A lot of you experienced your Thanksgiving Day nine days ago.
Mine is today.
When you live long enough to see your brother, then father, then mother, pass on all in a period of four years and realize that there is no place to go on Thanksgiving anymore, the feeling of loneliness can be overwhelming on that day.
That’s why I am thankful for my Temple football family and today’s championship game, no matter what the result, will be the best Thanksgiving Day ever.
I’ve always been at least a small part of the Temple football family and decided to step up to the plate a little over 10 years ago and give it a voice on the internet when the program was threatened by a short-sighted President. Over those years, it was a dirt poor family, then worked its way up to the middle class and now is on the verge of riches—all because of good, old-fashioned American hard work and upward mobility.
If the Owls win today (noon, ABC), they will have done it by beating a worthy foe and the trophy will be well-earned.
Temple would not have it any other way.
The Temple football story is a great story because the Owls have been pushing that rock uphill in a BCS environment that is set up to reward the rich P5 schools and keep the G5 schools in “their place.” That’s why you see the same schools in the Top 25 just about every year.
If the Owls win today, they will finish the regular season in the Top 25 and might or might not be headed to the Cotton Bowl. Either way, a win will almost assuredly put them in a sweet bowl and assure another wonderful Thanksgiving with this beautiful family of friends, fans, players and coaches. Hoisting that trophy will be something no other Temple team can boast about.
There are a couple of things pointing to this victory. The Owls were just as impressive against SMU and East Carolina as Navy was and Tulane and UConn, while very competitive with Navy, were outclassed by Temple. The Memphis result was at Memphis, while Navy had Memphis in Annapolis. The distractions about possibly losing their head coach, which existed in the week before last year’s game, do not exist this year.
Most of the tea leaves are coming up Temple. That could all change in the first quarter, though, if the Owls line up in a 4-3 defense, but learning from mistakes should be part of any process.
It all comes down to whether the Owls can handle the road environment and, from what I hear, this will be as much of a home game from a crowd standpoint for Temple as it will be for Navy.
It should be a great trip for Owl fans and, if they bring the noise, a better ride home for a family that deserves a feast.
Tomorrow: Game Analysis