After spending what (for me) was a small fortune on a bus trip and ticket to the AAC championship game, I settled back in my seat on Bus No. 3 with visions of watching the Owls hoist the championship trophy only to be greeted by this announcement by the bus trip moderator employed by Temple:
“Right after the game, you must leave for the buses, which will leave 30 minutes from the conclusion of the game.”
Several of us screamed out loud: “WHHAAAAAATTTTT?”
We then pointed out to her that around 30 minutes after the conclusion of the game, the team, after going over to sing the Navy alma mater (a tradition), then their own alma mater and T for Temple U will just be STARTING the AAC championship ceremony. After never seeing Temple hoist a championship trophy or the Owls even involved in a championship ceremony, we weren’t on the mood to be hearing that noise that from our seats as the bus was leaving.
“I’ll check into that,” she said.
Halfway into the trip, she made the announcement: “I checked with my boss. It looks like no ceremony. The bus will be leaving right after the game. Sorry.”
There were audible groans from the packed bus.
Right then, at least two of us made plans to Uber it home from Annapolis if we had to because we were not missing any alma mater, fight song or lifting trophy craziness. (We didn’t; we got right on the bus as it was pulling out, but we stayed through everything.)
I dutifully filled out my survey upon returning home and mentioned how insane that to go all the way down there and be asked to get on the bus before a once-in-a-lifetime Temple victory ceremony occurs. Fortunately, the powers-that-be have heard. If Temple wins, the busses will leave one hour after the game on Tuesday; if, Heaven forbid, Temple loses, the bus hightails it out of town 30 minutes afterward.
Let’s all hope for a late departure because lost in Matt Rhule’s exit, Geoff Collins’ entrance and a team practicing without defensive coaches for a week is the fact that there is not one but three very important prizes to be had.
A winning bowl trophy would be one, a top 25 finish would be another and, above all, a legacy prize of being the winningest Temple team in history (11 wins). Who knows if Temple will ever have a chance to win 11 games again? After the Garden State Bowl, I left Giants’ Stadium assuming Temple would win double digits a few times. It did not happen until last year. While three of the four AAC teams have lost, none of them have the trifecta to gain that Temple has and the Owls need to ball out just like they did a couple of weeks ago in Annapolis. The kids deserve it and the fans deserve to see it.
This time, there won’t be just one prize by three really good parting gifts to lay eyes on before the year is over and out. Let’s hope all of us are there to see them.
Saturday: Finished Business
Monday: Game Preview
Wednesday: Game Analysis
Friday: Season Analysis