Hard to say one thing is more cringy than another but watching old game film of Temple with the Owl on the helmet is pretty close.
Now it seems that the fear of revisting an Owl helmet are over.
The university announced yesterday that it is getting rid of any image of the Owl as a logo. It’s about time.
It would be one thing if there was no alternative but I think it’s pretty neat that a group of Temple students got together in 1983 and designed the iconic Temple ‘][” that has withstood the test of time.
In football, it was Wayne Hardin himself who designed another favorite helmet (and got rid of the Owl long before his time) and that helmet was the brand of two of the most successful coaching eras in Temple history (Hardin’s 80-52-1 and Al Golden’s program resurgency).
“There are plenty of teams with T on the helmets,” Hardin said at the time. “We want people to know who we are. We’re TEMPLE and we’re putting it on the helmet so people know.”
When Golden was hired, he brought back the TEMPLE on the helmet, stating when he played Temple he associated it with tough teams and bringing back TEMPLE on the helmet was bringing back that TEMPLE TUFF brand.
To me, the perfect helmet would be to honor the university on one side with the ‘][‘ and the football programs best eras with TEMPLE on the other. Last year, the Owls put numbers on one side of the helmet. That makes no sense. The numbers are on the front and back of the jerseys. Putting them on the helmet is the height of redundancy.
The only thing current head coach Rod Carey has ever said about Temple TUFF was that, “where I come from, you don’t tell people you are tough, you just are.”
That completely misses the point when it comes to Temple football. Hardin’s teams–and the Bruce Arians’ teams Golden played–were tough because they never eschewed contact in practice and that carried over to the games. Because football at the time of Arians (and to an extent Hardin) practiced on the same field the Temple Olympic teams (“minor sports”) played, on game days football practices were often over moved from Geasey Field to the rock-strewn graveyard field where the Temple Tennis Pavilion now stands and those bloody scrapes were badges of honor.
When it came to playing on the concrete surface at Veterans Stadium, Temple had a built-in advantage over the teams with dedicated football facilities and pristine rural fields.
In those days, practices were full contact and Cherry and White games were real games, not scrimmages. Now they are not even scrimmages and more like glorified drills.
That carries over into games, too.
Now that the ugly Owl logos are gone and the ‘][‘ is here permanently, let’s hope the Temple football brand returns before too long.
Monday: The Season Ticket Pitch
Friday: The Bounty Bowl and Temple