While working on painting a wall at a Senior Center for my in-service day on the MLK Holiday a few days ago, I thought about perhaps the most remarkable speech of my lifetime.
That wasn’t Martin Luther King’s more famous “I have a Dream Speech” at the Washington Monument but the speech he made before he died, the “I’ve been to the Mountaintop” speech in April of 1968.
In that one, MLK said, “I’ve been to the Mountaintop but I might not get there with you” almost foretelling his assassination only a few hours away.
While I haven’t been to the Temple Football Mountaintop, I can only guess what it could be. I did think of how this related to Temple while splashing some red paint on the SC center in Northeast Philadelphia on Monday. (Close enough to Cherry.)
I haven’t been to the Mountaintop but I know the new Temple Stadium probably won’t happen in my lifetime but I think it will well within the next 50 years and that’s close enough.
The reason I had that vision is nowhere near as spiritual as MLK’s but based on a few facts.
As an incoming student in the 1970s, I was given a tour of Temple’s campus in an attempt to “recruit” me. (I had a full scholarship offer to Cabrini but chose Temple for sports and journalism.) The tour guide said where we were there was residential housing only “20 years ago.” Twenty years ago would have been in the 1950s then and we were what is now in the middle of Temple’s campus–on Liacouras Walk near the Bell Tower.
In those 20 years, Temple facilitated the removal of neighborhood people to build the interior of the campus.
While sitting in Temple’s presentation to the “current” neighbors about five years ago in March, I came to the conclusion that removing those neighbors by the natural course of things will be the only way Temple will ever be able to build a stadium.
Like then, that takes time.
If those properties become so valuable that these once poor neighbors become rich once they move, capitalism will achieve the result no amount of begging and cajoling politicians has now.
Unlike my fellow Temple Stadium fans, that is a good thing, not a bad one.
Once I saw the original plan for a Temple Stadium, I thought this was no more than a glorified Northeast High School Field. I mean, you hired a great architect and that was the best plan you could come up with?
Why not make it look like Boston College’s Alumni Field or Georgia Tech’s field?
Putting it off will give Temple the time not only to consolidate 15th and Norris into the “Green Zone” but build a stadium that would give the Owls a real home-field advantage.
We can only hope.
The current administration has no stomach to challenge the neighbors on what I feel is justified grounds. I mean, if Georgia Tech is allowed to build a stadium in the center of Atlanta and UAB in the center of Birmingham why is it out of the question for Temple to do the same in Philadelphia?
No logical reason other than the corruption which is currently rampant in the nation’s fifth-largest city.
The last Temple administration at least tried. This one seems to have laid down and rolled over.
Maybe the next one will outlast them.
That’s the Temple football mountaintop. It’s not sustainable to try to sell a product that at most 35K is interested in in a 70K stadium. Thirty-five thousand in a 35,000-seat stadium makes a lot more sense.
That’s a dream, though.
I won’t see it and many of you won’t either.
Temple football will get to the Promised Land but a lot of us older guys may have to watch from above. Hopefully, the current Temple students will see it by their late 40s and it won’t be anything like the video at the top of this post.
It will be something glorious.
Monday: The New Guys