It showed Temple’s mascot, an Owl, walking into a conference room glass window just once and learning from the experience by walking away but Boston College’s mascot, an Eagle, crashing into the window twice.
If there was ever a perfect metaphor for Steve Addazio’s approach to the game of football, Temple fans felt that was it. Addazio likes to run the ball right into the line and he’ll go back and run it again on the next play even if he hits a brick, or bulletproof glass, wall. Addazio will break Boston College’s hearts, just like he did Temple’s. He’s a stubborn former offensive lineman who wants to run the ball even when it’s not working.
When Daz, as he was called in Philadelphia (for some reason, he’s called The Dazzler by Boston College fans), quit the Temple job to take the BC job in December, very few tears were shed by Owl fans. Many of them felt they were stuck with this 4-7 coach for life, since Temple is one of those schools reluctant to fire coaches.
To be sure, Addazio had a honeymoon period at Temple when he first arrived. He won a bowl game with current Miami coach Al Golden’s talent but, when co-offensive coordinators Scot Loeffler left for Auburn and Matt Rhule for the New York Giants of the NFL, Addazio went almost exclusively to the same kind of run game he orchestrated as Florida’s offensive coordinator. As a result, opponents loaded up the box with eight defenders and the Owls had their first losing season after three consecutive winning ones.
In his 2012 season-ending press conference, Addazio told Temple fans that “we have to be able to run the ball for 200 yards a game; that has to happen” and right about then most Temple fans walked away shaking their heads.
University of Florida fans warned Temple fans that would happen and it did. Addazio was the offensive coordinator at Florida before coming to Temple and Florida fans had many of the same complaints about Addazio back then.
At Temple, Addazio is gone and Rhule is back, this time as head coach, and fans can watch the drama unfold in New England without being directly affected.
It’s a small fraternity, the Addazio haters, but it is a strong one. Go on any Florida or Temple football fan message board forum and start a thread about Addazio and the reaction is likely to be 99 percent negative.
In about six months, Boston College fans will have some of the same complaints and the current honeymooners will remember when a not-so-little birdie on an ESPN promo told them so.