Watching Temple athletic director Pat Kraft address the crowd at the football season ticket-holder party, one thought popped up in my head.
“Boy, did he dodge a bullet.”
At least that’s what I leaned over and told my long-time tailgate friend, Nick (we go way back to Veterans Stadium) when Kraft had the microphone.
Instead of talking about 3.0 GPAs and possible 13.0 football records, Kraft could have had his hands in the Maryland dumpster helping to clean out the stink around that program.
Kraft finished second in the contest with the ultimate prize being Maryland athletic director. That brings to mind the old joke about Cleveland. First prize is an all-expense-paid week’s vacation in Cleveland; second prize is two weeks in Cleveland.
All things considered, Kraft probably would prefer to be in Philadelphia now.
Of course, Kraft did not know the depth of the problem when he applied but the details released after he did not get the job were surly enough. Strength coach was fired for circumstances involving the death of a player and head football coach D.J. Durkin might not survive an internal review.
That was not the first time Temple dodged military ordinance as Jerry Sandusky was once considered for a post that went to another Jerry (Berndt) instead after Bruce Arians was wrongly fired. That was a nuclear-type bomb that would have destroyed the program if he had been hired. Jerry Berndt was just a bad coach. Jerry Sandusky was a very bad person. Big difference.
Temple football dodged some other ordinance when Steve Addazio left after a 4-7 season on his own. By then, Temple fans knew the deal. Daz would pass only on third downs after getting about four yards running on first- and second-down running plays. It got so bad that season that late in the first half of this agonizing play-calling pattern in a home loss to Maryland, over 24,000 Temple fans chanted in loud unison: “Throw the ball. .. Throw the ball. … “
I had never seen that at a Temple game before. They say Philadelphia football fans are knowledgeable and that Saturday afternoon helped prove it. Four and seven wasn’t going to get Daz fired at Temple if 1-11 seasons didn’t get Bobby Wallace, Ron Dickerson and Berndt fired before him so BC did the Owls a favor by taking Daz off their hands.
One of Daz’s assistants was Zach Smith (right photo), who left Temple the year prior for a job at Ohio State. Smith, an alleged wife-beater, is in the process of bringing that Big 10 program down.
That could have been us. Seeing Kraft up there on Wednesday night reminds us of how lucky both he and we are.
Wednesday: Taking A Bullet
Friday: Coalescing a Depth Chart
Monday: Camp Phenoms