Saturday’s Helmet Surprise

Helmet change now would be Golden Rhule

The reason this helmet is the greatest ever is that it leaves no doubt who we are. Plenty of schools have a T on their helmets. Few spell out the name.

My first conversation with Matt Rhule after he became Temple head football coach came as something of a surprise.
I sent him a short email congratulating him on being a head coach the day he was hired.
His emailed reply was short: “Thanks, Mike. Give me a call.”

And he left his cell number.

This is the plain Matte helmet. Rhule could use this because it reminds him of Penn State, but I think it's more likely they slap a T on one of these helmets before Saturday's game.

This is the plain Matte helmet. Rhule could use this because it reminds him of Penn State, but I think it’s more likely they slap a T on one of these helmets before Saturday’s game.

So I did. I tracked him down in a hotel room and we talked as if we had known each other for years when, in fact, the only conversation I ever had with him came one spring afternoon when he jogged one way and I jogged another at Mondauk Commons in Upper Dublin Township. He was an assistant to Al Golden then, but I knew who he was. We were both wearing “Temple football” T-shirts and that was a chance meeting, with few words, mostly about the April NFL draft that weekend.
This conversation was longer.
“Mike, I just want to tell you, that one of the ways I kept up on Temple football the year I was away was reading Temple Football Forever,” he said.
(He really knew how to get on my good side. I can now see why he’s the best recruiter Temple has had since Bruce Arians.)
Then he asked me for some ideas. We spoke for the next 34 minutes (I could tell by looking at my phone afterward).
For at least 29 minutes, we talked about the Temple helmet. (The other five minutes were asking his thoughts on a 3-4 defense and I gave him Bruce Arians’ cell phone number and a ringing endorsement of Nick Rapone as a potential defensive coordinator.)

In short, I asked him to go back to the TEMPLE helmet from the ‘][‘ and he said “I don’t know if it’s my call.”

I'll never forgive baldy here for a long list of things, but among those is putting his grimy hands on my helmet.

I’ll never forgive baldy here for a long list of things, but among those is putting his grimy hands on my helmet.

I told him it certainly was his call, because it was Wayne Hardin’s call to go from one cartoon Owl to the TEMPLE helmet in the first place and Jerry Berndt’s call to go to the ‘][‘ and Bobby Wallace’s call to go to a Gosh-awful Owl cartoon again and then Al Golden’s call to go back to the TEMPLE helmet. He said he was never in favor of changing the TEMPLE helmet to the ‘][‘ and advised Steve Addazio against it, but that Daz didn’t listen to him.
I suggested that if he didn’t want to make the complete conversion back to Golden’s TEMPLE helmet to “split the baby” (ala King Solomon) and put TEMPLE on one side and ‘][‘ on the other. I told him that would be the most distinctive helmet in the country and maybe the best.

Another reason to think the T will make some sort of return: This ad with a T helmet on top of Billy Penn. I wish I could say they dropped it by helicopter, but it was probably photoshopped.

Another reason to think the T will make some sort of return: This ad with a T helmet on top of Billy Penn. I wish I could say they dropped it by helicopter, but it was probably photoshopped.

Since that call, I have neither seen the TEMPLE helmet nor the ‘][‘ around the E-O, so I’m convinced we are in for some kind of “helmet surprise” on Saturday.
Here’s what we have seen: A foam cover over a Matte plain Cherry helmet (to guard against concussions). We have not seen the ‘][‘ nor have we seen the TEMPLE helmet.
Maybe they are working right now behind the scenes to put one on one side and one on the other. To me, that would be the perfect surprise.
Or they could leave it the way it is and that would be no surprise at all.
Something is up with the helmets and, since Matt said he never wanted to get rid of TEMPLE in the first place, I hope there is at least a spot on one side of the helmet for that tradition to be re-established.
I think it’s going to be a surprise of some sort.
Like that first call to Matt, I hope this surprise is going to be a pleasant one, too.

Temple Helmet Records

Temple T
Cartoon Owl
TEMPLE
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
Golden=26-23
Two years Addazio=13-11
Total=33 wins, 113 losses
Total=19 wins, 60 losses
Total=107 wins, 91 losses, 3 ties

Tomorrow: Notre Dame Preview

Saturday night (late): Complete Game Analysis

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Saturday’s Helmet Surprise

  1. Mike. I love your articles and understand you love the tradition value that “temple” on the helmet has. But as college age person I think people my age meaning high school recruits prefer the t and that’s what matters. I get a school like penn at keeping the same jerseys for 40 years for tradition but that’s penn st. No one goes to temple thinking about its tradition. They go for it’s future and implement the tradition. Looking at Oregon probably getting a shit ton of recruits bc of their jerseys I think it’s important we make the helmets appeal to 18 year olds which would be the temple t

  2. Sean, I don’t know. Al Golden got a lot of great recruits to come here and TU was wearing TEMPLE at the time. I see a lot of these uniforms (Maryland two years ago) and they look gosh awful. The one time Temple tried to change up uniforms (Rutgers last year) it got spanked. Karma.

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s