Silver Linings (Stadium) Playbook


Color me totally underwhelmed by this projected stadium design.

Sometimes the worst decisions are the impulsive ones.

General Robert E. Lee, holding the advantage pretty much everywhere on the Gettysburg Battlefield on the first day, ordered a charge of General Pickett’s 30,000 troops right into a heavily defended Union position. They pretty much got wiped out.

Had he waited a day and covered both the left and right Union flanks instead of going up the middle, we might all be speaking with a Southern accent right now.

Pretty much that’s the way I feel about the Temple Stadium situation.


Temple fans would tire fast of a glorified high school stadium like this one at Northeast.

Even the most ardent “shovel-in-the-ground-by-August” guys are believing that this is more a dead deal than a done one.

It’s been what I’ve been writing in this space since the March 6 Mitten Hall meeting fiasco. Nothing has changed since then except the goal posts have been moved from, say, 2018 until 2030 or even later.

The neighbors don’t want this, never have, never will, and Temple is dead set on getting the neighbors’ support before proceeding on this project. Since that’s the case, we might have to wait until the neighborhood becomes fully gentrified before proceeding. That probably won’t be before 2030. That’s a more likely scenario than trying to convince Social Justice Warriors to abandon their platform of the moment.

Russell Conwell, the Temple founder, was on the other side of that Pickett’s charge as a Union captain. He survived and so will his beloved Temple.

There is a Silver Lining in the way this play ended.

Building a 30-35K stadium that looks only a little nicer than Northeast High’s Charlie Martin Memorial Stadium would only make those 200 or so fans who think that having “TEMPLE” and “OWLS” spelled out in the end zones every week would more than make up for the bare-bones cheap stadium they would be forced to sit in six times a year.

Building an Akron or a FAU stadium does Temple no good and probably commits Temple to a life sentence of being as irrelevant on the college football landscape as, err, Akron or FAU are now.

Wait and build something like Houston has now is the perspective Temple should have. Swallowing hard and extending the Linc deal is the only way to go. After all, as Bill Bradshaw once said, Temple plays in the nicest football stadium in America. It’s a pro one, but it’s still the nicest.

Otherwise, the 2018 version of  the 1863 Pickett’s charge is an impulsive decision Temple doesn’t need to or even can make right now.

That’s the only silver lining in this otherwise dark cloud.

Monday: He Said What?

Wednesday: Here’s What Villanova is going to (try to) do …


18 thoughts on “Silver Linings (Stadium) Playbook

  1. Mike, think you are spot on with what you are saying here. To be honest I’m somewhat ambivalent towards the whole OCS, I can see the arguments for having one but ding it on the cheap doesn’t help in the long run. Plus I like going to the Linc. There was a very good article posted on the Temple Fan FB page regarding USF study for n OCS which pretty much says the same thing you are, if you are going to build a stadium something like Akron or FAU is not the way to go. Another thing, looking at the costs mentioned in that article, I don’t see how anyone could think Temple could anything but a bare bones facility for the budget that has been mentioned to date.

  2. Let’s say be some miracle or Bob Brady touch, opposition melts away. Still would be a mediocre structure that would go up.

    If you can’t do it right, don’t do it.

    Do the Pickett charge on Lurie and the Eagles after securing adequate fire power from politicians.

    • Matt Rhule said it best: “I’m all for it IF IT’S DONE RIGHT.” He saw the renderings and plans before he left. Obviously, he felt (as do I), it is not “done right.” Plus the $4.5 million per year pay raise factored in there somewhere as well. 🙂

  3. I said it when I saw that first rendering and I’ll say it again- you’re better off with no stadium than one that will be outdated before it’s finished and end up being an Trojan horse anchor that will drag you down. It would be like a family of 4 or 5 using every penny they have to buy a 1-bedroom house wedged inbetween 2 big apartment buildings with the idea of maybe expanding it down the line.

    Joe P.

    • Hey, thanks for the kind words you said about me and, more importantly, this blog on the Rutgers’ website. I did not see the whole thing because the preview led to a paywall but it was much appreciated. I could not see what came after the word skilled.
      The inexact “science” of recruiting
      …head; I almost added ‘except for the cuse and Temple (though Mike Gibson/PAPrep’s Temple blog is outstanding because the guy is a skilled…
      Post by: JoeRU0304, Jul 9, 2018 in forum: The Round Table

      • No problem at all Mike; here is the rest of it: “though Mike Gibson/PAPrep’s Temple blog is outstanding because the guy is a skilled journalist, a dedicated fan but knows his biases and can see things more objectively at times…and he actually can’t stand the TU Rivals board”. For context, the discussion was about different Rivals boards and ones that were ‘friendly’ (well, as ‘friendly’ as a Rivals board will be in general).

        A number of us know that we’re certainly not perfect on the RU board and we were discussing the BE and what boards were interesting to visit, which ones were most hostile towards RU, which ones were the most like the RU boards, etc. I thought that historically Rutgers and Temple were eerily similar in terms of administrative blunders to overall program ups/downs though RU seemed to get its stuff together in the nick of time…but on the Rivals boards neither fan base overall seems willing to acknowledge anything positive the other one does (though cuse was easily the worst for that).

        …with your stadium situation, I agree with the sentiment you have all said here. While you don’t need a billion dollar facility, you do not want to spend millions of dollars fighting the tide of Philly politics, using up all your collateral and resources on a barebones facility that will be outdated within 5 years of it being built, with it probably being fairly mediocre even within the AAC (Rentschler, though a dull concrete bowl, holds over 40k already, Nippert is well-intergrated into the Cincy campus and was just renovated/ holds 40k, USF has RayJay, UCF has Brighthouse at 40k+ with easy expansion available, etc.), with absolutely no realistic chance of upgrading anytime soon…all as the ridiculous arms race continues to march forward.

        Joe P.

      • …with the recruiting part of that thread, I was discussing a kid who had decommitted from RU back in 2015, half our board lost their minds, and as of today the kid has yet (and likely never will) to play a snap of D1A football. A number of us have our concerns about the current RU staff and recruiting, but sometimes we all need to remember just how much of a crapshoot recruiting really can be.

        Joe P.

      • Wow. Great tribute by a fan of what was a Temple rival (along with Delaware, Penn State and Villanova) for many years. The beauty of college football is that other fans can follow nearby teams and have empathy for fans of that team. Very classy remarks by a Rutgers’ fan.

  4. All OCS are bare-bones with bench seating, limited concessions, and pasture parking. OCS are smart capital investment, and fans prefer winning over amenities. The Linc would be fantastic except we’re financing the competition. Every beer, cup o’ crab fries, chicken parm, and parking fee goes to Jeffy and his gangrene: a losing bad business model. Only a fool rents a house for 30 years. Apple doesn’t buy apps and music from Amazon or Microsoft, and its a $ trillion business.

    Temple fans need to go old school and rethink the Link. The devil’s finest trick is to persuade you that he does not exist.

    • Temple does not need The Linc but it doesn’t need what Mike inferred was a glorified high school stadium, either. Two decks, both on top of the field, of 40-45K, certainly beats a design that slopes the fans away from the action like the single-deck design in the image at the top of this post.

      • I like the double-deck idea to avoid closing the streets. Connie Mack, Franklin Field, and Baker Bowl were all squeezed into odd lots.

    • I don’t think you would need a super fancy-pants stadium but you also don’t want to build something that’s outdated/constricting before it’s even finished. Like I said earlier, you don’t want to be the family of 5 that buys a 1-bedroom house that can’t be updated/expanded.

      Joe P.

  5. Bottom line is that in my 44 years associated with Temple athletics, they have never done anything right. From rejecting an offer from the Big East when the league was formed, from blowing the opportunity of being in the Big East in the 90’s and early 2000’s for football, to hiring the wrong coaches in football and BB most of the time, if they can get it wrong they will. (I know that McKie should be given a chance but lets face it, he can’t pull in 4 star recruits or he would have done so already). The stadium is just another example of their inability to get it right. The stadium should have never been announced until the right people had been paid off and were on board with its construction. (Didn’t anyone in charge realize that they are in the most corrupt US city in the US?) Now that it’s a racial issue, it will never get built and TU football, like most of the G-5 football schools, is just another dead team walking.

  6. Sorry to get picky, but Lee heavily assaulted the Army of the Potomac on both their left and right on the second day of the three day battle. He even sent Stuart’s cavalry on a wide sweep around the Union right, but Custer’s wild charge into them foiled that plan. Thinking that his assaults on both ends forced Meade to pull troops out of the center, Lee sent a force between 13,000 and fifteen thousand against the Union center.More that half of them were killed, wounded or captured. Lee’s total losses were 28,000. Never again did he have the quantity or quality of soldiers.


  7. Mike, let me add to my civil war comments, that what you are saying about the stadium is certainly food for thought. It makes a lot of sense. On the one side, it would be disastrous if Lurie says no to an extension of Temple playing at the Linc. We know he does not want Temple there. And, decreasing attendance at college football games, except for those venues where the team is the only thing happening in a cow town, is a worry. But, you have a point that if you are going to do it, make it a class act. Apparently, we have raised a lot of seed money for the OCS, but I think more could be coming if the stadium is really attractive, as you want. Yes, you make a lot of sense. As for the neighbors, I remember the heavy resistance by the neighbors to the Linc and CBP, and in the end, that project did a lot to raise the property values of the area and to bring about a tremendous spurt in new home building in the area. Rabbi Dick White


  8. How long can TUFB operate in the red? and, how long before someone with a brain realizes the negative $$ impact on the entire athletic program?

    Reason for caution for this upcoming season:

    looks like DAZ has the type of team he wants, and look where Maryland stands

    The Temple DL is stellar, the OL will have issues at left and right tackle. The tackle position is the one to watch during camp and the first couple of games.

  9. Red-ink is why we need an OCS be it in NoPhilly, Ambler, Rittenhouse Square, or Fort Mifflin between the sewage plant, airport, refineries, and shipyard (Be Temple Tuff).

  10. I went to the Boca Raton Bowl game at FAU. The stadium was being referenced as a possible example for Temple. I was under impressed to say the least. I am very happy that we have not rush to get an on campus stadium and settle for whatever could be done quickly and on a tight budget. Why not focus on an information campaign to get a better deal with the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. I have often thought while stairing at the empty upper level why not cover those seats with vinyl and temple graphics. It’s already done behind the goal posts. This would force all the seating into the lower bowl. I feel it would make the Linc more of a home field and the flexibility to sell more seats when the big names come to town.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s