Something no one has seen in 38 years

Everybody’s always asked this question at one point in their lives:

“If there’s anything you would do over, what would it be?”

Tough question from a macro level but, in my mind, easy from a Temple football fan micro perspective.

I would not have been so shortsighted taping Temple football games in the 1980s. I taped every single one on old VHS and Beta formats with one caveat: I would tape over the older game for the newer one. My goal then was just to come home and review what I’ve seen live and move on to the next game.

I didn’t think about posterity. I should have.

All but for the 1979 Garden State Bowl game, which I lost moving from one Doylestown apartment to another. It’s probably in a dumpster somewhere. Damn because I’ve never met anyone with a full tape of that game.

West Virginia fans celebrated this win over Penn State a few weeks before Temple fans celebrated a win over this same West Virginia team.

What I should have done is make a VHS library of old Temple games because there’s not enough visual Temple football history out there.

That’s why something Sam Nover said in the final minute of the above taped game struck me as true on a couple of levels:

“I could be doing football games for the next 30 years and never see anything like this.”

Looking back, he was right both coming and going.

At least from the Temple football perspective, no one since this 1984 win over West Virginia has ever seen the Owls make a field goal to win a game off a penalty on the bad guys.

That’s the coming part.

The going part is that, thanks to a guy named Joe Tolstoy (who I may have met but don’t know), current Temple fans haven’t seen this game–at least on the internet–not only in 30 years but tack on another eight years for a grand total of 38. Note the Youtube date on the video (July, 2022) so this is relatively new.

I’ve been looking for film from this game for 38 years and, thanks to official Temple football photographer Zamani Feelings (who sent it to me), I found it. Or more accurately he found it. It was like seeing an old friend you haven’t seen in 38 years.

There is a nice interception from Temple All-American free safety Anthony Young in the pre-game show but what stood out was the two color guys assigned to the game.

First, they no longer do that except for prime-time network games.

Second, they never have one graduate from one university and another representing the other team in the game.

This one did as the late great NFL Hall of Famer Sam Huff represented the West Virginia side and Randy Grossman, who had has four Super Bowl rings, represented Temple.

I don’t think that’s ever happened in an NCAA regional broadcast.

This game only existed in my memory for the last 38 years until just the other day. It was a good win for head coach Bruce Arians because that West Virginia team (coached by Don Nehlen) started out the season 7-1. It beat No. 4 Boston College and No. 19 Penn State a few weeks before losing to Temple.

Now it’s on Memorex and available to a whole other generation of Temple fans. I wish there were more.

Friday: First Day of Practice

Monday: The Day Temple Almost Beat a National Champion

Friday 9/12: Best of TFF (three-day vacation)

Monday 9/15: Back from Vacation