Sick burn: Temple’s perception on television

The ESPN+ replay never showed fans in the background like this shot here. (Photos courtesy Zamani Feelings).

Had to bail on my good friends from the beautiful town of Palmerton at halftime on Saturday.

This is the background most fans see on TV.

I was having such a good time watching the game and talking that I didn’t realize the sun on that side of the field was eating me up until I looked down at my arms in the concourse.

Found a nice shady place in the second half to watch the game and avoided what would have even been a more painful Sunday.

Then I came home and rewatched the game on TV and saw what the kids today would call another sick burn.

The relatively decent crowd on the Temple side was never shown because the TV pointed to my side of the field, which is now the “visiting side.” They showed the crew from Palmerton and a few other Temple fans who decided to keep their seats in 121, 122 and 123 from a couple of years ago but never the more populated side of the field which once was the visiting side and is now the home one. There were about 10,000 times the amount of fans on the home side but that’s not what the nation saw. (Or whatever part of the nation is watching a TU-UMass game on ESPN+.)

That led to some of these snide comments on the internet. We will post one from the UConn board but there were similar comments on both the UMass and Rutgers boards.

You know what?

It did look like a dozen fans because the TV cameras are situated on the other side and shooting at what is now the visiting side.

Since the home side was moved a couple of years ago, the optics have been terrible. The Owls have taken an attendance hit since 2015, going from No. 1 in the AAC in attendance to now ninth with 25,864 over two games. They average roughly the same as SMU (26,509) and are well ahead of Tulsa (19,712) and Tulane (14,501) but nobody writes they are watching the SMU, Tulsa and Tulane games “in front of 12 fans.”

That’s what a 70K stadium combined with shooting the empty side will do to your national perception.

The TV cameras are permanent and can’t be moved yet there is a permanent solution to the problem that can be solved next year with the stroke of a pen in the AD’s office.

Move the fans back to the spots they had under Matt Rhule, Steve Addazio, Al Golden and the now-fired Geoff Collins. It was Golden’s idea to have the cameras shoot at the home side and AD Bill Bradshaw agreed. The other coaches inherited a good plan. Then he who shall remain nameless wanted the home team on the other side and Pat Kraft caved to his fellow Indiana grad.

With the challenges Temple has filling a 70K-seat stadium (most other teams in the same league don’t even approach filling 30K stadiums), why exacerbate the problem when you don’t have to? Shooting cameras at an empty visiting side gives the impression that Temple football is a failed product, at least from a ticket-selling perspective. In reality, Temple usually (during winning seasons) is in the upper half of the conference in tickets sold per game. It just looks empty in a 70K-seat stadium. When Temple decided to build a 35K stadium in 2016 (apparently dead now), the official mission statement from the university included this explanation.

From Temple’s own “project overview” explaining why it wanted a new stadium.

Why make it look worse?

Watching from the, err, Rutgers’ side a week ago I was very proud that Temple fans doubled RU fans in numbers and tripled them from a decibel level perspective. Temple has its fan challenges on days other than Homecoming and it is only going to get worse when teams like UAB, North Texas, Rice and others are added to the league. They don’t bring fans like Cincy and UCF do. (Heck, even Houston doesn’t bring people to Philly.)

Avoiding TV showing only the empty side of the field over the next few years is a sick burn Temple can cure without even a drop of sunscreen.

Friday: TU-Memphis Preview (taking off the gloves)

10 thoughts on “Sick burn: Temple’s perception on television

  1. I’m not worried about the stadium, though I know it matters. I’m concerned with the product on the field- I’m loving this defense and the sacks but I’m concerned by the offense. Mistakes can happen but the good plays have to come in succession to make TD’s happen. Conference play will tell us what we need to know. Fans show up when the W’s happen.

  2. You need to think beyond football and capacity when looking at an OCS. You can do a 25k-30k capacity venue, but add varying levels of private clubs- this generates revenue. Add space for classrooms, have your sports management Major located in the facility. You make capacity small and you play soccer, field hockey, womens lacrosse. You host Rugby championships, concerts, NCAA lacrosse quarterfinals (similar to what PPL park did)- don’t sell it on this is for TU football. Sell it as an asset for the entire university, host a Flyers game outside, E -sports. You can get it done, you need a strong, well heeled alumnus to take the lead.
    It will be a huge benefit to TU football, TU and the city of Philadelphia.

    C E SPEED

  3. In a non-related item, Ga Tech canned Collins.

    I don’t get the black jerseys worn for the game. Cherry-White is who you all are fighting for.

    • When you have the two best colors in college football, you don’t ditch one to wear a lesser color. Those uniforms last week against RU should be worn every week (unless the home team dictates Temple wears white). Even then the Cherry helmet looks better with the white uniform.

  4. A few points –

    Nice win on Saturday. Enjoy it. Good to have 2 wins at this point. Getting 2 more will be much tougher. The arrows are pointing in the right direction. Exactly what is needed in year zero. There is a future. Couldn’t have said that the past two seasons.

    No shock that Collins got the axe. Very similar to the Carey situation. We can’t afford to fire him or we can’t afford to keep him was the burning question in both situations. Collins does have SEC experience. Perhaps an analyst role in Tuscaloosa? It’s become a rehab unit for fired coaches.

    Fair point on the seating/perception issue, but remember this entire issue was forced on Temple by the landlord who felt that giving Temple a new locker room outweighed anything else.

    I don’t see the black jerseys going away. Oldsters may not like them but the kids love them, especially if they are Nike.

    • 15K is gonna look like 15K no matter where fans sit. Memphis only drew 23K for N.Texas last week, Owls should not be intimidated on Sat.

      Credit the staff for making good halftime adjustments. Drayton has made in game adjustments better than all recent TUFB HC’s in their first yr. This team plays better in the second half 🙂

      Preston Brown should be on the HotSeat. The RB room is not producing, and he is getting out-recruited by Wiesehan. Brown equals Big Disappointment.

      WR/RB help is only about six months away.

      • We have maybe the best rb in the best high school football state in the country coming in next year. Gotta give Preston a lot of credit for that. Sadly saydee is not able to get outside the tackle box and that was true with Carey and it’s true with Drayton. I think it’s apparent now that Patterson is the best ball carrier on the team.

  5. So, what is the big deal with switching sides again? – just do it! If it was so easy before what are they waiting for? Temple sure is good at mucking things up for themselves – so frustrating.

    • I agree. I’ll bring extra sunscreen if it means that the perception of Temple football improves nationally next year. I noticed that Penn also doesn’t care about shooting the empty side but they are in the Ivy League and not trying to get into the Power 5. Also agree with the comment above that winning cures all ills but the sad truth is that it might take Drayton a couple of years to achieve the kind of winning that matters from an attendance perspective. Until then, we need the band-aid of perception and the only way to get that is by shooting the Temple fan side; the TV cameras won’t move, but the fans can and should.

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