|Do you see any families in this photo? I didn’t think so.|
There’s not a lot of empirical evidence out there to suggest that a prolonged NFL lockout would help Temple football.
Logically, though, it could not hurt.
First of all, Temple football would be the only game in town and that’s a “good thing, not a bad thing” to use an offhand reference by Bill Parcells.
The NFL had strikes in 1982 and 1987 and, while attendance seemed to increase at Temple home games in both those years, it was 3-4 thousand per home game, not a noticeable 10-15.
I thought about this NFL labor dispute while watching the Owls’ hoop team play San Diego State recently.
Why San Diego State?
Because I thought one of the main reasons why Temple football never captured the imagination of the “Joe Philadelphia” fan was the name Temple.
Let’s face it. Temple has been trying for years to court “families” as part of the fan base.
They haven’t responded. Temple needs to get Temple people to the games and that’s students and mostly adult male alumni. It would also help to convince Eagles’ fans to start liking the other birds in town.
We don’t need no stinkin’ families (I’m not referring to the families of Temple football players who, of course, are the greatest).
In my 30 years of following Temple football, I observed no more than five families who had no connection to players attending a game. Yet Temple promotions spends more damn money going after that group than all the other groups put together.
|“While we have all come to love the name Temple,
the name Philadelphia University
would be a truer reflection of
the school.” _ Dr. Peter J. Liacouras
So, as Celo Green says, forget them.
Temple needs to get the “hard-core” beer-drinking, “700-level” fan, the Joe Philadelphia Guy. That’s a base that has yet to be, err, tapped. That’s a rowdy base, but think of the home field advantage the Owls could have.
Even though Temple is every bit Philadelphia’s school as Pitt is Pittsburgh’s school, I thought Pitt always had inroads to a blue-collar fan base in Pittsburgh that identified with the town. Pitt has plenty more “Joe Pittsburghs” in the stands rooting for the university than Philly has “Joe Philadelphians.”
It has a lot to do with the name.
Temple president Dr. Peter J. Liacouras alluded to such in the 1980s when he suggested the school should “consider” changing its name to Philadelphia University.
“While we all have come to love the name Temple, the name Philadelphia University would be a truer reflection of the school,” Liacouras told the Rotary Club one day at the Union League.
I was there as a guest of a Rotarian and heard the speech. I walked up to Pete and told him it was a great idea.
It was never realized because a school named The Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science adopted the name a decade later.
Liacouras was the one guy who could have pushed through a name change and he never followed up on his own terrific idea.
A lost opportunity.
“San Diego State?” I said out loud while watching the Owls play. “San Diego isn’t a state.”
“Doesn’t matter,” the guy next to me said. “San Diego University was taken. They took the next name available.”
Philadelphia State University.
I like it.
Even though you might not now, you would get used to it, too, and it couldn’t hurt attendance.
They could even keep the nickname of Owls.
Changing the name of this blog to “Philadelphia State University Football Forever” might take some getting used to, though.