When I started out in the workforce as a 14-year-old kid in the summer washing and packing Good Humor trucks in Northeast Philadelphia, I forgot to punch the time clock the first week I worked there.
Nervously, I approached the manager and told him of my mistake.
“Son, we don’t sweat the small stuff,” the foreman said, then gave me a piece of paper to sign.
As a lifelong Temple fan, the comment rolled around in my head after watching the Owls beat Connecticut on Friday night, 21-0. The Owls were a 10-point favorite on the road and won by more than double that.
Sure, it would have been nice had my favorite Temple quarterback, maybe of all time, P.J.Walker, not forced two throws in the red zone. Sure, it would have been even nicer had Temple coach Matt Rhule not gone all Ghandi-like on Bob Diaco after the first 14 plays, but one thing is clear.
We do not sweat the small stuff, nor should any of my fellow Temple fans.
Looking at the stat sheet, other than the two Walker mistakes, my biggest complaint was that Temple threw the ball on seven of the first 14 plays and ran the ball on 67 of the next 87 plays. In those first 14 plays, the Owls completed all seven passes and scored three touchdowns.
That should have been a clue as how to attack the rest of the game, so maybe that’s why Temple radio play-by-play man Harry Donahue made a point to mention that Owls’ offensive coordinator Glenn Thomas looked upset exiting his spot in the press box on Friday night in the last minute of the game.
As far as murderers go, you have Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein on one end of the spectrum and Ghandi and Matt Rhule on the other. Rhule could have put his sharp-cleated foot on the throat of Bob Diaco by throwing the ball—particularly over the soft middle of the Huskies’ defense—but instead was satisfied on running out the clock with a 21-0 lead.
Had the Owls put the foot on the Huskies’ throats, there is no doubt in my mind that this would have been a 43-0 type win, rather than a 21-0 win. A win, though, is a win and the Owls do not get style point from the CFB playoff committee with a 43-0 win. Losses to Army, Penn State and Memphis eliminated the Owls from that kind of contention, so Rhule’s salting away the win was the right strategy. Phil Snow deserves kudos for recording his first FBS shutout since 1986 when he was the DC at Boise State. (On the other hand, Chuck Heater had back-to-back shutouts for Temple in 2011.)
Style points would have been nice but, with two games left to ice the AAC East, style points pale in comparison to getting the win.
As the Good Humor executive once said, son, do not sweat the small stuff.
Monday: P.J. Walker Appreciation Day