Collins: Calling All Fans



One of the most revealing passages from the Temple position paper on reasons for building a new stadium is this:

“Overall, the trend is clear—stadiums built since 2000 have capacities that are sized to fit the institution’s market and football program’s success. The average recently built FBS stadium has a capacity of 37,561, similar to the intended 35,000 seats at Temple. Ninety-five percent of Temple football games over the past 10 years could have been accommodated in a 35,000-seat stadium.”


That doesn’t mean that in the last two years of its current contract with the Philadelphia Eagles to play in the cavernous Lincoln Financial Field that the Owls will not try to fill it.

Hence, the hashtag campaign of #filltheLinc and head coach Geoff Collins personally calling season-ticket holders who have not renewed and asking them to renew.

(I didn’t get a call because I renewed during the first week in February.)

A noble goal, but as has been stated here over the years and reiterated in Temple’s own new stadium reasoning somewhat misguided. Our theory is that there is a hardcore base of around 20,000 fans who will come to see the Owls, win, lose or draw. Then there is an additional “softcore” base of about 15,000 who will come out to see the Owls win, win or win.

That base gets cracked easily when the Owls lose an opener they should not have like Villanova in 2009 and Army in 2016.

Win an opener like Penn State in 2015 and the softcore crystallize into diehards the rest of the year.

There is a ceiling of Temple fan interest and it is right around the 35,000 Temple fans who attended the Tulane game for the 6-0 Owls in 2015. It is right around the 34,005 fans who saw the Owls lay an egg in the opener the next year against Army.

The attendance problem simply is not just a matter of wins and losses but of a larger economic driver, supply and demand.

Temple needs a stadium sized to fit its program.

In the American Athletic Conference, Temple currently plays in the largest-capacity stadium and draws below-average attendance, resulting in the lowest percentage of stadium seats filled for home games. Too much supply limits the ability to drive ticket sales and, as a result, gameday revenue.

If Collins calling fans personally leads to the hashtag #fillthelinc then that would be a miracle that would qualify him for Sainthood. It would also have the domino effect of causing the Power 5 to suspend its moratorium on expansion and immediately invite Temple into the conference of its choice. (Hell, if Temple averaged 70,000 fans over the 27 wins of last three years can you imagine a conference NOT inviting the Owls?)

More likely, shoot for a glass full and drink in half that and the Edberg-Olson phone calls will be well worth last month’s hefty Verizon bill.

Monday: Immediate Help

Wednesday: Mr. Softee A Welcome Addition

Friday: Ranking the 5 best Temple teams of All Time


NFL lockout would not be a bad thing for "Philadelphia State"

Do you see any families in this photo? I didn’t think so.

There’s not a lot of empirical evidence out there to suggest that a prolonged NFL lockout would help Temple football.
Logically, though, it could not hurt.
First of all, Temple football would be the only game in town and that’s a “good thing, not a bad thing” to use an offhand reference by Bill Parcells.
The NFL had strikes in 1982 and 1987 and, while attendance seemed to increase at Temple home games in both those years, it was 3-4 thousand per home game, not a noticeable 10-15.
I thought about this NFL labor dispute while watching the Owls’ hoop team play San Diego State recently.
Why San Diego State?
Because I thought one of the main reasons why Temple football never captured the imagination of the “Joe Philadelphia” fan was the name Temple.
Let’s face it. Temple has been trying for years to court “families” as part of the fan base.
They haven’t responded. Temple needs to get Temple people to the games and that’s students and mostly adult male alumni. It would also help to convince Eagles’ fans to start liking the other birds in town.
We don’t need no stinkin’ families (I’m not referring to the families of Temple football players who, of course, are the greatest).
In my 30 years of following Temple football, I observed no more than five families who had no connection to players attending a game. Yet Temple promotions spends more damn money going after that group than all the other groups put together.

“While we have all come to love the name Temple,
the name Philadelphia University
would be a truer reflection of 
the school.” _ Dr. Peter J. Liacouras

So, as Celo Green says, forget them.
Temple needs to get the “hard-core” beer-drinking, “700-level” fan, the Joe Philadelphia Guy. That’s a base that has yet to be, err, tapped. That’s a rowdy base, but think of the home field advantage the Owls could have.
Even though Temple is every bit Philadelphia’s school as Pitt is Pittsburgh’s school, I thought Pitt always had inroads to a blue-collar fan base in Pittsburgh that identified with the town. Pitt has plenty more “Joe Pittsburghs” in the stands rooting for the university than Philly has “Joe Philadelphians.”
It has a lot to do with the name.
Temple president Dr. Peter J. Liacouras alluded to such in the 1980s when he suggested the school should “consider” changing its name to Philadelphia University.
“While we all have come to love the name Temple, the name Philadelphia University would be a truer reflection of the school,” Liacouras told the Rotary Club one day at the Union League.
I was there as a guest of a Rotarian and heard the speech. I walked up to Pete and told him it was a great idea.
It was never realized because a school named The Philadelphia  College of Textiles and Science adopted the name a decade later.

Liacouras was the one guy who could have pushed through a name change and he never followed up on his own terrific idea.
A lost opportunity.
Maybe not.
“San Diego State?” I said out loud while watching the Owls play. “San Diego isn’t a state.”
“Doesn’t matter,” the guy next to me said. “San Diego University was taken. They took the next name available.”
Philadelphia State University.
I like it.
Even though you might not now, you would get used to it, too, and it couldn’t hurt attendance.
They could even keep the nickname of Owls.
Changing the name of this blog to “Philadelphia State University Football Forever” might take some getting used to, though.