When I was working at the Philadelphia Inquirer, two cubicles down from me was a guy who, like me, was born inside the City Limits of Philadelphia, went to a high school inside the city limits and, also like me, graduated from Temple University.
The difference between the two of us was that he wore Alabama apparel to work and went crazy with each play every time Alabama was on the newsroom television and I did the same for Temple.
Years after that played out every night at work, I am now an Alabama fan. Not the Roll Tide version, but the 2.0 rollout version of Alabama-Birmingham. (Don’t worry, unlike my fellow co-worker, Temple still comes first.) Unfortunately, the rollout doesn’t come until the 2017 season, but this is a story that is worth following nonetheless.
There are at least five reasons for this:
- UAB is bringing back football after dropping it.
- UAB is trying to do it by bringing in ready-made JUCO recruits.
- UAB is trying to build an on-campus stadium after years playing in a stadium too large for its fan base.
- Tyler Haddock is on the roster.
- Mark Ingram is the athletic director.
All good, solid reasons to follow the Blazers, as Ingram was the assistant athletic director at Temple recently and Haddock held the Temple recruiting class together almost single-handedly between the time Steve Addazio quit and Matt Rhule was hired.
Haddock never got a chance to play for Temple, but it should be interesting to see what kind of impact he makes on the field. In order to get up to speed, the program recruited JUCO players with the promise of playing right away.
It should be interesting to see how well they do. I will be rooting for them, just not as hard as my former co-worker rooted for the Crimson Tide.
Friday: Camp Rhule