Take this from a guy who has been to the past 43 Cherry and White games: This one as all the makings for being one of the best.
I’ve been to the worst.
Last year, was Worst No. 2 only behind Worst No. 1 at Lincoln Financial Field a couple years earlier. Nothing worse than 1,000 fans in a 70,000 stadium watching a spring game.
Last year, the weather almost topped it.
A year ago almost to the day I stood on the top bleacher at the Diamond Street end zone with an umbrella over my head and ducking behind the 6-foot-4 guy standing on the bleacher below me to get a view of Logan Marchi throwing two interceptions off his back foot. He was BY FAR … FAR … the worst of the four quarterbacks playing that day but somehow he started the opener at Notre Dame and was only able to put up 16 points in the next game against a team Rhode Island scorched for 20 points.
It sucked big time.
This year, with 2,500 seats in the beautiful new Temple Sports Complex, I’m pretty much guaranteed of a good view.
Here are the five things I’m looking for:
You might say I’m a dreamer but, as the Beatles would say, I’m not the only one. This is kind of a mini-preview of what to expect at the new stadium. I have serious doubts that this will ever be built but there will be 5-10,000 people there tomorrow and tailgating in that confined space I believe is doable and will be fun. I will get back to you on those points Monday. The new stadium won’t be the same experience as Lincoln Financial Field but it could be better.
Mid-April is always a crapshoot in Philadelphia. Last year, to be kind, sucked. We got soaked. Everyone brought an umbrella. This year, with an 80-degree and sunny day forecast, I’ll probably be wearing the 27-10 Penn State T-Shirt.
Last year, it was a clusterbleep because these were first-year guys doing a first-year thing. Let’s hope it’s more focused this season. To me, I want to see kicking in a game situation (punting, punt and kickoff returns, field goals under pressure) and we saw none of that last year in the rain. This is the one chance to kick a pressure field goal in the rain and to see the new punter. That would be nice.
This might be the most important. We all know that Juice is No. 1 and Anthony is No. 2 at quarterback. Isn’t that a much nicer spot to be than we were this time last year when no one had a clue? Absolutely. Let’s move on to other important spots like defensive back, where Benny Walls is battling Keyvone Bruton for the free safety slot opposite strong safety Delvon Randall. I personally think the Owls are in good shape with either guy but, if one guy comes up with two picks on Saturday, it would be hard to keep him out of the starting lineup. Who will emerge as the No.3 wide receiver?. I think it could be Sean Ryan but Jadan Blue could prove me wrong. Right now, Isaiah Wright–a touchdown waiting to happen–is my current favorite Temple player (following in a line that included Adam DiMichele, Bernard Pierce, Tyler Matakevich and Nick Sharga). Him and Ventell Bryant are the two best receivers in the AAC and it’s not even close. Let’s find a third tomorrow.
They say you are a sick mofo if you bet an NFL preseason game. You need to call Gamblers Anonymous, though, if you bet the Cherry and White game. That said, after carefully perusing the rosters, I think Cherry wins this one: Say, 17-7. I don’t think they gave the White a shot. Not betting a penny, though. More than gambling, though, might be the gossip and since I have the ear of one or two donors, I will be able to garner some of the lowdown on the new stadium. Let’s just say I’m not optimistic at this point. I hope I hear differently on Saturday.
Monday: Cherry and White Takeaways