Temple Nation Needs to Show Up

The Temple fans made LFF a house of horrors for Penn State in 2015.

The first time I ever heard the phrase Al Golden uttered it a few years into probably one of the most impressive rebuilding jobs I’ve ever seen:

“Temple Nation needs to show up,” Golden said.

The coach really was four years into the rebuild and the place to show up was Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in Washington, D.C. for the Eagle Bank Bowl in 2009. It was the school’s first bowl in 30 years and it was against a marquee opponent and since one school was 200 miles away and the other 3,000, bowl organizers were counting on a big walk-up from Philadelphia.

If Temple Nation needed to show up then, it certainly needs to show up even more now. Full disclosure: This post wasn’t scheduled to be published until Thursday but we felt this plea was important to make early in the week to set the wheels in motion in the school and in the alumni ranks for a big home crowd against Maryland (noon, Saturday).

I don’t know what the crowd is going to look like but if the Owls got a legitimate 35,004 against Army in 2016 (and they did) and a legitimate 35,786 against Tulane in 2015 (and they did), and a legitimate 33,026 for Cincinnati last year (and they did), they are going to have to move that needle close to the 40,000 range for Maryland.

The stakes are that high.

The Owls–who received two votes in “others under consideration” in the Top 25 coaches preseason poll–can crack the Top 25 with a win over Maryland on Saturday. It’s not all that outrageous that a win puts the Owls there. Last week, Maryland was outside the Top 25 when it beat No. 21 Syracuse. This week, Temple is outside the Top 25 when it hosts No. 21 Maryland.

People have to get up on whatever equates to a soapbox at the Student Activities Center, the Bell Tower, the Olympic Complex or whatever place on campus to get a significant portion of the 40,000 fulltime students to attend on Saturday. A solid representation of the 279,000 alumni–almost 200,000 who live within an hour’s drive of the stadium–have to be accounted for as well.

If it can happen for one school, it can happen for another.

Temple Nation?

I never heard of the concept until two weeks before that Eagle Bank bowl.  Hell, Temple isn’t a state or a city let alone even a nation. Yet whatever Temple Nation was responded to that call when an estimated 20,000 of the 23,000 fans in the old baseball stadium cheered their throats out to see the Owls lose to 30-21 to UCLA.

“There were so many Temple fans here I really hated it,” a UCLA vlogger said afterward.

A year ago, Temple handed both Maryland and Cincinnati their first losses of the season. It didn’t need a home crowd to beat Maryland, but it did need a very loud one to beat Cincinnati.

“I couldn’t hear because of the crowd,” Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ritter said after fumbling a key snap in overtime that allowed the Owls to win.

The Owls will need that crowd again on Saturday and it will have to be loud and involved to help them crack the top 25 this early for the first time ever.

Even if it’s a mid-size nation, it can still make an impact on the college football globe in a few days.

Saturday: Game Day


18 thoughts on “Temple Nation Needs to Show Up

  1. UM is over-confident, first road game, first nationally ranking in over five year, and they are thinking about PSU. They are primed for upset.

    Carey has the talent….,

  2. A win here against Maryland should lead to a 5-0 start going into that Memphis game. That would be a huge confidence builder and a great start for Coach Carey.

    A bummer against Maryland will decrease home attendance and bring BIG question marks into the other games.

    • Not necessarily, maryland and ucf are the toughest games on our schedules and our 2 most likely loses. Going 10-2 in the regular season wouldn’t raise any question marks, unless we are blown out the way syracuse was. But i’m betting on our fbs coaching staff to have the team ready this Saturday.

  3. The problem is the scare coverage of this game in newspapers, TV and sports radio. Take a look at both the Washington Post & Inquirer. The articles are buried in the bottom of the web pages or middle of the sports section , Coverage is focused on possibly the last Penn State/Pitt game for a while, along with the NFL, and the upcoming MLB playoffs,. So without this early coverage, it will be difficult to get people to show up. Don’t expect more than 30K fans,

  4. I agree 40,000+ is likely with a top 25 opponent located two-hours away and a nice weather forecast.

  5. Not sure if this is accurate about the “Twerp” fans coming to Philly. This was a comment on the Washington Post site …….

    Glad to see the students have signed up to attend this game, 13,000 requested for the 10,000 seats allotted for them. Let’s get by Temple, then re live the years of Fridge, beat Penn St. , students charge the field, tearing down the goal posts, and walk out of the stadium with them in tow, all the way to Bentley’s.. Go Terps !!!!

  6. Do not agree with five thousand. maybe at half time or the end off the game.

    • Lower bowl on the temple side was full. I watched that game 3x on tv and paused it at every crowd shot
      Definitely not the announced 26k but closer to 18k than 5k. Anybody who attended that travesty deserves a medal. Temple should not be playing Bucknell, period, end of story. I don’t care if every other AAC team is playing a practice game. Let’s go to Indiana or Rutgers and win instead of playing a home game with Bucknell. That’s the way you raise Temple’s national profile, beating a mid-to-even-low-level P5 team is a lot more impressive than beating any FCS team.

  7. I have no faith in our fan base.Though they are existing in one of; if not the best; time in Temple Football history. They dont care, they dont show up. Its pathetic and Ive been pissed off by it since the 2015 breakout success year.

    • I’m giving them one more chance. If it’s in the 32-35 range or more, it’s acceptable. The problem with playing in that stadium is that even with a great crowd, half the seats are empty. Every other major university is allowed to build a stadium on its own property. We seem to be the only one held hostage by the neighbors.

  8. Official attendance was 26,378, which is accurate. Spectators on the Temple (sunny/hot) side of the field moved to the Bucknell (shady/cool) side during the game. Maybe its time to move the home team back across the field now that attendance has improved.

    • The problem is TV cameras point to the shady side and being in the AAC we almost never get a road crowd so they would be shooting into an empty side. Perception is everything. It’s bad enough that the best we can do is 35K but this is still largely a commuter school even though 12.5 now live on campus and it’s hard to build that kind of spirit when the commuters go away for the weekends. Still, we can fill a 35K stadium on campus but our BOT doesn’t have the stomach to fight the neighbors on this.

  9. Has there ever been any consideration of Temple building their own stadium at the sports complex? We could add the “Owls Nest” to Wells Fargo, Linc and CBP. Seems like this is something that might work.

    • With a casino going up I would think that real estate for the stadium would be really expensive. People in administration have told me that developers have proposed building one in the Navy Yard. Don’t know the plans but with one way in and out drastic modifications would have to be made to accommodate 35-40 thousand people.

      • There’s plenty of land along the Delaware River , south of the Betsy Ross Bridge and Penn Treaty Park, to build a stadium .

        Kensington and Bridesburg would benefit economically too.

        The only possible issue would be periodic flooding .

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