ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Heaven help Bill Cosby if he loses his TV remote control Saturday afternoon.
The comedian and actor, arguably Temple's most famous graduate, said Wednesday that he plans to spend Saturday watching Temple's football bowl game, which starts at 2 p.m., and the Owls' basketball game, which starts at 2:30.
But he won't be using two TVs or picture-in-a-picture technology. He'll do it the old-fashioned way.
"I have a remote that says 'previous channel,' " Cosby said by telephone from his home in Massachusetts. "You know these people run these commercials, man. So I'm going to be back and forth."
The Temple football team will meet Wyoming in the New Mexico Bowl, which will be shown on ESPN. Meanwhile, over at ESPN2, the Temple basketball team will play Texas in Austin.
An agonizing conflict? Well, not so much for the Cos.
"Especially with our Temple basketball team," he said. "Like that Villanova game [a Temple victory on Saturday], when they came out and finally played in the second half. So I may be able to get through this football game and catch the basketball team outplaying those running Hook 'em Horns people" in the second half.
Temple is making its second bowl appearance in three seasons and fourth overall, but the big thing for Cosby, he said, is that the football team finally made it out of the eastern time zone.
"The excitement for me is to be out of Ohio," he joked, noting that the Owls played Mid-American Conference games in Akron, Bowling Green, and in Athens against Ohio University this season.
"Like, when I played way back in the '60s, we played Shippensburg, Muhlenberg, and anybody that ended with a 'burg' in Pennsylvania. And for a break, you played somebody called Lafayette.
"But now we get to go all the way out and wind up in New Mexico."
Cosby played halfback and earned a varsity letter in 1961 at Temple. A year later, he had to choose between football and entertainment, and, after playing in one game, he chose the latter.
On Saturday, however, it will be all about sports again.
"I just want to see us represented by great football players and great gentlemen and to use a word that makes great sense, well-mannered," he said. "When the players get around my age, they can say, 'Yeah, I was up there in Albuquerque, you know. . . . And we played against so-so and we beat them.' "
As for the basketball game, Cosby knows the Owls will be tested.
"Austin, Texas, these guys don't fool around," he said. "They have these athletes, and they are quick, and they are very athletic. However, quiet as it is kept, we have a well-coached team.
"So we ought to be able to, as we always have, keep them confused."