Anyone who has ever been a Temple fan for 30 years like I have knows the feeling.
The few times we have to walk into a bar to watch a Temple game we have to brace ourselves for asking for the game without getting laughed at or ask for the sound, which they never turn up. For some reason, so-called sports bars love to have music on and will seldom turn up the sound on sports events and never Temple ones. Miller’s Ale House in Northeast Philadelphia is a repeat offender in that regard. Armed with that knowledge, I ditched my plans to make a short walk to the local taproom and decided to attend the scheduled Temple viewing party at The Field House, where I knew the sound would be up.
Despite several logistical problems, I’m glad I did.
It started with a ride on the Route 67 bus out of Northeast Philly to the Market-Frankford Line. The bus ride was cool, a 25-minute one from Alburger and Verree; the MFL not so cool, with a guy walking up and down the train and talking to himself. SEPTA has a police force of 378 full-time officers and I thought to myself if they are not riding the MFL or the Broad Street Subway, just where are these guys? Are there donut shops on the subway? If I was the CEO of SEPTA, I’d have two guys riding shotgun of every train and still have more than 200 officers left to patrol other areas.
That’s just me.
Getting off at 11th Street, I made my way to the Field House. The first thing I saw is a couple of guys wearing Texas A&M game jerserys. Trendy fans. There is nothing worse than a trendy fan. I don’t throw the word “hate” around much, but I hate trendy fans. I guarantee those two guys were from Philly and picked Texas A&M out of a hat to root for, simply because they have been a trendy team. On the subject of hate, I hate every Temple student who walks around the Temple campus wearing Penn State stuff. I walked into the Temple room and told my friend, Dave, about it and he agreed. “He probably has a Duke hat and has a Dallas Cowboy and New York Yankee jersey, too,” Dave said.
That summed it up. Then I spent the better part of the next five hours with real fans, Temple fans, fans like me who stick with their team through a lot of thin and little thick.
After a two-hour wait, though, the next three hours were deliciously thick.
After Brandon Shippen scored a touchdown, I started a very loud “Let’s Go Temple” cheer. Then, as Temple lined up for the extra point, I stopped and told the room, “If he makes this, T for Temple U.” We did a lot of “Let’s Go Temple” and “T for Temple Us” that night. Let’s Go Temple during every drive. T for Temple U after every made extra point and field goal. So much so that I could not talk for most of the day Friday.
It was a loud, boisterious, crowd and I’m glad I came.
All of those guys and gals will be at the Navy game on Saturday. I hope we get 30,000 other Temple fans that loud, too. The trendy fans can stay home.