Owls take Manhattan: Temple band, fans, pride appear on 'Good Morning America'
When ABC's "Good Morning America" invited Temple University students to participate in the show's annual "College Week" broadcasts at GMA's studios in New York City, they asked for school spirit. What they got was a two-day takeover loud enough to shake Times Square.
The fun began early Tuesday morning, Sept. 10, when members of Temple's Diamond Marching Band — more than a dozen instrumentalists accompanied by a handful of flag team members and a drum major — boarded a New York-bound charter bus dispatched by GMA just before 3 a.m. Shortly after arriving in midtown Manhattan, the flag team performed a routine at GMA's outdoor studio at West 44th Street and Broadway. The band followed, blowing the roof off ABC's indoor studio with performances of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" and Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors" as they marched around GMA's anchors on live televison.
Two days later, two busloads of cherry-clad students — including members of the Cherry Crusade, Temple Student Government and the Main Campus Programming Board — poured onto Times Square, serenading commuters with an early-morning version of "T for Temple U" long before GMA's anchors arrived. They were just getting warmed up. When the cameras went live, the nation got a taste of deafening Cherry On energy (and plenty of Temple Ts on signs and painted on faces and chests).
"Love your spirit!" shouted anchor Robin Roberts, former winner of the Lew Klein Excellence in the Media Award from Temple's School of Media and Communication, after being greeted by the traveling Temple pep rally. GMA's Sam Champion, never one to avoid a crowd, gave his daily weather report while standing among the chanting Temple students.
Buzz about Temple's GMA takeovers quickly spread among Temple alumni and friends around the nation via social media. Less than 10 hours after it was posted on Temple's Facebook page, one image of Temple students on GMA's outdoor set was liked more than 1,000 times, shared more than 100 times and seen by a total of more than 27,000 people.
"We had an absolute blast. It was so much fun working together as a team, interacting with the anchors and getting our cheers on national TV," said Cherry Crusade president Connor Page, a senior psychology major in Temple's College of Liberal Arts. "But the main thing was showcasing our pride in Temple as one of the nation's premier universities. We really love Temple — the people who teach here, the people who work here, the people who go to school here — and we want people to love Temple as much as we do."
The Temple and Philadelphia communities won't have to wait long to see the Diamond Marching Band and Cherry Crusade back in action. Both will be out in force this Saturday when Temple football hosts Fordham at Lincoln Financial Field at 1 p.m. (Tickets are available at owlstix.com).