Friday, August 31, 2012

Brown ... or Vanilla?

Matty Brown turns the corner on the way to an electrifying touchdown run.

You can color Temple's 41-10 win over Villanova two ways on Friday night.
Vanilla or Brown?
I choose Brown, as in Matty Brown.
Those of us who have watched this young man play for the past three years at Temple University knew he would not relinquish his No. 1 spot on the Temple running back totem pole without a fight and, boy, did he put up a knock-down, drag out fight on Friday night.
Brown finished with 19 carries for 145 yards, upstaging the No. 1 returning ball carrier in BCS football, Montel Harris.
Or did he?
It was quite obvious Temple was running a vanilla offense against Villanova.
Chris Coyer, the quarterback who showed he could throw the ball effectively over the last four games of the 2011 season, was reined in all night.
On one of his first-half throws, Coyer hit C.J. Hammond between the 8 and the 0 and Hammond could not pull in the ball before a Villanova defender made contact.
After that, it seemed that Steve Addazio and new offensive coordinator Ryan Day essentially shelved the passing game, knowing that they could still beat Villanova with the running attack.
Behind Brown and third-string tailback Kenny Harper, the Owls proved Day and Daz right.
Harris, I'm told, has been battling a hammy but should be 100 percent by Saturday afternoon.
If so, then maybe Harris, not Brown, will be the featured back against Maryland.
Either way, the Owls are in a good place.
Brown was great and Harper was very, very good.
Why mess with anything fancy when you know you can win this way?
I think the Owls will eventually need Coyer's play-action game, but it was not needed Friday night.
Coyer was an effective game manager who threw a dynamite crackback block on Brown's touchdown run.
Chuck Heater's defense was OK, considering the number of starters that had to be replaced. I would have liked to seen more tackles for losses, but 41-10 is 41-10.
Maryland should be tougher than Villanova, but nothing the Owls can't handle.
Either Vanilla or Brown, this offense has some serious weapons and they should all be on display before long.
I predicted 49-7. I can't be unhappy with 41-10.
In another development, the Owls received an inquiry from Oregon State to play a game on Sept. 15.
Owls said come here, take it or leave it.
Oregon State leaved it.
Beating Penn State would be one of the biggest wins in Temple football history and I don't want a cross-country trip interfering in that kind of event.
For now, though, beat Maryland. One game at a time.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Villanova vs. Temple preview

I don't know what the final score will be, but this is an artist's depiction of it.

The best coaching I ever got in sports came the first time I picked up a baseball bat.
The field was on Roosevelt Boulevard in Far Northeast Philadelphia and I was a 10-year-old playing for Our Lady of Calvary's Athletic Association travel team.
After watching me swing for the fences all day, my coach took me aside.
"Son, just make contact. You'll be surprised how far the ball goes."
The next day, instead of hitting a lot of foul balls, I started to hit line drives into the gap.
So it goes with Temple's football team tomorrow night.
Temple vs. Villanova: Lincoln Financial Field
 Game time: 7 p.m.
 Weather: 90 degrees and clear at kickoff; in the low 90s earlier in the day.
 Tailgating lots open: 2 p.m. No team flags allowed in Lot K this year due to solar panels, which have recently been installed.
Radio: Temple (Harry Donahue play-by-play; Steve Joachim color), WIP (610AM); Villanova (Joe Eichhorn play-by-play; Ryan Fannon color), WPEN (950AM)
(If you really can't get down to the game and want to know the correct down and distance and don't want to be confused otherwise, listen to the Villanova broadcast)

Just play make a lot of contact, play hard and tough and smart and even the Owls might be surprised how high the score goes.
Try to swing for the fences and win the game 88-0 in the first quarter and the game might be one of those nail-biters going into the fourth quarter.
It won't be 88-0, but I don't think it will be 27-24 like the first Temple vs. Villanova game in the four-game Mayor's Cup series was.
If the Owls just make contact and play the way they are capable of, the final score will fall somewhere between that.
Something like last year's 42-7 score.

What Villanova has going for it is experience and great coaching.
Andy Talley is a terrific coach who always has his teams ready. Expect a funky play or two like a pass off a double-reverse or a double pass. Talley has come up with at least one of them in the past three Temple games and two of them worked for long gains.
The experience part I'm not so much worried about. Ten starters return on defense and eight on offense. When you go 2-9 in FCS play, though, maybe fewer starters returning would be more helpful.
Do Temple U. and the kids who play for it a favor
by planning to watch the game in person. This is your
team. They need you more than ever this season.
The Wildcats have an athletic receiver in Norman White and a couple of fine running backs in Austin Medley and Kevin Monangai. Still, the Owls have the makings of a fierce pass rush in ends John Youboty and Sean Daniels and some solid run-stoppers led by preseason All-Big East nose tackle Levi Brown. Maybe quarterback Chris Polotny will be able to find White. Maybe he will be on his backside most of the game.
I think Vaughn Carraway, one of the nation's top wide receiver recruits when he played at Muhlenberg High, will be able to make some plays at the free safety position.
I also think sophomore Anthony Robey, who missed some games last season, will be a lock-down corner this year. Linebackers Blaze Caponegro and Ahkeem Smith were solid last year. Nate D. Smith might be the best of the bunch this season.
The Owls' special teams should do well against their Villanova counterparts as Matty Brown will still be returning kicks, as well as Jalen Fitzpatrick on punts. I hope all Brandon McManus has to do is kick off and does a record 40-yard dash toward the sideline.
We all know what Chris Coyer can do. The junior quarterback is unbeaten as a Temple starter.
I'll be most excited to see Montel Harris live after being wowed for the last three months watching every frame of film on him. As I see it, the way he differs from Pierce is that he's better able to get the tough yardage between the tackles, but is not the "home run" hitter Pierce was. That might be better for the Plan to Win.  Bleed the defense with 8-10-15-yard gains, keep the clock moving and shorten the game.
Everybody talks about the lack of experience on the offensive line. Nobody talks about how great a blocker fullback Wyatt Benson is or how great a blocker tight end Cody Booth is or how solid returner starters Sean Boyle (center) and Martin Wallace (tackle) are. If they don't know now, they soon will.
Head coach Steve Addazio's "Plan to Win" this year is simple:
Run the ball to shorten the game, make explosive plays downfield off play-action passes, avoid turnovers, make plays on the special teams and play solid defense.
Most of all make contact, Temple TUFF-style.

Saturday: Game recap (no story tomorrow due to tailgating)

At last - we're on Facebook!

Yes, it's true. The Football Attic finally has a page on Facebook and you're all invited to 'Like' it!

When we started out back in November 2011, we decided to ease ourselves gently into the murky world of social media. We didn't want to rush into anything, so we created our Twitter account first of all and waited to see if there was any negative fallout. With news reaching us that nearly 600 of you have since followed @FootballAttic, it's fair to say we're far from disappointed at the outcome, so thanks to all of you for that.

After Twitter, we dallied with Google+ and created a YouTube account but we always kept a Facebook page back as a last resort. We were never quite sure whether it was strictly necessary, but now we've decided to give it a go.

So what will you find on our Facebook Attic page?  For a start, lots of notices telling you about the great stuff we're providing for you on this blog site, but that's not all. We'll be spiralling off into all kinds of directions discussing the football nostalgia topics we know you love and getting you to interact with us too. We'll even tell you about great nostalgia material on other blog sites, because we're rather nice like that.

All in all, we'll hopefully provide you with a wonderful extra outlet through which we can satisfy your appetite for everything from Panini to Subbuteo. Just visit, 'Like' our page and spread the word.

Thanks very much and have fun!

Chris O and Rich J.

Steven Gabb's Top 5... World Cup Shirts

Yet more suggestions for the best World Cup Shirts now from Steven Gabb from the excellent blogsite Spirit of Mirko who has come up with his own mixed bag in more ways than one...

United States (1950, home)

Some kits are classics because they are stylish, others because they were used during a particularly successful era for a team. But to be a true classic I think the perfect storm of a wonderful performance and a great design are required. This is certainly the case for USA's 1950 kit. Not only is it smart - it's a truth universally acknowledged that the best kits feature a sash - the US recorded one of their finest ever international results wearing it, a 1-0 victory over Tom Finney's England.

East Germany (1974, home)

The colour of the East German kit for this tournament was a lovely deep shade of royal blue. This kit was so blue it was surely “hand-wash only”. East Germany’s kit man would surely never have washed the shirts with the lilywhite shorts. Two separate washes would be required unless the communist state wanted to wear off blue shorts with their royal blue shirts and socks.

Not only is the colour of the kit perfect, the bold white collar and the three letter abbreviation DDR in white complete this shirt as did the fact they topped their group against eventual World Cup winners and neighbours West Germany.

Angola (2006, home)

They might not always perform to the finest of their abilities on the world stage, but the Africans always leave tongues wagging with their eye-catching kits. The obvious choice for an African classic World Cup kit would be Zaire from 1974. Whilst I'm fond of this kit I'm not sure it's even the best Zaire kit of all time (their 1968 Africa Cup of Nations kit was something special, look it up!).
I'm a big fan of bold juxtapositioned colours and I think Angola pulled it off perfectly in 2006, their only World Cup finals appearance. Red and yellow has always been an iconic combination (the colours of Roy Race's Melchester Rovers) and the black only underlines what is a unique and beautiful kit.

Uruguay (1930... celebratory?)

I suspect I’ll be the only contributor selecting a kit from the inaugural World Cup, a competition that was played half a century before I was born. However I feel duty bound to spread the word about this kit, though I’m unsure if it were ever used in a game. Whoever thought it was a good idea to daub the letters V I V A U R U G U A Y on the Uruguayan kit deserves a medal to services to kit design. I wonder if York City took inspiration from one of the La Celeste when they used their marvellous Y kit during the 1970's?

USSR (Goalkeeper kit, worn by Lev Yashin)

There’s something to be said for simplicity, and that’s exactly what we had with Lev Yashin’s goalkeeping kit. Whilst much of the goalkeeping union were wearing either green or yellow, the keeper of a communist country Yashin was displaying daring individuality by donning an all-black kit. It was this individuality and his expert keeping skills that earned him the moniker “black spider”.

Many thanks to Steven Gabb for his largely black-and-white selection!  What are your Top 5 World Cup shirts?  Drop us a line and let us know to admin [at] thefootballattic [dot] com...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Montel Harris: Electric Orange

That orange bag in the background might be an omen of things to come.

If my math is correct, Montel Harris mentions the Orange Bowl not once but twice in the video above.
I like the way Temple's newest and maybe greatest running back sets the bar.
For the past three years, Temple has had a remarkable 1-2 running back combination, Bernie and The Bug.
We've still got Matty Brown, the Bug, so we'll have to come up with a nickname for Harris as well.
Montel Harris being carried off by the Owls after beating
Cincinnati at LFF for the Big East title? Perhaps.
Why not Electric Orange?
So close to the season opener, Harris knows the reasons why you play the game is to win and win championships.
The nice thing about this being opening weekend is that you can win them all at this point and why not go for it?
Harris understands if Temple wins the Big East, it will be Temple going to the Orange Bowl and no amount of backroom politics can keep the Owls out.
To that end, I'm glad Harris is on Temple's side.
His exploits are well-documented on this website. Had he remained at Boston College, he would have been the all-time leading rusher in the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference. That's a conference that includes Florida State, Miami (Fla.), Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, among other storied football schools.
Let's not forget The Bug, TU's No. 1 AP rusher last year.

Harris said his injured leg is 100 percent and that it is so good it is better than the other leg.
If that's true, and I have no reason to believe it isn't, Harris represents an upgrade over Bernard Pierce, who was merely a third-round NFL draft choice.
As good as Pierce was, I'm 100 percent sure he would not have had the first three years in the ACC that Montel Harris did.
Fortunately, I have 11 games in which to prove my hypothesis.
It won't be proven by mere stats because I don't think Harris will match BP's 27 touchdowns and 1,737 yards. But it will be proven by wins and that's really all I care about.
"Bernard was a heckuva football player and this guy (Harris) is a heckuva football player," head coach Steve Addazio said. "He's got great balance. He's never off his feet. He's a smart guy. You need to only tell him things once and he picks it right up."
If Harris and Brown as a tandem can help the Owls win more games than last year, there's a good chance Temple fans will be making plans for a winter trip to Miami (Florida, not Ohio) where they might run into Al Golden.
"Bernard was a heckuva football player and this guy (Harris) is a heckuva football player. He's got great balance. He's never off his feet. He's a smart guy. You need to only tell him things once and he picks it right up." _ Steve Addazio

It's nice to know that Harris is on the same page.
It's no secret that Addazio counseled Pierce to stay at Temple for his senior year and was not happy when Bernard decided to leave. Addazio's thought process was that if you are not a first-round draft choice, you should stay in college, enjoy your senior year and get your degree.
Wouldn't it be interesting if Harris proved Daz right about Pierce by parlaying his only season at Temple into a first-round NFL pick?
If Harris leads Temple to the Orange Bowl, he not only positions himself into the first round but into the Heisman Trophy conversation as well. Pierce could have done the same, but we will never know.
Harris has his chance and so do the Owls.
Electric Orange indeed.
One BC fan's view of how MH8's season will end:

 Tomorrow: Temple vs. Villanova preview

I've Got Stripes: The five most wretched striped football shirts of all time

Ed Carter returns with a fabulous guest post all about the place of the striped shirt in football history...

Listeners to the latest Football Attic podcast will now be fully aware that I have become part of the problem. The problem, specifically, is the way the world of football fans dotes on the Peru international kit. But we love sashes. Sashes on kits are brilliant things and, moreover very difficult to mess up.

Stripes, on the other hand, are a different matter. My own team are Brighton and Hove Albion, so I dote on striped shirts. Brighton of course once famously had a kit with striped shorts as well, by way of demonstrating the massive inadvisability of doing that.

There's another magical aspect to striped football shirts of a sort unrelated to sartorial concerns: teams who wear them underachieve magnificently. The last time a team who wore stripes as their first choice kit won the English football league championship was Sunderland in 1935/36 and the last FA Cup winner in stripes were the largely otherwise stripe-free Coventry City in 1987. The last team who are regular striped shirt wearers to prevail in football's oldest competition: Southampton, in 1976. And naturally, they weren't wearing their red and white striped shirts that day... the impossible glamour of the no-hoper is hard to overlook.

You'd think that it was hard to make a porridge of a striped shirt. All one need do, after all, is have vertical bands of colour of identical width, equidistantly spaced. It's not rocket science. But the sheer level of crimes - CRIMES - against striped shirts that have been done in the name of kit design are very hard to forgive or forget. I've picked out the five I consider to be the most shameful examples.

Southampton (1993-95)

This jersey was quite dazzlingly horrible. Stripes of all kinds of shapes and designs, combined with a totally unexpected chevron. The manufacturer - Pony - could not have been more aptly-named. It's one and only saving grace is the fact it doesn't commit the cardinal striped shirt sin, i.e. uneven spacing and width. The worst thing about it, however, was the fact it was the kit worn by the great Matthew Le Tissier as he scored some of the finest goals in the history of English football, thus securing this aesthete's nightmare of a kit's continued presence in compilation programmes and highlights packages from here to eternity.

Colchester United (1997-99)

There are several common sins committed against striped shirt design: uneven width, uneven spacing and straightness failures being the most likely to set my eyelid twitching. Sometimes, however, a shirt comes along which transcends even these mistakes, entering into the realms of metaphysical badness. Step forward Colchester United at the end of the last century. What Patrick were thinking when this appeared on their drawing board is very much open to interpretation, but it's unlikely that the answer was "about striped shirts". It looks like the report on a hard disc defragmentation.

Lincoln City (2011/12)

Nike are particular sinners in the striped shirt world in recent years. They, for reasons I hope they will keep to themselves, seem to have taken on the quite demonstrably unneccessary mission of redesigning the striped shirt. This is their current attempt, and it is quite magnificently awful. Awful enough that you could almost start to admire the brass neckery of it all. Almost, but not quite. This shirt remains in their template catalogue for the current season (why?) and some teams - Bradford City's away shirt among them - have even taken them up on the offer (for the love of god why?). The ever diminishing width of the stripes here are presumably a reflection of my will to live.

Newcastle United (1990-93)

Newcastle United are a fine old club with magnificent fans who almost invariably deserve better. But you don't always get what you deserve unfortunately, and the Magpies have been particularly badly served by the kit manufacturers down the years. Last season's bewildering two-stripes-folornly-floating-past-on-a-black-background effort takes some beating. But beat it this monstrosity did and does. The most eloquent argument ever made for clubs changing their kit design every season, the Toon wore this crazed experiment in multi-spacing and sizing for three seasons. It's completely all over the place. Luckily, the transgressors in this case - Umbro - are now very much at the forefront of modern, elegant and restrained football kit design.

West Bromwich Albion (1992-94)

What's worse than variable width stripes spaced at seemingly random intervals? Easy: just make it look like your television has cross-channel interference. Who knows how many sets were lost to a good stiff whack on the side by viewers thinking the tracking was off? Either way, this wibbly-wobbly catastrophe may very well have been designed by a genuine maniac. Wolves season ticket sales must have absolutely soared.

Our thanks again to Ed Carter for this superb review of some of the worst stripey monstrosities. Ed also makes the point that very few national teams wear striped shirts (Argentina and Paraguay being in the obvious minority). Which countries do you think could pull off the striped shirt look? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Villanova needs to be taught a lesson in respect

Social media being what it is, kids sometimes write things in 140 characters or less without a whole lot of thought process involved.
Count Villanova running back Kevin Monangai among the thoughtless.
For some reason we can't fathom back in March, Monangai welcomed Temple to the Big East in football with this tweet: "Temple is going to the Big East this season, just another good reason for us to snap on them  Aug. 31 on national television."

Hopefully, Laura and 39K of her fellow fulltime students will take the subway to the game on Friday night. My favorite part of this story is "being mean to the Villanova people on the subway" on the way home.

Does "us" mean Villanova?
Does "us" mean a 2-9 FCS team?
Is the "snapping on" going to be done to a 9-4 BCS team?
Monangai, who will be wearing No. 2, is one of the many reasons I hate Villanova but he also is the No. 1 reason why I am 100 percent convinced Temple will be doing all the snapping come Friday night.
I was worried about our kids getting up for this game, even though the Temple student body, alumni, employees, policemen and cafeteria workers hate Villanova more than any other school.
I didn't think our players understood the backstory of the underhandedness Villanova went through to keep Temple out of the Big East.
How Villanova really feels about Temple (immediate graph above).

They do understand trash talking, though, and I think that Monangai tweet got their attention.
Monangai is part and parcel of this smug attitude people on the Main Line have about Temple.
This is a school that spent two hours on a Big East Conference call "doing nothing but bashing" Temple, according to New York Post reporter Lenn Robbins.
You'll never find a Temple player tweeting "we're going to snap on them" about  any opponent. Temple does its talking on the field.
They obviously did not learn a lesson in respect last year after a 42-7 loss.
More than ever, they need to be taught one now.
I've met some people I like at Villanova, but you can count them all on the fingers of one hand.
I like head football coach Andy Talley, a great man and a great coach nearing the end of a brilliant career. His involvement with Bone Marrow charities is laudable. He has always been complimentary about Temple football.
I like Villanova football play-by-play guy Joe Eichhorn. His broadcasts are crisp and his calls are impeccable. I was a frequent guest on Joe's Suburban Cable TV sports shows when I worked at the Doylestown Intelligencer. When Hatboro-Horsham won the state baseball championship, I did the color to Joe's play-by-play on WBUX-AM. He is a way better play-by-play guy than Harry Donahue. I wish he did Temple games.
Still, even Joe irks me at times.
Whenever Temple loses in football, he's the first guy I get a message from. When Temple beats, say, Maryland, 38-7, he disappears.
Must be the Villanova influence.
I've met the Coyer sisters and they are not only talented basketball players who will start at Villanova soon, but incredibly nice people with great parents and a cool brother.
I like them.
The Coyers, Andy Talley, Joe Eichhorn.
That's four Villanova people I like.
Everyone else I hate and those are the people who need to be taught a lesson one final time on Friday night.
Temple head coach Steve Addazio was more diplomatic than I am at the season-ticketholders' party: "We don't like Villanova."
Maybe when the Owls help No. 2 from underneath the pile, they will snap like the guys from West Side Story.
For all I know, West Side Story could be the Thursday night pre-game film at the E-O.

Tomorrow: Electric Orange, the Montel Harris Story

Arsenal - Barclays League Division One review (VHS), 1989

A warm welcome to Rich Nelson, the man behind the wonderful Nelson's Column and designer of Kits 5 and 6 on our League of Blogs 2012 wallchart. He's discovered a VHS tape that covers one of the major high points in Arsenal's history...

Not quite from the Football Attic, this is a treasure from the Football Garage (aka Nelson’s Column). The video was a present for being so brave…

My first experience of travel sickness on the way to a school trip to Suffolk in July 1989, the nine-year-old Rich N survived, and returned home to be greeted by happy parents and a shiny shrink-wrapped purchase from the Islington Woolworths. I couldn't claim to be any sort of connoisseur of production values with my collection, mostly of Transformers and various editions of The Big Match (unknowingly recorded over with Coronation Street), but just pressing 'Play' on the video player was like I'd become a true sophisticate. Flowing titles, a saxophone-heavy soundtrack and the dulcet tones of Jim Rosenthal were in place, and it was time to remember the finest end to a season ever, far closer than its poor relation, May 2012.

The video opens like all good stories - with the ending. We see the glorious champions deep in the bowels at Anfield, drowning in champagne and enjoying their new found trophies (in the days when the sponsors had their own cup). Do we even need to sit and watch the rest? Of course we do. Like a shiny Ceefax, we're provided with the pre-season odds of 16-1, and a review of the transfers in and out. The games themselves are commentated on by a young Martin Tyler, summing up the goals with his usual excitement, despite the fact that he clearly was doing it from the comfort of a studio. We're treated to a jazzy solo to tell us about Paul Davis breaking the jaw of Glenn Cockerill, with a slow mo replay of Davis getting to his feat prior to the incident (which isn't included - the video is rated E, after all).

The first match of the 1988/89 season kicked off on Saturday 27 August. Who says players didn't get a huge rest after the exertions of England in West Germany that summer?  It included the only pre-match amble, and there was no time to acquaint ourselves with the surroundings. You'll have to be happy with a quick pan of the car park in Plough Lane and be done with it. We weren't even lucky to get any highlights of the Mercantile Credit Centenary Trophy which Arsenal would win; not a single goal from the three matches played. There are also no highlights from the FA Cup, and only one goal from the Littlewoods Cup, a stunner from Rocastle at Anfield. Even then, the cups weren't even considered filler material. Try telling that to Arsenal in 1993 and 1994, or even today...

Tyler takes us along at a steady pace, marvelling at the goalscoring exploits of Alan Smith, and then to the biggest travesty of all. You know someone's made a big enough error that they own up straight away, drawing attention to the mistake. The front cover of the video says ALL THE GOALS in a rather large font. The small print on the back says differently: "Due to technical difficulties, we are unable to include highlights of Gary Megson's goal for Sheffield Wednesday".

They also didn't include a saved penalty, or even mention who the culprit was. Would we stand for it today? No! There isn't a clip of the goal on YouTube, and I can only imagine Gary Megson today trying to prove his worth by talking about that goal, one of twenty-five in over two hundred matches for The Owls. The goal was missed and the boast on the cover was wrong – a big dropping of the ball there.

We were even treated to the occasional Big Match commentary by Brian Moore - complete with ITV graphics, impending advert break box in the corner, and numerous mentions of a camera in the back of the goal. In a game at Nottingham Forest, the camera was perfectly positioned to see Forest keeper Steve Sutton save a penalty. Unfortunately the camera position didn't allow the viewing of the kick being taken in the first place... We got the same treatment of Liverpool's visit to Highbury, along with some extreme close ups of John Barnes slapping his own thighs after hitting the bar with a free kick.

With Arsenal flying into February at the top of the league, we're met with a slightly strange caption. The next five games are listed - Coventry (a), Luton (h), Millwall (h), Nottingham Forest (h) and Charlton (h), yet the title is for Winter Wobbles, yet the Charlton game was on March 21st - hardly winter. Spring Stutter? Balls-ups against teams that aren't in the top division anymore? By this time the title odds are revisited and Arsenal are evens! No mention of which bookies were giving these odds, and certainly no mention if any were paying out yet.

The final few matches are treated as a pure head-to-head, albeit with Liverpool's games in hand after Hillsborough. The table is cut to two teams, and only shown prior to the Arsenal matches. We even come across a young(er) Alan Parry, declaring almost every goal as a Goal of the Season contender.

But we're left with the title decider - Liverpool v Arsenal, 26 May 1989, immortalised in print and film. Extended highlights are featured, but we don't need to go into them too much. The coverage was ITV's, Brian Moore was the commentator. They include the famous shot of Steve McMahon saying "one minute left" to everyone in earshot, the occasional backpass… The clock in the corner counting past ninety minutes, before the regular on-screen graphics were used as a matter of course. The famous goal was scored, the trophy was lifted, and Jim described it as the greatest finish to a season of all time.

The tape has finished, it needs rewinding… I fancy watching it again!

Our grateful thanks to Rich Nelson for writing this wonderful guest post. If you love football nostalgia and have something you'd like to write for us, get in touch - email admin [at] thefootballattic [dot] com and tell us all about it...

Monday, August 27, 2012

The most-anticipated TU season ever

Scotty Hartkorn's brilliant Temple trailer is worth watching more than once.

A hot forecast for what could be an even hotter season for Temple
As a 30-year season-ticket-holder (and Temple football fan long before that), I can say one thing clearly and unequivocally:
Will it be the best-ever?
That is yet-to-be determined, but I will write this down now for the historians and the pundits to revisit come November:

Temple will not finish last in the Big East this season. In fact, the likely landing spots are either No. 1 or  No. 2. I refuse to go any lower.

There is not a team on this schedule Temple can't beat. Conversely, there is not a team on this schedule who can't beat Temple. I like that because of the focus factor. No games off, no plays off.
That's where Temple's edge, toughness, comes into play. This is a very tough, proud team who will play the whole season with a huge chip on their shoulder.
If it was a tough team without talent, that would be one thing. This team is every bit as talented as any team they will play.
Heck, the 22 starters on this Temple team are as good as any 22 starters on any Temple team I have ever seen and that includes the 10-2 Temple team that was only 17 points (split between two losses to Penn State and a 10-9 loss to No. 1 Pitt) from being 12-0.
Yes, that's how close Temple was to being a national champion in 1979.
Two games.
Seventeen points.
Two games.
In almost all areas, I like this Temple team better than that one and this schedule is easier than the one that team faced.
As good as Brian Broomell was then, Chris Coyer has shown flashes of being a better quarterback now. Broomell called the greatest audible I've ever seen a Temple QB make. It was in the 1979 Villanova game at that tiny high school stadium they still have. Broomell went up to the line and saw that Gerald "Sweet Feet" Lucear was being single-covered. Without saying a word, Broomell pointed to Lucear, pointed to the end zone, tapped the center on hip, took the snap and threw a perfect 70-yard strike for a touchdown.
Temple 42, Villanova 10.
Coyer has the same kind of intelligence and skills, but they have better communication methods now. I see him doing the same thing with, say, Jalen Fitzpatrick.
It's not even close between the Montel Harris/Matty Brown hybrid and a great running back named Kevin Duckett.
Not close because Duckett wasn't good but because Harris and Brown are great.
I have to take Mark Bright over Wyatt Benson at fullback only because they gave Bright a chance to carry the ball. Bright was a great blocker. Benson is a better blocker. Both were/are team-first guys. Give Benson the ball as much and Benson is better, but I'll never be able to prove that hypothesis. The game has changed enough in 30 years that the fullback rarely gets the ball.
The one area I would give a big advantage to the 1979 team was offensive line. Joe Paterno called the Temple offensive line "the best offensive line in the country" before the 1979 game and that was not mere hyperbole. Still, Martin Wallace and Sean Boyle could have played on that line and Benson's role as a blocker means that the Owls will block enough people for Harris, Brown and Coyer to make explosive plays downfield.
Defense, I like the athleticism and line play of Chuck Heater's group over the 1979 team.
Special teams?
No contest.
The 2012 team is the far and away better, especially with Brown returning kickoffs and Brandon McManus handling the plackicking and punting duties.
I have to take Wayne Hardin over Steve Addazio only because Hardin was to coaching what Bobby Fischer was to playing chess. He was able to fully transfer the 152 IQ he had into checkmating virtually every coach with similar talent. And Hardin was crazy like a Fox. Fischer turned out to be just plain crazy.
Yet as a motivator and CEO Addazio is every bit Hardin's equal and no (none, zero) coaching staffs in the Big East are as good as Temple's now.
Vince Hoch was a great defensive coordinator, but he could not hold Chuck Heater's clipboard.
I know all of this because I've seen it with my own eyes.
The people who pick Temple last in the Big East have seen nothing.
That's why this most-anticipated season could turn out to be the best one as well.
Five days until kickoff.
It can't come soon enough.

Tomorrow: Why I hate everything about Villanova not named Andy Talley or Joe Eichhorn

Sunday, August 26, 2012

League of Blogs Wallcharts - NOW AVAILABLE

Remember the League of Blogs? Remember when we all had fun together? You do? Well, that's marvellous, for I have have good news fellow League of Bloggers as the actual, physical wallchart posters are now available!

Took a while to find somewhere I could get them for a decent price for a decent size as I wanted them to look good and you know what..they do!

They are 20" x 30", printed on glossy photo paper, shown below...DVD of the awesome Sledge Hammer (look it up, then go buy it) included for scale.

DVD not included...

And so to the money side of things...and these are being done at virtually cost price.

£8.50 + £3 P&P

If you want one, email us at admin [at] the footballattic [dot] com and I'll let you know how you can pay.

Rich & Chris

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Attic Kits Feature in Coventry City Matchday Programme

Today is a very proud day for The Football Attic and in particular, the Rich (@sofa_soccer) shaped half.

In today's Coventry City Matchday Programme for the game against Bury, 3 of my fantasy kit designs are showcased to all who buy a copy. As someone who, like Chris, spent hours of his teenage years designing kits, to have them in your home team's programme is just fantastic!

Before I go into how this came about, I want to say a big thank you to Derek and Gary of the brilliant Got, Not Got, for it is they who made this all possible. For those of you who may have missed it, we interviewed the Godfathers of Retro back in February.

Last year, I posted on twitter my ideas for a new CCFC kit, which garnered a mostly positive reception. GNG got in touch and mentioned they were doing a few features in the CCFC programme and if I sent them the designs, they might be able to get them in. I winged them over and a few weeks ago, Derek got back in touch to say they'd be featured in an upcoming issue. Derek also suggested I create a 3rd one, perhaps based around Cov's infamous use of the colour brown. Being a fan of those Coventry shirts, this gave me the perfect chance to combine the colour scheme with my favourite ever CCFC kit design...the 1987/89 Hummel outfit. I quickly put it together along with some words to accompany the kits and then tried to stop grinning before my jaw fell off.

Courtesy of GNG / CCFC Matchday Programmes
Last night, I downloaded the electronic edition of PUSB (Play Up Sky Blues) and eagerly flicked to page 13 and THERE THEY WERE!!!! I quickly read the whole article, grin back in full effect :-D

While I have never been a collector of programmes, my overriding memories of them being more the advert for Steve Earle than anything else, I do always get one when I go to a match and I have to say, putting aside any CCFC bias I may have here, that I do think Cov's programme is great. So often I've found reading a matchday prog to be a chore, rather than a joy with way too much of what seems to be filler or ads, but the CCFC one is rammed with actual proper articles. Oh and the front covers on this year's issues are brill! I HAVE to get one of those away tops!

The article can be seen above, but before I show you the kits in full, I'd like to again say a huge thanks to Got, Not Got and to Coventry City's Matchday Programme for making a teenage boy's dream come, not the one about Janet Ellis ;-)

And so, the kits in full:




Thursday, August 23, 2012

Arctic Software's World Cup (C16 & Plus/4)

THIS is the game I talked about in the podcast! Turns out it was the game that US Gold utilised for World Cup Carnival, which Chris mentioned (and the fantastic 200% article he mentioned is here).

The C64 version doesn't seem to be too bad, but this is what I had to put up with...

Football computer games...screw you!

Meet the new fans, same as the old ones?

Steve Addazio talks in front of a girl in a dunk tank, while the Diamond Marching Band sounds better than ever in the background.

For at least the third time this summer, representatives of the Temple football team reached out to the Temple football fans.
It's now high time for the Temple football fans to reach out to the Temple football team.
If one thing is critical for Temple's success in the new Big East, it's that the 271,000 living Temple alumni (we'll give the dead ones a pass) embrace these wonderful representatives of Temple University.
Temple's good name is riding on these guys and, ultimately, us.
Wayne Hardin once said that for Temple to fill the stadium, it will have to do so with Temple people. He pointed out then that there were 135,000 living alumni, 30,000 students, 12,500 fulltime employees.
Now the numbers are 271K and 39K for students and about the same number of employees as back in the Hardin days.
Looks like the "Joe Philadelphia" fans will be clinging to the Eagles for awhile but the "Temple people" have a more exciting and more local team to root for so they should do it.
While we need the old standby fans, the ones you see in Lot K every weekend, we need an infusion of new blood, too.
With an event in Ocean City, one in New York City, one in Los Angeles even, Steve Addazio has been reaching out to those fans for needed support.
Yesterday's event was a "kill-two-birds-with-one-stone" deal at Xfinity Live.
Media Day (canceled earlier due to Garrett Reid's passing) combined with the scheduled Fan Fest.
From all accounts, a good time was had by all.
Because my 2004 Chevy Cavalier kicked my butt before inspection yesterday ($683.50 for a front bumper at Classic Auto Worxx and $385 for rear breaks; don't ever park in a Walmart lot), I was unable to attend. I did get around to an event in New York City and, of course, got a healthy dose of Vitamin A at the season-ticket holders party.
So the old Chevy is now fully inspected and ready for the season.
That's when I'm most needed as a fan and when Temple's fans, both old and new, are most needed.
One week to go.
The Villanova game attendance will send an early message to the Big East that our fans our ready. It could be the usual 32K but an upgrade in the 35-37K area would send that message. Villanova returned more tickets than ever this season, so it will have to be all Temple fans (as usual in this four-game series).
Let's pack the house, get loud and stand more than sit this year.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bernard Who?

Villanova (and Rutgers and South Florida, among others) have never seen anything like Montel Harris.

What can be said about Montel Harris that hasn't already been said?
We all know the facts, that Harris was the second-leading rusher in the HISTORY of the ACC, that he was LAST YEAR'S runaway choice for Preseason Player of the Year in that same conference, that he once ran for 252 yards and five touchdowns in a 52-28 win over North Carolina State and had 22 games of over 100 yards against ACC teams such as Florida State, Virginia Tech and Miami.
Much bigger-time teams than even the ones he will be facing in the Big East.
David Wilson and Luke Kuechly were first-round NFL picks.
Danny O'Brien is the starting QB at Wisconsin. Few considered
them nearly as good as Montel Harris in the ACC media poll.

All I was interested in finding out Tuesday during a media sitdown with the new Temple running back (and quite possibly this year's Big East Player of the Year) was finding out if Montel Harris was 100 percent because, if he is, he will make people forget Bernard Pierce.
No bigger Bernard Pierce fan than me but, as good as Pierce was (and still is), a healthy Harris is better.
There's a lot of empirical evidence out there to suggest that. Harris had more yards in a much higher level of football playing roughly the same number of games as Pierce did.
Harris says he's 100 percent. I believe him.
If that holds up, people might be saying Bernard Who if not by September, then certainly by October.
He says he's fine and so does head coach Steve Addazio and the cuts he made on the field on Tuesday said so the loudest.
"I'm feeling 100 percent," Harris said. "The knee is good. It was the left knee, but most people aren't able to tell."
When I first saw the many video highlights of Harris, his running style reminded me a lot of not Pierce, but Matt Brown, the other half of Temple's 1-2 running punch. Harris is bigger and heavier. Brown might be a tad faster. Both are tough and both can make runners miss and make what Addazio calls "explosive plays" downfield. Throw in a great running quarterback like Chris Coyer and a spread offense that opens the field up and a few bulbs could break this year on the Lincoln Financial Field scoreboard.
"I'm a balanced runner able to make things happen in the open field but also able to break tackles," Harris said.
Even though Harris ran into some trouble at Boston College, I think he will be a solid citizen at Temple.
"I'm just here to say I'm here to play football and I'm a great football player and I have great character off the field," Harris said.
Everyone at the E-O has known that for the past month or so.
In eight days, the seamless transition from BP to MH could become just an unquestioned upgrade to Temple's fans.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Football Attic Podcast Episode 2: Computer Games

Welcome back for Episode 2 of the Football Attic Podcast!

This week we delve into the uber-nerdy world of football computer games and discover that Rich seems to be bitter about almost any game he's ever played, except for Sensible Soccer

So...prepare for reminiscence and rants as Chris and Rich relive their geeky pasts ;-)

Download it here - (or right-click and 'Save as' to save your own copy)

Oh yeah, we still haven't managed to sort iTunes yet...soooorry! So...instead, here's a lovely picture of some kittens.

Newsome: 'I'm a Temple Owl until the day I die'

"When I was at Penn State ....  I would always look at when we played Temple. They would always get close to us, and I used to see just the fight in these guys, knowing they were the underdogs, and they kept fighting with the big dogs. I thought that was very impressive, really impressive, with their fight. And that was a big deal as to why I came here." _ Kevin Newsome

Kevin Newsome spoke to the media for the first time after practice on Tuesday and I have to say that I was very impressed. Not only did Newsome come up with the quote of the summer camp "I'm a Temple Owl until the day I die" he opened the door for the possibility of playing on defense and special teams to help the Owls. Go to the 1:50 mark on the time stamp for the exact quote.
Another great quote was this one:

"When I was at Penn State ....  I would always look at when we played Temple. They would always get close to us, and I used to see just the fight in these guys, knowing they were the underdogs, and they kept fighting with the big dogs. I thought that was very impressive, really impressive, with their fight. And that was a big deal as to why I came here."
I always thought Newsome would make a great starting OLB or  safety for the Owls and I still think that.
Newsome was 240 pounds three months ago and has now slimmed down to 215, which would probably make him a better safety candidate than a linebacker.

Whether head coach Steve Addazio or defensive coordinator Chuck Heater think that is more important.
Everything I've been hearing from Addazio so far is that Newsome is in a battle with Juice Granger for the No. 2 quarterback spot. If Addazio thinks it is more important to have three athletic and solid QBs, then Newsome will remain in the QB rotation.
Newsome was Darryl Clark's backup at Penn State for the entire 2009 season.
Whatever Daz says about this, I agree with but seeing Newsome holding the clipboard as No. 3 QB when he can be a playmaker on defense right away would be frustrating from my standpoint as a fan and maybe Kevin's as a player.
There's no law against Newsome playing defense for the Owls this year and moving back to the other side of the ball if needed. Brian Broomell started on defense as a true freshman at safety, then moved over to quarterback by the time he was a senior and led the nation in passing efficiency.
Temple's Fan Fest is Wednesday
(8/22) from 5-7
at Xfinity Live (outside section).
It's free but $15 to park due to
Phillies game that night.

I don't think Kevin would have brought up defense or special teams if he wasn't being considered for one or both.
We'll find out in less than two weeks.

Tomorrow: 2011 ACC Preseason Player of Year Montel Harris

Ed Carter's Top 5... World Cup Shirts

The kits keep on coming as today we welcome Ed Carter's choice of his favourite five World Cup shirts...

1. West Germany (1970, home)

(West) Germany have a virtually unblemished record of brilliant, tasteful football kits. Even when they went completely insane (1990 and 1994) they did so with such panache and style that it was brilliant and the world and Jeff Banks rejoiced. However, for me it's always the plainer the better and the 1970 West German kit is perhaps the most beautiful ever seen in the World Cup finals. Two-tone with simple collar and cuff trim and a brilliant black German eagle badge in a thick black circle. Dutch people would go to their child's wedding wearing this kit.

2. Peru (1982, home)

No top five World Cup kits would be complete without a Peru entry. This is because sashes are the best and Peru therefore has the best international football kit. My favourite of the four Peruvian World Cup efforts is their most recent one. It dispenses with the flappy collar and has a v-neck instead. New York dockers everywhere rejoiced. Finally they could support Peru whilst on shift. Also, for anyone who reckons a good kit can make your team play better: 1982 represents Peru's most disappointing World Cup finals performance to date.

3. Portugal (1966, home)

I'm a terrible old purist when it comes to football kit design. The simpler and plainer the better. The 1966 and 1970 World Cups were the golden age for this sort of thing: earlier than that and everyone was still wearing home-knits and boots that would get you bullied by Billy Dane; after it and it was all corporate branding and lousy "design" bits. The Portuguese kit is one of my favourite ones of the bunch. I particularly like it for the deepness of the red and the green trim on the shirt's contrast with the white shorts. Portugal memorably made it all the way to the semi-final wearing this outfit, giving important evidence for anyone who reckons a good kit can make your team play better (it can't).

4. France (1986, away)

Another from the Adidas '86 stockpile of brilliant things. I love this one for the uniquely patriotic take on the Adidas corporate stripes - one in red and two in blue, c'est magnifique - but especially for the trim. The audacious brilliance of the thing. Who the hell ever thought this up? The thicker horizontal stripe in red is delicious enough, but to follow it up with three more thin ones in blue? It's a very special moment in the history of kit design. The only way you could improve it? An oversized yellow cockerel emblem. But wait, there's one right there!

5. Soviet Union (1986, away)

I am a complete sucker for international football kits with stuff written on them. I'm too young to remember a world before shirt sponsorship, television and Alan Hansen ruined football forever, so the international football shirt's lack of verbal signifiers seems daring in the extreme. However, just as a club team pitching up without a shirt sponsor on their jersey remains a rare treat, so does an international team showing up with monikers emblazoned on their chest. Algeria's 1982 effort is a particular favourite, written in Arabic script for extra bonus points. Brazil have a splendid tradition of writing BRASIL on the front of their goalkeeper's jerseys - presumably so that the team can remember at a glance which way they are attacking. But let's face it, the great masters of this are the old CCCP. Just typing those letters give me a giddy thrill. It was a simpler time, the cold war. Ah, the nostalgia.

The 1986 variant is my favourite one. Adidas' kit templates for the Mexico 86 tournament were a design classic worthy of any museum and this is one of my favourite of the bunch. And only in Gorbachev's Soviet Union would the national team wear such an extravagantly decorated kit, with a shiny shadow pattern woven into the otherwise clean and plain white kit. It's an outfit that says, "we admit we killed the Tsar but we're not giving up our nukes just yet".

Our thanks to Ed for his superb selections. If you want to follow Ed on Twitter, check out @Dotmund or visit his blogsite here

Monday, August 20, 2012

Chris Coyer speaks at BE Media Day

Just came across this gem of a video above of Chris Coyer speaking to a pair of Big East media types on BE Media Day.
Coyer's done a lot of growing up in less than a year, both on the field and off the field.
Gotta love the comment "thanks for having me" to those two guys.
You have about a 10-second ad to fight through, but the interview that comes afterward is worth the time, not so much for the routine questions but for the thoughtful answers.
Plus, Coyer speaks about coach Chuck Heater, the defense, and the comfort level such an outstanding defense gives the Owls but adding that it doesn't affect how the offense approaches things.
As far as the latest scrimmage goes, head coach Steve Addazio said he is excited to have Coyer separate himself from the other two guys.
No surprise in that, but Daz also has hopes the other two will do some catching up.
I don't care how Juice Granger and Kevin Newsome speak to the media, as long as they move the team and turn the Lincoln Financial Field scoreboard into an adding machine just like I think guys like Coyer, Montel Harris, Matty Brown, Jalen Fitzpatrick and Alex Jackson will.
Aug. 31 can't come soon enough.

Al Gordon's Top 5... World Cup Shirts

Al Gordon from God, Charlton & Punk Rock is the latest fellow blogger to give us his Top 5 World Cup Kits:

1. England (1982 Away)

Once upon a time Admiral set the standard in kit design.  This Leicester based firm had the best logo, the best templates and the best of the clients, England.
Many think the home kit of this era to be the greatest England shirt of all time, yet it is the red away version that I always fondly remember. A quarter past five on the 16th June 1982 we kicked off our World Cup campaign against Platini and the French. A Bryan Robson goal just a minute later and we all really thought it could be ‘This time’ after the disappointment of missing Argentina in 78. It’s interesting to note that both sides wore their away strips although the home ones didn’t clash.

Worn for this match with white shorts and socks, it really suited Paul Mariner with the shirt doing its best to hide the shorts, complementing his wonderful head of hair. As an eleven year old boy, I thought he really looked sharp. Coolness personified. Yet the exact same articles of clothing did nothing for Mick Mills. Some players just need a large flappy collar! It would go on to get another outing in the second round against West Germany although this time with the correct red socks.
This was to be Ron Greenwood’s last hurrah as England boss and we went home without being beaten. It was a great squad of players, perhaps never bettered? The kit certainly hasn’t been.

2. Zaire (1974 Home)

The 1970’s threw up some rather ‘way out’ clothes from platform boots to kipper ties. In between these were ‘hip’ t-shirts with a wide range of novelty slogans. Zaire bought a box load of one particular design.
Green and yellow are the traditional colours for Africa, Leopards are native animals there. Some things are just meant to be. What that country needed was a football shirt that would fulfil a purpose after the side were knocked out and could be worn back home with a pair of flared jeans and an afro.
Adidas got it bang on I’d say. The picture on the front was bigger than most modern day sponsors logos and has inspired a generation of real t-shirt copies ever since.
They reversed the colours for the second strip although this lost the collar and with it some of its charm becoming a simple V-neck.
Then of course there’s that Brazil free kick which guarantee’s this kit will always be seen and loved by generations to come.

3. Scotland (1986 Home)

Although worn in Mexico for a disappointing showing in the World Cup finals, this kit is more remembered for a sad night in Wales which saw Scotland claim a play-off spot against Australia.
Jock Stein was the manager that night but suffered a fatal heart attack due to the stress caused by the whole affair. His assistant at the time was a certain Alex Ferguson, then manager of Aberdeen. Ferguson stepped up to the mark and led his country to Mexico.
A traditional blue number from Umbro, the shirt was striped horizontally in two different tones, yet it was the shorts which always stick out in people’s minds.  A big bold horizontal stripe ran through the middle of them! Other than this band, the kit was very conservative with standard Umbro collar and very plain socks.
It was this under stated but smart look that made the blue stripe on the shorts seem even more shocking and appealing.
Defeats to Denmark and West Germany both by the odd goal and a goalless draw with Uruguay saw the brave scots go home early.
It was also a brave attempt by Umbro as the competition was hotting up, especially from Denmark and the superb creations from hummel.

4. Belgium (1982 Home)

Braces, need I say any more? Admiral’s greatest template idea which had the most important of features,  a design that continued from the shirt to the shorts.
These weren’t just striped braces but ones that had small admiral logos running down the length of them in a similar fashion to the stripes on the Tottenham and Leicester kits a few years previously.
Belgium started the tournament with a win over holders Argentina and wore white shorts with their red shirts and socks.  The yellow braces on the white shorts looked a little harder to interpret yet maybe due to the quality of the opponents have become a little iconic. Well in my eyes anyway.
With the likes of Gerets, Ceulemans and West Ham’s Van Der Elst, this was one of the greatest Belgian sides ever to be assembled. They however struggled to make an impression after beating the holders gaining a 1-0 victory over the very inexperienced El Salvador and only managing to draw with Hungary.
That first game was enough to see them win the group and go on to face Poland and the Soviet Union in phase two. Belgium struggled to make an impact and went out quietly. After the European Championships two years previously where they had reached the final this was a bitter disappointment.
Once again the kit is fondly remembered for its design rather than the performances whilst wearing it.

5. Peru (1978 Home)

Number five was going to be Cruyff, the big badge and the two stripes. At the last moment though I’ve gone for another side with a big badge and a wonderfully simple shirt, Peru. I do like big badges.
Wins against Scotland and Iran plus a very commendable draw against the Dutch blur into the memory compared to events that would occur in the second round.
That defeat to Argentina is one of the most controversial moments in World cup history, if they were playing Olympic badminton they would without doubt have been thrown out of the competition.
The politics behind it all are no way near as simple as the kit. A plain white shirt with a large red sash diagonally adorning it has become synonymous with Peru, but 1978 saw it in one of its simplest forms.
A colour way not unfamiliar to those in Argentina, River Plate wear the same design, this had a large Peru badge which was just as simple as the shirt itself. Two red stripes either side of a white one with the letters F.P.F. above them.
I recently saw a picture of Peru in the 1936 Olympics and the design, even down to the badge, was the same.
Over the years Umbro and Adidas amongst others have produced this kit, yet never deviating from what must be a very strict brief. It’s so good Peru have become far and away my favourite South American footballing nation just on the basis of it.
I’m even partial to the odd can of Red Stripe when they’re playing.