Hazardous Duty, Great Recognition, Ahead


One of the best sports stories coming out on the internet last week was by Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports detailing how the shared experience between Matt Rhule and Ryan Day at Temple made them two of the best coaches in college football today.

In it, a photo of a silver-plated Ernest Shackleton quote above Al Golden’s office said it all: “Men Wanted for hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful, honor and recognition in case of success.”


Screenshot 2019-11-20 at 9.03.20 AM

Fortunately, the Owls got used to playing in the cold last week when the game-time temperature was 36 with a wind/chill factor in the 20s.


That pretty much sums up Saturday’s chore for the Temple Owls. High risk, great reward ahead. The journey–a chartered jet–might be the easiest part. Certainly, the cost of living adjustment the school pays football players qualifies as small wages and the “wintry mix” forecast fits the bitter cold promise. (Although the Owls have played in colder weather as recently as last Saturday.) It’s a long three hours (not months) of somewhat darkness (night game) and constant danger and “honor and recognition in case of success.”

A safe return is pretty much a given but the key part of the sentence to me is  “honor and recognition in case of success.”

IF … and that’s a big IF
.. the Owls win, their chances
of winning the AAC East go up
from, say, 10 percent to 90
percent. That’s a big jump.
That’s all the team could have
hoped for prior to the season

IF … and that’s a big IF .. the Owls win, their chances of winning the AAC East go up from, say, 10 percent to 90 percent. That’s a big jump. That’s all the team could have hoped for prior to the season. That really exceeds what we could have hoped for as Temple football fans. Plus, if Tulane uses that on-campus Yulman Stadium advantage–where it is also unbeaten this season–to take down UCF, the Owls enter the final weekend needing only a Cincy loss at Memphis (duh) and a win over hapless UConn to earn a championship date at Memphis.

It’s a more likely scenario than a crazy one but the first step is going 1-0 this weekend.

The hazardous part is this: Cincinnati is a double-digit favorite and is 6-0 at Nippert Stadium this season. Temple had won eight-straight games at Lincoln Financial Field before losing to UCF. If UCF can do it at Temple, the Owls can do it at Nippert.

Put it this way: Cincinnati, in its most recent two games, needed to go to the final play to beat a pair of teams, ECU and USF, that Temple beat by double digits.

Asking the Owls to do this is not asking much considering where the program came from when that Shackleton quote was placed on the Edberg Olson wall. They did it as a program in the Al Golden days and they can do it as a team on Saturday night. The journey won’t be easy and the task will be hard, but the reward in case of success will be more than worth it.

Saturday: Game Night

Sunday: Game Analysis


11 thoughts on “Hazardous Duty, Great Recognition, Ahead

  1. The Owls have to stop the run and plug the hole by left tackle. That spot has been trouble for the Owls for years. UCF exploited it as did Penn State in 2014 and 2015. For whatever reason, our safeties and LBs just can’t get there and when they do, they miss the tackle. If you recall, Cinncy ran all over the Owls last season. Pressure on the qb is also essential. The kid will fold if they get to him. Finally, I’d move Roche around to keep them guessing and nervous.

  2. Blazeman: Talk about biting the hand that helped you out. When Cinncy’s field was being renovated, the Bengals gave them a sweetheart deal.

    • The Cincy offense is not dynamic. However, like everybody else they do play well at home. They will score more than 20 points, guaranteed.

      Fickell will make the Owls one dimensional. And, Cincy’s special team play has been exceptional.


      • 49-6, Owls. Just kidding. I would settle for 20-17 but hope for 35-14. Owls would have to play a perfect game for 35-14, though. I don’t see this Cincy team as explosive as UCF or SMU or Memphis. Put it this way. If the Cincy tight end juggles the ball slightly as he’s going to the ground to set up the winning FG (Cincy kicker is terrific), the AAC refs are going to give him the call and even the booth won’t overturn it. AAC wants Cincy-Memphis for title game.

      • They’ve only scored more than 30 points at home once this year, against Miami. If you take out the UConn on the plus side and the OSU game on the negative side, they score considerably less at home than on the road.

      • I think kj is trying the reverse double whammy. He picked us to lose the 2015 PSU game by a similar score and we won 27-10. I hope it works this time, too. 🙂

  3. Mike, is the old idea of ‘take one for the team. going to be factor here ?
    I think it will be and at this stage I can understand , not love it but understand why.
    The overall group of AAC is the collective team here, vs the nasty P5’ers.
    Is the prestige and $$$ Financial $$$ Reward $$$$ of a winning Cincy team a better consideration for the AAC ‘Team’ ?
    I don’t know about this.
    I still want Temple to WIN, be they will have to be the clear winner in this, true?

    BTW this being Nov 22 and I was old enough of a young lad to know about JFK, I will always consider a ‘conspiracy’ as an option for anything…

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