But the Big Story on Action News Is ….

matty

The first time I ever heard the name Bronko Nagurski was holding the transistor radio close to my ear as a kid and listening to the great play-by-play guy, Ron Menchine, do a Temple game at Pitt.

“There’s Dynamo Hyno with the ball getting, 10, 15 yards and he’s running like Bronko Nagurski,” Menchine said.  “The Pitt defenders just cannot bring him down.”

cleansup

Tyler cleans up good. (Photo courtesy Charlotte Observer)

I didn’t know who Nagurski was, but I knew who Dynamo Hyno was—Temple fullback Henry Hynoski—and I knew this Nagurski guy must have been pretty good if he was being compared to Hynoski.

Now I can say the same for Nagurski and Tyler Matakevich. This Nagurski guy must have been pretty good if they are giving an award named after him to the great Temple linebacker, who I know is pretty good.

Great, really.

Years from now, the alumni from this team will gather around the post-game tailgates and talk about Tyler Matakevich with alumni from other eras. They will have plenty to talk about because the big story on Action News tonight is that Matakevich became the first Temple player to bring home a major award in 41 years when he was named the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Winner as the nation’s best  defensive player.

It is an award well-deserved.

I had a long conversation with Tyler in Lot K the week before the UCF game and I told him the greatest thing about the Leave No Doubt motto was that UCF was a championship game, like the week before that one and the week after.

menchine

Ron Menchine

“Absolutely,” Tyler said. “We know that’s the only way we can have success.”

Then he explained the what’s the #what’snext hashtag. It was a fascinating conversation and he could not have been more gracious with his time. We talked about other things, like his visit to 97-year-old former Temple end James Woodside, but his take on turning a couple of slogans into a meaningful foundation for this season was illuminating.

I had an inkling Matakevich might win it when a story I wrote for Rant Sports.com ranking the five finalists for the Nagurski Award and putting Matakevich as No. 1 was not only liked by the official twitter account of the Charlotte Touchdown Club, but retweeted to each and every one of the voters.

liked

 

I followed that up with the following chart and it was a pretty stark black and white (well, cherry and white in this case) difference between Matakevich and the competition.

nagurski

The last Temple player to earn a major award was Steve Joachim, who won the Maxwell Award was the nation’s best college player. Matakevich is also up for an award from that same club called the Chuck Bednarik Award, also as the nation’s top defensive player.

I have a feeling that he’s also going to bring home that trophy as well. It could not happen to a nicer guy or a better player. Dynamo Hyno should be, and Bronko himself, who has long since left us, would have been, proud.

Related:

http://www.rantsports.com/ncaa-football/2015/11/24/ranking-the-5-bronko-nagurski-award-finalists-for-nations-top-defensive-player/

http://www.rantsports.com/ncaa-football/2015/11/04/dick-butkus-award-will-be-a-complete-farce-without-including-temples-tyler-matakevich/

Tomorrow: Temple vs. Houston Photo Gallery

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17 thoughts on “But the Big Story on Action News Is ….

  1. A well deserved honor. He made the front page of NFL.com too. It’s certainly not a matter of “if” he’ll be drafted, but where.

  2. I was very confused Mike because I could have swore that Henry Hynoski went to Pitt. Then I realized you meant his Dad!

    Congrats to Tyler. He busted his butt and it paid off. I hope he succeeds at whatever he decides to do next.

  3. I like the way he looks out of his helmet, like a kid wearing a hat too big for him. Tyler played with the zest of a kid just having fun and being totally engaged in something he loves to do. Congrats Tyler, you deserve it. Every Temple football fan will miss your energy on the field.

    • Temple should have marketed TM for the Heisman all year, he is one of the very few players with the ability, desire, and work ethic to exceed the hype..Temple could have branded him around the blue collar, lunch pail philly…TM would have received an invite to NYC.., just like the AAC Championship game this was another lost opportunity

      • if the kid from navy didn’t receive an invite, TM would not have either, no matter how much marketing there was.

  4. we have the most imperfect sense of timing.., TM is awarded defensive player of the year and the BOT decides to make an announcement to pause stadium plans.., what is a new recruit to think?

    and to all of you who proclaim Temple does not need a on-campus stadium – go to Houston, watch, listen, and learn what home field advantage really means

  5. this has villanova grad and temple bot chairman “I’m not going to let temple football get caught up in an arms’ race” pat o’connor written all over it. as long as he’s the head, we will have no stadium at 15th and Norris. Put a Temple guy in charge.

    • It looks like this is because the mayor elect of Philly has concerns. Does anybody remember when they built the Linc? It took 2 years longer to break ground than Heinz field, even though they got the money from the state on the same day. Why? Because the mayor got involved in where it should be located. Temple does not have 2 years to delay. This is a good move to get the mayor involved, so he doesn’t put up all of the roadblocks along the way, raising costs and creating delays.

  6. Congrats Tyler. and remember he had no college offers except Temple. them recruiting gurus can never measure a man heart!

    • agreed, theotherjd. i liked him when i saw his first big tackle for a loss, one that helped seal the usf win at the linc in 2012. the kid came here ready to play and he never stopped playing.

  7. If Kenney gets Lurie to lower the rent and hammer out a reasonable long term lease then to me that’s an ok proposition. I can see both sides of the on campus stadium argument but as MD Owl says Temple really can’t let this drag on for 2+ years going forward. The coaching staff and team spend a lot more time at the E-O than at the Linc so if the go forward position is that the Linc is our “home” field and the facilities part of Rhule’s contract is upgrading the E-O complex, getting really first class facilities for meeting, film study, indoor practice facility, I don’t think that is so bad.

    I’ve always felt from the beginning of the on-campus stadium discussions that the local neighborhood and city politics would be the biggest stumbling blocks

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