Cherry and White Over Black and Grey


Eagles’ kicker Jake Elliott beats black-shirted Owls at buzzer.

The highest ratio of death in a Civil War that killed 660,000 Americans (more than WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam combined) came from the guys who carried the colors for both sides.

Usually, the first guy shot was the flag bearer; then another guy pick it up and be shot and so on and so forth.

The reason was that the guys on both sides took an enormous amount of pride in their colors.

So it has been for at least this Temple fan over the last 45 years. So should it be when Temple football goes to war this fall.

The colors are Cherry and White, not Grey and Black, but the latest rumor I’ve ever—from a very reliable source—is that the Owls are considering an alternate color this fall:

Grey. Or Gray.

Whatever, unlike football stadiums, when you usually hear a rumor that includes “done deal” about a uniform, it usually is.

One word of advice: Don’t do it.

Not because I think the school is blessed to have the best color in sports (specifically, Cherry, but white is OK) but because The God of Football Colors (Karma) did not like it when the Owls departed from the usual over the past few years.

The caveat is that Temple beat Navy wearing black uniforms last season. The norm is that Temple almost always loses donning anything other than Cherry and White.

Here is what happened the four of the last five times the Owls went with some form of black:


At least Chris Coyer’s helmet looked good.

2012–Rutgers 35, Temple 10–The Owls graduated from the MAC to the Big East this season and were full of themselves after starting 2-0 in the new league. The good times continued to roll in the first half, as they led the visiting Scarlet Knights, 10-0, at halftime. Then the black unis and Karma started to take its toll and Rutgers won 35-10. That season faded to black in a big hurry.  Ironically, that same Rutgers’ team lost to a Temple MAC whipping boy, Kent State, later that year.

2014—Memphis 16, Temple 13—Current Philadelphia Eagles placekicker Jake Ellliot kicks a field goal on the last play of the game after an Owl drops a wide-open wheel route pass from P.J. Walker that would have won the game.


These black helmets looked like total s*it.

2014—Navy 31, Temple 24–In 95-degree heat (the second warmest Temple game ever), some genius came up with the idea that the Owls wear black helmets. Everyone who knows colors understands that white (which the Owls should wear on extremely hot days) reflects heat and black retains it. Navy had a 31-17 lead in that game at Lincoln Financial Field and the Owls scored a late touchdown. The Owls were also driving for a game-tying touchdown in the final minute but ran out of gas. Maybe the heat got to them.

2016—Memphis 34, Temple 27—In a game the Owls had to have in order to get to a NY6 game, they played like crap on a national TV game in wearing the black unis. Kicker Austin Jones was taken out on a cheap shot. While the Owls ended up winning the league title that year, the loss to Memphis probably kept them from representing the league in a NY6 game. Instead, that honor went to Western Michigan.

Did the black unis have anything to do with the losses?

Certainly debatable, but tempting Karma is never a good idea.

Monday: It’s All in The Timing

Wednesday: Could This Be The One?

Friday: Early Rankings of Note


14 thoughts on “Cherry and White Over Black and Grey

  1. The only colors that matter to me are black and blue marks as a result of a vicious Temple Defense.

  2. Unless you’re Oregon, does that changing uniforms each week really mean anything to the players? Penn State, Alabama, USC, Auburn, Texas…nothing changes there and the players still sign with them. And for the schools that have some history with alternate looks, at least they keep true to the school’s colors…Florida, FSU, Michigan, UGA, Clemson, LSU, A&M, need I go on?

    The black (and recently gray) theme cries that a program is wanting to focus attention on something other than their W-L record. Ohio State looked ridiculous in their gray ensemble as does Tennessee.

    I don’t see much of a demand by TU fans to purchase these alternate look jerseys.

    If anything, TU should memorialize the victory over Penn State by wearing that set at home forever.

    • I could see if Temple had crappy colors like Maryland the changing of the uniforms would be OK but the folks who made Cherry and White the colors did a terrific job and should be rewarded by keeping those colors as Temple Football’s Forever (pardon the play on words).

  3. There are about fifty shades of cherry and white, so why bother with grey.

    • I have been fighting that battle with each president since Adamany. They just don’t understand branding. Imagine if Coke had 10 shades of “cherry” and black and grey cans all the time. Pretty basic to human nature. ( Think of the US flag)
      I live in DC and when you see various combinations of colors you know immediately what school.
      I was behind the T-shirt swap a few years back. Not my idea but introduced by me to Temple.
      I am not even a marketing person and I get it.
      There should be one shade of cherry (there is, they just don’t use it consistently) and one shade of white. No black or anything else.

      • I keep hearing the argument that “the kids like it” (different uniforms) but I don’t think they like it so much that it would affect them picking one school over another so it’s a moot point in that regard. Keep it Cherry and White–heavy on the Cherry, light on the White.

  4. Blaze, gray is one of Ohio States colors. Whether OSU should wear all-gray unis is another issue. I’ve said it before, multiple uni changes is not only unnecessary but expensive and I too wonder if the players really care. Maybe they do, it’s one of those types of things they get excited about. But there’s plenty of different looks just by alternatinng cherry and white on different uni parts using the same shirts, pants, helmets. Stop wasting money. I’d rather see CC worry about getting a new OC instead of new color uniforms. And Mike you make it sound like black/gray is a hex on whether they win or not.

  5. John: Your Bucks went “a deeper shade of gray” for that game. Closer to charcoal than a silver like they normally wear. Thought something was wrong with my TV reception….half B&W/half color. That regular scheme they’ve been wearing since the late 60’s to me is very attractive.

  6. OK Blaze, your detail of shades of gray was beyond my knowledge. BTW, they’re not MY bucks (eyes that is). I may live here but couldn’t care less about OSU. In fact I’ve told more than one buckeye fan that “if Temple spent half what OSU spends the Owls would probably beat them”; or, “with what OSU spends, they should be winning the national title almost every year!” Sometimes I wear a PSU hat (cause I’m in BIG10 country) just to agravate these OSU crazies. One guy said, “well, it’s working!” I wear my Temple stuff too and talk them up to my sports buddies here and have taken them to some Temple games here (Kent State, Ohio U). Anyway, Temple’s my team with PSU a distant second. Haven’t lived in PA for almost 50 years (TN, VA, now OH) but I’m still a PA guy from Doylestown area and Temple grad.

    • Speaking of Doylestown, you never saw the Mighty Bucks of Central Bucks West mess with the black and gold. That and Mike Pettine Sr. were the reasons they went 346-24-2 during his tenure.

  7. Mike, and never saw the 2nd best team in the old BuxMont wear anything but green & white, Pennridge Rams Perkasie Pa
    What a great league that was in the old days. A good Friday night match up had 5000+ folks at the stadium, and that’s for small country towns not big city

  8. Mike it’s interesting you mention CBs colors, black and gold. When I was over there for the Nova game last year I went up to Doylestown and went to a CB game looking for an answer when did they change from gray and gold. That’s what the colors were when I went to CB. The unis were black and yellow (metallic like gold colors weren’t available back then) but the official colors were gray and gold, very classy.

  9. Jon: Like your tactic for aggravating your neighbors. Remember, they can’t help it since it’s where they’re from…don’t know otherwise. I love to aggravate the a large group of co-workers who matriculated at another school with a successful program where I work by displaying Sports Illustrated covers commemorating each national championship my alma mater has gained in the last ten years on the cube walls.

    As for the beauty of “cherry,” it is so very close on the color scale to crimson. When I reach into my shirt drawer, I many times pull out the other school’s shirt since there is that similarity.

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