Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Just when you think it couldn't get any worse...It doesn't.

The Temple football team came from behind to win a game in the 4th quarter? You have got to be kidding me. Standing in the parking lot of the Linc before the game, I was huddled near a grill anxiously awaiting a hotdog to fill my empty stomach and provide some warm solace from the chilly night. As I dropped the hotdog on the ground with a muttered curse, I looked up at the Linc and wondered what the hell I was doing there.

Temple's football team was coming into this game with a 2-5 record, near the pits of a laughable Mid-American conference, and had broken whatever heart I had for the team several times already. Three one-possession losses, all coming on the final play of the game? An offense that struggles to put up more points than I have fingers? A defense that can't stop anything until the other team reaches the red zone, then goes "oh shit" and sometimes makes a big play? You can understand why I was not overwhelmingly enthused.

But there was hope! The game was "nationally televised" on ESPN2, playmaking QB Adam DiMichele was back from his shoulder injury, and at the very least the game was for a good cause in fighting breast cancer. With these things in mind, I got myself a fresh hotdog and made my way into the stadium. Inside the gates I was greeted by grouchy employees thundersticks!?! Now things were really looking up. I made my way to a seat and, full of hope, looked at the scoreboard : Ohio 10, Temple zilch. As that 10 point deficit slowly sank in, I felt one of my thundersticks deflate in my hand. Oh, the irony. I looked around the stadium to gauge the atmosphere of the fans, and to see how the requested "pink-out" was going. That's strange, I thought to myself, why is everyone wearing white? Then I remembered my partial color blindness, and my heart sank even further. Cold, still kind of hungry, and now slightly sad, I again wondered what the hell I was doing there.

I sat for a bit, watched DiMichele get sacked a few times, watched as the fans booed at half time, and for a bit, stared at my shoes. Before too long I realized that we had gained about 5 yards in a quarter and a half. That's like a yard every 4 minutes. One bright spot was the peewee football scrimmage for the halftime show. One little tyke broke a tackle and ran for a 15 yard touchdown. Hey kid, ever wanted to play for the Temple Owls? The basketball team was also sitting right across the aisle from me, reminding me that there is a point to being a Temple sports fan. I watched about 5 three-and-outs in the 3rd quarter, banged my thunder sticks in protest, and left.

Upon arrival into the warmth of my bedroom on Temple's campus, my night improved. I played some Halo 3. I read a few articles out of my favorite magazine. I pet my cat a few times, still kind of bitter about her breaking my finger. After a while I remembered the Temple game, and for fun, checked the score. Your final: Temple Owls 14, Ohio Bobcats 10. What the hell.

Apparently, RB Kee-ayre Griffin sprang loose with a 37-yard run that setup a touchdown with 10:53 left in the game to make the score 10-7 Ohio. Then, the Owls had a shot to tie the game but missed a 25 yard field goal. Hey, that's the Temple I know. Apparently, Ohio QB Boo Jackson had money on the Owls, as he muffed a handoff on the first play of the following possession, and gave Temple the ball back with about 5 to play. A few minutes later, TE Steve Maneri caught the game-winning pass. Wow, am I a schmuck. Just when Temple football and my faith in it couldn't get any worse, it gets better. And I wasn't there to see it.

Forget the fact that the game was the laughing stock of the ESPN posters. ("Some high school football games are better than this one," "THE MARCHING BAND IS RUSHING THE FIELD," "Was his name really Boo?") Temple football just got one back from this season, and gave its fans an exciting win. We're one game out of first place in the MAC east and have a showdown with first-place Akron looming on the horizon. We're in striking distance of a dramatic turn around to a .500 season. DiMichele is back, and although his stats sucked, he led the charge to a magical ending. Barring the fact that ESPN may very well have rigged this game, this was an exciting win.

Sure it's not #3 Penn State vs #12 Michigan. Sure it's still only 3-5. Sure it's the Mid-American Conference. But it is my school's football team, and it is an exciting win. I apologize to Golden and the team for cutting out early. Go Owls, and thank you for reading.

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