Philly Proud, Temple TUFF.
That’s the motto we’ve been living by since Coach Addazio arrived on North Broad to coach the football team last year. And the saying remains. This is Owl Country.
Football games are a big part of Temple culture, and the season kickoff is no exception. Every year since I started as a student here, Temple’s played in the annual Mayor’s Cup game against Villanova at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles, and where we play every Owls home game. It’s a huge game for bragging rights before Big Five basketball renews the rivalry in the winter. State school versus private school. Main Line versus Center City. Navy and white versus cherry and white. Wildcats versus Owls.
Each game night is a big production. Pep rally on Thursday, free shuttles to the Linc from main campus starting at 4:30 on gameday, free student tailgate in Lot K, and then the steady stream of students into the infamous Wild Cherry student section.
After missing last football season while studying abroad in England, I was excited to get this one underway. And after seeing Peyton Manning’s first game as a Bronco a few short days ago in Denver, I was ready for football to officially start. So I pulled on my new 2012-13 Wild Cherry section shirt, reading, “This Is Owl Country,” met my sister, and we took the shuttle from campus down to Lot K to grill out before heading into the Linc. While we don’t play our games “between the hedges” like Georgia, or use “Roll Tide” like ‘Bama, or play on Smurf Turf like Boise State, we do sing the best fight song, “T for Temple U” and sing the best victory song, “I Believe.” (How do you not get goosebumps watching that “I Believe” video?!)
The third-largest crowd in Temple football history–32, 709, the largest to ever watch a Cup game–filed into the Linc and stood, awaiting kickoff. The energy was great, and the Linc was as packed as I’ve seen it. Singing our fight songs and doing our cheers was a welcome homecoming; Connor never appreciated it much when I tried our “move those chains!” chants at the Broncos game. We trounced Nova, 41-10, and it made for a magical evening at the Linc.
TU football definitely made a statement in our season debut and proved we’re still Temple Tuff. It’s a new year, new season, new conference, and we’re ready for it. Bring on Maryland next weekend! It may have been my last first game as a student, but it wasn’t a sad feeling. I’ll always be an Owl for Life.