PHILADELPHIA. Temple University senior Brian Lasky remembers the first game he saw as a freshman four years ago: a 62-0 drubbing handed to the Owls by Louisville.
He never imagined he’d be standing at the Liacouras Center last night watching as his football team reached its first bowl game in 30 years.
“When I came to Temple, I didn’t know I’d ever get this,” Lasky said minutes before it was announced that 9-3 Temple would play in the EagleBank Bowl in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 29 against either Army or UCLA. “I’ve been to every home game. I’m going to the bowl if there is a way.”
A few hundred other diehard fans, students and alumni, gathered inside the North Broad Street arena’s veranda to hear the news that shocked people around Philadelphia this week: that longtime college football doormat Temple University was good enough to go to a bowl. The anticipation built up for more than an hour until ESPN finally announced the game, one of the very last to be declared.
“It’s been a great turnaround and exactly what we have hoped for,” junior Courtney Miller said as she and a fellow “Cherry Crusade” member stood behind the football team. The 30 or so students who make up the Cherry Crusade go to all the home games for the football and basketball games and as many away games as possible.
“There will be a bunch of us going to the game,” she said, with RFK Stadium in Washington making the choice one of the best opportunities. Speculation had included games in Toronto or Alabama.