A tribute to the seniors

Brandon McManus was the reason the Owls opened 2-0 in the Big East.

One of the constants of being a Temple football fan is change.
As long as I’m living, and hopefully that will be a long, long time, I will be in the stadium six times a year.
Have been for the last 30 years and, God-willing, will be for the next 30 years.
I also understand a lot of great people I’ve met along the way, parents and players, won’t.
(I’ve only seen parents of two players who’ve graduated come back and those were Mr. John Haley and Mr. Elliot Seifert whose only connection with Temple was that their kids were Owls and then they became great fans afterward.)
A lot of the players come back, but a lot of them don’t.
So it is with great sadness every year that this day comes, Senior Day, as it will again on Friday. I may never see some of these guys again, but the memories will always remain.
A few words about some of these guys are appropriate now:

Matt Brown: Toughest Owl ever

MATT BROWN _ Everybody remembers the 226-yard, four-touchdown, performance at Army two years ago year but I have a couple of other favorite memories about this unparalleled Warrior. Last year, during the Kent State game he limped off the field. I turned to my seat neighbors and I said, “You know, I’ve never seen him get hurt.” Pretty much the most durable player I’ve ever seen play at Temple and, pound-for-pound, the toughest. Another memory was Brown scoring the TU third touchdown of the Eagle Bank Bowl to give Temple a 21-7 lead over UCLA. Before he squirted through the hole and into the end zone, 23,000 people rose to their feet with the loudest “Let’s Go Temple!” cheer I’ve ever heard, in or out of Philadelphia. People were pounding on the RFK Stadium frozen seats and going crazy and Brown did not let them down. Last year’s enduring memory was head coach Steve Addazio putting his arm around Brown and walking him down the sideline with some encouraging words when Brown appeared to be beside himself angry for not playing early in the New Mexico Bowl. It would be a sad irony if this amiable young man could not play Friday due to injury. I’m betting he will.
And here it is, Matt’s TD: (The Zapruder Film was shot in higher quality and that was in 1963)

BRANDON MCMANUS _ Without question, the MVP of this year’s team. My favorite memory was McManus’ game-winning kick in the second Mayor’s Cup game. Al Golden screwed the pooch by playing the first game too close to the vest and the Owls took a loss. They simply could not afford to lose to Villanova the second time and McManus drilled a 44-yarder that won a game the school absolutely needed. His 330 points (hopefully about 345 after Friday) will be a record that will stand a long, long time at Temple. Because he is a rare triple threat kick guy (kickoffs, FGs and punts) and can take up one roster spot normally occupied by two guys, he will be playing on Sundays next year.

My favorite TU photo of Montel, talking to Army linebacker
Nate Coombs after a seven-touchdown performance.

MONTEL HARRIS _ I used to call Bernard Pierce “The Franchise” but I really believe BP would have had a hard time seeing the field if Montel had been here the last three years. This kid has a greater initial burst into the hole than Pierce did and better moves inside the pile than Pierce did. The only thing Pierce had better than Montel is breakaway speed once he made it around the tight end and a quicker burst in that direction. I believe Harris will also be playing on Sundays. I can’t wait until a smiling Montel looks into the camera on Monday Night Football and says, “Montel Harris, Temple Owls.”

The only good thing is that the Owls lose just a dozen players and the returning ones should put Temple in the conversation for the upper half of the Big East in next year’s preseason predictions.
Here is the complete class (click over the name for Owlsports.com bios):

Twelve members of the 2012 Senior Class— RB Matt Brown; Vaughn Carraway Justin Gildea  Marcus Green . C/.JHammond  Montel Harris , Maurice Jones  Brandon McManus  Darryl Shine , Ahkeem Smith , Martin Wallace, John Youboty 

Senior OL Sean BoyleSean Boyle will not participate in Fridays’ Senior Day activities. The NCAA has granted him a five-year clock extension, giving him a sixth year of eligibility. Plagued by injuries, Boyle did not play during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. He returned to action this fall as the team’s starting center but has missed the last three games. I see Sean slotting into Martin Wallace’s spot as an OT next year, strengthening an improving offensive line. To think that Sean started the 2009 opener against Villanova and will start the 2013 opener vs. Notre Dame is both mind-boggling and reassuring.

Tomorrow: Throwback Thursday


3 thoughts on “A tribute to the seniors

  1. 30 years of watching Temple football. No question in my mind, Matt Brown is my favorite!

  2. Last year, I had a poll on this website: Which running back epitomizes the term "Temple TUFF" … the possible answers were Paul Palmer, Matt Brown, Todd McNair, Bernard Pierce, Mark Bright, Henry Hynoski and the runaway winner was Matt Brown.That says it all right there.Brown got 76 percent of the vote. The other guys split it up.

  3. Matt Brown epitomizes the type of athlete that Philly embraces: an underdog because of his size, but a tough, nose to the grindstone, player. It's a shame more people did not come out to see him play, he would have had Aaron Rowand type admiration. And the injuries this year limited his national exposure, playing in the Big East. I hope he gets to play Friday and he gets to play on Sundays next year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s