Wednesday, September 5, 2012

When students become the teachers ....

This is the most beautiful 18-second video I've ever seen.

Imagine the home-field advantage the Owls would have if
this entire stadium is as loud as the students?
From the time the first cave man showed his kid how to light a fire, older people have been teaching younger ones.
Occasionally, though, the kids teach the old folks how to do things.
Such was the case on Friday night in Temple's 41-10 win over Villanova.
Temple's student section was absolutely electric, as evidenced by the video above shot by former Owl kicker Cap Poklemba.
They were a large group and, more importantly, loud, involved and proud.
Temple had 14,000 students there, according to reliable sources. That's about half of the full-time student population and about a thousand more students than the number who currently live on or near campus. Meaning, of course, a significant number of commuter students joined their resident comrades.
Temple head coach Steve Addazio correctly gave the crowd breakdown on WIP-AM earlier this week as 32K Temple fans and 1K Villanova fans. Anybody who has two eyes knows that the entire lower bowl, sans two sections of blue, were wearing Cherry.
Unless Villanova fans wore Cherry, you've got to assume that Addazio was right.
That's the good news.
The bad news was that electricity did not seem to me to spread from the student section through the alumni group.
I brought a "Let's Go Temple" sign into Section 121 and tried five times to start a loud and proud "Let's Go TEM-PLE!" cheer. Except for the three 10-year-old kids sitting across the aisle from me in 122, everyone else stayed quiet.
Cap Poklemba led a few cheers
in the student section on Friday night.
After the fifth time, I gave up.
For the most part, those alumni sections sat dispassionately and politely applauded good plays from the Owls.
When the PA announcer urged the fans to get up on third down, most of the alumni sections stayed seated.
This is a college football game, not Opera at the Kimmel Center.
It's OK to go crazy.
The kids on the football team who I talk to every week tell me when the whole stadium gets up on their feet and makes noise, it makes a difference on the field.
That's reason enough for me.
There is hope, though.
It comes from those eight sections of Temple students and it comes from the fact that the alumni got as loud and involved as the students did at the Penn State game last year.
Maybe it was because Temple was on the verge of an historic win and everybody wanted to be part of the moment. On BlueWhiteIllustrated, a Penn State website, one of writers said the breakdown of the crowd was "about 55-45 Temple, but it sounded like 80-20 with the noise they made."
That's the way it should be every game.

I also have to give the 500 Temple fans who made the trip to Maryland last year a lot of credit. Whenever I started a "Let's Go TEM-PLE" cheer, all 500 joined in and the people who watched at home on TV said they heard every one. Temple's Adrian Robinson even pointed to us and blew us a kiss and bowed a nod of thanks after he recorded a sack. The kids on the field heard us. Even the Maryland fans were giving us a "geez, Temple fans are loud" look. By halftime, we were the only fans left in the stadium.
Maybe that was because the "road 500" were the die-hards.
Imagine what kind of noise 32K fans could make if they were all die-hards?
Temple is on the verge of an historic season and every win and every play means something.
If all of the Temple fans getting up and going crazy helps the Owls to one or two more wins than expected, it's surely worth it.
For that lesson, I thank the wonderful Temple students.
Starting against Maryland, it's time for the rest of us to show them we did the requisite homework.