Spring practice: Admitting a problem

Because Thursday was the first 70-degree day in an otherwise ridiculously horrible winter, I got out on the Lectric E Bike and went for a spin on the Pennypack Trail.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew Temple was playing basketball in the AAC tournament, but that’s no longer a priority.

It hasn’t been for some time. I watched a couple of games earlier this season and came away so uninspired by this team, I tuned them out.

Getting out and enjoying the day is the priority over Temple basketball.

Instead of Harry Donahue and John Baum, my playlist on the headphones included Post Malone, Dua Lupa, Arianna Grande mixed in with a little Earth, Wind and Fire, Harry Chapin and Bryan Adams.

Temple basketball never entered my mind until I got home in the middle of the afternoon and read this post from a longtime fixture (who predates even me) on the Temple football sideline:

“Great game Temple BB. Looks like the future is bright for this team.”

Wow, I thought.

Temple won.

Then I opened my phone.

“Tap for updates.”

I tapped.

Temple lost to a 9-12 team.

That did not compute.

I thought Temple played a great game. I thought the future was bright.

Instead, a once nationally renowned program lost to a 9-12 team and one of our long-time fans thought that was an encouraging sign.

Have our expectations fallen that low?

That’s a little like, after a loss to Wagner this fall, the same guy says: “Great game, Temple FB. The future is bright for this team.”

Exaggerating for effect, but you get the drift.

The first step toward fixing a problem is admitting you have one and the two marquee sports at Temple are two big problems right now.

That’s why, somewhere between spring bike rides, I will be checking in on spring practice that begins in a couple of weeks.

Does Temple football head coach Rod Carey believe his special teams are horrific or does he believe they are on their way to getting fixed?

To me, special teams should be two things: Dynamic and dependable.

The dynamic part will be putting a punt returner back there who has sub 4.5-speed and the moves of Timmy and Matty Brown and someone who is able to make the first guy miss and pick up at least. … AT LEAST … the equivalent of a first-down (10-yard gain or above) on every punt return. In the absence of that, a jailbreak punt block would be nice.

The dependable part would be no blocked extra points returned for two (as in Cincy circa 2019) or kickoffs out of bounds (too many times to mention in 2020).

We haven’t seen either dynamic or dependable in the two years of the Rod Carey Regime and that’s the No. 1 thing that needs to be fixed this spring.

If he refuses to admit he has a problem, it will never be fixed and that’s why tuning out of Temple football should be as easy as tuning out of Temple basketball was yesterday.

Of course, the priority here is getting my favorite sports team by far (Temple football) fixed because that’s what the fall should be all about. Hopefully, the current staff cares enough about their careers to understand the problem and address it. Otherwise, they will have punched their ticket out of Philadelphia.

Monday: How to address it?

Friday: Trolling Costco

6 thoughts on “Spring practice: Admitting a problem

  1. Some TMBB fans are as toxic as the Pennypack creek as obnoxious as Arianna Grande. A few more 9-win seasons would be a good thing. TFB fans have paid their dues and deserve a Bowl win.

  2. I was a freshman at Temple in 87-88, so there just couldn’t be a better time to be an Owls fan. My buddy and I were in 100% and were even more loyal football fans.

    Coach Chaney’s final few seasons were not great, but Dunphy, in my opinion, just ruined the program. We had such high hopes, but he let us all down. I’m not connected enough or aware of his obstacles, but he failed to move the program forward. It stagnated badly and much worse, the games and outlook just became boring.

    Now, the program is every bit as irrelevant as La Salle or St Joe’s. We, as fans, do deserve better. No matter what anyone says, Temple fans do go to games abd support a winning, captivating team. Even a Turkey like Bobby Wallace put fans in the seats when it looked like there was hope.

    Hope is something dearly missing from TU basketball and football. The chances of seeing it return anytime soon, or at all, seem to be a long shot to me.

    • Who is in charge? University President and Athletic Director: Oscar worthy performances as LAME DUCKS.

      If .500 is average, where is Temple? Bruce Arians, Todd Bowles, Matt Rhule.., has Carey asked any of the above to talk to the TUFB team? No. Why?

      Has anyone seen the Athletic Dept financials? Does anyone really understand how much $$ of the budget goes to Lurie for the Linc? Is Carey really worth $2M?

      IMHO the Governor should ask the Temple BOT for resignations. Incompetence, neglect, mismanagement of state funds, etc, etc..,

      TUFB is sitting on the cusp of an expensive irrelevance.

      • Iona is the NYC suburb. Nophilly is socially and politically toxic and physically dangerous. BOT should be looking to relocate to Doylestown, West Chester, or Cheyney.

      • Or Ambler. Geez. If Philly didn’t back down on the LC, the entire campus might be there now. I knew Pete Liacouras. He was not bluffing about moving the campus. Since then, too many multi-million dollar buildings have been erected (he said erected) in Philly, making the move impossible. If I knew then about Philly and the football stadium, I would have been all for the move to Ambler and I bet Pete would have been, too.

  3. To the “give Aaron McKie some time” crowd. It took Rick Pitino just one (1) year to get Iona … freaking IONA!!! … into the NCAA tournament while another selection Sunday goes by and no mention of Temple. John Belli was right. Temple should have hired the guy. I don’t care about the baggage he comes with. Iona (a Catholic school no less) didn’t. Temple shouldn’t either. The guy can flat out coach.

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