But, really, push comes to shove, the Philly Inky’s Mike Jensen “coming clean” about his feelings in regard to Temple University’s football program, and how his longstanding bias is, essentially, taking it on the chin with the Owls starting 2-0 this season … well, it confirms what I figured all along: that to many in the Philly media covering the team, or even just commenting on it, have no business doing so.
It’s an innate thing, apparently, that you have to denigrate what goes on along North Broad when it comes to the helmet and pads division, even if you’re not vocal about it others, but, rather, silent or subliminal with the message you get across. Apparently, even Temple alums who dot the regional media map fall prey to this as well, possibly as some form of self-loathing or just sheer embarrassment to being associated with a school whose football history is far more train wreck than tradition.
Who the hell knows ...
The fact Jensen admits to his “Temple sucks” bias, which, kudos to him, takes some balls to do, especially in a public forum – yep, a newspaper article still is that, albeit to a smaller degree than ever before – doesn’t clear him of the bias in the first place. Or the bias that has been predominant in the market, among writers and sports radio people who like to credit themselves as “experts” or “fair” and, laughably, “unbiased.”
Even more comical, the mindless sheep who follow the “facts” being served up to them and accept them as gospel, or, better yet, informed, knowledgeable opinions.
The reality is there is no denying the struggles of Temple football over the years. Heck, over generations. But for anyone, never mind the media members, who are supposed to be the impartial bastions of information, or, at worst, legit observers not shortsighted by blinders, pro or con, to continue with this fetus-like attachment to thoughts of college football yesteryear, as if nothing ever changes, that it always remains in the state you feel most comfy in seeing it, that’s just sad … and lame … and wrong.
Jensen releases his guilt by stating that he now must adjust his preseason, internal prediction of 6-6 for the Owls in 2015. Huh? Not for nothing, but who the hell following this team to any degree could have come to such a figure? Temple went 6-6 last season. It earned a berth to a bowl, just didn’t receive one.
It was trending upward, not down, or even keel. Uh, 6-6 this season … gimme a break.
Now, that’s not to say it couldn’t happen. Temple could collapse after beating Penn State and Cincinnati, and limp to the finish line this fall at 6-6. Or even 2-10. But neither of those are likely, and certainly not predictable.
Without even wondering, Jensen and his ilk had the Owls entering this week’s game against Massachusetts in Foxborough, Mass., at 0-2. No doubt, don’t even bother shades of graying it … and that’s ridiculous. A fair assessment, having witnessed the progress of the Owls under third-year head coach Matt Rhule, would have had anywhere from 8 to 10 wins as the acceptable barometer of success/failure, with 1-1 to start the season.
If you want to live in the fairytale land of Penn State dominating as if it’s the late ’60s or Temple submerging like it’s the late ’90s, so be it. Have fun. I’m choosing the live in the reality of now, what’s happening today, what’s going on this season … or even this freakin’ decade.
Those of you who think Penn State has a better football program than Cincy right now, please start watching some games taking place outside of Happy Valley, or involving the team from there, before commenting any further about, well, about anything. You know nothing at the moment.
Better than Temple’s? Yeah, sure, long term … it’s obviously been better and, at this point, still is. But on a single-year basis, or even for a few years’ run, no, that’s not a given. That’s mindless-drone thinking to believe Penn State beating Temple was a forever lock, or birthright to the Blue & White if you will. Temple beat Penn State this season because its 2015 edition is better than Penn State’s 2015 edition. Period. End of story.
It was no shock, no surprise, no stunner. Cause for rejoicing among the Owls and their faithful? Heck yeah. It’d been 74 years Temple had topped its in-state Big Brother. But that’s why, not because it was an upset – because it wasn’t.
Temple upset American Athletic Conference favorite Cincy. The shock is that it led at halftime 10-6 despite being outplayed (perhaps an old Penn State trick the Owls finally picked up). The surprise is that Temple got up 34-12 on its host early in the fourth quarter. The stunner is that it held on for a 34-26 victory.
Coming into the season, two teams on the Owls’ schedule were clearly better than they were: Notre Dame and Cincy. Not Penn State, which, frankly, would’ve fallen behind Memphis and East Carolina, right around where Central Florida resided. That’s not knocking Penn State. It’s recognizing the reality of where it is right now, thanks largely to NCAA-imposed sanctions, two coaching-regime changes and that college football’s landscape has dramatically changed since the days of Mike Reid and Matt Millen and even Michael Robinson.
Thing is, college football’s landscape always is changing anymore, and that Jensen and others have failed to notice that it already has, especially with regard to a team, and the league it plays in, right under their noses, is pathetic.
Rhule and the Temple administration backing his program deserve a ton of credit, not just for creating a winning culture that would pass a Chip Kelly inspection, or for succeeding in the face of expected demise, but for continuing to plug on despite the numnuts surrounding them telling that they have no chance to prevail … even as they are doing so.
- Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org