When is being second better than being first?
When you are talking about the Heisman Trophy vs. the Maxwell Award, that is.
The Maxwell has always been a poor man’s Heisman, but Temple has one Maxwell Award-winner, Steve Joachim (1974). That was a remarkable achievement, but it wasn’t the Heisman (it went to Archie Griffin that year). Joachim has been the Owls’ color analyst alongside Harry Donahue for the past 17 years and did a good job.
The Heisman, though, is a whole different animal. When Paul Palmer sat down with eventual winner Vinny Testaverde (Miami), third-place finisher Jim Harbaugh Jr. (Michigan) and fourth-place finisher Brian Bosworth (Oklahoma), he put Temple in the national spotlight that the Maxwell could not have provided.
Temple Radio Fun Fact:
Owls have had a Heisman winner
(Joe Bellino), a Heisman runner up
(Paul Palmer) and a Maxwell Award
winner (Steve Joachim) as radio
I think Palmer, the Heisman Trophy runner up (1986), will do a great job as Harry Donahue’s new analyst and I’m happy to see him on the radio team this season, beginning Saturday (3:30 p.m., 97.5 The Fanatic).
How do I know that?
Paul, or Boo-Boo as he’s called by his friends (now mostly shortened to Boo), had a gig as a sideline reporter for the Owls. In those days, I brought a transistor radio to the games (to hear mostly about the injuries) and HAD to listen to the radio for the road games because the Owls were rarely on TV.
In a game at the Vet against Virginia Tech, the Owls were having trouble kicking extra points and field goals. They already had missed two field goals and an extra point, but if Virginia Tech proved one thing that day it was they could not stop Big East Offensive Player of the Year Walter Washington, the Temple quarterback. On several plays, Washington could be seen literally dragging two or three Hokies on his back for 10 or so extra yards. Washington was 6-4, 250 and an Abrams’ Tank out there. VT players were infantrymen by comparison. He could not be stopped on any potential two-point conversion. Temple knew it and VT knew it.
Washington scored in overtime. An extra point would have tied the game. A two-point conversion would have won it. Normally, the “football play” would have been to kick the extra point, but this was no normal day. The Owls didn’t have a kicker, but they had a guy VT couldn’t stop. Harry threw it down to Paul, who suggested, very strongly, that the Owls give the ball to Washington to end the game here.
“Somebody’s got to grow a pair,” Paul said, referring to Bobby Wallace.
Paul said what every Temple fan was thinking and he suggested exactly what Wallace should have done.
Wallace didn’t grow a pair, went for the tie, and missed the extra point.
My admiration for Paul, already high, went through the roof that day.
Temple fans will love listening to him on the radio this fall.
I’m bringing the transistor along again.
Tomorrow: The Helmet Surprise