite, you could also pass a spare half-hour pondering on which boxed set you'd like for your next birthday or Christmas, perhaps. There were several sets to choose from, the best of which was the all-new 'Munich World Series Edition'. Cunningly tied in with the upcoming World Cup in West Germany, this was the set that had it all including scoreboard, floodlights, TV Tower, ball boys, England team and "literature." Presumably the complete works of Shakespeare were not included in this respect.

Even if you'd picked up this football-dominated poster by mistake in your local toy shop, you were still potentially catered for. Subbuteo's now famous dalliance with rugby and cricket could also be found in miniature form along with Snooker Express, a game rarely heard of these days. In it, you had to flick a snooker player (think typical Subbuteo football player but dressed formally, chalking a cue) onto a small plastic cue ball in the hope that it would in turn pot one of the other coloured balls into a pocket. The whole thing was played within the confines of the box lid and was, by all accounts, fiendishly difficult to play. Full marks to Subbuteo for at least trying out the idea, though.

All this, however, was merely a sideshow for the main event. Without question, the vast majority of people buying this poster - sorry, catalogue - were doing so because they wanted to gawp longingly at the 165 kits displayed on the 'International Team Colours Chart'. Here there was the annual opportunity to wonder at the colours and designs rarely or never seen before.

Which team wears sky blue shirts with royal blue hoops? Who plays in red shirts with a white diagonal sash? Who on earth plays in all black with yellow trim?  Such were the inconsequential ponderings generated by this arrangement of player figures stuck into a white board and photographed for our pleasure.

When it came to answering the aforementioned questions, we did, of course, need a list and one was provided across almost the entire reverse side of the poster. Though Subbuteo in more recent years gave us the basic details of team name and number sorted alphabetically or numerically, here we had a grid containing sub-divided columns for Shirt and Short Colours (but not socks), 'English League First, Second, Third and Fourth Divisions, Scottish, Irish and Welsh Teams' plus 'International and World Cup Teams'. All delightfully over-complicated, despite the top border of the poster claiming this to be a "simple chart."

As is always the way, what you see by scanning across the vast lists of teams is a snapshot of world football as it was almost 40 years ago. There are Football League teams that no longer exist (Southport, Workington), teams that no longer occupy today's global spotlight (Rot-Weiss Essen (Germany), Red Star (France)) and teams that are frankly just misspelled or misunderstood (Atletico Bilbao, Fiorentino, etc.)

There's also a healthy supply of club teams from apartheid-era South Africa such as Cape Town City, Durban United and Southern Suburbs. Though Subbuteo would ultimately branch out into the world of NASL within a few years, this was the only way for players of all kinds to get a sense of club football beyond continental Europe back in 1973-74.

As if all that wasn't enough, you could always go for something completely left field where your team choices were concerned. You could pick up a Southern League team or two if the likes of Bishop Auckland and Burton Albion were your thing, or what about FC Subbuteo (Barcelona) or even United Kingdom?

There really was something for everybody back then, and amazingly this wasn't even the peak of Subbuteo's popularity. Happy days.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Brown turns down SEC and Big 10 offers for TU

Buddy Brown's junior year highlights at Williamstown, N.J.

"You don't have to go to Rutgers, you can go right here. We are not North Jersey people. We are basically a step over from Philly. We love the Eagles. We love Temple basketball. We like all that. So why not stay here and have a chance to make a change?"
_Sean Brown, Buddy Brown's father
Ben Franklin once said it first in this town, over 200 years ago:
"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
Now you can add a third certainty.
Delusional Rutgers' fans.
Prior to Temple getting verbals from  Jihaad Pretlow and  P.J. Walker, RU fans were drooling over getting their services.
When the two committed to Temple, the prevalent opinion was Rutgers must have backed off at the last minute and "they weren't that good, anyway."
Now that Williamstown four-star linebacker Buddy Brown has committed to Temple, RU fans are saying the same thing.
Truth is no offer was ever pulled. Brown was's top-rated linebacker in New Jersey and the 10th highest-rated player on the board at any position in that state. He was a four-star national recruit by them and a three-star national recruit by
Your typical, run-of-the-mill, Rutgers' football fan
Brown picked Temple fair and square.
It doesn't matter what a group of nerd fans say, but what Brown says.
"I think more recruits should take a harder look at Temple," Brown said. "They will be impressed."
One RU fan came onto and wrote, "you really don't think someone would turn down an offer to come to Rutgers or Penn State over Temple, do you?"
Well, yeah, and there's no thinking involved, just facts.
Ask former Big East player of the Year Walter Washington (who turned down Nebraska), former Owl wide receiver Mike Palys (who turned down Penn State), former MAC defensive player of the year Adrian Robinson (who turned down Pitt) and current quarterback Chris Coyer (who turned down Ohio State), among many others who could have gone anywhere but chose Temple.
Rutgers' fan reaction is curious and humorous, more than annoying, really.
They can't accept the fact that Temple has a more charismatic head coach than they do, a guy who was head coach at Florida (even if it was for three months). They can't accept the fact that Temple has a defensive coordinator who as a defensive coach was instrumental in an 11-0 season at Utah and was the brains behind a national championship defense at Florida.
They can't accept the fact that, in comparison, they have a dull, bland, unproven offensive line coach taking over for Greg Schiano.
Yeah, right, and the 23th-ranked linebacker in the country got an offer pulled from Rutgers when he had offers on the table from Wisconsin (Big 10) and the SEC (Mississippi State).
I didn't know Rutgers, 7-13 in its last 20 conference games, was in the NFC East.
Baghdad Bob must have had a degree in communications from Rutgers.
He was the guy who stood on one bank of the Tigris River on April 8, 2003 in Baghdad saying "American Troops are committing suicide" and "they will be either killed or burned in their tanks"  before getting to the other side.
Two U.S. Army M1 tanks could be seen in the background. By April 9, the entire town of Baghdad was secured and Bob was arrested by the troops he said would commit suicide or burn.
RU will learn the hard way on Oct. 20, 2012, just like Bob did on April 9, 2003.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Temple recruits so far ....

Jihaad Pretlow's junior year highlights at Blair Academy.

It's been a year and two months since I've last walked inside the Edberg-Olson Football Complex, now a $17 million football practice facility on the main campus of Temple University.
I was impressed by a lot of things, but one sign caught my fancy:
"What you do outside of here, you do to everyone inside of here."
Gosh, even though that's an Al Golden sign, I hope that's still hanging prominently and they make everyone jump up and touch it on the way out, even the 5-5 Matt Brown (I know he's got the vertical leap to do it).
Judging by the first recruits of Steve Addazio's 2013 class, there is something special happening at Temple University and I hope some alleged knuckleheaded behavior that we've heard about in recent weeks doesn't ruin it for everybody inside.
The early recruiting list, according to
We won't mention any names now because these are just two kids out of 105 and no one has been proven guilty yet.
Just suffice it to say, if you are a Temple football player, look at that sign and take it to heart. For four years, keep your nose clean, listen to your coaches and generally don't be a pain in the ass.
You will be rewarded once you graduate.
Just ask Muhammad "Highly Praised" Wilkerson or Bernard "The Franchise" Pierce or Rod Streater, among others. They will lead you down the right path.
Ironically, the Golden Rule is to do under others as you would have done unto you. That's the regular Golden Rule, not the Al Golden Rule.
I like the way lock-down corner Anthony Robey thinks.

With that in mind, we hope the new Temple football players in the Class of 2013 are listening to this kind of advice because Steve Addazio is in the process of building a formidable football power in Philadelphia.
I wouldn't get caught up in the star system because, even though cousins Jihaad Pretlow and P.J. Walker are rated only two stars now, they have five-star talent in my mind. Take a look at the Pretlow video above. If that's not the re-incarnation of Bernard Pierce or Paul Palmer, I don't know what is. Pretlow makes fast cornerbacks look like linemen. Walker is a better version of Juice Granger and Juice Granger is very, very good right now.
Nik D'Avanzo and Tyler Haddock have big-time pass-rushing ability. Offensive lineman Matt Barone has "Temple TUFF" stamped on his farhead, figuratively at least.
I always thought there were two keys to winning at any level of football:
1) Protect your quarterback;
2) Put the other quarterback on his ass.
Addazio seems to be building his program with those two tenants in mind.
He's going for mobile quarterbacks who, if the protection breaks down, can make defenses pay with their feet.
He's also going for fast linemen who can chase down those quarterbacks, preferably far behind the line of scrimmage.
Stir in a spread offense and a Chuck Heater defense, kickers like Brandon McManus and Jim Cooper Jr., return men like Jalen Fitzpatrick and Khalif Herbin, mix, and you have a championship cake baking, with a Cherry on top of White icing.
Let's go eat, as Hunter Pence might say.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chris O's Favourite 5... Footballs

1. Adidas Telstar

Surely the most iconic football there has ever been or ever will be. Ask someone to draw a football and the chances are they'll draw a circle with some black patches on it. If they do, they're essentially drawing an Adidas Telstar.

Before the late-1960's, footballs were usually either all white or all brown. Come the 1970 World Cup, the entire planet was shown a third way – a ball with 20 white hexagonal and 12 black pentagonal patches. The contrast between black and white was not just cosmetic; it was specifically used by Adidas to ensure maximum visibility for the worldwide TV audience, most of whom were watching on a black-and-white set.

Named after the telecommunications satellite of the same name, I see the Adidas Telstar as perfection in design. I cannot actually think of any way to make a football look better. Somehow the shape and colour of the patches provides the ideal visual balance. The movement of those black pentagons as the ball rotates adds an eye-catching element of excitement during game play, but why, I just don't know.

The Telstar spawned similar successors in the Telstar Durlast and the all-white Telstar Chile for the 1974 World Cup, but this was and remains the high point in football design – in my opinion, at least.

2. Adidas Tango River Plate

The natural successor to the Telstar was the Adidas Tango, originally known as the Adidas ‘Durlast’ but rebranded for the 1978 World Cup. The extra ‘River Plate’ embellishment left no-one in any doubt that this was the official ball being used over in Argentina that year.

Let’s face it – nothing was ever going to quite match the mastery of design provided by the Telstar, but the Tango did at least provide something more modern. Instead of being restricted to the solid colours of the hexagons and pentagons, Adidas figured you could create white circles on the ball by designing black ‘triads’ instead. The effect was terrific and distinctive; much more in keeping with the 1980’s that were about to arrive than the early-1970s that brought us the Telstar.

Such was the absolute versatility of the design, the Tango appeared in modified form right the way through to the late-90’s as the Azteca (1986), the Etrusco Unico (1990), the Questra (1994) and the Tricolore (1998). It also, as if you didn’t already know, provided the inspiration for the Tango 12 – official ball of Euro 2012.

A true test of a classic design is whether it looks as good now as it did many years ago when first launched, and to my mind it truly does. It also stands the test of time by virtue of the fact that it lends itself well to modern-day football logos because of its uncomplicated nature. A great ball to see in action and second only to the Telstar in the all-time greats list.

3. ‘Official Football League Ball’

In researching this piece, I’ve managed to solve a football mystery that’s been lingering in my mind for some time. Back in the late-70s, a new football appeared on the English domestic scene, designed in such a way that you couldn’t fail to notice it. The ball stood out like a sore thumb for the brief period it was used and became synonymous with the period when I became a fully-fledged football fanatic.

The ball in question was white with a series of red patches running around the circumference. This helped it create a mesmeric optical illusion during every match because instead of the uniform rotation of black patches moving around the ball, you now had a thick coloured band spinning around in random directions. I loved it for that.

A friend of mine at the time owned a replica of the ball. It was made by Stuart Surridge and accompanied him, his brother and myself over to the local park for our regular weekend kick-abouts. It was a lovely ball to play with and the closer association of Stuart Surridge with Cricket was a trivial one that was thankfully lost on me as an 8-year-old.

From then until only a few years ago, I assumed that this ‘red stripe ball’ was an exclusive Stuart Surridge product, but Googling those words never brought much in the way of confirmation. To add further confusion, I also stumbled upon one or two archive pictures clearly showing the ball labelled with the Mitre logo. So who were the makers of this ball, and what was its name?

The answer can be found on that perennial source of wisdom, the Twohundredpercent blogsite. Back in 2007, Ian King wrote a similar piece on great football design (proof that there’s nothing new under the sun) and in it he said:

“But who made it? Well, I put a little bit too much effort into researching this last night… The answer is… everybody, it would seem. The ball was designed by the Football League, and made between 1979 and 1982 by Mitre, Minerva and Surridge Sports.”

As you can see from Ian’s splendid article, the Surridge version was called ‘UFO’, but as for Mitre and Minerva’s version, that remains a mystery. So much for the conventional marketing plan, but at least the Official Football League Ball lives on in the footage from countless games including the League Cup Finals from 1979 to 1981 and Justin Fashanu’s classic goal in the BBC’s 1980 ‘Goal of the Season’ competition from Match of the Day.

4. Mitre Delta 1000

Another five years went by until the Football League next had an ‘official ball,’ but in 1986 it arrived in the form of the Mitre Delta 1000. A white ball with red ‘V’ shapes dotted here and there across it, this ball became the de facto piece of kit not only for league games in England but also Cup games and England internationals – the first time such an arrangement had come to pass.

I actually owned this ball back in the day, and very good it was too. In all fairness, the disparate red V’s weren’t that visible when the ball was moving as the pattern was too slight. In that sense, the ball was inferior to bolder designs like the Telstar, but certainly when the ball was static – say, when nestling in the back of your opponent’s goal net – it looked rather nice indeed.

As you’d perhaps expect, the Delta 1000 gave rise to consecutive spin-offs such as the Ultimax and Calcio but the basic model was also available with black and blue markings to compliment the original red. I had a blue one too after my red Delta had faded and become misshapen, and it, too, looked fabulous.

It’s easy to overlook the fact that this was THE ball back in the late 80’s. It was everywhere – on Match of the Day, at your local park where the kids were playing with it, not to mention in every sports shop on the High Street. Admittedly this was an era before Nike came along to dominate the football market so the Delta 1000 didn’t have as much competition, but there was something indefinable about this ball that made it completely desirable in those pre-Premier League days. I owned two and was glad to have done so.

5. Nike Total90 Aerow

Bringing things almost completely up to date now, here’s my favourite ball from recent times.

Nike had been the official supplier of Premier League balls from 2000/01 but it was only in 2004/05 that the Total90 Aerow first saw the light of day. Where the ‘Official Football League Ball’ (see 3. above) made virtue of a single coloured band around its circumference, this Nike model used a series of narrower bands to provide eye-catching appeal.

Upon introduction, those coloured bands were a summer blue colour, but in 2005/06 they became royal blue to provide a subtle distinction for that season’s official balls. Not only that, there was also the now familiar yellow version of the ball to be used for the winter months when visibility wasn’t so good. Again, the royal blue hoops provided contrast.

By the mid-Noughties of course, we were well into the era of marketing waffle where a ball wasn’t simply introduced without fanfare but rather launched on an emphatic tidal wave of PR drivel. Anyone taking the time to filter out the useful information from such nonsense, however, was rewarded with some genuinely useful facts about the Total90 Aerow. This ball was made using compressed foam to make it spring more easily off the boot when struck. It also had a tough webbing layer inside to ensure it kept its shape and durability. Stuff like that.

In this day and age, of course, you’d come to expect that sort of detail, but surely the key priorities when assessing a football are (a) how good it looks and (b) how well it plays. In both cases, this pearl of a design from Nike gets a tick in the box, and like the 'Official Football League Ball' of 1979, those concentric hoops add a certain extra visual appeal when the ball is moving.

A fine football in the grand tradition, and one which has implicit modernity and simplicity at its heart.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Steve Addazio's birthday gift to me

"I've been to all of the stadiums in the country and I can say without hesitation and reservation that there is not a nicer, more spectacular, stadium in the country than Lincoln Financial Field." _ Philadelphia Eagles' announcer Merrill Reese
When you get as old as I am today, with (except in the rarest of cases) more years in back of you than in front of you, the things that make you happy aren't necessarily the same as those 20 or so years ago.
That's why Steve Addazio's birthday gift to me today made me smile.
The verbal of Matt Barone wasn't necessarily a gift intended for me, but something I've been harping on for the past few years or so. If Temple wants to play football with the big (BCS) boys, it better start stealing recruits from BCS schools. So I will take the gift in a nice package with a Temple T on top.
Al Golden did that when he "stole" Kee-Ayre Griffin from Boston College and Kadeem Custis and Evan Rodriguez (a transfer) from West Virginia and Big 33 MVP Adrian Robinson from Pitt, among others.
I's OK to target projects, but that must be tempered by winning recruiting battles. It's not really stealing because the verbals are open to everyone until signing day.
I think a verbal should be able to sign early, but that's a problem for the NCAA to solve.
Temple is in a very good position to do exactly what Addazio did today. It plays in the nicest stadium in the country, the $521 million palace called Lincoln Financial Field.
 "I've been to all of the stadiums in the country," said Eagles' announcer Merrill Reese, "and I can say without hesitation and reservation that there is not a nicer, more spectacular, stadium in the country than Lincoln Financial Field."
If Merrill says that, I believe him.
"We can now say that nobody plays in a stadium nicer than ours," Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw said.
I agree with Bill, too.
It's on us, the 270,000 living Temple alumni and the 39,000 full-time students, to make it even nicer by filling it.
Winning Big East championships will go a long way to solving that long-vexing problem.
Temple is within EASY driving distance of 46 percent of the nation's population, giving parents a real affordable option to see their sons play even if they want to send them away and also giving Temple a deep pool of talent to draw from.
The on-campus facilities have been upgraded.
Peter J. Liacouras' dream of a "Temple Town" has been realized, with 13,500 students soon to be living on campus in a safe setting.
Temple, unlike most other BCS schools, plays in a vibrant, exciting, world-class, city and, according to most surveys, a great majority of students prefer an urban college experience these days over a rural one (unlike 20 years ago). Also unlike 20 years ago, these students are active in supporting Temple's football team, with over 10,000 traveling via the subway to the Villanova game and 12,500 showing up loud and proud against Penn State.
So the stars are aligning in Temple's favor.
It is time for Temple to do big things. That light talked about for the new $10 million practice facility addition could be symbolic as well as it will be real.
Fortunately, some coveted recruits are beginning to be drawn to the Temple light.

League of Blogs Sticker Album

Calling all those who participated in the League of Blogs Wallchart!!!

We're in the process of putting together a Panini style League of Blogs Sticker may have seen some sneak preview shots on twitter.  Well here's one again...

As you can see, the general layout is your League of Blogs entry in a Panini style, complete with a tagline for your blog.  It'll be approximately a 30 page softcover album

At present, I'm getting these taglines from your blogs and in the absence of anything obvious, trying to put something that encompasses it.  However, the League of Blogs was created by you so if there's anything specific you want, just let us know...leave a comment here or get in touch with us via twitter.

Am nearing completion of the album so will need your entries pretty quickly. 

They will probably be around £15 for anyone who wants to buy if you do, let me know asap so I have an idea of how many to order.

I'm also considering creating a blank sticker book version (the one being done at the moment has the 'stickers' pre-printed in the book) so you can get a set of stickers and complete it yourselves...but then that would be more expensive (as you'd have to buy the stickers as well), but also much more fun ;-)

So also shout if you'd like a blank version...

Posters are still in the pipeline too...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day tradition continues at TU

Newspaper clipping chronicling Jim Cooper's heroics in Temple's win over West Virginia.

"My dad could have gone to USC or Florida or Alabama and I still would be going to Temple. I know it's where I want to be."
_Jim Cooper
Appropriate that Jim Cooper Jr. committed to Temple around Father's Day this year because, if the name Jim Cooper rings a bell, it should.
Jim Cooper Sr. used to kick for Temple in the Bruce Arians' years. Cooper even kicked a field goal to beat West Virginia at Veterans Stadium.
Jim Cooper will kick for Temple again in name only as junior is the son of the senior.
The son also gave the coolest quote so far of any Temple recruit:
"My dad could have gone to USC or Florida or Alabama and I still would be going to Temple," said Cooper. "I know it's where I want to be."
The Mainland (N.J.) Regional kicker enters his senior season with 24 career field goals, just six shy of the all-time New Jersey record for field goals. He should break that this season.
I don't know if any other school has as many father/son connections as Temple University.
Some just off the top of my head:
Dan Klecko

Joe Klecko/Dan Klecko: Joe was an All-American at Temple, but made his fame as the anchor of the New York Jets' fabled "sack exchange." Joe should be in the NFL Hall of Fame. Dan was Big East defensive player of the year at Temple and has three Super Bowl rings as a role player with the Patriots and Colts (three more than his dad). Dan is now a sports talk radio host in Philadelphia.
Zach Dixon/Hassan Dixon: Zach was a 1,000-yard rusher for Wayne Hardin's 1978 team which went 7-3-1. Hassan Dixon is his son and currently listed as a DB for the Owls.
Raheem Brock: representing 

Zach Dixon/Raheem Brock: Yes, the same father of Hassan is also the father of Super Bowl champion DE Raheem Brock and they both played at Temple. Brock was an outstanding TE and DE at Temple and currently looking for another NFL opportunity. He is a successful restaurateur in Philadelphia.
Mark Bright follows his blockers.

Jim Bright/Mark Bright: Jim Bright was a fullback for the Owls in the 1950s. Mark Bright was also a fullback for the Owls, but in the 1970s. Mark was named MVP in Temple's 28-17 win over California in the Garden State Bowl. Mark was one of Hardin's last recruits one year. Jim was the long-time principal at New Hope-Solebury High School. "His dad was a fullback at Temple," Hardin said. "I told him, 'At Temple, we take care of our own.' So I took a chance on Mark. I'm glad I did."

Not a father/son connection, but certainly one worth noting is that current starting Temple quarterback (and New Mexico Bowl MVP) Chris Coyer also has a family tie to Temple. A great uncle, Harry Cochran, was Dean of the Business School at Temple in 1959. Chris is majoring in business.

Now the Jim Coopers become part of the Temple football family once again. It's a nice Father's Day trend worth mentioning.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

England v Team America, 1976 Bicentennial Cup

As far as away kits go, England have only ever worn yellow on four occasions. Three of them were during the summer of 1973, the most notable of which was a World Cup qualifier against Poland. The other occasion, however, was for the 1976 Bicentennial Cup, a four-team competition celebrating the 200th anniversary of the USA's Declaration of Independence.

Luckily enough, England had failed to qualify for the finals of the 1976 European Championship, so what better way to spend the summer than to play across the pond against Italy, Brazil and a team representing the United States made up of a wide range of players including Pelé and Bobby Moore.

Here's a chance to see some of the action, plus of course that rarest of rare sightings - England in yellow...

Friday, June 15, 2012

College Football Zealots looks at TU

Had a nice talk on Tuesday night in New York City with Steve Addazio, my friend, Ross, and another gentleman whose name escapes me who I now owe $1.
That's a story for a later date, though.
I won't say what Steve told me because he asked me not to and, if anything I've proven over the last nearly half century of living, it's that I'm a man of my word.
I'm not even telling my dog what Steve said.
I can tell you what I told Steve, though.
I told him that there's this perception out there that because Temple lost five starters on defense it is not going to be good. I said that perception is wrong because I counted 11 guys coming back who started games for Temple in the last two years.
I also said there's a perception Temple is not going to be as good on offense because of losses at center and tight end, but  that's  wrong, too, because the 2009 starter, Sean Boyle, returns at center and the 2010 starter, Alex Jackson, returns at tight end.
Temple could be better at those offensive positions, as it could at a number of positions all over the feld.
That's what I said.
That's what I believe.
So I caution those who read "previews" of The Temple Owls and predict a last- or near-last-place finish in the Big East to not get upset.
They are looking at hard numbers and making predictions based on numbers, not the stories behind the numbers. Those closer to the program know better.
Lately, my friend, Kevin, interviewed me for his College Football Zealots preview.

When Temple does better than expected this year, at least he will know why beforehand.
I'm not sure if the rest of the college football world will.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Panini Euro 2012: How was it for you?

Two months on from our previous post, it’s now possible to assess the impact and effect of Panini’s Euro 2012 sticker collection. What have we learned from this self-adhesive sensation? Has it been a stick-on success or a double dose of despair?

Speaking from personal experience, there’s absolutely no doubt that Panini are enjoying something of a renaissance at the moment. For anyone thinking the days of sticker collecting ended when we outgrew our school uniforms, be in no doubt – Panini reigns once again, and age is no longer an issue.

As a 40-year-old blogger, I’ve been heartened beyond belief at the sight of so many peers devoting themselves to the pastime of tearing open packets and filling albums. A wide range of ages are covered, and though they’re located across all four corners of London and beyond, every man jack of them has taken the opportunity to exchange doubles and discuss their collections whenever possible.

The use of Twitter has undoubtedly been a useful tool in helping people to complete their Euro 2012 collections. And why not – back in our childhood days, we merely had to stroll into the school playground with a wad of swaps held together tightly by an elastic band in order to meet up with other like-minded souls. Decades on, the ability to tap into such a readily available group of fellow swapees is not so easy. Why not, therefore, use Twitter as a way to reach out to today’s Panini apostles?

Aside from the pleasure of swapping stickers with someone you barely know, the subsequent postal exchange of doubles is an ironic conclusion to any Twitter-based transaction. Social media tools can be said to have made communication easy as pie these days, yet at the end of it all we still have to rely upon the trusty old Royal Mail to receive the doubles we’ve requested. And let it be noted: there’s still something of a minor thrill to be had from hearing the plop of an envelope fall through the letterbox when you know there are stickers inside.

Being a London-based blogger, I’ve been lucky enough to meet many other people of the same persuasion to initiate an old-fashioned face-to-face swapping session. When I met Chris Nee from The Stiles Council several weeks ago, we found ourselves sitting in a darkened corner of the Sports Bar & Grill, Farringdon, staring intently at our open Panini albums on the table. It felt odd – embarrassing even at first: two men old enough to know better thumbing through each other’s packs of swaps, half-drained pints of beer readily within reach to one side. After a while though, that awkward feeling had disappeared. We were innocently enjoying that Proustian rush, harming no-one and living for the moment. Perhaps we were kids again, just for a short while…

A couple of weeks later, I met up with a whole crowd of bloggers in The Mulberry Bush on the South Bank. When I arrived, an entire corner of the pub had been taken over by people I’d known and respected for a long time like the written output they produce. Ryan Keaney, Jamie Cutteridge and many more were there, all heavily engrossed in the important business of assessing the swaps of others and filling their own albums. It was an extraordinary sight, but one which gladdened the heart. Panini stickers clearly meant a lot to a great many people, all of whom were happily using their hobby to hang on to a small part of their childhood.

Personally speaking, I was in the fortunate position of being able to display my list of ‘needs’ and ‘swaps’ here on the Football Attic blog site. This meant that I, like my co-blogger Rich, received a steady stream of emails from people wishing to exchange their doubles, and very useful they were too. It undoubtedly saved us both a lot of money in helping us reach that momentous point where we could apply for those last remaining stickers from Panini.

Interestingly, many friends of ours used similar tools to do the same. Some, like Damon Threadgold also posted lists on their blogs while others such as Terry Duffelen, Andrew Gibney and Ian Rands shared out Google Spreadsheets to the same effect. Either way, the internet was there to help us all – a technological playground we could all congregate in.

And what about the collection itself? Was it satisfying to undertake or disappointing? Well let’s get my personal conspiracy theories out of the way first. For my money, I accumulated an enormous amount of swaps early on – far more than with equivalent collections in years gone by. It was also a long time before I saw any England stickers to the point where one Twitter correspondent suggested they’d been mainly distributed in the north of the country. Probably not factually correct, but definitely the sort of thing that makes you wonder if it’s true or not.

I also saw precious few silver foils during my collecting campaign. When I visited the Panini website last week to order my remaining 33 stickers, the Germany badge, Ireland badge, Sweden badge and the bottom half of the tournament logo were all there among them, and that’s just four I can mention off the top of my head. There were plenty more where that came from.

Then there were the multipacks which, I’m convinced, provided a better selection of stickers than those sold from boxes. In the fullness of time, I came to see more ‘special’ stickers (i.e. badges, team pictures, slogans and so on) from the multipacks than I did from boxed packets. Coincidence? Who can tell…

As for the four-part team pictures, they were an ambitious feature on the part of Panini, but in execution not a huge success. Often was the time I found myself trying to marry up the matching details on adjoining stickers but I had the devil’s own job trying to form a decent looking whole. Somehow the printing and cutting of said stickers had gone awry in the production process and one can only hope they’ll sort that out before the 2014 World Cup collection comes out.

No matter, though. When I stuck the last of my remaining stickers in last night, it felt as though a genuinely fulfilling project had come to an end. The album was full and now it was time to reflect on a job well done. Yes, it had cost me a fair bit of money, but sometimes you have to spend a little to gain something exceptional. Panini’s Euro 2012 wasn’t just about collecting stickers – it was about sharing the experience with friends and feeling ever so slightly younger again, and that you cannot put a price on.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

New York state of mind

Big East welcomes Temple with this sign on March 12.
Ever since a guy named John Carpenter won a million dollars on a TV quiz show, I've had this idea in the back of my mind I'd like to get a chance to do the same.
I'm somewhat of a trivia whiz, even in matters outside of Temple football, and I've been determined to get a swing at those questions for awhile.
So I go up to New York once or twice every summer.
Carpenter won it in the classiest manor possible, using his final "phone-a-friend" lifeline to call his father on the $1 million question.
"Dad, I don't need your help," Carpenter said, "I'm just calling to tell you I'm going to win the million dollars."
Then he correctly gave the answer as "Richard Nixon" and the confetti fell and Carpenter was presented with his $1 million check.
That's a nice chunk of change for 30 minutes of work.
So with that in mind, I signed up for a June 12 New York City tryout for the "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" TV show about a month ago.
Dumb luck, a few days ago I received an invitation in the mail to attend a June 12 Temple New York City alumni event featuring athletic director Bill Bradshaw and coaches Steve Addazio, Fran Dunphy and Tanya Cordoza.
Since the tryout was 5 p.m. at 66th and Columbus and the event was 6 p.m. 61 blocks away at 557 Broadway, I could not miss out on the opportunity.
I hopped on the D train at 59th and Columbus, got off at the Broadway/Lafayette station and was at the function in no time.
When I told Bradshaw about the juxtaposition yesterday, he said, "You are going to give us a cut of that money, right?"
"Absolutely," I said.
Then Bill made one request.
"Don't quote the coaches."
"I'm good," I said.
And I am.
For some reason, Hawaii's 1979 sked came up in the
conversation on Tuesday night. 

These kind of functions are like a family dinner. What's said at the dinner table doesn't go outside.
It doesn't mean a lot of interesting things aren't said. It's just that it is all in-house and that's the way it should be.
Coaches should be quoted in pre-game press conference settings and after-game press conferences.
They should feel free to say whatever they want inside the Temple family setting without getting acid reflux afterward or suffering a sleepless night because of worrying about what they said.
Still, the coaches and Bradshaw gave Temple the best branding it has had in New York City since that sign appeared above Times Square EXACTLY three months ago (March 12) welcoming Temple to the Big East.
The Temple alumni had a great time and the coaches were great and neither is an exaggeration.
The fans talked about everything from the score of the 1979 Temple vs. Hawaii game to 2011 Maryland bus trip.
Back to the first part of the afternoon.
I got about 27 of the 30 questions right. I was foiled by a question on the Kardashian sisters and the percentage of checkers on a checkerboard square along with the definition of an Italian word (I don't speak Italian, unfortunately). I've since googled answers and will take the test again in a month armed with that knowledge.
Now back to the Temple function.
I can tell one tale out of school, though.
If you have an extra $50,000 lying around underneath your mattress, please send it to Bradshaw with a note saying, "this is for the Temple football light (singular, not plural)."
He'll know what your talking about. So will everyone else who attended. It'll be worth the money.
If you don't have it, I'll try to scrape it up in a half-hour's work in a few months.
Unless they feed me a different question about the Kardashian sisters.

Monday, June 11, 2012

More fuel to the Montel Harris fire

Eric Hoffses' tweet on Sunday night.

Maybe an old fire battalion chief said it first, but it rings true today:
"Where there's smoke, there's fire."
There's a whole lot of smoke around today about maybe the best running back in the storied history of the ACC, Montel Harris, attending Temple.
Eric Hoffses of tweeted as much last night.
Hoffses is a respected reporter with close ties to the Boston College football program and to Harris himself.
As far as smoke goes, that's a lot.
2011 pre-season media poll for ACC Player of Year

As far as fire goes, this is a five-alarmer.
In the interest of accuracy, Harris is NOT the all-time leading rusher but if he had played his final year at Boston College, he no doubt would have been. He came into this season just 878 yards short of the all-time record. That's for the ACC, where some good football has been played the last 30 or so years. Since he averaged well over 1,000 yards the first three seasons, he might have done that by mid-year. He had a falling out with head coach Frank Spaziani but his two former offensive coaches now at Temple, Kevin Rogers and offensive coordinator Ryan Day, love the guy.
What does this mean for Matty Brown?
Brown will get his carries. Harris can't be expected to be 100 percent this year.
I see an 80-90 percent Harris adding a lot to the Temple team, though. If, God-willing, Harris comes back closer to 100 percent, he immediately becomes a Pierce-like threat and the best running back in the Big East and a potential first-round draft pick. I don't know, though, of a whole lot of guys who came back better after a serious knee injury. Maybe the Bionic Man, but that was a fictional TV series. We can only hope for that to happen here.
I see Harris possibly playing the same role Brown did to Pierce last year as a supporting back.
Harris will get his 1,000 yards and six to 10 touchdowns (heck, Brown almost had 1,000 yards) and Brown could get the 27 touchdowns and 1,700 yards Pierce got last year.
Or both could get over 1,000 yards and split the same 33 touchdowns and 2,700 yards (roughly) Pierce and Brown got together last year.
It's all good.
Remember, the fact that both Pierce and Brown had the misfortune of getting hurt (but still playing) against Bowling Green cost the Owls a game. Brown needs an insurance policy and Harris is at least that. Just like Brown was Pierce's insurance policy.
Temple head coach Steve Addazio kept the embers of the fire going last week when asked if Harris was going to join the team:
"Not yet."
Yet was the operative word.
When is the next similar word.
Judging by the smoke on the horizon, it could be very soon.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

English Football Grounds VHS - Part 1

I have a confession to make... I have an obsession with stadiums. I blame it all on the San Siro and Italia 90. It’s my issue and I’ve come to peace with it. It does, however, mean I have several rather nerdy items in my football collection. The truly awesome Football Grounds of Europe by Simon Inglis, several volumes of Football Grounds from the Air... and this video...

The film opens with a shot of an empty Molineux stand and through the magic of cross fading, the ground slowly fills up, noise level rising as it does. Finally, the players run out on to the pitch to a cacophony of cheers. This then fades to black and some truly awful late 70s synth soundtrack kicks in... welcome to the world of low budget videos people!

The titles then inform us that the video is introduced by the legend that is Alan Mullery.

Never mind the quality, feel

And then he appears. Eloquent, fluid, erudite, mellifluous... these are all words that describe the polar opposite of Mr. Mullery’s presenting style...and I use the word ‘presenting’ in its loosest possible sense. The best way I can describe Alan’s segues is you get the creeping sense that he’s been taken hostage by a terrorist group and with gun to head, is being forced to read out his plea to the Prime Minister, only for someone to have replaced the carefully prepared script at the last minute with some stuff about football league grounds... His eyes darting left to right as he struggles to muster any real enthusiasm for the words he’s supposedly written, there are clear signs of torture... though it’s us who is suffering, toes curling to extremes.

“In the next 70 minutes (oh lord!) or so, we aim to show you the huge changes that have taken place in the last few years...”

Just read that quote again then remember this was filmed in 1994. Now think of the state of most grounds in 2012 and you get the feeling Alan’s brain would have melted...though based on this video, I think it was almost there.

Thankfully, we soon get to the meat of the video and, with the hint dropped that we’re off to the ‘far north’, what feast of the senses are we treated to? Which huge ground do we get sight of to cease our pavlovian salivating?



“So where are we off to first Dave?” enquires a disembodied female voice.
“Izzup to the norfeast to sint jamezzzzez park”, comes the answer.
Despite the shaky production values and obviously limited budget, it’s at this point that the video really does come into its own.  This is the first glimpse you get of St James’ Park...

I can see it!!!

This is less than 20 years ago, but the place is hardly recognisable.

The quirkiness then continues where the team decide to include the scene where they announce that “the first thing they should do is go to reception and get permission to go into the ground”. There’s detail and there’s DETAIL!

Once ensconced within, the changes that have taken place “in the last few years” are detailed. This was at a time when St James’ Park was halfway through its first major rebuilding phase, with the 2 ends being transformed from terracing to steep banked seating with their deep covered roofs. At this stage, only one of those ends had been completed; the other was still a low, open terrace and there’s still terracing in the main stand. The commentary makes the point that ‘fans familiar with the ground just a few years ago, wouldn’t recognise it today’ and, following a camera sweep around it, it’s hard to see anyone from the present recognising that particular incarnation of the ground.  Also of note, there’s not a single Sports Direct logo anywhere, though there is a Northern rock hoarding.

It’s also interesting to note that Keegan was so popular at the time, he even drew a crowd waiting for a bus...

Gimme Shelter...
We then move onto Middlesbrough, accompanied by some cod Wurlitzer style tunes...lovely! So...what did the Riverside look like in 1994? This...

Not actual size
Of course,  it wasn’t yet built for the ‘Boro still played at Ayresome Park in 1994. With no hint of irony given how soon they were to abandon the place, the narrator tells us that this is a place steeped in history. Hmmm...
History smells funny...
Without warning, Alan pops up again to deliver a stunning anecdote about playing Brian Clough for the first time...and by stunning, I mean deathly. I have a suspicion that Steve Coogan has this video in his collection somewhere. Needles to say, he had the last laugh.

So where are we off to next on this odyssey from Newcastle to Wembley?  Why, York City of course!

After the now obligatory ground pan, we’re treated to some footage of York against Colchester from the 1992/3 season for no apparent reason, other than maybe to show what a game looks like if you film it from behind a support column.

Mmmm... Posty...

One exciting anecdote from Alan later and we’re off to yet another ground that no longer exists... a beautifully snow covered Leeds Road in Huddersfield. While progress is a natural thing in life and most of these grounds were archaic even in the 90s, it is rather saddening to see so much that is now housing developments and supermarkets. Yes the grounds that replaced these decrepit old homes have better seating, views and facilities, but they also look so damn similar! The true joy of this video is the sheer variety of stands and terraces you get, often all within one ground. These places told a story. You could often see the history of a club just by looking from left to right.

At least what was to be known initially as the McAlpine Stadium was a rather unique looking thing in itself and can be seen here mid-construction.

At this point it was known as the McAlp
Here’s Alan again... Shankly, Dennis Law, 6 goals, Frank Worthington, Trevor Cherry all get a mention and I’ll cut him some slack here... he’s clearly speaking from memory rather than a cue card and a genuine sparkle is detectable as he tells us how none of them ever got a result there.

It’s Ewood Park now and here we have yet another ground in the middle of being built. This was of course the time when Jack Walker’s millions were transforming the club and the ground itself. Fast forward 18 years and how things have sadly changed...

Then to Anfield - or not as they clearly weren't allowed in, so instead some footage of them destroying Crystal Palace and some exterior shots of the famous Kop... where it can be seen that in 1994, you could get into a Liverpool game for £8... to repeat, that’s EIGHT POUNDS!

8 Quid???
A shot of the Hillsborough memorial then serves as what feels like a somewhat tasteless link to move on to Sheffield Wednesday’s ground. For a second...then it’s on to the red half of Manchester.

“A vast complete”. Complete in the sense of the old terracing having just been converted into seating and the roof line joined up, taking the capacity to a then mammoth 40,000. Only 2 years later, the huge, 3 tier stand took shape and kicked off the next phase of Old Trafford’s redevelopment.

Next up, Sheffield United and Dave “Harry” Bassett, the then manager, gives us quite an accurate description of the state of football ground development at the time, pointing out that since the Taylor report, a lot of grounds higher up the league have improved immensely, while those further down are stuck in less than desirable surroundings. The most interesting thing about his piece to camera, though, is that he doesn’t appear to take a breath all the way through. Honestly, he never once stops talking. A quick pan round the ground, which I have to say, looks like a shed, and up pops Dave again, detailing all the forthcoming changes to Brammal Lane... and again, no pausing. Either he’s nervous or he’s just imbibed a handful of speed.

Breathe Dammit!!!!

It's then off to Chester City's brand new Deva Stadium... and at this point (not even half an hour into the video), I'll pull into the motorway services for a 'comfort break' and see you all again in part 2...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Panini: Euro 84

Given that England hadn't qualified for Euro '84, it was perhaps no surprise that I don't remember seeing Panini's sticker collection of the same name in the shops at the time. One thing I know for certain is that the BBC and ITV virtually ignored the tournament, the former showing a Spain v West Germany group game and the Final while ITV dropped their planned coverage altogether.

For those lucky fans with access to Panini's latest offering, it seemed that most things had remained the same since the Europa 80 collection four years earlier, but there were some minor changes to note for the eagle-eyed.

Front cover

No photographic image to catch the eye of a potential buyer on this occasion – instead, an artistic composition of a goalkeeper diving to the left on a blue background with the Eiffel Tower in the background and some gold bar lettering.

There's also a small cameo appearance from the tournament mascot, Peno the Rooster, plus the recently introduced UEFA 'Euro' logo in the blue and white of France.

Opening pages

As in 1980. the inside cover offered up all the qualifying round statistics and a chart to translate country names into six different languages – very handy for an international product such as this. Page three repeated the front cover design minus the goalkeeper with the bold and somewhat overworked 'Euro 84' lettering now in red. There was space for two stickers; one depicting Peno, the other being a gold foil showing off the Euro 84 logo.

Another returning feature and one retained in this year's Euro 2012 album was the Roll of Honour. This comprised of six stickers, each showing a black and white image of the previous winners, plus all the results from each of the tournaments between 1960 and 1980.

The following page was all about the posters for each of the eight competition venues. This was a new feature and one which showed how graphic design was being used to add a sense of identity to each of the Euro '84 venues. Many had a similar, modern feel – action shots of players heading, kicking or saving the ball – however the ninth poster, that of the Final, looked more like something culled from a 1950's French Ministry for Tourism office.

After that was the familiar site of a two-page spread showing pictures of all the stadia and the cities they were located in. Most striking of all was the view of Marseille harbour and all its boats and Strasbourg with its cathedral in the foreground. Sadly the view of St.Etienne's Geoffroy-Guichard stadium paled by comparison. Its pitch appeared to be covered in snow while nearest to camera five men can be seen sweeping up rubbish from the previous match.

Team Pages

Unlike the previous Panini Euro album, there was no favouritism shown towards the bigger teams. All competing nations had 20 sticker spaces for their players (and the coach) laid out over three pages coloured vividly in blue, white and red. Preceding them all was the traditional foil badge (all foils being gold in this series). There was also a four-piece team picture, doubled in size from those seen in Panini's Europa 80 album.

Everything else had a familiar ring to it – the spaces where you could fill in the results for each team, all the results per team since the last Euro competition and the 'Balance' table showing the total number of wins, draws and losses against all other teams.

As for the player stickers themselves, they had a clean appearance which looked a little more up-to-date than those in the previous Euro album. The tournament logo was inset into the top left corner, the mascot accompanied the player's national flag in the opposite corner and the player's name was at the bottom where you expected it. Nice, simple and easy to read.

Strangely in this album, there weren't too many opportunities for the reader to stop and giggle at a dubious player picture. If forced to pick out one, however, it would have to be the one featuring Klaus Berggreen of Denmark  who had the look of a man recently signed up by the Danish version of the FBI. Berggreen scored one of Denmark's five goals against Yugoslavia during the tournament but got himself sent off in the semi-final against Spain.

Excluded nations

Finally, at the back of the album, came the return of the Excluded Nations section – a chance for Panini to (a) bulk up an otherwise thin sticker album, and (b) remind you of the countries that were so good, they didn't see the need to win their qualifying group.

Over three pages, collectors had the chance to find a foil badge and both parts of a team picture for nine countries that failed to make the trip to France. England, of course, was one, but so too were the world champions Italy (who finished fourth in their qualifying group), the Netherlands (edged out by Spain), Scotland (edged out by everyone in their group) and the Soviet Union (second only to Portugal in Group 2).

The back cover

A map of France painted in blue, white and red showing the locations of each of the venues. On the off chance that words and place names weren't your strong point, the venues were also indicated by a sizeable picture of Peno in each case.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Temple dreams and expectations

With 12 wins this year,  Chris Coyer could go to 16-0 as a Temple starter.

About this time every year, I run into a friend I will call Frank (because that's his name) and, for the past five years or so, he'll yell out "How is Temple going to do this year?" when I jog by his summer place in the Poconos.
Coaching up the OL.

Frank did not go to Temple and is about as New York City as they come (a big Yankee fan) but he became a Temple fan (he watches on TV) because his late beautiful wife, Amy, graduated from Temple.
About five years ago, I yelled out 7-5 (after a whole lot of losing seasons in a row). It was 5-7. (It should have been 7-5, except for fiascoes at Navy and Buffalo). I nailed the record the past couple of years with eight-win predictions.
This year, I dread jogging by Frank's place because I just don't know the answer.
It could be 8-3. It could be 11-0. It could even be 6-5, but I seriously doubt it will go below that.
Dreams, expectations, reality.
The dream is that everybody stays relatively healthy, that Justin Frye and Steve Addazio can coach up the offensive line and that Chuck Heater continues to show the nation he is the best defensive coordinator in the country.
This being June, I feel prepared to tell Frank 8-3 but I can dream of 11-0.
This is how it can happen:
Temple hits the snap-on button to steamroll Villanova.

Friday, Aug. 31.:  Matty Brown treats the Wildcats like he treated the U.S. Army for the last two years, going for 226 and four touchdowns. Chris Coyer rips off another patented 80-yard touchdown run and adds a pair of touchdown passes, one to Malcolm Eugene and another to Deon Miller. Ryan Alderman sustains three drives by catching third-down passes. Juice Granger ends the four-year rivalry by faking a kneel down out of victory formation and hitting slot receiver Jalen Fitzpatrick for a 63-yard score. "We call that our 'snap-on' play," Addazio said. "We snapped it onto the game plan yesterday. It was the last page." Temple 55, Villanova 3.
Saturday, Sept. 8: Randy Edsall opens the post-game press conference by saying, "for the third-straight year, my team wasn't tough enough to beat this team. It's a bad matchup for us." After pestering by D.C. and Baltimore reporters, he ends the press conference by saying, "Look, if it wasn't for the kindness of coach Addazio, we would have lost to them 45-0 last year. You didn't really expect us to make up 45 points in one year, did you?" Temple 28, Maryland 13.
The best DC in the USA
Sat., Sept. 22: Given an extra week to prepare, Heater comes up with a brand new blitzing scheme that forces Penn State starter Matt McGloin into five interceptions, one returned for a touchdown by true freshman Nate Smith and another by outside linebacker Kevin Newsome, who volunteered to move to defense in August. "I totally take responsibility for this loss," new Penn State coach Bill O'Brien says afterward. "I put in a lot of Tom Brady stuff for him. I know Tom Brady. Matt is no Tom Brady." Addazio: "Newsome was too good an athlete to keep off the field." Temple 17, Penn State 7.
Sat., Oct. 6 _ South Florida travels to Philadelphia for the first time and the weather is so uncharacteristically cool, with temperatures in the 40s, that the Bulls have a hard time coping. Temple students come up big in the first game back to the Big East as 30,000 students make the subway ride from the main campus to attend the historic event. "Between the cold and our guys fumbling and the noise their students were making, we just weren't into it," South Florida coach Skip Holtz said afterward.  "We don't have crowds like that in Tampa." Addazio gives basketball head coach Fran Dunphy the game ball. Temple 24, South Florida 14.
Sat. Oct. 13 _ With UConn benefactor Robert Burton watching from a superbox, Ryan Day's spread offense kicks into full gear against the Huskies as Coyer hits Fitzpatrick, Alderman, Miller and tight end Alex Jackson for scores. Brown adds another on the ground. Burton storms out at halftime, yelling out loud "I told you guys we should have hired Addazio." The win gives Temple a 5-3 overall advantage in the all-time series. Temple 35, UConn 7.
Sat. Oct. 20 _ Heater's defense sacks two Rutgers' quarterbacks for a school-record 15 times. Fitzpatrick hits a wide-open Coyer on a double-reverse throwback pass for six. Brandon McManus kicks five field goals and the Rutgers' board implodes and servers crash after a 22-14 Temple win in front of 50,000 fans, 35K from Temple. They officially change the name of the Raritan River to the Denial River after one Rutgers fan writes, "Well, at least we won the battle of the fans." Temple 22, Rutgers 14. "Penn State was sweet but, for some reason, this one was sweeter," Coyer says afterward. The win evens the all-time series at 17-17 and gives Temple wins in five of the last seven meetings.
Sat. Oct. 27 _ Stability becomes the most-used word in post-game reports after Temple pulls out a 14-7 win at Pitt. "You can't have five head coaching changes in a couple of years and expect a competitive   DI program," one columnist writes. After the game, Gov. Tom Corbett presents Addazio with the Governor's Cup, emblematic of the state championship. In keeping with his austerity policy on higher education, though, the trophy is made out of a used cardboard pizza box donated by neighboring Gov. Chris Christie. Temple 14, Pitt 7.
Pitino: Rooting for Temple?

Sat. Nov. 3 _ At Louisville, Rick Pitino hosts Dunphy in a club box at Papa Johns Stadium and photo of him high-fiving Dunph after a Temple touchdown causes a local stir. "I always cheer for Louisville," Rick said. "We were high-fiving about the new scoreboard at the Liacouras Center. Temple just happened to score a touchdown at the same time." Temple 17, Louisville 6. With the win, Temple's all-time record vs. Louisville is now 4-2.
Sat. Nov. 10 _ With the Big East championship on the line, unbeaten Cincinnati travels to unbeaten Temple and College Football Game Day is in attendance. A 59-yard McManus field goal as time expires  sets off a wild celebration as the goal posts come down despite some heavy-handed Eagles' security. Temple now leads the all-time series vs. the Bearcats, 10-4 with one tie, thanks to a Wes Sornisky field goal. Temple 13, Cincinnati 10.
Sat., Nov. 17 _ Brown once again becomes Army's worst nightmare, this time scoring five touchdowns and running for 268 yards. "I thought he graduated," one Army fan is overheard telling a Temple fan. "No, that was Pierce," the Temple fan whispers back. "I wish it was Brown instead," the Army fan says. Temple 42, Army 14.
Doug Marrone: No depth

Sat. Nov. 24 _ Syracuse dressed only 65 players for its spring game and through injuries and ineligiblity, brought only 35 players to Temple for the season finale. "Depth really hurt us," Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone said. After the game, Syracuse tight end Louis Addazio announces he will transfer to Temple. Temple 32, Syracuse 14.

Temple finishes the regular season 11-0 and Coyer and Brown grace the cover of Sports Illustrated, with the cover headline stating "Fat Cat and Bug lead surprising Temple into Orange Bowl."