Critical Thinking and the Media

Zach Gelb was the only reporter at the Temple-Houston game who called it like it was in the first minute of this video.

When will we know Temple football has arrived in Philadelphia?

It certainly won’t be after beating Penn State or playing Notre Dame tough or even winning an AAC East title.

You will know Temple football has arrived when someone picks up a phone, dials one of the two all-talk Philadelphia sports radio stations and discusses what Zach Gelb talks about in the opening part of the above video for Temple’s student-run TV station. It should not be surprising that Gelb called out the Elephant on the Field, because breaking down sports runs in his blood. Gelb is the son of Mike and the Mad Dog Producer Bobby Gelb, who was the brains behind the greatest sports talk show in the history of radio. Now, due mostly to greed, that great pair has split up. It was like breaking up Laurel and Hardy because one without the other is no good.  When Mike said something outrageous, Chris was there to put him in line and vice versa.

Here’s a little snippet of what made Mike Francesa and Christopher Russo great.

I, for one, would have loved to hear Mike and the Mad Dog go off about Temple’s atrocious clock management the fourth quarter of the Houston game. Or wish Philly had a Mike and Mad Dog equivalent who cared enough to vent.

Temple had a problem in Houston, but you would not know it from the way the media reported the game. You didn’t read about it in the Inquirer or Daily News or Pravda ( or even

All except for Zach Gelb, who broke down the reason for the loss in a few words in the beginning of the post-game report that appears above. That’s the way it should have been broken down in Philadelphia and the way it should have been addressed on sports talk radio or in the next day’s newspapers. Gelb said he asked about it but that none of the team members felt it was a problem. That, in and of itself, is another problem.

For reasons only known to those who cover the team, TV, radio and newspapers never even addressed the problem. All they talked about was what a great season it was, not the snafus that could have made it a greater season.

Temple lost to Houston in the title game with a two-minute offense that was an abomination of Epic Fail proportions and the only reaction from Temple afterward were innocuous  “it was a great season” and “I’m proud of my team “quotes.

Yeah, but what about those 20 seconds wasted on virtually every play of the fourth quarter? Can we have one comment about that?

You can certainly bet if the Philadelphia Eagles wasted the last large chunks of any final quarter in the manner that Temple did, eliminating any chance of winning a game that had a slight chance to be won, it would have been hashed and rehashed on sports talk radio for the next five days.

We still have not found out why Temple wasted precious seconds in the final quarter of its most important football game and, because we have not, the Owls still have a long way to go in this great sports town.


16 thoughts on “Critical Thinking and the Media

  1. Mike, I think some of what you bring up, the “great season”, “proud of the team” quotes are part of a “process” for Temple fans, especially long term fans. Right now there is really only one other season that compares would be 1979. So from the “historical”perspective, yes this was a great season. For me I used to feel that give me a team that didn’t get embarrassed and put together consistent 5 to 7 win seasons (this was back in the days of 11 games) and that would make the football season something to look forward to.
    Where the “process” comes into play for us fans is as you say, realizing that getting upset about the Houston game, looking at that game a failure considering how the season went, etc. and is covered that way in the media does show Temple football is becoming relevant. Look at PSU, how many 7 win seasons do you think will be treated as a “success” in Happy Valley. I think the other thing to be realized is that opportunities like this don;t happen every season and need to be taken advantage of when they do.

    • to me, the big story should have been why could they have not run the same hurry-up offense that they ran in the last 2 minutes at UMass when it became absolutely apparent that urgency was the issue? If you remember that game, P.J. did not have to look once to the sidelines. To talk about how proud you are of the kids and what a great season it was is really disingenuous when there were more pressing game issue questions that needed to be addressed and answered. Those other answers are for a Monday presser, not a post-game presser. Given how good USF will be next year, Temple might never get back to the AAC game or at least it could be awhile.

      • Agreed on the challenges of getting back to a championship given the talent USF and other schools are amassing. This gets back to my concern about Temples inability thus far to make meaningful strides in recruiting. I saw on a message board where Jahson Wint has flipped from the Owls to OSU. If the Owls want to see a successful program rather than the occasional good season they need to win the recruiting wars.

  2. Two things: The NCAA should have an early signing period. Temple has done mostly a good job keeping recruits from flipping.

    • I’ve also seen some activity relating to a couple of kids Temple is trying to flip including the Russo QB going to Rutgers.

  3. Another story that should have been prominent is Rhule’s interview with Missouri. The Navy coach interviewed with BYU and a lot of Navy people were quite upset and it is clear that despite what everyone said on the Navy team, it clearly affected them. I say the TU kids were also affected despite what they said. PJ looke worse than he did at SFU. Almost every throw early in the game was off his back foot. Rhule hopefully learns from this and next time says All Im focused on is the next game.

  4. a few issues here.., the offense has under performed throughout much of the season, they rank in the bottom half in college football.., MR set goals for the defense at the beginning of the year and held everyone accountable…, why didn’t he do it for the offense? being in the bottom half is not a source of pride..,

    Satterfield may be a great guy, but would never be an OC at any P5 school.., last week Satterfield went to see Russo, the Rutgers QB commit. Russo re-committed to Rutgers five minutes after he left. Double jeopardy for Temple, we have bottom half OC and a bottom half recruiter…,

    i asked MR about recruiting on Twitter and he cited, “wilkerson, pierce, and TM..,we don’t think like everybody else #The Process”

    even the The Process believers must admit this is the worse recruiting class in the last five years

    Zach Gelb nailed it, and the crowd noise was unbelievable, it shook the entire offense

    • wilkerson and pierce were golden recruits. golden had the perfect mix of getting guys P5 schools wanted (Griffin, Arob, McManus) and the “we don’t think like everbody else” guys. You’ve got to strike a balance in life and in recruiting. Not all of the “we don’t think like everybody else” guys are going to work out. If you get a few of the guys who are wanted by everybody else, you’ve got a better chance of hitting. Most of the top 25 teams (year after year) get guys who are wanted by everybody else.

    • “a bottom half recruiter”? i would ask if you’re serious but u did pick us to lose most of the games this year. u also wanted to fire the RB coach. u also wanted to bench PJ for Nutile. what a joke!

  5. The teams that recruit the most stars are you’re better teams year in and year out.With the up tempo offenses,longer seasons and injuries you need at least 40-45 good players to get through the year.Not the 6-8 players in 7 years that rhule talks about. It won’t mean too much next year but if things don’t change the following year will be the beginning of a decline.

    • You would think a great recruiter like “Matt” would have been able to capitalize on this top 25 year with something that approaches a top 25 class. We can only hope he has a few big-timers up his sleeve in the final 9 schollies. Great recruiter+great year=great recruiting class. At least that’s the theory. Love to see Anthony Russo flip.

      • Dear KJ & Mike, Coach Rhule just signed 2 stud DBs tonite. Benny Walls & Amir Tyler! here’s what Kyle Gauss says about these 2, “So, in the span of about 12 hours, Temple added commitments from two DBs with multiple Power 5 offers each”. on twitter everybody is saying that the Walls kid is a true baller!

        hopefully this will quiet down all this recruiting talk nonsense. Rule has proven each year that he can recruit ballers. hence the great season this year.

      • Great news. I hope the group of 8 players still left to sign fit into the Burton, Walls and Taylor category of guys being wanted by P5 teams (after all, that’s what we aspire to be). Love signing a St. Joe Prep guy. Smart, tough, and played great high school competition. Hope Benny rips the explanation of the two-minute drill out of his playbook and slides it under Matt’s door.

  6. “Temple has multiple guys in this 2016 recruiting class that I really like, but Ben Walls might be my new favorite. He’s a stud.”

    Matt Vender-Owls247

  7. Hope getting the kid from St. Joe’s to commit is the start of a trend. Not only are their kids athletic, they’re smart and well coached. That’s a pipeline that won’t run dry. Now if only TU could get some of the studs at Imhotep Charter.

    • Don’t know about his taste in music, but he does have the kind of elite speed we need to string out some of these dual-threat quarterbacks. He won’t need to be coached on the fundamentals once here. All those Prep kids come ready to play.

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