One of the few constants over the last 40 years of Temple football is the support of the football alumni.
That is guys who played on winning Temple teams in the past and want nothing but the same for the players of the present.
Even in the days of the 20-game losing streak and 20-plus losing seasons, a group of players set up in the Jetro Lot.
Coaches come and go but the players’ loyalty has always been constant.
That’s why around this time of year of any coaching change keeping an eye on how the new guy treats the ex-players always portends the future. Al Golden and Matt Rhule embraced the Temple tradition. Steve Addazio pretty much ignored the ex-players and everything Geoff Collins did screamed that Temple football started in 2005, not in 1894.
Fortunately, it appears Rod Carey has listened to Rhule where Collins did not because Carey has embraced the ex-players from all different eras with open arms in his first alumni day on Saturday.
Carey seemed genuinely interested in getting to know the guys who played for Temple and the coaches who they played for. Contrast that to Collins who, upon first meeting Paul Palmer, had no idea who he was.
“Who do you coach for?” Collins asked.
Players know who is a phony and who is not and Carey passed the smell test up close on Saturday. From all reports we’ve heard, the practice they saw was a crisp one with no time wasted on things like having the band play or putting a solid contributing running back up in the DJ booth and celebrating that. There was no guitar playing.
Only football and getting work done.
After two years of mostly nonsense, it was a refreshing change.
Wednesday: Saying Goodbye
Friday: Fan Fest Preview: It’s Not the Same