It’s two days removed from the Temple game, and I think since everyone is offering their perspective on what happened last year, the media campaign that Temple ran, and this year’s game played in a monsoon, it’s time for an actual player to explain what happened.
Let me start by saying that last year, the referees got the call RIGHT. There was a referee not 5 yards from the play in question. Even though video replay shows that he got his foot in bounds, he clearly did not have control of the ball as he exited through the end zone. But like the face that launched a thousand ships, this was the play that launched a stupid media campaign (complete with billboards, poor quality YouTube videos, and Jello Pudding Pops–here’s lookin’ at you, Temple’s most famous graduate).
The slogan became “JUSTICE.” As in, justice will be served, the wrongs will be righted, and somehow this one loss is the most egregious for a program that hasn’t had a winning season since 1990. There were MAC officials making the decisions (not Big East bias here). And yet they put up a billboard in downtown Philadelphia, with the word JUSTICE set over UConn and Temple football helmets. They posted YouTube videos comparing the 2007 match up to Batman battling the Joker (read: THE NIGHT IS ALWAYS DARKEST BEFORE THE DAWN…JUSTICE IS COMING). These videos were produced by the Temple video crew. It’s just incredibly disrespectful. If those clowns from Temple had lost to Penn State or USC in the same manner they wouldn’t have said boo. For one, I’m sure if they had lost to Penn State and put up such a billboard the Governor would have made them take it down in a heartbeat. That, or Joe Pa would use his superpowers to burn Temple to the ground.
It’s the same reason that when UConn beat Army in 2005, then head coach Bobby Ross issued an apology to all branches of the United States Military at home and abroad for the disgraceful loss. How was losing to UConn any different than the other 7 games Army lost that season?? Give me a break. But again, the similarities come from one thing: R-E-S-P-E-C-T. (Sorry, Aretha.) The national media hates UConn. I wouldn’t have it any other way, but you know what? Take heed Temple; you lost to the eventual 2007 Big East Champs, who went undefeated at home. Don’t start a media campaign; feel lucky to have taken the field with us. Bottom line: you lost, get over it.
Temple v. UConn 2008:
I never wondered what it would be like to play football underwater. Despite my lack of imagination I found out this past weekend. Don’t let anybody tell you different–it was pouring out there. Even worse, warm-ups were completely dry; we only got our first taste of the rain when we ran out of the tunnel to take the field. The only redeeming quality was that the temperature outside was in the high 60s to low 70s, meaning that it was only barely tolerable.
But I gotta say I love playing in the rain. It tends to even the playing field for athletically limited and genetically disabled persons such as myself. (Have you seen the title of the blog? Yeah…)
The game: Sloppy. The defense: Tremendous.
But I need to say, get off of Tyler Lorenzen! The kid is doing his best, and you know what, it’s tough playing quarterback. Add in rain and the pressure of blitzing linebackers and it’s near impossible. Am I making excuses for the guy? No. He knows he can do better and he works hard–everyday–to get better.
I loved the look on the opposing fans faces when we won. It’s some sort of sick justice (pun intended) when the students sitting behind you are yelling obscenities and assuring you that your mother is of questionable morals and then you go on to beat their team in overtime.
One Final Thought:
It is a pregame tradition of my mine to watch College Gameday before boarding the bus to go to the game. I put very little stock in what these “experts” have to say about the game, but it’s a guilty pleasure. Everyone on ESPN picked Temple to win. Corso called for “an upset in front of an empty stadium–Temple wins.” He was right about the empty stadium.
How can the folks from Bristol (only 45 minutes away) not be bigger fans of the big-time football happening in their big backyard?