As a BYU student and relative of many BYU football players and distinguished alumni, I still have an ability to recognize quality in others. In this instance, Arizona State Football and the PAC-10 as a whole.
The ignorance that the associate sports editor only fanned the flame of criticism that many outside Happy Valley have towards the BYU community. I am referencing the column on Sept 24 called “Sports Jabs.” In there, Erik Rasmussen wonders aloud, “Did anyone pick-up on that lame rallying sign the Arizona State fans flashed Saturday?”
Well, as a former ASU student and Arizona native I write to explain what that is. That “rallying sign” is a pitchfork the weapon of choice that ASU’s mascot, Sparky the Sundevil, uses. Not only did ASU fans hold that up during the entire game, but that is the same sign that BYU has been haunted by for decades!
That is the same pitchfork that ASU stabbed us with back in ’95, when they finished with the worst defense in the PAC-10, when they beat the mighty cougars. That is the same pitchfork that ASU tore us apart with in ’94, when they were a pathetic 3-8 and finished at the bottom of the PAC-10, yet they still blasted us by over 25 points at BYU with Walsh at QB. That is the same pitchfork that has thrashed us for over two decades without a win against them. In fact, against teams that BYU has played more than three times, our worst winning percentage of all time is against ASU.
Think about that! The WAC once was a place where the Sundevils ruled and reigned; a real hell for the rest of the WAC. Thank goodness they left, along with the University of Arizona, or BYU would be the one that “third place was the best they could hope for,” as Erik remarked about the Sundevils because their “every talented player on their team having graduated.”
Let’s not fan the flames of criticism with ignorant articles any longer, it is truly is a work of one who can only hope for an eternal third place!