It is never easy to decide where you allegiances lie in the world of sports fandom. Being a rabid Arizona State Sun Devils fan it is only natural that I also possess a violent disdain for the school’s rival, the University of Arizona Wildcats. That rivalry does not present much conflict in and of itself but when college stars inevitably enter the world of professional sports problems can arise.
I have spent much of the past decade cheering on several former Wildcats as they play for my favorite pro teams, most notably Tedy Bruschi of the New England Patriots and Terry Francona (manager) of the Boston Red Sox. Well, the conflict has reached a head recently due to some comments made by Bruschi regarding the Patriots practice schedule placing them in Sun Devil Stadium the week ahead of the big game.
During the off-week, the New York Post quoted the Patriots’ definsive-back as saying, “Coach Belichick told us we’re going to be practicing in the Arizona State practice facility and I was thinking, Arizona State, the Scum Devils.” Bruschi added that he would need to “shower twice” after practices.
Perhaps someone should remind Mr. Bruschi that the stadium where his team was practicing (they were in Sun Devil Stadium, and not the practice facility as he implied) has been home to several PAC-10 Champions (including a co-championship this season) and two Rose Bowl teams. It is understandable that Bruschi overlooked this face as he and his fellow Wildcat alums have never achieved such successes.
There was, however, a bright spot that shone from the Devil-Wildcat rivalry during all the Super Bowl hoopla out in the desert this week. PGA golfer, and proud Sun Devil alum, Phil Mickelson, showed true class by giving away his ticketsto the game to a father and son who showed up to cheer him on at the FBR Open golf tournament in Phoenix just hours before the game.
The pair were given the tickets by Mickelson’s caddy just after ‘Lefty’ launched his first drive from the third tee of the FBR. Mickelson explained his decision, “I thought it would be fun to give it to a father-son (group). I cherish the time I have with each one of my kids, and I thought it would be a cool experience for them.”
Way to go, Phil! You are a true class-act and continue to instill pride in the Sun Devil faithful in what you do both on and off the links.