Seen and heard at Sun Devil Stadium
The annual bet
Walking into Sun Devil Stadium on Saturday night, about to watch their two favorite teams and alma maters, Daniel Schmaltz and Kevin Huff had about 12 hours to go before one of them prepared to be embarrassed at church.
That was the bet this year, not money, not possessions, not tickets.
Just, simply, loser has to wear the other team’s colors on Sunday morning.
“The most creative part is figuring out the wager every year,” said Schmaltz, the Arizona State fan. “The fall back is money, but pride is more valuable.”
It’s been this way for years, as it certainly has been for countless other fans in the Territorial Cup rivalry, one of the oldest in college football.
Fans bicker and argue and taunt, but eventually, they make up.
They enter the stadium friends, and they exit friends, though one is most certainly sour.
What comes first, the friendship or the rivalry?
“Both, because it’s a good way to talk smack — it adds to the friendship,” Schmaltz said. “There are so many Arizona fans in Phoenix that they feel like they have backup.”
Huff chimed in: “We can tolerate you for 364 days a year.”
Huff stuck in another barb as they get close to the stadium.
“I went to Arizona, and I grew up during the era when U of A won eight straight,” Huff said.
That draws Schmaltz’s ire.
“How many Rose Bowl victories do you guys have?” Schmaltz said, volleying the smack right back. “Have you ever even been to a Rose Bowl?”
Sadly, we know that answer.
The big number
Arizona State running back D.J. Foster got the start in lieu of the injured Marion Grice, and ASU’s offense barely skipped a beat. Foster had 94 first-half rushing yards and a touchdown as the Sun Devils built a 30-7 halftime lead. Foster came into the season with just 183 rushing yards on 42 attempts.
An immodest proposal
Two Arizona State fans had a night to remember, and it had nothing to do with the game on the field.
An ASU fan dropped to his knees at halftime to propose and he must have gone to Jared, because she said yes.
Tweet of the day
“Arizona State is simply older, stronger, better. This is Sun Devils’ year.” – @Kensing45
Defending his home turf
ASU coach Todd Graham paid little attention to the recent randomness that has been the hallmark of the series, in which the road team has won four straight and the underdog three straight.
“I can tell you this — either team if you asked, they’d rather play at home, regardless of what that deal is,” Graham said.
Sights and sounds
The first truly loud “ASU” chant broke out early in the second quarter, after the Sun Devils shut down the Wildcats on a fourth-and-one near midfield. … Things weren’t so pretty for one Arizona State fan: An older woman dressed in Sun Devils gear was taken from the stadium in a stretcher, holding an ice pack on her face while her doting husband followed. ... Things weren’t so pretty for two ASU fans, either: Two men in Sun Devils gear were escorted from the stadium by police just before kickoff, clearly unhappy.