|Joe Paterno on the practice field,
prior to the 1950 Temple game.
The last time Temple walked off the field not a loser to Penn State, an assistant coach shook the hand of Temple coach Albert P. Kawal congratulating him on a good game at then Beaver Field, a 7-7 tie.
The assistant coach was Joe Paterno, then a 23-year-old assistant to Rip Engle.
The year was 1950 and the city of Philadelphia was giddy over a team called the Phillies, who had just won a National League pennant. They were known as the Whiz Kids.
After a sleepless night of tossing and turning over the Penn State sanctions, I’ve come to a different conclusion than a day ago. I really don’t care much for Penn State, but I do care a lot about Temple.
Yesterday, I hoped that if Penn State players transfer they would consider nearby Temple as a landing spot.
Today, I hope none of them transfer and that they win the Big 10 championship.
Most of all, I hope that Temple beats them fair and square on the football field and that the win carries all of the prestige a win over PSU would have last year.
I predicted as much on Black Shoe Diaries, a Penn State blog, last week. I thought Temple would win, 17-7, based on having the entire defensive line back and some good replacement talent on the back end of the defense coached by the best coordinator in the country and a playmaking quarterback on the other side of the ball. I was called overly optimistic in the comments below the story.
|Al Kawal, Temple coach (1950)|
If, for example, Penn State was to open this season losing to Ohio University and then follow that up with a loss to Temple a couple of weeks later, that would be viewed as the beginning of the end of Penn State football.
No big deal, PSU fans, Joe Philly fans, the nation, would say.
I want that end to come next year, not this year.
On the other hand, if Temple were to beat the eventual Big 10 champion or even a Big 10 contender ALONG with winning the Big East, that WOULD be a big deal. That’s the scenario I want.
At the top of my bucket list, I want to be alive and present when Temple beats Penn State in football.
Penn State players knew they were in a game when they played Temple a year ago. They have the bumps and bruises to prove it. I want them to experience Temple tough (or, TUFF) again, this time with the Owls coming out on top.
I don’t want that win to be diminished in any way.
So, for now at least, go Lions and, more importantly, go Owls.