The number on my cellphone flashed as unfamiliar the other day so I let it go to voice mail. The guy on the other end said he was from Temple and wanted to tell me that “the deadline for season ticket renewals” had been “extended” until May 1.
What’s the rush, I thought? Has this guy read the news recently?
The biggest Temple football news a year ago at this time was the absence of real hitting in the spring for the first time in memory for a lot of Temple fans.
In April of 2019, the faithful crammed into the seats–with no social distancing–to watch this drill: Punt returner catches the ball, then runs through a line of players on both sides who hit him gently with pads.
That’s not the Temple TUFF I had come to know and love. It became apparent I wasn’t going to go over a stat sheet and see Jadan Blue with 119 yards and three touchdown catches, as I did after the 2017 game. There was no “Cherry and White” game anymore.
At that point, a lot of us (raising my hand here) got up out of the seats and walked out of the Olympic sports complex.
Now it appears that we will have hitting in the spring, but it will be next spring and in real games, not practices. According to a column in Wednesday’s Forbes, the writer assumes it is pretty much a given that there won’t be football in the fall. His reasoning is that since the students probably won’t be coming back, it doesn’t figure the athletes will, either.
Since the coronavirus has turned the world upside down, it only figures to turn college football upside down as well. Fall becomes spring. Spring becomes fall.
That was the latest in several stories that first started out as speculation, then assumption. Until a few days ago, I thought it was possible that my beloved Temple Owls would be playing this fall. I thought we’d have to wear masks and gloves and they’d sell only every other seat in the 70K stadium but that doesn’t seem plausible now.
If we have to wait a few extra months for Temple football, so be it. I’d rather have all of our fans healthy in the spring than worrying about a recurrence of these quarantines in the fall.
Since I don’t think that the May 1 deadline will be set in stone, that phone call will remain unreturned until some kind of concrete announcement is made.
Monday: Owls and the NFL Draft