Having watched Cherry and White Day games at Temple Stadium (both when it was standing and after it was demolished), Lincoln Financial Field (once), Geasey Field (several times) and now at the E-O, the meaning this year as never been more clear.
Beat Penn State.
While ostensibly the reason for spring practice is to get ready for the season as a whole, the focus can be on this one game this time because it is the opening one.
That’s not to say the Owls can’t have a great season if they lose to Penn State, but they would be changing life-long perceptions by winning this game. Ever since sports talk radio began a generation ago, talk show hosts in Philadelphia laughingly dismissed the notion that Temple could ever beat Penn State.
Last year, a Penn State talker, Mike Missanelli, openly asked, “Is this the year Temple finally beats Penn State?” His producer, Jon Marks, a Temple grad said, “no, that’s never going to happen.” Missanelli said, “Yeah, I was just messing with you.”
That’s the kind of perception both Penn Staters and Philadelphians have about this game. It’s the kind of perception they always have had.
It will always be that way until Temple decides to put Christian Hackenberg on his ass as many times as it put three Vanderbilt quarterbacks on their ass a year ago.
It can happen, but until it does, the Owls will be still chasing that dream.