Temple, Fordham, and Caring About College Football

Fordham Football

As you may or may not know, I spent my freshman year at Fordham University in the Bronx. As you may or may not know, after that first year I transferred from Fordham to Temple University in Philadelphia for a myriad of reasons. As you may or may not know, earlier today Fordham beat Temple in football.

It was kind of a big deal to some people.

I imagine that it was actually a really big deal to a few people.

It just made me feel weird.

And made my Twitter feed extremely entertaining for a little while.

Transferring colleges is an odd experience. I never really wanted to go to Temple until I was there. Both attending and leaving Fordham were things that are best described as “having happened to me,” and not much beyond that.

Temple Campus

I am extremely happy with being at Temple now, but simultaneously thrilled that I spent my freshman year at Fordham as opposed to Philadelphia. I had to go to one place to fall in love with New York and then come home to fall back in love with myself. Personally, I think it all worked out the way things were meant to work out. I’ve met great people at Temple and been able to hold on to most of the best friends I made at Fordham.

But football is still confusing.

Temple Football has been a bit of a punchline my entire life. In high school, it was always comical to watch fans attempt to call their relationship with State College a “rivalry.” I know kids who laughed along with me to this fact until they became Owls themselves; between the ages of 17 and 18, the “rivalry” became real.

Similarly, Fordham Football was a joke when I found out about it as well. My freshman year, we were begged by our orienteers to attend games and show our school spirit. I remember going to the first game of the season and realizing that the crowd was significantly smaller than most games I attended in high school. The game was rough and the highlight of the evening was our band playing “Shots” by LMFAO.

With that said, I have had romantic moments with both school’s football programs as well. Two years ago, Temple was literally seconds away from beating Penn State in Philadelphia. I remember (possibly incorrectly) that State was nationally ranked and a two touchdown favorite. We had the lead, fumbled, and everything fell apart. But the shared elation and ensuing shame were amazing to be a part of. It was a glimpse into what every Saturday must be like at schools with real programs.

At Fordham, this moment came during our homecoming game. My friend Rory and I screamed “Go Rams!” both ironically and with full vigor an inordinate amount of times. We came from behind and won with something like eight seconds left. I think it was against the University of Rhode Island; I vaguely remember making jokes about “Ram on Ram” crime. After the win, the crowd hung out, waited for the team outside the stadium, and sang the school fight song while ringing this bell.

I still remember most of that fight song because of that moment.

Both of these experiences speak to the closest I have ever come to feeling what is known colloquially as “school pride.” And for this reason, today’s game was confusing.

I wanted Temple to win because:

  • They are a program that is actually (I believe) up-and-coming.
  • A loss would be a big step backwards.
  • I had friends who would really care.
  • They were at home, and I always pull for home teams.

But I wanted Fordham to win because:

  • They are a program that is actually (I believe) up-and-coming.
  • A win would be a big step forward.
  • I had friends who would really care.
  • They were underdogs, and I always pull for underdogs.

It ended fittingly enough. Fordham won on an impressive semi-desperate throw that I’m sure made a few of my Ram friends go absolutely berserk. As for my Temple friends, well, we are used to complaining about our sports teams, and basketball season is only two or three weeks away. Plus, HAVE YOU WATCHED THE EAGLES THIS SEASON?

I know I am a fan of Temple sports because I like sports and I go to Temple. That’s about the whole story. I have no history with the program, other than remembering my dad not liking John Chaney because he seemed like he was a mean guy to his players. And I guess that’s what bums me out. I wish I had some relationship with a school so that I really felt all of the ups and downs like a true fan. I feel like it’s something that comes with the territory of transferring. And because your undergraduate education is something you (hopefully) only do once, I feel like I am missing out on a potential relationship for the rest of my life.

I will not regale my kids with tales of Temple football. I probably wouldn’t have done it with Fordham football either had I stayed there. College sports will probably never factor into any of the craziest moments of my life, unless I finally create the perfect bracket next year. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but I know that some people already have memories they will keep forever from Saturday’s of the past. And I’m just a bit jealous.

Again, I want to reiterate that I am pleased with the way that my life has worked out thus far. Hell, the reason that I care as little as I do about this Temple game is because I am currently studying away in London for a semester. I am one lucky motherfucker. Had I been in Philly while this was happening, this probably would be a much different article.

But part of me always wishes that I went to a school with some crazy football program. Some campus where every Saturday was a holiday and there was no question as to what your plans were. I have always found the collectivism that comes with insane sports fandom somewhat enthralling, even if it is simultaneously illogical.

Today, Fordham got to feel that way for a little bit. It’s part of the beauty of how sports work. I hope this leads Temple to simply be further underdogged when we play Cincinnati later this year on national television, so our eventual triumph is all the more shocking.

Until then, congrats Fordham. Maybe you could get a real basketball team and we could play around some time.

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One Response to Temple, Fordham, and Caring About College Football

  1. samuellimata says:

    Il see you at the atens son. Saint bonas

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