Virtual Reality vs. Reality

On the first night of the NFL draft, the Temple football Owls hosted a “virtual reality” event to ostensibly talk about the state of the program via Youtube.

On the most-watched channel in the city of the Owls, the NFL draft was about to start.

Not the best platform planning we’ve ever seen. Maybe another night (err, Wednesday?) might have been a better choice.

Virtual reality vs. reality.

I will take less band and cheerleaders if I can see more of this for at least eight of the 12 Saturdays.

In that hour, we heard “Hey Jude” played by the Temple band and saw a performance by the Temple cheerleaders. We also learned about pulled hamstrings and such from a Temple doctor.

Insight into the football team?

Not so much.

We don’t talk politics here (sorry, John) but the politics we do talk about is political correctness when it comes to the Temple program. Listen, I like the band, cheerleaders and Temple doctors well enough but in an era where we don’t get enough real news about Temple football itself, would have preferred the entire hour stick to the state of the team.

On the other channel, Mel Kiper and Todd McShay were not talking to team doctors, listening to Beatles songs or being wowed by a sis-boom-bah cheer.

Kinda reminds me when I was sports editor of a Calkins Newspaper daily and the managing editor yelled across the room: “Mike, this is a parent of a band member. Can you talk to her?”


More of this kind of cowbell, please.

“Why do you guys give more coverage to the CB West football team than the band? Those kids work just as hard as the football players.”

“I’m sure they do, ma’am. I have a hypothetical question, though. Do you think 10,000 fans would attend Friday night’s CB West-Souderton game if it was just the band and the football team went through drills at halftime of the band performance?”

“I guess you’ve got a point there.”

“Have a good night.”

The Temple publicity people haven’t grasped that simple concept probably because a lot of Title IX and similar rules dictate that other areas of the uni get “equal” coverage.

There’s simply not the interest there.

The host, Kevin Copp, seems like a nice enough guy. In fact, I don’t think there are too many Temple employees of the last few years (Morgan Siegfried excluded) who works as hard and is as affable as Copp. Yet there were no tough questions (“when are we going to stop fair catching?” is just one I can think of). I don’t blame Kevin at all because, as a uni employee, he is not going to rock the boat because he is “in” the boat and might not be able to swim should it tip over.

Winning trumps effort every time.

That also applies to the owner and operator of one Temple sports site.

It doesn’t appear that we are going to get answers to tough questions but Rod Carey did say he wanted to have a team that “plays hard, gives maximum effort and makes our fans proud.”

Paul Palmer had the best comment of the night when he mentioned how important it was for the Owls to win early to grab the attention of the fans. I would have liked to have heard the same from Carey.

Nowhere in that entire hour did Carey mention the most important word: WINNING. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather see a team that plays hard, gives maximum effort and kicks our opponents’ asses every Saturday. Everyone can try to have positive results. It takes special people to deliver those results.

The winning part appeals to me more than the effort part. Winning is not everything. It’s the only thing.

That’s the reality. I’m not interested in the virtual.

Monday: Five guys portal guys Temple should woo

Friday: Temple Guys

Signing Event: Quality and Quantity


Most of the hard recruiting work was done by this day on the beach in December with Kevin Kopp, Geoff Collins and Morgyn Seigfried.

Anyone who has been a Temple fan for many seasons has been to at least a couple of these recruiting signing nights.

The one that happens tonight (5-7 p.m., Student Pavilion Building) will have a different feel to it.


Back when Al Golden was having these things, he’d roll out the projector and show all 25 guys’ recruiting highlights. Then the oohs and ahhs would follow, someone would yell out (“they all look like USC and Alabama recruits”) and Golden would shake a few hands of the fans and we’d call it a wrap. There were surprises, last-minute guys who Golden would beat a BC or a Pitt for and who would go on to be great Owls.

For the first time, though, a lot of the surprise element is gone this year. Because of the early signing date, we have known for over a month who is in the fold.

That’s a good thing, not a bad one, because in the past Temple would invariably lose a number of recruits to Power 5 schools between December and February. Off the top of my head, they lost a running back to Iowa, a fullback to Pitt, a safety to Penn State and an “athlete” to Ohio State. Since they did not go to Temple, they shall remain nameless in this space.

The best national site on recruiting, according to most objective observers, is and that site has Temple signing at least 25 players with as many as four add-ons coming tonight. Since we’re a little superstitions so we won’t name them until the ink is dry on the dotted line. More on them in this space on Saturday.

Of the 25 so far, though, has 22 with at least three stars. Only three of the signees have two-stars. That’s an important distinction because, while Temple has had higher-ranked classes before, they have never had over 20 three-star players in the fold in a single class.

Quality and quantity should be the theme here.

Expect Geoff Collins to talk about adding depth throughout the organization and, unlike last year’s class, there will be quite a few guys in the room from it tonight who will make an impact not only on the highlight screen tonight, but on the field in a few months. That’s because at least five December signees are already working out at the E-O.

That’s progress.

Friday: Recruiting Night Recap