Cherry and White: A Tradition Unlike Any Other

About the same time the best golfers in the world will be teeing up in Georgia for the penultimate round of that sport’s best tournament, two colors will be teeing it off at 10th and Diamond.

The Cherry and The White.

Jim Nance likes to call the former thing: “A Tradition Like Any Other.”

This is about the latter thing.

Maybe golf fanatic Nance is right, but do you know a sports tradition that has–within the last 20 years or so–been played in at least six places and been part of a transition from bottom to (nearly) top as Temple football’s Cherry and White game?

I didn’t think so.

In the last 20 years, Temple’s Cherry and White football game has been played in 1) The Old Temple Stadium (2004), 2) Ambler (2006), 3) Cardinal O’Hara (2008), 4) Lincoln Financial Field (2010), 5) the soccer/field hockey complex (three times recently) and the 6) Edberg-Olson Football Complex (five times)?

Find me a moveable tradition like that and we can start the conversation about any other traditions.

It’s OK, too.

Accessible by train from anywhere in the Philly region

This year (April 9) the game will be played at the E-O. The back-to-the-future theme is necessitated because the other place is booked. The Temple nationally-ranked women’s lacrosse team is playing on the same day at the $22 million facilities at Broad and, somewhat ironically, Master.

If they draw a 1,000-person crowd, it will be good for them.

About 10 blocks North and three blocks East, anywhere between 4-5,000 people will be attending the Cherry and White football festivities.

It’ll be different this year and in a good way.

Old-timers like me remember when it was a “real game” with tackling and a final score. New Temple head coach Stan Drayton has promised that much because “this is really important to Temple alumni that we play it as a game and we will.”

The last three years were glorified drills like hitting a running back with a tackling dummy. That sense of urgency carried over to the games in the fall.

Game used to be broadcast by Philly radio legends Bill Campbell and Steve Fredericks.

This time, the simulation will be real and it will be a welcome change because we’ve seen the very same process during Cherry and White Days presided over by successful coaches like Wayne Hardin, Bruce Arians, Al Golden and Matt Rhule. Whatever we watched the past three seasons did not work.

All of the prior Temple guys believed that the fall process included meaningful business in front of the fans on Cherry and White Day.

The fact that the new guy believes that, too, is a good sign for the fall and makes attendance by serious Owl fans mandatory.

This is a damn good tradition that needs to be restored unlike any other. April 9 it will be.

Monday: What’s Happening Here

Friday: Wingard speaks


Nothing foolish about this April

Devonte Watson’s unannounced arrival at the E-O is the biggest sensation of camp so far.

Normally in this space on this day in the past, we’d make up some story with enough of a kernal in truth to raise eyebrows.

Not this year.

April is here but, for the first time, it doesn’t feel like April. There will be no Cherry and White game for one difference and that’s a first in my lifetime. When I go for a jog in the park, everyone has gloves and masks. All winter long while freezing talking my daily walks on the trail, I’d yell to my bicycle friend Les “I can’t wait until April” as we both noted how freezing it was.

It’s April, but it’s not how I thought it would be.

This will be a memorable April if we get through it and hopefully we won’t see another one like it. So instead of an April Fool’s story this year, we’ll republish the one that got the most reaction in terms of page views. I still think there’s some innovation left in football and one of those things would be to find a 6-11 guy with a 41-inch vertical leap and a 97-inch wingspan, plant him behind the nose guard and have him block field goals all day.

Here is that story:

For the rest of his football coaching life, new Temple University football head coach Matt Rhule will probably do a lot of the same things old Temple coach Al Golden did.
Why not?
Look where it got both Temple and Al.

Devonte Watson’s Temple ‘][‘ gloves had to be specially
ordered and reinforced with extra padding so that he doesn’t
sustain a hand injury from blocking so many field goals.

So I was only amused and not surprised when I heard that Rhule is making folks visiting the Edberg-Olson Football Complex to sign a sheet asking “not to report anything football-related” they see at practice.
Golden used to do the same thing.


“What’s he doing there, enriching uranium?” I asked when someone told me that Rhule adopted the Golden Rhule regarding secrecy.
Enriching uranium  at football facilities is not a new thing.
Enrico Fermi did the same at the University of Chicago in the early days of World War II.
Well, it turns out that Rhule is enriching uranium (in a football-science way) and the result could be of nuclear proportions in the college football world this fall.
At least in the science of sport according to a report in this morning’s Temple Times.
About 150 years ago, Dr. Alexander Graham Bell created a sensation in science with these few words:
“Watson, come here, I need you!”
Thomas Watson was his assistant and Bell had just spilled acid while inventing the phone.
The moment changed the science of communication forever.
Another Watson, this one named Devonte, may have helped change the science of football last week at Temple University’s football practice.

This morning’s Temple Times broke the news.

A freshman on a basketball scholarship, Watson showed up unannounced at Edberg-Olson Hall, the school’s football practice complex, the day after the basketball Owls were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament by top-seeded Indiana.
“All I could see was this tall guy ducking under the door,” Rhule told The Times. “He shook my hand and said, ‘Coach, I’m Devonte Watson, I want to come out for the football team.’
“I mean, he’s 6-foot-11, I thought he was a basketball player and I asked him flat out: Are you on a basketball scholarship?’ He said he got permission from coach (Fran) Dunphy. So we got him in the biggest uniform we could and told him to get out there.”
First off, Rhule said, they tried him at wide receiver.
“He was OK there,” Rhule said. “You see he could catch the ball but he wasn’t comfortable running routes. He’s 6-11, got a wingspan of 97 inches, and we figured we could use him on red zone offense but then some of our other coaches had other ideas.”

“We’re all about giving youngsters college experiences they’ll never forget and Devonte won’t forget this. Look, I didn’t bring him here with the intention of blocking field goals for our football team but that’s where his road led. He obviously has a gift.”
_ Fran Dunphy

Special teams coach Allen Mogridge had the best suggestion, Rhule said.
“Allen asked Devonte what he was known for best as a high school player,” Rhule said. “Devonte said, “Blocking field goals.’
“That’s it, Allen said. Allen suggested that we put Devonte on the special teams, blocking field goals.”
For the better part of all last week, that’s what Watson did.
Block field goals.
Boy, did he ever.
When one of the Temple kickers launched a field goal attempt, the freshman with a vertical leap of 39 inches stuck his big paw out and blocked it almost every time. Kick thud, followed by block thud.
“He’s amazing,” Rhule said. “Nothing gets by him. He’s not only 6-11 but he’s got these incredible instincts to block field goals. He just stands there behind the nose guard and jumps up and the kicker has got no chance. Think about it. In basketball, all of these great athletes are driving in a full speed and he still blocks their shots. In football, all he’s got to do is stand behind the nose guard and time a kick. It’s easy by comparison.
“We tried all three of our kickers and he must have blocked 10, 11, 12 field goals in a row. He’s like Bernie Parent was with the Flyers. Nothing gets by this guy. I don’t want to jinx him, but it’s really going to be hard to kick field goals against Temple this season.”
When asked about Watson going out for the football team, Temple basketball coach Fran Dunphy told the Temple Times he gave his OK.
“We’re all about giving youngsters college experiences they’ll never forget and Devonte won’t forget this,” Dunphy said. “Look, I didn’t bring him here with the intention of blocking field goals for our football team but that’s where his road led. He obviously has a gift. All I asked Matt was not to get him hurt and Matt said he’d do his best. Matt won’t let him catch passes. He won’t allow him on the kickoff return or receiving teams. He just wants Devonte to block field goals. That’s good enough for me.”
Err, one more thing.
Happy April Fool’s Day everyone.

Other notable Temple Football Forever April 1 stories in the past: 

Big 10 Explores Idea of Adding Temple

Addazio’s First Five-Star Recruit

Prodigal Son Returns

Coronavirus puts Temple football on hold

Cherry and White kickoff now at 10 a.m.

Assuming the world hasn’t ended in a month, by the time Cherry and White Day would have been, the entire sports world is probably still stopped.

Temple has suspended classes and probably will have none by then. One of the first indicators of its impact on the sports world came a few days ago when the Ivy League jumped the gun and canceled its basketball tournaments, even though they could have played them in empty arenas. At the time, my initial reaction that it wasn’t fair to the Penn kids who had to fight their way to get to the No. 4 spot in the playoffs only to see the rug pulled out from under them. Then that became moot yesterday for Penn because the entire NCAA Tournament has been canceled, too.

If this makes certain we are all healthier in a month its all worth it as would be the decision by Temple to suspend its events.

The calendar will say Cherry and White Day occurred in 2019 and 2021 but list an open date in 2020. One hundred years from now kids will look at a Cherry and White program and ask their grandads what happened way back in 2020 and those guys will have to explain the coronavirus.

Screenshot 2020-03-13 at 12.40.43 PM

From the Temple football alumni page, and administrator Joe Greenwood

I should know. I covered the 1984 Central and Northeast football game as a 20-something youngster and noticed the game started in 1884 but had no result in 1918. After filing the story, I went home and asked my dad at Thanksgiving Day dinner about what happened in 1918 and he said basically half the city died with a flu epidemic that year and all kinds of things were canceled. He was exaggerating, but not by much.

Maybe the powers-that-be are exaggerating now. Maybe not. We’ll leave that to the medical experts.

I know because of last year I won’t miss Cherry and White as much as I used to because it’s gotten more watered-down with each and every year.

Cherry and White Day has changed a lot since the days even of Al Golden and Matt Rhule. In those days, like the ones before it, there was an actual game being played and you could identify guys who had a chance to do something in the fall.

As recently as the 2017 “game” Jadan Blue caught three touchdown passes and had over 100 yards in receptions so those of us who were there were not surprised by his 2019 breakout season (after sitting out 2018).

Not much could be garnered from the Rod Carey approach of running a controlled practice last year, but what is important now is getting this thing back ontrack in a few weeks.

Miami has also suspended its spring practices, but they got a full week in compared to one day for Temple.

Hopefully, that’s not the difference come Sept. 5. Nor is the fact that Quincy Roche is playing for the bad guys instead of the good ones.

Monday: Surprising Newcomers

5 Takeaways From Cherry and White


Temple was able to close two roads and have recruit only porta potties

This year Cherry and White was more than a game or a day.

It was a two-day celebration of how special a place Temple University is, starting with the surprise celebration in Center City on Friday night attended by over 200 of Paul Palmer’s closest friends.



That was important because Palmer’s induction into the College Football Hall of Fame this December doesn’t just lift him up but all of Temple football because he is the very first Temple player ever inducted.

Then, the next day, over 5,000 fans attended the Cherry and White game and, while there is always optimism on this day, this seems a little more well-founded than other Cherry and White Days. Head coach Geoff Collins addressed the football team afterward and told them they were a very good football team on the way to being great.

No denying there is plenty of talent there, but how that talent translates into number of wins is a matter of debate. It SHOULD be more than the seven last year, but whether that is eight or 12 or somewhere in between won’t be proven until December.

Here are five takeaways to consider:

Last Line Of Defense

When you lose three of four starting defensive backs—guys who were the last line of defense for an AAC championship team two years ago—there is a sense of urgency to plug those holes and, in Keyvone Bruton, Rock Ya-Sin and Benny Walls, the holes seem to be not only plugged but tightened. After Mike Jones was called for a bogus interference play on an interception in the Houston game, Jones seemed to back off the rest of the season. Bruton, Ya-Sin and Walls have a lot of athleticism but no quit in them.


Every seat on both sides of the field taken plus a larger number of standees ringing the field

Building Depth

We all know that Ventell Bryant and Isaiah Wright are probably the most talented wide receiving tandem in the league but, after losing dynamic players like Keith Kirkwood and Adonis Jennings, it was important to find reliable backups. Enter Jadan Blue, who caught three touchdowns for the Cherry team in a 28-24 win. Sean Ryan, the true freshman from NYC, also looks like a contributor. If they can bring to the table what Kirkwood and Jennings did last year, there is not going to be a dropoff in the wide receiver room.

Bowl Winning Quarterback

With 40 bowl games, there were only 20 bowl-winning quarterbacks last year and many of them either graduated or will be in the NFL draft. That means Temple has one of the few proven bowl winners back in Frank Nutile. Fortunately, head coach Geoff Collins is showing no inclination to make Nutile a tight end. When Matt Rhule took over the program in 2013, he took a 2011 bowl-winning quarterback and made him a tight end. Those days are over and that bodes well for the 2018 season. That said, Collins said Temple is one of the few programs with four quarterbacks who are now ready to play. They only need three, so hopefully they can redshirt one.


Every seat was taken on both sides of the field and fans were ringed tight throughout

Venue and Crowd

With 5,000 fans—every one of the 2,500 seats in the soccer stadium was taken and there were at least that many, maybe more, standing on the sidelines—this was the perfect venue for the Cherry and White game and Collins acknowledged that afterward.


It was pretty apparent to everyone there that the spot is probably more doable for a stadium than the Geasey Field location. Temple made a mistake putting the Olympic sports there and probably should be big enough to admit it should the politicians deny the university the proposed 15th and Norris location. I hate to be a party pooper, but I don’t see how the university overcomes the obstacle of closing 15th Street to build the new stadium so Broad and Master becomes a viable option in that it is ALL on Temple property and Temple can probably sue the city in state and federal court to build whatever it wants on that site.  But that would take eating the $22 million mistake and building a football stadium on the site of the other sports stadiums. That said, speaking about pooping ….

Recruit Porta Potties

Without getting into names (there could be an NCAA violation involved), we were told there was at least one five-star and several four-star recruits in attendance. If the Owls’ recruiting class gets ranked higher this year, credit the “recruit-only porta potties” that were next to the recruit-only tent. That’s no shit (see lower right in the diagram at the top). I asked an all-time great Temple player who shall remain nameless if they had recruit-only porta potties when he was being wooed to Temple and he said, “I think they gave me a bottle to pee in.”

Wednesday:  The difference a year makes

Friday: Pumping The Brakes

Best Cherry and White Day Ever?


Proof that a stadium or two can be built at TU without community opposition

Back in the day, they built a $22 million on-campus stadium right in the heart of Temple University’s footprint with nary a peep of protest from the surrounding community or student “Stadium Stompers.”

That day was two years ago and it is now the permanent home of Temple soccer, field hockey and lacrosse.

It will also be the temporary home of the Temple football Owls for what could be the best Cherry and White Day ever. The game will be moved to the soccer home of the Owls a few blocks south of 10th and Diamond this year, better know as the “Temple Sports Complex” or, more specifically, Howarth Field.


We called for this a year ago and the university listened

We’ve called for the Temple spring football game to be moved here last year (see inset to the right) and finally the university listened. Meanwhile, we had a lot of the status quo apologists on social media pooh-pooh the idea saying “you can’t do it because of recruits” and “you can’t do it because of logistics.”

Well, Temple is doing what the naysayers said cannot be done and the powers-that-be (Pat Kraft and company) need to be applauded for that, moving the football game from an overly cramped facility to a more roomy location with plenty of seating.


The discussion last year centered on just why the university was intent on squeezing 5,000 pounds of fans into a 100-pound bag when a 2,000-pound bag became available.  Bringing portable seats for 500 people when, on a nice day, you can get 5,000 people into a little over 100-yard square area made sense when you had no place else to go.

Now they do and I hope this is the temporary spot for the game going forward, at least until a larger stadium can be built. The soccer facility opened in the fall of 2016 and the place has 2,000 permanent seats and they can still move those portable E-O seats to that location.

South Florida, which also plays in a NFL stadium, moved its spring game from its football complex to its soccer complex in 2016 and it was an unqualified success. All the Bulls had to do was line the soccer field with football yard lines, put a couple of goal posts in and away then went.

April 14th’s Cherry and White game figures to be the best ever for a couple of reasons, a celebration of the school’s third bowl win and Paul Palmer being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Bruce Arians can’t come this year due to a prior commitment, but has promised to catch a Cherry and White game in the future.

The people have been the ones who have made Cherry and White great in the past. Now that they get to enjoy it in a place slightly larger than a phone booth, the location just adds to the usual great time.

Friday: Rock and Hard Place

Monday: Scheduling Buddies

Wednesday: The Bullhorn Lady

5 Takeaways From The Spring Game

A great moment for Temple football.

One of these days someone at the Philadelphia headquarters of Comcast is going to wise up about the Temple football spring game.

On Page 39 of Saturday’s Philadelphia Daily News, Notre Dame’s spring game was listed at 12:30 live on NBC Sports Network. Thumb down a little further at 3 p.m. and you can find the Penn State spring game live on BTN. Go down a little more and you can find the Rutgers’ spring game at 5 on the same network.

Matt Rhule stunted the
development of the program
in two ways, I think,
last year. One, was rather
obvious. Temple blew out
seven teams but P.J. Walker
played, for all practical
purposes, all of the downs.
Why, in God’s name, did Marchi
or Nutile not get significant
throws in those wins?

Yes, Rutgers, a football program that even sucks at cheating.

Meanwhile, at noon, when the Temple football spring game was kicking off the Philadelphia CSN channel was showing a Poker tournament.


I guess the AAC will have to get their own network for the Temple spring game to ever be broadcast because Comcast figured Poker would have higher ratings in the nation’s fourth-largest market.

As the old Peter, Paul and Mary Song says, “When will they ever learn?”

Ironically, the best place to watch the Temple spring game on Saturday was on TV, roughly at 11th and Diamond. I tried going inside and standing on the back row of one of the stands. Between ducking under the umbrellas raised below me in an annoying persistent rain to see the plays, I gave up at halftime and watched on a big screen TV just outside Lot 10. (Greatness Doesn’t Quit beat Temple TUFF, 17-14.)

You could learn a lot watching that way and these were our five biggest takeaways:


Todd Centeio Is The Most Talented Quarterback In the Program

That doesn’t mean the true freshman should start, but it does give me a lot of confidence in the future. The kid has the “It” factor that I’m not sure all of the other three guys have, but he could certainly benefit from a redshirt year where he gets to spend a lot of time in two rooms—the weight room and the film room. I hope new head coach Geoff Collins doesn’t make the same mistake old coach Matt Rhule made with P.J.—burning the redshirt when Rhule had a perfectly good quarterback in Chris Coyer to hold down the fort. P.J. would have been starting at ND this fall in a more perfect world.


Frankie Juice is a Great Nickname

Frank Nutile (pronounced New Tile) had a nice game with a touchdown pass and a touchdown run, but I don’t think that separated him from either Logan Marchi or Anthony Russo. In fact, of the three, Russo’s 7-for-11 day was probably the best passing day and, if I were a betting man, I would put five bucks on Russo starting the Notre Dame game. All three players have a ways to go and that’s why I would not put 20 bucks on it. I wonder if Collins giving Nutile a sweet nickname (Frankie Juice) puts him ahead of everyone else in Collins’ eyes? We will find out by the first Saturday in September, but I would have liked to see one guy come away with a 25-for-32 day with 319 yards and three touchdowns.  That did not happen.


Jager Gardner is The Real Deal

Matt Rhule stunted the development of the program in two ways, I think, last year. One, was rather obvious. Temple blew out seven teams but P.J. Walker played, for all practical purposes, all of the downs. Why, in God’s name, did Marchi or Nutile not get significant throws in those wins? Probably for the same reason Gardner did not get a redshirt. Rhule knew he was outta here and used all of his available chips and overplayed the starters, thinking short-term, not long-term. Gardner getting only 27 carries all of last year was a complete joke and a wasted redshirt. Gardner will have a great year this year, as will Ryquell Armstead.

The Defense Will Be Great

Last year, “they” (pretty much the misinformed outside fans who don’t know anything about Temple football) said the Owls would take a step back due to losing three NFL draftees in Tyler Matakevich, Matt Ioannidis and Tavon Young. Those of us closer to the program knew better, said so beforehand, and were proven to be right. This year, the Temple defense, which has a single digit guy (Jacob Martin) starting at one DE and perhaps one of the best playmakers in Temple football history (Sharif Finch, five blocked punts, crucial interception against Christian Hackenberg) starting another, will be better if Taver Johnson can be the DC that Phil Snow was. The interior line is terrific (Michael Dogbe, Freddy Booth-Lloyd, Greg Webb and Karamo Dioubate) and will cause a lot of Mayhem this season. Cornerback Mike Jones went from being called the “late-round steal of the 2017 NFL draft” by Mike Mayock to Temple starter. Good move by Jones, who had an interception and a fumble recovery, and could move up to the third round or better in the 2018 NFL draft with a great year at Temple.


Somebody get Collins a hat with a Temple ‘][‘ on it.

Who Will Be Punting?

For the first time in Cherry and White Game history, I never saw a punt return, a punt or a kickoff return. The last time I checked, you’ve got to do all of those things in a “real” game and it would have been nice for the kids to do that before the 4,000 or so fans who attended in the rain on Saturday. I suppose they will do it in the summer before nobody, then try it again before 80,000 at Notre Dame but that sets them up for a shellshock moment. Never forget Jim Cooper Jr., who never survived his opener at Notre Dame.

In short, unlike superfan Ted DeLapp, I’m not confident in winning at Notre Dame. However, I am very confident in this team kicking the living crap out of Villanova the next week and that will be the jump-start to anything from a 7-10-win season.

Hopefully, that’s good enough for a championship and a bowl win. Those two things might get next year’s spring game on TV.

Anything short and we’re looking at a lot of Poker faces.

Wednesday: Cherry and White Slideshow

Friday: The Temple NFL Draft

Monday: Poker Chips

Spring Game: What Are They Saying About The Owls

Every once in a while, a spring camp phenom bursts onto the scene and that is usually a term for baseball players who tear it up in the spring to make the club unexpectedly.

Spring’s second favorite sport—college football practice—also has a version of that.

Last year’s breakout star for Temple was a wide receiver named Marshall Ellick. Then head coach Matt Rhule said he had “five NFL scouts come to my practice on different days” and ask who Ellick was. Ellick caught a touchdown pass that could have impacted the Penn State game but it was called back due to a phantom block in the back called by (ironically enough) AAC refs on Dion Dawkins. Replays clearly showed Dawkins blocked his man on that touchdown legally on the side, not the back, but a hold like that is not reviewable.


This is the “best” deal we’ve seen on Ebay for tickets. Drew Katz can afford it.

Ellick got injured after that and we have not heard much about him this spring, although it is very possible he will be a major contributor in the fall.

Chances are after Saturday’s Cherry and White game, we will have our own opinions but, for now, I like the comparisons fellow Owls are making of receiver Adonis Jennings.

One of his fellow Owls compared Jennings to “Megatron” and the former Detroit Lions’ player was a special kind of athlete. Temple fans got a glimpse of what Jennings could do near the end of last season and in the Military Bowl. Let’s just put it this way. If all of the Owls had the production of Jennings in the Military Bowl at their positions like he did at his, the Owls would have won the game, 56-18.

That’s the key this year as Jennings, Keith Kirkwood and Ventell Bryant give the Owls their best trio of receivers in my 40-plus years as an Owl fan. (There have been better pairings of two, but the Owls have not been able to put three receivers of this talent on the field in their modern history.)


Channel 3 is so clueless about the Owls that they put the game at LFF; it’s at the EO (but they probably do not know what the EO is)

Other than the personnel implications, on a personal note getting to meet and talk to Geoff Collins is important. I waited in the Military Bowl tent for him for two hours but he did not show up until much later. Since I thought he was not coming, I made the sprint to tailgate with “regular” Temple fans on the other side of the stadium. While a good time was had by all, I only heard during the game that Collins made a late but impressive appearance for the fans who remained.

I hope he does the walk-through at Lot 10 that Matt Rhule made his first year as head coach. Rhule walked up to every fan and personally shook his or her hand and made a point to listen to what they had to say.

Rhule listened to me, put my ideas (fullback, play-action passing,  a blocking back to protect the quarterback against blitzes) in the circular file and went rubbishing through that file to implement them by his third year. Hey, better late than never. As a spread offensive team, the Owls won two and six games. As a play-action offensive team with a fullback, they won double-digits in back-to-back years.

It ain’t rocket science.

Collins is a little ahead of the curve since he called Nick Sharga “the best fullback in the country” on the Zach Gelb Show yesterday.

That’s a good start. No, make that a great one and Gelb asked the question of the spring. “If you had to name a starting quarterback for the Notre Dame game tomorrow, could you do it?”

Collins, while praising his QBs, said no. That’s a good thing, not a bad one. Let it all shake out over the next few months.

Hopefully, if the Owls can’t get a spring Phenom at that position, they will settle for a summer one.

Sunday: Complete Cherry and White Recap

5 Questions Dr. Kraft Should Answer

Cherry and White Day is high noon on Saturday at the Edberg-Olson Complex.

The day means different things to many people, but mostly it is a gathering of fans and friends who have not had the opportunity to meet in months all over the shared passion that is Temple football.

It also has been another thing in recent years and that is running into people who are plugged into what the university is thinking, like Dr. Patrick Kraft, the athletic director, and DIck Englert, the school’s president.

Both are approachable and friendly and both TRY to answer fans’ questions honestly.

Cherry and White Day would be a good time to get answers from them, particularly Dr. Kraft, on these five questions:


Why is C and W Still at the E-O?

With the opening of the sports complex four blocks south that includes a 2,000-seat soccer stadium, why cram 5,000 fans into a 500-seat hole anymore? South Florida has proved for the last two seasons that you can hold a spring game in a soccer facility and Temple should do the same. Two thousand seats plus the 500 portable seats the school brings to the E-O every year should make everyone comfortable. There is a field hockey game at 1 on the adjacent field but the soccer stadium is open. It should have been used this year and certainly should be used next season.


How close are we to an announcement on the stadium?

We’ve been hearing behind the scenes that all systems are go on the new stadium, but there have been mixed messages. Moody Nolan, the architect, has been quoted as saying that the stadium is on hold. Is it? Or have the reassurances that everything is a go are meant to keep the private donations flowing? Why can’t the university set a date to make an announcement one way or another? It is time to bleep or get off the pot.


What’s the holdup?

We’re aware that the city certainly is an obstacle, as are the 20 or so people from the community who seem to come out to Stadium Stompers’ meetings. Why hasn’t the school approached City Council with even an initial proposal?

When Will the Revolving Door Be Replaced?

The doors to the Edberg-Olson Complex seem to open in a normal fashion. You pull them open and hold them open for the women and the older fans to enter. Around the head coach’s office is a revolving door, and has been since 2010. What is the university doing to assure fans and recruits that the new coach they hire one year isn’t going to leave the next?

Was the subject of coaching stability ever brought up in the Geoff Collins’ interview?

Or was it conveniently ignored like the Elephant in the Room? Inquiring minds need to know and there would be no better day to know at least some of these things than Cherry and White Day.

Wednesday: 5 Football Things To Look For

Friday: What They Are Saying ….

Monday: Complete Cherry and White Review

Hope Springs Eternal

Cherry and White is a month and two days away.

While today is the first day of spring, and hopefully the end of all of this brutally cold last two weeks, it also marks the first day of spring football practice at Temple University.

On each one of these days every year, I print out the official team roster on and look for names that I either don’t recognize or intrigue me.

Consider me intrigued by one Julian Conover, No. 27 in your game program.


                               If Mayhem means this, I’m for it.

The first thing that sticks out about him is that Conover is a linebacker and the Owls will need linebackers to replace the three departed starters of a year ago.

The next—and perhaps most important –thing is that the redshirt freshman was a first-team New Jersey All-State linebacker at Don Bosco.  That’s significant in and of itself in that there aren’t too many first-team all-state players who walk on in college football.

Usually, first-team all-state players get scholarships and, while there was significant interest in Conover as a Bosco senior, there were no scholarship offers from FBS teams.  Part of that reason might have been that he is a little on the light side (205 pounds on a 6-3 frame), but Tyler Matakevich was 6-1, 205 coming out of prep school so the obstacle is not insurmountable.

What Conover and Matakevich had in common was good film of what they did on the field and that’s all that matters.

Given the Owls need linebackers (Jared Folks and fullback Nick Sharga really are the only players on the team with significant playing time at the position), monitoring Conover’s progress as the spring goes on should be one of the bullet points of this one-month season.

Wednesday: Old Is New

Cherry and White: A Day For Good Guys

My favorite answer here comes at the 10:35 time stamp.

Full disclosure: I hate the Cherry and White game, but love Cherry and White Day.

I always have felt the same way about the game, because the Cherry and White game pits the Good Guys vs. the Good Guys. If, say, Marshall Ellick beats Nate Hairston on a fly pattern for six, half of me is high-fiving, but the other half is not returning the high five. The reasoning is simple. Half of me thinks we’re going to have a great vertical passing game and the other half is concerned about replacing Tavon Young at a corner.

If our defensive line gets 10 sacks, I’m worried about our offensive line. If Jager Gardner, Ryquell Armstead and Jahad Thomas gain 300 yards against the defense, I’m just as worried about the defensive line as I am excited about the offensive line.


Work, in  a manner of speaking, already being done on new stadium site.

And on and on …

You get the idea.

There are really no winners and losers when the good guys play the good guys. To really get a feel for how the Owls will be this summer, we will all have to wait until the Army game. Or Stony Brook. Even then, it might be too early because


Field samples taken earlier this week.

Penn State should be the telling game.

For the first 10 or so Cherry and White games, I left Geasey Field or Temple Stadium or Ambler thinking the Owls would go unbeaten. It’s the last 30  years or so I’ve discovered the real truth. You cannot tell anything from the game itself.

The day, though, is another story. It’s a chance for Temple fans to get together again and that is  where the real victory is. There is no better place to pick up Temple “stuff” than Cherry and White Day, so bring cash.


Just what is this guy’s problem?

This year, with a new stadium on the horizon, there should be a palpable excitement among those fans knowing this is one of the last two or three games on the East side of campus. With that in mind, it would be nice to see a drawing depicting two things: 1) What the stadium will look like; 2) Will it be North-South or East-West? Fifty percent of the people swear up and down on a stack of bibles that the stadium will be East-West, while another 50 percent will swear that it is North-South. Me? I would like for it to be North-South (better view of Center City), but the land configuration dictates East-West.

Other than that, as Jose from Norristown might say, I would like to see a donation jar to purchase former Owl kicker Wes Sornisky his own grave stone (he is buried anonymously in a Potter’s Field in Delaware after dying alone in a fire),  a folding chair in Doc Chodoff’s name to given to a loyal fan and the revival of the Mark Bresani Spirit Award given to the most spirited player of the spring.

Maybe not this year, but certainly in the future.

Sunday: General Cherry and White Thoughts