After training camp in the 1992-93 season, Doug Moe went on record with the press as saying his Philadelphia 76ers would win 50 games.
Six months later, he was fired by General Manager Jimmy Lynam after only 19 wins.
In one of the greatest quotes ever in Philadelphia sports, Moe said he only made that 50-win claim on this basis: “We looked great practicing against ourselves. When we had to play other teams, it was different.”
That reminds me a little of both the very important upcoming two weeks in both Temple football and many Cherry and White games that tutored me in the past. The Owls looked like national champions practicing against themselves in so many of the prior Al Golden Era years I was fooled like, maybe, twice.
It never happened a third time and it won’t happen now.
Moe is a good example only because he had a similar history to current Temple head coach Rod Carey. Before getting to the Sixers he was 609-492, which is damn close, percentagewise, to Carey’s 52-30 before he got to Temple.
The Owls will begin training camp at SUNY-Maritime in the Bronx next week and Carey is not promising 50 or even five wins in 2021.
He knows what he saw and so do I.
All he’s doing is promising a team that “will play hard and make the fans proud”, whatever that means.
I’d prefer they play soft and win 10 games.
If they play hard and win two or even four, that won’t make me proud.
The two weeks of practice in the Bronx of all places is obviously an attempt at team bonding and to avoid all of the City of Philadelphia COVID pitfalls that set Temple back in 2020.
It’s a longshot but if it works I’m down.
What I know is what I saw.
COVID schmovid, that was a shockingly uncompetitive football team I saw in 2020.
I don’t care if you lose 20 starters, a 28-3 loss at Lincoln Financial Field to an East Carolina team this program has routinely beaten like a drum is unacceptable. Calling a dump pass to a running back down two at Navy when you had a 6-6 receiver against a 5-10 corner is also shockingly incompetent from a coaching standpoint.
When every Owl fan watching on TV knows a fade in the corner will work before the fact and the staff calls a head-scratcher, that’s a red flag. Who are these guys stealing money from the university?
Now they have to earn their pay.
After two weeks in the Bronx, the Owls return for the final two weeks at 10th and Diamond before the Sept. 2 opener at Rutgers.
You can talk all you want about Bronx and North Philly, but the proof is in Piscataway.
Winning there will change the whole vibe right now. Otherwise, be prepared for a lot of “Bronx Cheers” beginning in the home opener the next week. I’d like to bet on the former but I’ve seen this play before.
Monday: Tribute to a champion