Pouring over the things Rod Carey has said since his arrival at Temple I was quite frankly stunned by this statement repeated many times over the last few months or so:
“We dealt with Covid and, quite frankly, Covid won,” Carey said.
That got me to thinking.
If Carey goes 2-10 this year (as expected by most of the outside experts), that will probably be the one statement he will be remembered for here. That’s because even with a lame duck Temple administration and questionable athletic leadership, I cannot imagine Carey surviving a 2-10 season at Temple.
Could it happen?
Sure, because his current boss survived a 9-22 season Temple. The difference, though, is that boss gave Temple three-straight league championships and this one did not.
The other difference is that schools from metro AAC cities like Memphis and Cincy and Tulsa also had to deal with Covid and were able to wrestle Covid to the ground.
Was the City of Philadelphia’s response to Covid more draconian than Memphis, Cincy or Tulsa? Perhaps but not enough to be the difference between Cincy’s 8-0 and Temple’s 1-6.
If Carey loses this season, he’s going to have to come up with a different excuse or that quote is what he will be forever remembered here.
Let’s go over what the prior Temple coaches will be remembered for saying, in no particular order:
Steve Addazio: “”I love the feel of Philadelphia. This place fits my personality . The more I’m here, the more excited I am.”
Translation: Boston also fits my personality, especially after a 4-7 season.
Al Golden: “We’re going to build a house of brick, not straw. “
Translation: Thanks, Al. You were one of the few Temple coaches who delivered what he said he would deliver. Golden could have taken a shortcut and recruited a team of JUCO All-Americans who might have gotten him the UCLA job after year one or two but he recruited from the ground up and it took him five years to right the ship.
Matt Rhule: “For me, it means a promise has been fulfilled. Temple University has been unbelievable to my family and I. Ten years we have spent here, and it has been nothing but class. Tremendous people from the Board of Trustees to the administration to the people I work with day-to-day in athletics. The people who have stood by my side. The true thing for me is to have these players who call themselves champions because that is the way they live their lives. When you win this conference, you have done something special. This is a fantastic conference with great teams from top to bottom. We have tremendous respect for everyone that we play. We can say that we did it. That is the accomplishment.”
Translation: That’s all Temple fans could ever ask for and Matt Rhule will be forever remembered as an icon because of that title.
Geoff Collins: “We will compete for championships, we will provide a world-class student-athlete experience and education, and we will represent the community with pride.”
Translation: Competing for championships doesn’t mean winning one, like Rhule did.
That brings us to our favorite quote this week from Temple offensive lineman Isaac Moore, courtesy of OwlsDaily and a tip of the hat to that site’s Shawn Pastor: “It’s Temple. You cannot lose here. Everyone knows that.”
Thanks, Isaac, for providing the mantra going forward.
Since that best represents my fervent hope for the fall of 2021, that’s my favorite Temple quote of the year. If losing to Covid in 2020 means refusing to lose in 2021, that’s a trade I’m willing to accept.
Monday: Setting the Bar