Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Vote for Temple

The swing state in this election could be the 12,500 students living on campus.

After what seems like years watching commentary on this presidential campaign, my head is about to explode after hearing about how this state would break down and that state would break down.
One guy says Romney is going to win in a landslide.
I've heard one "comfortable" Obama win prediction.
Most guys say it's going to be close either way.
I have no idea who is going to win.
I'll find out around midnight, unless there's a state out there that still uses punch cards.
Right now, I can be certain of two things.
I'm voting for Temple football on Saturday and, sadly, I don't think there is going to be a big turnout of people voting with their feet like me.
I'm not an expert on politics, but I do consider myself an expert on Temple's fragile fan base.
I'm often able to predict the Temple crowd, almost down to a person.
For the Homecoming Game against South Florida, I predicted 26K and Temple drew 25,896.
For the Rutgers' game, I predicted 41K but I had to smack the upside of my head for not factoring in the "over-the-air" free TV hit of between 5-10K Temple takes. Facts show that when Temple is on live TV, it takes a huge hit somewhere in that general ballpark figure.
You can't call yourself a BCS team and throw the ball only 10 times in a 45-17 loss. That tells your fan base either you a) gave up or b) have Stevie Wonder calling the plays
Rutgers took care of its end of the bargain, bringing at least 15K. (To be fair, RU was 6-0 and Temple 3-2.) Temple must have brought no more than 20K, meaning at least 6K fans stayed home and watched on TV.
This week, probably more unfortunately than other weeks, the game is on TV.
Students have come out in big numbers in the past. There were 12K students for the Villanova game, but that was at night when they did not have to set their alarms after a Friday of partying. When I went to Temple, I had no problem setting my alarm for noon games so I never understood that reasoning. The Temple students could be the swing part of this election, but they came up lame against Maryland and Rutgers so I don't expect they'll suddenly, err, wake up.
I've always said this:
Temple has a hardcore fan base of 15-17K who will show up no matter what.
It also has a "softcore" fan base of between 20-30K who need a reason to believe.
Thirty years of football futility lost that secondary fan base and it's going to take more than three or four years of good football to bring it back.
Three weeks of Gosh-awful football have lost that softcore base for this season.
In a way, I can't blame them.
You can't call yourself a BCS team and throw the ball only 10 times in a 45-17 loss. That tells your fan base either you a) gave up or b) have Stevie Wonder calling the plays.
I expect the 17K to show up on Saturday, but no more.
It might be as low as 15K, which would put it in the same neighborhood as the Penn vs. Harvard Ivy  League football championship game being played at the same time across town.
I do know this: There are 270K Temple alumni, 130K living within an hour's drive of Lincoln Financial Field and 39K students, 12.5K living within a 10-minute subway ride of LFF. That's a lot of potential voters out there. I'm voting for Temple but only because I'm a Temple football junkie and I need my fix.
Someday, hopefully soon, there will be a lot more Temple people who use Saturdays in the fall to cast a vote for their school.