Giving up the season tickets not a hard decision now

This was the team that convinced me to purchase Temple season tickets

Sitting in the press box at Giants Stadium watching Temple dismantle a good California Bears team, I made an impulsive decision.

Although I covered Temple football for Calkins Newspapers at the time (Bucks County Courier-Times, Doylestown Intelligencer and Burlington County Times), I decided to buy at least one season ticket a year (most years two) and donate them to friends who might be interested in attending a game. (I had them as a student but gave them up after graduation.)

The 1979 team convinced me to pick them up again.

I would use them in the unlikely event that my editor didn’t want a game story that week.

That tradition continued for the next 42 years when I moved from Calkins to The Inquirer where I covered high school sports and to my semi-retirement now. There were good years, like the two in the 1980s when Paul Palmer and Bruce Arians led the Owls to winning seasons against the 10th-toughest schedule in the nation and the 1990 season when the Owls went 7-4.

Then a long run of bad years followed, including a couple of 20-game losing streaks. Through it all, I remained a season-ticket holder.

Not this year.

“Even after Hardin landed at Temple, Belichick continued to pay close attention to the coach’s methods. In 1979, when the Owls took on heavily-favored Cal in the Garden State Bowl at Giants Stadium, Belichick was in attendance. The Giants special-teams coach at the time, Belichick sat with then Giants assistant Ernie Adams, who now works alongside Belichick as the football research director for the Patriots. “The pair of young and talented football minds were completely baffled as they watched Hardin toy with Cal’s linebackers, who were taught to read the guards in front of them.” _ Phil Perry, NBC Sports

Got a call from my “season ticket representative” who said, “Mike, we just want to know if you want to keep your season tickets because we are going to release them if we don’t hear from you.”

Release them, I said.

It wasn’t a hard decision for a couple of reasons.

One, last year when I renewed I got a notice saying that if I wanted to keep my seat at the end of the row that I would have to purchase the adjoining seat.


I sat there and stared at the screen for an hour and thought I’ve been sitting at the end of a row for 41 years for the price of one ticket and didn’t want to double my investment to keep the same seat.

I clicked “yes” only because I felt that Temple did a very “un-Temple” thing of firing Rod Carey and, if the uni could make that investment, I could double my investment in the program.

No more.

Mark Bright, the MVP of the Garden Sate Bowl, was one of the best fullbacks in Temple history.

After talking to a few people this past season, I found out that I could keep an end seat if I purchased on a game-to-game basis and that’s just what I’m going to do.

I’ll still make the games. Temple will still get my money but I will no longer be paying for an empty seat.

The other reason Temple has one less (probably more) season ticket holder is that the game has changed and not for the better.

Back when I first sat in my first season ticket seat, I was following my favorite Owls for four years. On Senior Day, I made sure to be inside the stadium when they were being honored.

Now I don’t know who is with us or against us and it’s not a good feeling.

I don’t know who is going to show up on Senior Day.

I don’t even know if a single-digit Temple player will remain a Temple player.

To me, this isn’t the college football I signed up for 42 years ago.

Until some semblance of sanity is restored, ending a long season-ticket affiliation is the only form of protest I have.

I don’t think I’m the only Temple fan who feels this way. I have a suspicion that there are thousands of fans of similar teams like Temple whose only form of protest is with their wallet. I don’t blame a single one of them.

Hard for anyone who made a 42-plus-year commitment to one team to understand how others can’t make even a four-year one.

Monday: Stock Rising


7 thoughts on “Giving up the season tickets not a hard decision now

  1. Temple and Its Administration or Better Yet, its Fans, have to Expect Better and Greater, too.

  2. You are about 5 years LATE on doing your decision! Temple might not have Big time Division 1 Football by the year 2030. Just my opinion!

    • The fact that a BOT once so Gung-Ho on a stadium has done a 180-degree turn certainly trends in that direction. Can’t see a model where anyone other than the top 32 teams feel it is financially viable to continue. Maybe not as early as 2030 but certainly by 2050. It’s not just the G5. Teams who don’t draw well in the P5 are also at risk.

  3. wow Mike, mahalo. I graduated in ’79, that clip is enthralling.

    • One of the objectively best-coached teams in the history of college football. When Bill Belichick studies Temple so much to build his knowledge base into perhaps the best NFL head coach of all time, that’s a tribute that stands by itself. Sixteen points from being 12-0 against one of the best schedules (West Virginia, 39-16; Syracuse, 49-17, Penn State 7-22; Pitt 9-10; Rutgers 42-20, Cal 28-17) in Temple history.

  4. Just my luck that in ’79 I attended both losses. I thought when Kevin Duckett broke that long TD run, the game would turn the Nitts game the Owls’ way.

    Oh for the times when a program could be an indie and play a schedule that would reward a good season.

    With a good number of spring games tomorrow, expect to see a bump in numbers of players deciding to go portal on Monday. Did you notice the Miami QB is unhappy with the NIL deal he has and is rumored to have tested the waters, then opted to stay put? How do coaches do any planning for a couple seasons?

    I’ll still take free enterprise. “Build a better mouse trap…” under socialism and you get peanuts.

  5. TUFB needs OTs who can move the line of scrimmage.

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