Jahad Thomas once again made a touchdown out of what seemed like a short gain.
When my beloved Temple football Owls are far away, my routine has been pretty much set over the last 20 years.
In the bad old days, I would pace the floor and listen on the radio and, when the Owls got involved with the MAC, sit in front of my computer and watch the game on a flickering internet connection. In those days, there was a lot of pacing and cursing and, after one particular Steve Addazio disastrous game at Bowling Green, staring for a good 15 minutes at a “your program has ended “ message in disgust and not believing what I just saw.
These, though, are the good old days and I have to head out to my neighborhood watering hole—sometimes even venturing as far as the Main Campus—to enjoy the game with other Temple Owls’ fans. Unless, though, I make the long trip to campus none of these fans have quite the passion for the Owls as I do.
They know that. I know that. It’s accepted as truth on both sides.
So in the last quarter of a 31-0 beat down of Tulane (it was 24-0 at the time) that sets up a potentially delicious end to the season, one of the regulars friendly mentioned: “Mike, you can go home now. This one is over.”
“Hell no,” I said. “I’m enjoying this. To me, when Temple has a lot and the bad guys have a little, that’s my idea of a great game. I’m sticking to the end.”
It’s the reason why I remain glued to my seat when the Owls blow out an opponent at home while a steady stream of my fellow fans make their way up the stairs at Lincoln Financial Field. (I had a conversation with former Temple player Matt Falcone’s family, who usually sit near me, and they also agreed they want to stay until the end and they always do. I’m glad I’m not alone.) It is the reason why I make it over to the students and sing the alma mater and “T for Temple U” with them and the team.
Hell, no. I’m not missing any of this.
When you’ve been through a 20-game losing streak like I have, 31-0 victories on the road to set up a championship game at home are something to savor. I watched as Logan Marchi took over at quarterback, then watched as Frank Nutile took over, hoping to see a couple of passes from those players in a “real” game. Matt Rhule, being the nice guy he is, did not allow it.
I wanted to see if the Temple fans who made it from their end zone and watched them move right behind the bench. Near the end, I do not think it is too much of an exaggeration that the 200 Temple fans there were half of the 400 or so people in the stadium. The Isaiah Wright touchdown was a thing of beauty, as was the Ventell Bryant touchdown (while double-covered) and the typical PAC-Man Jahad Thomas’ touchdown we have all come to view as routine. Thomas should be a chef when he graduates from Temple because he knows how to turn chicken-you-know-what into chicken salad.
Now the Owls can clinch another AAC East title in front of their home fans by playing their brand of football on Saturday. They deserve a big crowd. Maybe even this time most of them will decide to remain seated to watch them hoist that trophy again with an eye on an even bigger one, maybe literally, down the road. It’s up to them to finish this bad boy out and all they have to do is play defense, run the football, hit play-action passes, and be great on special teams. That’s the Temple brand as much as the triple option is the Navy brand.
Savor every moment. I certainly will.
Monday: Fizz Checks In
Tuesday: The Seniors
Thursday: Game Day
Saturday: Weekend Picks