LFF Deal kills the on-campus buzz

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If Temple built the stadium here (enough room if the Maxi’s row and Sullivan Hall behind it were knocked down), the entire stadium would have been inside Temple’s footprint and the neighbors would not have been affected.

Whenever a deal is signed, it’s always advisable to look at the fine print.

To me, what to look for in the most recent Lincoln Financial Field extension Temple signed this week was that option.

A five-year deal with no option probably meant that Temple University was close to putting up a stadium of its own. A five-year deal with a five-year option probably meant not close.

The fine print suggests not close.

In Marc Narducci’s Philly.com article–that somewhat surprisingly made the front page of the Inquirer’s sports section–the key words to me were this: “the deal includes a five-year option for the Owls beyond the first five seasons.”

The architect for the earlier project, Moody Nolan, says it should take no more than three years from the time the first shovel is put into the ground to opening day and noted that the typical stadium construction is usually no more than 12-18 months.

So do the math.

If Temple’s administration thought they needed an additional five years on top of the five years they got, it means they are not even close to a shovel-in-the-ground date. If they were close enough to announce a date in, say, the next couple of years, they would have probably shunned the option.

What’s it all mean?

Screenshot 2020-02-13 at 2.48.15 PM

A future stadium that looks like this with the fans right on top of the field would be more of a home-field advantage than the original concept of Moody Nolan.

The good news is that the ugly Moody Nolan concept is probably a thing of the past and that a new stadium in another place on campus gives Temple a chance to go over some more attractive stadium concepts than the glorified high school stadium look Nolan presented.

The bad news probably means there won’t be a stadium on the campus for another decade if that. Temple is no longer in a hurry to get this done.

That’s bad news for those of us who want to live long enough to see a real home-field advantage for Temple. You know, the kind where the opposing quarterback looks over to the sideline and tells his coach “I can’t hear.” I remember that as a young kid at Temple Stadium only on a couple of occasions–the 39-36 win over West Virginia and the 34-7 win over Boston College in the 1970s.

Other than that, Temple’s really never had that kind of home-field advantage and that’s kind of sad.

At the Vet and the Linc, while it could get loud, it wasn’t the same as what the Owls experienced on the road in places like Cincinnati last year and ECU when the Pirates first came into the AAC.

Maybe someday, but a decade is a long time for a lot of us.

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The original glorified high school stadium design

As Martin Luther King once said, “I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.”

Temple might or might not get to the promised land, but the talk of this stadium that began well over a decade ago will continue to be talk for another decade and there are a whole lot of us who might never get to that promised land. It’s a shame because if the stadium had been built where the library is now and the library put at 15th and Norris, the neighbors who have held up this project for so long would have had no say.

That’s what you get when you hire two guys from Bloomington to run a Philadelphia university as CEO and CFO. Hopefully, the university has learned something from that mistake.

Monday: The Ones That Got Away



The Dotted Line=No Stadium (Yet)


This could be your urinal at Franklin Field next year if Temple does not reach an agreement with the Eagles.

One of the topics often talked about among Temple fans in the parking lot last year was the stadium issue.

Make no mistake, a major college football team without a stadium is an issue in the nation’s fourth-largest market.

Then it was 12 months, then 11, then 10 and then nine until Temple needed a place to play and did not have one, at least officially.

We’re about at the eighth-month mark and there is still no signature on the dotted line.

Soon enough, we will be at one. You’ve got to think this is a pretty big story on the Philadelphia sports scene but you are much more likely to read speculative pieces in the offseason on who the Eagles’ right backup guard will be then how the negotiations with Temple and Jeffrey Lurie are going.

Screenshot 2020-01-23 at 9.42.25 AM

Hat tip to one of the greatest cornerbacks in Temple history, Joe Greenwood, for this graphic.

That’s where the Temple News comes into play. Somebody in the media now cares about an issue a lot of us care about and The Temple News, not the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News or Philadelphia Magazine, finally wrote something about it.

Basically, the bottom line is nothing has been done about a contract and there is no signature ceremony planned and we are running out of time. Urinals at Franklin Field could be the least of the Owls’ problems. The AAC might be forced to keep Temple off the home TV schedule due to Penn having control of Saturdays and that could affect Temple’s road game exposure as well.

Is this a concern?

It should be because the requests for season tickets have gone out and I’m not 100 percent sure I will be sitting in my comfortable Section 121 end-of-the-row seat or on a wooden bench getting splinters and ducking the pigeons at Franklin Field. Ninety percent, but not 100 percent.


Since the last time Temple played a home game at Franklin Field, Penn has moved the tailgating area from the Palestra parking lot to Shoemaker Green here.

I guess Temple and the Eagles will work out a deal because really there is no other option. The university completely botched the stadium. To me, it was a no-brainer to build where the library is now, knocking down Maxi’s, the Conwell Inn and that entire Liacouras Walk and putting the Library in that big empty spot at 15th and Norris. That way, no neighbors to deal with unless the protest is against a library. That would not go over well even in neighbor-friendly Philadelphia City Council. This is what happens when you hire people from Indiana to run a Philadelphia university. The damage has already been done.

That’s a Humpty Dumpty that cannot be put together again. (Of course, there is a fix but it will be a costly one: Knock down the trade union building and put it at 15th and Norris and squeeze the Olympic sports there and put the football stadium at Broad and Master. That’s probably never going to happen.)

The irony of all this is that the entire impetus for the on-campus stadium was that the Eagles were holding Temple hostage and the university wanted to get a cost-effective way to spend their stadium money. The boomerang effect of the mishandling of the on-campus stadium issue is that they gave the Eagles even more leverage.

So whatever advantage Temple might have had bringing this whole thing up turns out to be the Owls shooting themselves in the foot. The fact that they are waiting to pull the trigger won’t make the pain go away.

Monday: A Plea to Coach Carey


New BOT chair hints stadium “out of our control”


The original Temple Stadium at Pickering and Cheltenham Aves.

What’s out of our control?

For Temple football, injuries to the offensive line or quarterback could turn a potential championship season into another mediocre bowl run.

That’s out of our control.

Yet, in a recent interview in the Temple News, new Temple University Board of Trustees chairman Mitchell Morgan hinted that something else also important to the future of the program was “out of our control” and that is a place to play.

This is what Morgan, a real estate developer who helped bring to fruition Morgan Hall (one of the best student residences in the country), had to say about an on-campus football stadium in a recent Temple News interview:


“It would be great to have an on-campus stadium,” he added. “But if it’s not in the cards, then we will find another place to play football, but it’s out of our control.”

Since everyone in the administration refuses to even comment on the stadium issue pretty much since last March’s (2018) disastrous meeting with the community at Mitten Hall, that statement is about as revealing as anything. Even athletic director Pat Kraft, in an interview with CBS radio’s Zach Gelb, pulled a Sargent Schultz when he said “I really don’t know anything” about where a stadium stands. New head coach Rod Carey hasn’t uttered a word about the proposed stadium, at least in print, and former coach Geoff Collins’ only statement was that he would help the university in any way he could. I doubt Manny Diaz even knew the uni was considering a stadium. Matt Rhule said he was in favor of a stadium “if done right” and Al Golden was the first coach to bring up how important building an on-campus stadium was back in 2006.

Those aren’t the top guys, though. Mitchell Morgan now is.


The current proposed location at 15th and Norris seems to be a no-go for a stadium

” … but if it’s not in the cards, then we will find another place to play football, but it’s out of our control.”

That’s an important comment from the top guy because Temple currently has no place to play football next year and that’s troubling. The hope is that Jeffrey Lurie extends the Lincoln Financial Field lease, but that has not happened yet and both Franklin Field and Chester are unacceptable options, one where the Owls would not have control and the other where 18,000 seating is just too small for a team that averaged 28,765 fans last year.

The irony is that this really is in Temple’s control if it wanted to think big. The university already plays almost 100 intercollegiate events at its $22 million Olympic stadium complex at Broad and Masters and it would be able to shoe-horn a 35,000 seat stadium into that spot if it wanted. Those neighbors probably would trade six events a year for the 100 and moving the Olympic teams back to 15th and Norris would not require shutting down 15th Street, which is the major obstacle.

It’s a King Solomon-like solution that the university apparently does not want to pursue but it’s certainly one that is within its control.

Monday: Finally, Game Week Is Here

Silver Linings (Stadium) Playbook


Color me totally underwhelmed by this projected stadium design.

Sometimes the worst decisions are the impulsive ones.

General Robert E. Lee, holding the advantage pretty much everywhere on the Gettysburg Battlefield on the first day, ordered a charge of General Pickett’s 30,000 troops right into a heavily defended Union position. They pretty much got wiped out.

Had he waited a day and covered both the left and right Union flanks instead of going up the middle, we might all be speaking with a Southern accent right now.

Pretty much that’s the way I feel about the Temple Stadium situation.


Temple fans would tire fast of a glorified high school stadium like this one at Northeast.

Even the most ardent “shovel-in-the-ground-by-August” guys are believing that this is more a dead deal than a done one.

It’s been what I’ve been writing in this space since the March 6 Mitten Hall meeting fiasco. Nothing has changed since then except the goal posts have been moved from, say, 2018 until 2030 or even later.

The neighbors don’t want this, never have, never will, and Temple is dead set on getting the neighbors’ support before proceeding on this project. Since that’s the case, we might have to wait until the neighborhood becomes fully gentrified before proceeding. That probably won’t be before 2030. That’s a more likely scenario than trying to convince Social Justice Warriors to abandon their platform of the moment.

Russell Conwell, the Temple founder, was on the other side of that Pickett’s charge as a Union captain. He survived and so will his beloved Temple.

There is a Silver Lining in the way this play ended.

Building a 30-35K stadium that looks only a little nicer than Northeast High’s Charlie Martin Memorial Stadium would only make those 200 or so fans who think that having “TEMPLE” and “OWLS” spelled out in the end zones every week would more than make up for the bare-bones cheap stadium they would be forced to sit in six times a year.

Building an Akron or a FAU stadium does Temple no good and probably commits Temple to a life sentence of being as irrelevant on the college football landscape as, err, Akron or FAU are now.

Wait and build something like Houston has now is the perspective Temple should have. Swallowing hard and extending the Linc deal is the only way to go. After all, as Bill Bradshaw once said, Temple plays in the nicest football stadium in America. It’s a pro one, but it’s still the nicest.

Otherwise, the 2018 version of  the 1863 Pickett’s charge is an impulsive decision Temple doesn’t need to or even can make right now.

That’s the only silver lining in this otherwise dark cloud.

Monday: He Said What?

Wednesday: Here’s What Villanova is going to (try to) do …

Stadium: The Alternatives


TU fans would be right on top of the action at CBP.

For the next year, maybe five, the powers-that-be at Temple University who comprise the Board of Trustees can bang their collective heads against a wall or get to work.

Banging their heads would constitute essentially what they are doing now: Trying to make peace with people who want no peace.

Neville Chamberlain tried to do that with the Nazis in the late 1930s. When the British finally figured out the Nazis did not want peace, it was almost too late. Winston Churchill finally unraveled that mess.

Temple wants peace with its neighbors and a stadium entirely within property it owns. Because a part of that property is a public street, the neighbors can block it so Temple must abandon this folly and figure out a place and a way to build its stadium or look for the alternatives.

Here are the acceptable ones:


Plenty of room (counting space on right) for a 35K stadium at Broad and Master.

Move the stadium to Broad and Master. This would require knocking down a brand new $22 million Olympic sports facility and moving it back to Broad and Norris. That probably means spending another $22 million on the Olympic facility but it would be worth it. Critics of this plan say “it won’t fit” but that’s only if  the fields are North-South. Anyone who attended the spring game saw plenty of room for an double-decker East-West stadium from Broad Street to 13th Street that would require no closure of a city street.


A simple purchase of either “North Broad Getty” or “Auto Zone” or “Wheel thing” gives Temple plenty of room to connect the hospital with the main campus via a stadium


Connect the main campus with Temple Hospital. Put the stadium halfway up Broad Street. There is plenty of open land that Temple can acquire near the  North Broad SEPTA train stop that would allow for more parking. Just take a ride North of main campus (lock the doors) and you will see boarded-up property, not actual homes, along the old route that included the Phillies first home (Baker Bowl, Broad and Lehigh). Can’t imagine the neighbors would object to Temple purchasing homes that currently are unoccupied and boarded up. It would be within walking distance of both the main campus and the health sciences center and just as accessible to rail and subway transportation as the current plan. Again, no public streets would have to be closed.

Swallow hard and accept Jeffrey Lurie’s demands. Any way you look at it, Temple is going to spend a lot of money parking its football program. Either it’s the laughably low figure of $130 million for a stadium or increase its rent five-fold to the Philadelphia Eagles for the right to play in one of the nicest stadiums in major college football.

Wait The Phillies Out. This is not as crazy as it seems. Extend the lease and work with the city and the Phillies to get their long-sought-after Center City stadium. Then slide into Citizens Bank Park. Play at the Linc until then. A 45K Temple football stadium in South Philly makes more sense than a 70K Temple stadium in South Philly or even a 35K Temple stadium in Templetown.

Unacceptable would be a move to Ambler  or an upgrade of the Chester stadium (farther away than the Linc and less accessible to public transportation) or any deal with Franklin Field, which would be seen as a return to the bad old days.

Either way, if this last-ditch “community engagement” does not work, the BOT needs to roll up its sleeves and come up with a new plan.

Banging heads against a wall for the next five years serves no purpose to anyone.

Stadium Delay: Did You Expect Anything Else?


A much-more inspired rendering of what a TU stadium SHOULD look like.

All along in this never-ending Temple Stadium saga, there have been two types of people:

The first type, the believers, are the “wink wink, done deal” crowd, saying that everything is taken care of and nothing to worry about. Most of these people live in Virginia, New York and Florida.

The second group, the skeptics, are more intimately familiar with Philadelphia city politics, who have lived here all their lives and who have been through this whole thing once before with the building of The Apollo (now the Liacouras Center).


The site of the spring game

Those of you who have followed this space for years know to count me in the second group.

The Temple News deserves credit for breaking this story on Monday—really a lot of credit in that no other media outlet seems to care enough about—that Temple officials have decided to delay the project to “further engagement with the community.”

Did you really expect anything else?

From the time a BOT member told a long-time fan at the March 2012 NCAA Tournament (on the very day Temple beat North Carolina State) this was a “done deal” the stadium has been anything but a done deal.


The current uninspired rendering

The believers are more likely to claim to have inside information than the skeptics. As recently as May, we were told by those people to “expect shovels in the ground by August.”

Now it is much more likely that those shovels will be figurative ones burying the project than actual ones moving the AstroTurf off Geasey Field.

Here’s the bottom line on the stadium: The neighbors don’t want it and no amount of “engagement” is going to convince them otherwise. There is no political incentive for their representatives to do anything but oppose a project that includes the permanent closure of a city street where the city, not the university, has the final say.

Unlike the Apollo project in the 1980s, Peter J. Liacouras is not around anymore. When he threatened to move Temple out of the City of Philadelphia to Ambler, people believed him and then Mayor Ed Rendell brokered a deal to get the Apollo done. He had an outspoken ally and a respected community voice in then hoops coach John Chaney, who told them in no uncertain terms what their neighborhood would look like without Temple. Too much development on campus has happened since then to make a similar threat anything but an empty gesture.

This time, the city holds all of the cards, owns the card table and has a key to the basement where this game is played and there will be no dealing.

Friday: The Alternatives

Only Birthday Wish: Stadium Closure


If this doesn’t work at 15th and Norris, Broad and Master should be an option.

Another year down, another foot closer to the grave.

That’s a harsh way to look at it but, when the years in the rear view mirror represent a long road and looming just ahead is a brick wall with failing brakes those are, err, the breaks.

Come Tuesday, I will smile at whatever “happy birthdays” come my way with the realization that there has been nothing happy about the day since, oh, about age 40 when I realized what the average life expectancy was for someone of my demographic.

Taking the optimistic view, at least I don’t ever have any intentions of exiting stage right like Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade did last week.

There is too much to live for, like maybe another Temple football championship this year.

While that would be nice to get, the birthday present I would like most doesn’t involve a Stormy Daniels encounter or a lottery win as much as closure on this ongoing Temple Stadium issue.

One way or another. If it’s happening, I want to see a shovel-in-the-ground date in the next month. If not, I want to know that, too, in roughly the same time frame.

A good friend of mine ran into a member of Temple Board of Trustees in March, 2012—the day Fran Dunphy’s basketball team beat North Carolina State in the NCAA tournament—and the BOT member told him the stadium was a “done deal.”

Three years ago—in 2015—I was told by a BOT member on Cherry and White Day (not the same one) that the ACC wanted Temple to build a stadium first and, if the Owls did, an invitation to join that league would be forthcoming within a couple of years. The ACC did not know if Temple was committed to football and needed a concrete sign like a stadium before considering Temple.

Since 2012, all we’ve heard is a lot of talk and very little action other than drawings or renderings or an open meeting shouted down by the neighbors.

Some done deal.

To get things done in Philadelphia, you need the approval of the City Government and that hasn’t happened. I’ve vacillated on this stadium over the last five years but only a few months ago came to the conclusion I was for it for a simple practical reason. The BOT almost voted to eliminate Temple football in 2005 (the measure lost by a single vote) and no stadium and no additional Linc deal could regenerate the same kind of opposition. They might have to move the site from Broad and Norris to Broad and Master, but they should be willing to do it if that turns out to be the only option. Building a stadium means Temple Football Forever.

I know this blog won’t last forever, but I hope the program does and it would be nice to know what the deal is on that very soon.

This never-ending saga needs to conclude on way or another.

Wednesday: No News Is Bad News

Pumping The Brakes Means A Left Turn

A week ago, the guy who holds the hammer in this whole Temple Stadium controversy wrote an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer to express his feelings on the project.

If you read the entire thing, he’s against it, essentially saying Temple should “pump the brakes” on a new campus stadium.

The guy is Darrell Clarke. The way politics works in Philadelphia is that the councilman in any district has veto power over a project in his district.

Clarke is not only the Philadelphia City Council President, he is the councilman in that very district. He can afford to tell Temple University to pump the brakes on the project. Temple University cannot afford to wait due to the timeline of its lease with Lincoln Financial Field running out in 2020.

The “community” is vigorously against this project. It’s not 50-50. It’s not even 80-20. It’s more like 90-10. This is not a similar case to what is now the Liacouras Center when palms needed to be greased in order to move the project forward. There simply is not enough oil here to move the gears.


Darrell Clarke would rather Geasey Field remain an empty lot than a beautiful new stadium

If Clarke says “pumps the brakes” Temple should then recognize what intersection it is approaching and make a left turn.

It appears as though the City of Philadelphia, which really holds the hammer here, will never give Temple the permissions to close 15th Street forever (between Norris and Montgomery) to appease the residents who vote for Clarke in every election. Without 15th closed, there is only one other open space on the Main Campus large enough to build what Temple needs.

The left turn Temple needs to make is at 15th and Montgomery, make a right at Broad Street and travel a couple of blocks south to Masters to build the stadium. The city has no grounds to oppose a football stadium at The Temple Sports Complex since two stadiums have been existing there without opposition for two years and no closure of any street would be necessary. Even if the City would try to block a stadium at that site, Temple–with the most graduates of any school in Pennsylvania appeals courts–probably would prevail on the argument that it was allowed to build dorms and classrooms on its property and should be able to build a needed “multi-purpose” facility there as well.

If not, you can forget about a new stadium at best and Temple football at worst. If Temple football is forced to return to that dump called Franklin Field, the program is doomed. Chester’s 18,500-soccer stadium is a far worse option. If the Phillies ever exit Citizens Bank Park, that would be ideal but that appears to be at least 20 years down the road that is called Broad Street.

The uni would have to do something it said it cannot do—pay the Philadelphia Eagles a $3 million a year lease to rent Lincoln Financial Field on top of a one-time “stadium improvement fee” of $12 million.

Of course, this can all be avoided if the BOT would change plans and build the stadium at The Temple Sports Complex.

On first glance, building a football stadium over a brand new $22 million Olympic Sports Complex would be an admission by Temple that it made a mistake building that facility there and they would not do that.

There is a precedence, though. A few  years earlier, the same board of trustees spent $12 million less to build an Olympic sports complex in Ambler that included also baseball and softball and abandoned it for the Broad and Masters facility.

If they can do that then, they can do this now. The Olympic sports teams can be moved back to Geasey Field.

Running out of time and options,  it is the logical thing to do and, in this political climate, the sooner the better.

Monday: Above The Line

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

The Stadium: The Rest of The Story


The infamous “Bullhorn Lady”

For those of us at a certain age, the radio broadcast “The Rest of the Story” with Paul Harvey reminds me a lot of the opinion stories on the op-ed pages of The Inquirer, The Daily News and Philly.com about the proposed Temple Stadium.

They are all anti-stadium, none pro.



The truth is that you won’t know the “rest of the story” on any opinion pages of your newspaper because the other side isn’t allowed to opine


Harvey’s stories presented as little-known or forgotten facts on a variety of subjects with some key element of the story held back until the end. The broadcasts always concluded with a variation on the tag line “And now you know the rest of the story.”

The truth is that you won’t know the “rest of the story” on any opinion pages of your newspaper because the other side isn’t allowed to opine.

I found that out first-hand the last couple of weeks.

I first reached out to former Inquirer editor Bill Marrimow—a good guy who used to stop by my desk and shoot the breeze when I worked there—and he agreed with me that there should be varied opinions published:

Hi Mike – Because I am no longer working in the newsroom, you would definitely fare better if you submitted your piece on your own. By the way, I agree with you that it would be worthwhile for us to publish some opinion pieces in favor of building the stadium at Temple to provide another point of view.–BIll

So I did and this is the response I got from an editor at Philly.com named Erica Palan (her words in bold):

Can you say something about how the community members don’t have a right to weigh in on whether or not Temple builds a stadium because they don’t own the land?

 Are there other points of confusion between the neighborhood people and Temple? If so, explain what they are and why Temple is in the right.

These are the edits I was asked for and provided:

  1. The community absolutely does have the right to voice input on the project. They do not, I believe, should have veto power over it. 

2, The stadium should be built not for older graduates like me, but for the 12,500 students who live in and around the current vibrant campus now. When I went to school in the 1970s, there were no more than 1,000 student residents and the rest of us were commuters. These students deserve the same kind of experiences that students of other universities surrounded by dense residential areas have, like those at Boston College and Georgia Tech. Having football stadiums on campus at those schools help bind those students closer to their universities while in school and create a more active alumni base once gone.  Those Temple students and the university as a whole deserve advantages other similar urban schools with stadiums in residential footprints enjoy.

It has still yet to be published and I do not expect it to be.

Something tells me the vitriolic anti-Temple Stadium op-eds we see on the pages of the Inquirer and Daily News are not held to the same rigid editing standards nor should they because they are opinion pieces and those holding an anti-stadium opinion deserve to voice their side of the story.

The same latitude should be given the pro-stadium opinions and the fact that we haven’t seen one yet published is, sadly, not accidental.

And that’s the rest of the story.