Fizzy’s Corner: The Green Monster

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Fizzy here at the Boca Raton Bowl, where 6,000-plus Temple fans attended and because of this Independence Bowl fiasco that might be the last time where Temple has more than a hundred fans at any bowl game.

Editor’s Note: Dave “Fizzy” Weinraub, a former Temple player, brings up the interesting concept in this piece that can simply be boiled down to this: If you are going to have a bowl game with no Temple head coach, no Temple star players, then get ready for no Temple fans in the future. 

By Dave “Fizzy” Weinraub

Our two best players quit. Our best offensive player, Ryquell Armstead, and our best cornerback, Rock Ya-Sin, who was supposed to cover Duke’s best receiver, both quit and didn’t play in the bowl game.  Instead of coming clean, coach Ed Foley came up with some claptrap about this was a medical staff decision.  If you believed that, then you must also believe that the Eagles’ Jim Schwartz is a great defensive coordinator.

Why?

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Temple fans were not happy with the two Rocks

Both players accepted invitations to the Senior Bowl on January 26th, and Rock will also play in the East/West game on January 19th. That’s why they declined to play; it’s called the green flu.  I sure it’s because they thought they might get hurt and ruin their chances to be highly drafted by the NFL.  Two tough as nails football players let their brothers down after fighting with them through thick and thin. If you don’t think that had a major effect on the outcome of the game, you’re just naive.

I was at a friend’s house watching the game ( I left after the third quarter.), and when I got home I told my wife what happened.  My wife knows very little about college football, but Cheryl’s first words were, “Why does that surprise you?  Their coach quit.”  Yes indeed, their coach did quit as did the previous three before him. Is it any wonder it was only a matter of time before this, me first – screw you, attitude filtered down to the players.  Thinking back to the guys I played with, it’s unimaginable to me that a teammate would do this.  But then again, I’m now sure I’m the one who’s naive.

As far as the coaching, well, I’m so pissed right now that the coaching seems relatively unimportant.  The butchering of the last sequence of plays right before the end of the first half with three timeouts left should go down in the hall of shame. Slowing down the blitzing in the second half only allowed a great pro prospect QB all the time in the world to catch fire.  Of course, we dropped untold passes.

So in college football, the coaches quit on their teams, and now seniors quit on their teams.  When is it our turn?  It’s been sixty years of Temple football for me now. Maybe it’s time I say, “Fer who, fer what?”  How about those who spent a few grand to travel to the game, only to see a half-assed effort?  What about the undecided recruits? Major college football is now as much “pay to play” as the NFL.  I wanna go back to the last century.

P.S. The only good news, was great news. Marc Narducci reports unsubstantiated sources say that Temple’s offensive coordinator, Dave Patenaude, is going to Georgia Tech with Geoff Collins.  Thank you, oh great omnipotent being.  Maybe our Broad Street Offense can become the Philly Soft Pretzel Offense, under the new guy. (You want some mustard on that?)

Wednesday: The Cleanup Begins

 

Bowl Game: Keeping Up With The Joneses

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The closest thing Philadelphia drive-time sports talk radio got around to talking about the Temple’s impending bowl game tomorrow was on the Mike Missanelli Show two days ago.

Missanelli was making a point about trading Carson Wentz for a No. 1 and keeping Nick Foles to run the show and mentioned the name of the Duke quarterback as a draft possibility should the Eagles designate Foles as a placeholder for the next couple of years.

“They could even draft a guy this year,” he said. “Let’s look at the list of projected No. 1 NFL quarterbacks. How about that Daniel Jones of Duke? If you reject the notion that Wentz is the last franchise quarterback the NFL draft will ever produce, and I do, then now is the time to get rid of Wentz and get something for him. You can draft a guy like Daniel Jones, have him learn from Foles for a couple of years and then he could turn out to be as good as Wentz. You never know.”

Silly me.

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My 40-year-old Temple News jersey did not survive as well as Mr. Russo’s 40-year-old Bishop Egan jersey

I thought that was a lead-in to talking about the Temple-Duke game, but Missanelli beat about 20 other Eagles’ topics to death and left Daniel Jones floating out there. Philly talk show hosts probably don’t even know Temple is playing in the Independence Bowl against Duke (1:30 p.m., ESPN) tomorrow but the Owls can certainly open some eyes with a big win.

First, there will be a lot of draftniks watching Jones to form their own opinion of him and, second, there is another very talented quarterback on the field named Anthony Russo who can establish a reputation of his own with a good game. There was a terrific story by Marc Narducci on Russo’s wearing a 40-year-old Bishop Egan jersey that his dad wore as a QB there. I also have a jersey over 40-years old–my game jersey for The Temple News’ intramural basketball team–but it has not survived as well so I don’t know how he preserved it.

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Shreveport’s Channel 3 is calling for an 80 percent chance of AM rain and 70 degrees by the afternoon.

Jones still has a year of eligibility but it would be crazy for a projected first-round pick to come back to college. Jones checks all of the boxes. Like Wentz, he’s 6-foot-5 and, like Wentz, he can do damage with his feet. He had two runs in excess of 60 yards in a 42-35 win over North Carolina. Jones will be looking to move up the draft board with a strong game against Temple because he hurt his prospects some in a 59-7 loss to Wake Forest in his last game. He was 17-of-36 for 145 yards and a Pick 6.

He’ll be motivated but facing a Temple secondary with two NFL hopefuls in safety Delvon Randall and corner Rock Ya-Sin. Since Duke coach David Cutcliffe is adept at breaking down film, expect Jones to try to attack Linwood Crump Jr.’s side of the field. Crump has been pretty solid as well, but sliding over Randall in help is probably the way interim coach Ed Foley is leaning.

Temple is a four-point favorite, but there’s very little to base that upon since there are no common foes. Interestingly enough, this fall Duke owns wins over both the incoming Temple coach (20-12 at Miami) and the team the outgoing Temple coach (28-14 at Georgia Tech) is taking over so there will be bragging rights to be had for the Owls. Another twist is that Duke beat Baylor and Matt Rhule, for what that’s worth.  If the Owls can pull this off, it will be their most prestigious bowl win since beating California, 28-17, in the 1979 Garden State Bowl so there is plenty at stake.

If Temple controls the clock behind Ryquell Armstead and Russo is effective in the short passing game, Jones won’t be able to do too much damage.

Friday: Game Analysis

Monday: Infante Impact

 

Temple vs. Duke: Made For TV

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Watching ESPN talk about 4 teams for the first hour was a little like this yesterday.

Not having watched many bowl selection shows (but just about every March Madness one), I figured the program for the day would go something like the basketball one.

You know, the brackets get released, comments are made, and the show moves along at a brisk pace.

The football version was like four hours in a dentist chair.

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This is the stadium the Owls will be playing in, once known as “State Fair Stadium.”

Beat the same dead horse about the relative merits of the top six Power 5 teams for over an hour, rehashing pretty much the same arguments that we’ve heard over the last month or so.

As Deion Sanders might say, “C’mon Man!”

This was my favorite tweet at the time:

 

 

A better show would have been to build up to the championship talk by listing every non-NY6 bowl game and keep the thing moving along. People would have waited for the Final 4 discussion later on and teams like Temple and Duke would have got the information they wanted up front.

I put down the remote at about 1:05 and headed for the gym, periodically checking my phone for twitter updates.

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Owls finally get the bowl bid they lost out on in 1990 when Louisiana Tech tied Maryland, 34-34

The winner for the first “Temple vs. Duke” pick was college football reporter Brett McMurphy, who tweeted that Independence Bowl matchup at 4:38 p.m. The first Owlscoop.com tweet confirming that came across at 4:51.

As far as the game itself, it will be a made-for-TV affair on Thursday, Dec. 27 (1:30 p.m. kickoff). The only people in bars watching it will be fans of either team who took the day off or just plain alcoholics who occasionally look up at the TV while passing out at the bar.

Not very many Temple fans will be able to make it nor should they be blamed for it.  There are no direct flights from Philadelphia to Shreveport. The cheapest indirect flight I could find was $700 with a layover in Atlanta.

No thanks.

Temple would have drawn roughly 6-10K real fans to the Military Bowl, but because that bowl did not want any repeat teams from the last three years they picked Cincinnati instead. Cincy won’t bring more than 1,000 to D.C., if that. VT will pack the place so the MB probably won’t need Cincy’s fan support.

A lot of Temple fans would have been willing to spend that coin for a flight to Texas to face Baylor in the Frisco, Texas or Armed Forces Bowl but that opportunity went out the window when Oklahoma made the playoffs. The Big 12 didn’t have enough teams to fill their bowl affiliations and that was that.

As far as the game itself, Duke is a team to be respected but I expect Temple will be a slight favorite. Duke lost its last two games and was beaten, 59-7, by Wake Forest in its last game. Still, the Blue Devils beat two ranked teams–Army and Northwestern–and that’s one more ranked team than the Owls were able to beat.

Beat a team that beat Northwestern and Army and the Owls will take a lot of momentum into the 2019 season so coach Geoff Collins’ goal should be to go light on the air hockey, beach volleyball and bowling and heavy on the game prep.

After all, Duke did beat Baylor, so beating Duke would be the next best thing and give the Owls transitive property bragging rights when Collins gets on the horn with Matt Rhule.

The Baylor fan base looks a little less diverse than ours. 🙂

Wednesday: Atlanta Closure

Friday: The Elephant In The Room

Monday: An Argument That Cannot Be Won

Wednesday: Comparing Seasons

Friday: Swapping the Bowls Out Fidrych-Style