Sunday, February 10, 2013

Helmet change now would be Golden Rhule

The new Western Michigan helmet. I don't remember what the old one looked like.

Temple helmet records:
T (one year each of Wallace and Golden): 1-22
T (during Berndt and Dickerson): 19-80;
T (during Addazio): 13-11;
Cartoon Owl (seven years under Wallace): 19-60
TEMPLE (final four years of Golden): 26-23
TEMPLE (all of Hardin and Arians): 107-91-3
Total: TEMPLE=133 wins, 114 losses, 3 ties
T=33 wins, 113 losses
Thought it kind of odd that, in the middle of recruiting season, new Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck introduced a new helmet.
I thought new coaches were in a full-out sprint to firm up and add to recruiting classes and didn't have time to address a pursuit as trivial (by comparison) as helmets.
Now they do.
I hope Matt Rhule does.
An established tradition at Temple is that a new helmet is solely the call of a new head coach.
Wayne Hardin changed the helmet from the stupid Owl to TEMPLE and the Owls won like never before. Bruce Arians wisely kept the TEMPLE and had the Owls go 6-5 (twice) against a Top 10 national schedule. Try picturing current-day Temple going 6-5 twice against a SEC schedule. That's pretty much what Arians did.
Jerry Berndt changed the TEMPLE helmet to the T and the Owls promptly went 1-10. Bad Karma.
"The 2007 helmet brings us back to the most successful TEAM period in the history of Temple football."
_Al Golden
The T took TEMPLE through some awful Ron Dickerson and Bobby Wallace years. Heck, Wallace even changed the helmet to the comedic (joke on us) cartoon Owl for awhile, before ending his tenure with the T.
Al Golden changed all that with some good coaching ... and good Karma.
The winning Temple teams that Al Golden remembered had the word TEMPLE on the helmet and he mentioned branding as the reason he changed back to the TEMPLE helmet after his first season.
"There are several reasons for the change," Golden said. "The first is for our current team to discover our tradition. The 2007 helmet brings us back to the most successful TEAM period in the history of Temple Football; a time that produced a 10-game winner and a final Top 20 ranking in both polls. The second reason is quite simply branding. When I was growing up in New Jersey, Temple's helmets were unique. It was the most recognizable helmet in the East, let alone the country. Somewhere along the way that got lost, so I wanted to bring it back. The last reason has to do with our overall football operation. Our goal is to be first in every endeavor that we believe impacts our football team. We now feel like we have the best uniform, not only in the MAC, but on the East Coast. We have our brand back and it is here to stay."
The greatest helmet in the history of college football, IMHO.
The move was universally applauded, especially by ex-Temple players.
I thought that was great and made TEMPLE stand out from other Ts on other helmets, like Tennessee and Tulane.
We all know and love our Temple '][' but, really, how many non-Temple people located in Idaho or Montana or Washington or even Tennessee can tell that's a Temple '][' right away?
Not many, I'd venture to say.
In the grand scheme of things, a helmet change is not all that important but, considering the amount of winning TEMPLE did under the TEMPLE brand and losing under the T brand, I think it's called for now.
The attitude inside the helmet is much more important than the lettering on the outside, but I'm proud of being from TEMPLE and I think both the T and the TEMPLE branding should be a consideration when designing the new helmet.
There is a King Solomon-like solution here and I hope that Rhule has the wisdom to see it:
Split the baby in half.
Put TEMPLE on one side and the '][' on the other.
That way you have the branding concerns by marketing taken care of and you salute the greatest helmet era in TEMPLE history by putting it on the other half of the helmet. Heck, having TEMPLE on the other side of the helmet enhances and not detracts, from the '][' brand because of the constant reminder of what the '][' stands for on every tackle, interception or touchdown.
You leave no doubt as to what school the T stands for and you have the most unique and best helmet in college football.
Then keep it that way for a long, long time.

Temple Helmet Records

Temple T
Cartoon Owl
One year Golden=1-11
7 years Wallace=19-60
Hardin (13 years)=80-52-3
One year Wallace=0-11

Arians (5 years)=27-39
Berndt and Dickerson=19-80

Two years Addazio=13-11

Total=33 wins, 113 losses
Total=19 wins, 60 losses
Total=107 wins, 91 losses, 3 ties