The End of An Era

Haason Reddick has got to make that play on McSorley on that long pass to the tight end. Very reminiscent of Sean Daniels’ miss of a tackle on the Fordham game-winning touchdown against Temple in 2013. This unfortunately will be (in my mind) the last game we will see Temple play against Penn State in my life or the life of any of my fellow baby boomers.

Every once in a while, a Temple fan will write something so brilliant, it deserves a wider audience than the intended one.  Such was the case with this treatise written by former Temple player Dave (Fizzy) Weinraub at the end of last season and, now, by a Temple poster named MH55—I know who he is, but we’ll let him have the same level of anonymity that he desired when he wrote this on the Penn State Blue White Illustrated Message Board:

Due to P5 separation, B10 scheduling and college football circumstances in general, I have a distinct feeling this could be my last trip to Beaver Stadium wearing the Cherry & White. I’ve been coming to PSU/Temple games for more than 20 years and noted this is my 6th trip to see the Owls there. I have a lot of fun memories, mostly outside the stadium, from trips to Happy Valley. There was the day Curtis Enis ran wild and we got shellacked 66-14 but I was able to outdrink most of the patrons in the Crow Bar later that night. There was the afternoon I saw a slob vomit after trying to eat one of the world’s biggest hamburgers at Dennys Beer Barrel Pub.. There was a pregame tailgate where everyone seemed to enjoy my novelty laugh box which I brought into the stadium only to be told by about a dozen Lion fans they would shove it uncomfortably into my rectum when Temple took an unexpected 7-0 lead in 1997. Final 52-10 Loss.

Obviously, I’ve seen Temple closer to home. I went to Giants Stadium in 1996 and 1994’s affair at Franklin Field, both unusual and unfortunately, losing experiences. I’ve also seen Penn State at Lincoln Financial Field where frankly, we should have won in 2011 with a roster full of NFL talent and NCAA capable players. Sadly, we had the cowardly Steve Adazzio at the helm who views the forward pass and an attack offense with more disdain than Johnny Depp has for Amber Heard. Still, I was finally able to soak in and enjoy last year’s trouncing as a culmination of all the frustration we’ve had in my 25+ years of following the travails of the Owls in college football as well as versus Penn State University.

_MH55

That was just part of the post, a bravo and well-done tribute to the Temple-Penn State series and a lot of unfulfilled trips to Beaver Stadium. Mark goes on and says that he emptied his bank account on the nine points the Owls were getting. While we’re happy he made a whole lot of money on the Owls, we wish they could have come up with one more point where the good guys would have outscored the bad guys and been a disciplined enough team to come away with 60 or so yards less in penalties, not 120. My memories are similar to his, and I will never forget holding a copy of the Centre Daily Time at the iconic Rathskeller one Friday night  in 1979 and noting Temple was a 3.5-point favorite. I said to a Penn State friend that we might never see Temple favored against Penn State again. (The Owls were upset, 22-7, before a then-record crowd at Beaver Stadium.)

My friend, Mark, had more recent experiences but I am sure he feels the same sense of loss with the end of this series. I had a nice talk with former Temple AD Gavin White, the quarterback in the 1950 game, who told me that the Owls would have won the 7-7 tie had he been allowed to throw the ball more. I still believe him because I know what a good and honest man he is. The PSU assistant coach (they had only two) in that game was a rookie named Joe Paterno.

Back to MH55, though. He’s right about another thing: Temple will never play Penn State again, at least in many of our lifetimes. Even in a bowl game, both parties have to agree and I do not see Penn State agreeing to play the Owls. It’s been a nice series in the modern era that started with the 1975 game. Just wish it had been more competitive and that the college football world had not disintegrated into this money-grubbing mess we have now. College football without the regional games of the not-so-distant past is a very sad thing, indeed.

Friday: A “Meh” Homecoming

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12 thoughts on “The End of An Era

  1. My friends and I were also lamenting the fact that it likely was the last PSU-Temple game we’d see in our life times. The fact is they were the measuring stick by which TU fans gauged the Owls. From the first game in 1975 til this past Saturday, PSU was the great blue and white whale that TU could net but never get into the boat, last year notwithstanding. This year again, TU could not overcome its mistakes and lost a game they could have won. I know that it has become customary to defer to the second half if you win the toss. I believe that the game Saturday would have gone better for the Owls had they opted to receive. For a quarter and one-half, the Owls were buried and PSU had great field position. Fact is that the half time score should have been much worse.
    Greed will eventually destroy college sports because the ever increasing costs of playing in conferences spread all over the country will exact a toll on all but the richest schools. Most of the universities engaged in big time athletics today lose money on sports. That number is going to increase and will result in the loss of college athletics at many schools. Time to reorganize the conferences regionally but that will never happen because of greed.

    • someday the football money will run out (it has already started to happen with reduced espn and fox sports payouts) and the business model of far-flung conferences will collapse. the sooner the better. cannot fly all of these olympic sports across the country without the universities noticing that expense and doing something about it.

  2. Say what you want about Joe Pa, but Temple would still be on the PSU schedule in the future if he was still coaching.

  3. I think PSU would continue to play Temple somewhat regularly if not for the Big Ten’s new scheduling rules. Big Ten teams now have to schedule a P5 team, and there are only 3 non-con games available. Given that Penn State really can’t go below 7 home games / year and hope for their books to balance, that means the only way these games happen in the foreseeable future is if Temple joins a P5 conference or Temple is willing accept trips to Beaver Stadium with no return in Philly. I can’t see either happening.

  4. If I’m TU, I take 1 home game for 3 at PSU and consider myself lucky given the realities of the scheduling situation. Helps the recruiting with kids that would like to play at Penn St but for whatever reason come to TU.

    • In addition, it’s a big payday for the Owls to play up there.

      • Pat Kraft said to me at Stony Brook: “No more 2 for 1s.” I said, “except for Penn State.” He said, “no, not even for Penn State. We’re firm about that.” I do not agree. I think a 2-for-1 benefits Temple, but apparently he does not. I would be satisfied if we moved away from the Stony Brooks and get Bucknell and Idaho off the future schedule.

  5. Incredible. Delusional. What is the business logic in that thinking? As noted above, big pay day for a game you can bus to. Helps recruiting. TV viewership is huge for that game. Alumni even take an interest. (Might seem like a cheap shot. But of the 8 season tickets I have and 6 another friend has, none are alums.). But more than anything, Temple gets the chance to show its brand of football is competitive with the state of Pennsyvania’s rep in the powerful B1G. It’s the biggest stage TU gets for a regular season game short of ND. And when you finally get them here, the whole city talks Temple football. Even talked about on some of the sports talk radio shows.

    • Agree. By the way, I’m becoming very depressed watching Clemson play defense against GT. They have two big guys in the A gap and are essentially playing a six man front that, according to the announcers, they practiced during Spring ball and fall camp. They also are bringing the hosue on sure pass plays. It’s a travesty that TU’s coaches did not take the time to install a similar defense. .

      • Depressing indeed. Most big-time staffs have at least one other successful guy who has been a head coach somewhere else. The only guy on our staff with prior head coaching experience we have on our staff was 7-15 at Fordham. Would be nice if Matt had a successful head coach on his staff to bounce ideas off of about stopping the triple option or reducing false starts. We’re the blind leading the blind in that regard.

    • Pride goeth before the fall and while it is nice for Pat to be proud of Temple, foregoing the 2-for-1s with PSU is going to get you Bucknell and Idaho at Lincoln Financial Field. I think Temple fans would rather see Penn State every other year or every third year there instead.

  6. Isn’t OU coming to town in a couple years?

    Man that hurt to watch the motion penalties. But then, same thing was happening for Alabama. Must be in the water. Talk about drive killers. 2nd and 5 reverts to 1st and 15. Basically allows defense then to dictate play calls.

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