Mike Schmidt had a very good quote about the Philadelphia newspapers in his heyday:
“Philadelphia is the only city where you can experience the thrill of victory and the agony of reading about it the next day.”
I thought about that quote when I saw a headline in the Philadelphia Daily News the other day:
“NCAA’s chaos could benefit Temple.”
Finally, I thought, a positive piece about Temple football published on July 10.
(If that headline sounded familiar, we used those very words in this space on July 1.)
Then I thumbed through the piece and came across this caption: “The sight of 40,000 empty seats in Lincoln Financial Field could be a deterrent when conferences like the SEC and ACC come calling for Temple’s participation.”
Taking a closer look at the photo it was clearly taken during the dark days of The Covid Rod Carey Era, surely an outlier period. Why not use a photo of Homecoming 2015 when over 35,000 Temple fans came out to see a Tulane team that could not have brought even 200 fans to Philly?
Forget the Penn State game (where at least 40,000 of the fans were cheering for Temple) or the Notre Dame game (at least an even split).
Or the 2016 Army game that drew over 35,000?
Or the 2018 Cincinnati game, which drew over 33,000? You know, the game where Cincy quarterback Desmond Ridder blamed “crowd noise” as the reason for the Bearcats’ fourth-straight defeat to Temple.
No, the Inky had to use an empty Linc to push a false narrative.
The fact that Notre Dame and Penn State played four prime-time games on television from the 1980s until the present day BUT ONLY the Temple vs. Notre Dame game HAD THE HIGHEST TV RATING FOR ANY COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAME IN PHILADELPHIA regular-season history should be enough to prove that this college football TV market belongs to Temple and not a school 250 miles away.
TV ratings on all the games aren’t available but the ones that are available show a winning Temple football team does very well in the nation’s fourth-largest market. The Temple-UCF 2018 game (a 52-40 Temple loss) had a 53 percent national increase over the prior ESPN Thursday night game. Temple’s 26-25 win at UCF in 2016 did an even better number in the Philly market.
Very good numbers that proved a competitive exciting Temple football team consistently provides eyeballs in the nation’s fourth-largest TV market. It should not be surprising given that over 200,000 of the school’s 300,000 alumni still live in that market.
That’s really the potential television market Temple offers provided the Owls get back to the winning ways that produced a 73-54 record in the years just before Carey got here. Picking up the hometown paper presented a whole other narrative.
The agony of reading about it the next day indeed. Temple fans had to be thinking, “Schmitty, hold our beer.”
Friday: AAC Media Day