Random thoughts from a random mind…

Posts tagged “Football

Don’t Believe the Hype! (we were warned)

In the immortal words of Chuck D and Flava Flav – “Don’t Believe the Hype!” We should have stuck to this advice as we so eagerly awaited the start of another season, but Sun Devil Nation was in awe of what could be.  With talks of a Pac-12 South title, a spot in the first ever Pac-12 Championship game, and even a few whispers of a National Championship, Devil fans around the nation were on the edge of their seats in anticipation for this, possibly, legendary season.  I mean, how could they not be good this year, we were returning 30 seniors! And then, injuries…oh yes, the unthinkable, season-ending injuries of some of our top players began to deplete this team, and deflate the bubble of hope yet again.  Spring and summer practices brought more hope though, as the team began to show depth in the positions affected by the devastating injuries.

The season began with the standard “cupcake” game, and a Devil win.  Week two would record the first Black Out game at Sun Devil Stadium, and a big win against Missouri – could this be a sign of the strong season everyone had been talking about? Nope…It was just the first blip of false hope that had been an ASU tradition for way too long.  Proof of this would be the lack of being able to close out a close game on the road (and a weak secondary), as the Devils lose to Illinois by 3.

The biggest “upset” of the season was the commanding win against USC.  I say this was the biggest upset, because it was the biggest tease to make us think that things could be different for the Sun Devils.  They shut an arguably, overrated Matt Barkley and USC team down, showing other teams that if you can get to Barkley, he WILL crumble (see you in the NFL, kid).  With this win, Devil fans began to feel that this really could be the sign of hope we had been looking for.  With a win over USC, all we needed to do was, at the worst, come in second to them in the Pac-12 South, and we’d be in the championship game – and looking ahead at the schedule, this seemed doable, with the only major road-block being the Oregon game in Eugene – which, in fact, turned out to be our next loss.

At this point, we were still in the hunt of the Pac-12 South title – sitting at 5-2 with the next 5 games being ones where we would definitely be favored.  This “great” season was still within reach – Pac-12 South title, Pac-12 Championship, and even a possible BCS game.  But this was when reality hit, and the wheels fell off.  The hype had run its course, and we lost 4 of those very winnable 5 games.  “Very winnable” is an understatement here; we lost to a Washington State team with a coach who has only won 9 games in his four years at the helm.  We also lost THE game; the one that can cost you an entire season if you lose no matter the final record.

Ending out the season at a measly 6-6 was never a thought for this team.  There was no reason that the Sun Devils should not have won at least 9 games with the talent on this team, and the state of the teams they played.  The hype was just that, hype. As usual, the Sun Devils are placed in a category before the season starts, and are unable to perform.  The sad thing is that each season when the critics talk about ASU and their potential of being a “good” team, it is followed with the thought of being able to live up to the hype.  When the critics take note of the trends that are followed each year, and aren’t able to put much stock in “potential,” there are definite problems.

As I am finishing this post, it was just announced that Erickson will be let go as the Head Coach of the Sun Devils – well, he is “retiring.” (Wonder how that translates into buying out his contract?)  Should it stop with the coach though? What about the AD? Currently, the hype “issue” doesn’t stop with just the football team:

  • The basketball team has struggled for a very long time now.  Although, I truly feel that Herb Sendek is the man for the job; he just needs better backing from the top.
  • The baseball team is still in its appeal process for violations stemming back to Pat Murphy’s wrong doings.

Are we cursed as Sun Devils? Or would putting more money into our facilities, recruiting and coaching staff make things better?  Would hiring a $10+ million coach be the answer? Who knows, but I do know, it is hard to be a Sun Devil, and I will ALWAYS be one!

 

Sparky and I at the ASU Alumni Tailgate at the Utah game


Been a while…

Wow, has it really been over 3 months since my last post?  Not that any of you were losing sleep, wondering what the next “great” thing to come out of my spacey mind would be, but I’m sorry that it has been so long.

So much has happened over the past 3 months:

  • For starters, we are only 8 weeks away (give or take) from an anxiously awaited addition to the Brooks household, Jacob.  I can’t believe it is going to happen so very soon.  We are excited to finally meet the little ninja that constantly attacks his mother from the inside.
  • Brendan has started the sixth grade!  I can’t believe how fast they grow up.  I mean, it really only seems like not that long ago, he was so excited to start school.  It truly is amazing how fast the time flies.
  • Another school year has begun…not only Brendan has started another school year, I have also.  This really doesn’t mean much since I don’t get the summers off, but this year has been a bear thus far.  Truly seems like summer never even happened.  This is the start of my 5th year at the school, and I have never felt so overwhelmed.  Not sure what that is a sign of, but we’ll see how the rest of the year goes.  Hopefully things will get back to normal.
  • I had one of my photographs entered into my first Gallery along with some of my PikTripper friends.  It is at Buon Giorno Coffee in Grapevine if you’d like to go and see it.  The Gallery will be up through the month of September.
  • Football season has started! After a record-breaking summer, finally, there is a sense of fall in the air and along with that comes another season of college football.  There is just something about the cooler fall air, and meat on a grill in preparation for another great game.  Really looking forward to the hopes of a great season for ASU this year…Go Devils!

I guess that’s about it, but it seems like a lot has happened since we last spoke.  I will do my best to get back into the swing of filling the screen with my random thoughts.  I’m sure that will be easier said than done once Jacob arrives, but then again, he may be just the fuel needed to spark a few more random thoughts.

Hope you had a good summer, and are ready for whatever is next.


Ahh to be a Sun Devil – the disappointment continues

So, here we are, 2 games into the CWS, and 2 games out of the CWS.  The Arizona State Sun Devils came into this year’s College World Series as the #1 seed – apparently that didn’t mean sh*t (pardon the expletive), as usual.  I mean really, the Sun Devils hadn’t lost 2 games in a row ALL season! – Until tonight.  They were one of the last college teams to even lose a game in the regular season (24-0 to start the season, 25-0 if you count the exhibition game).  I say as usual, because what else can we really expect being a Sun Devil fan.  I hate to be so cynical, but one can only take so much heartbreak.

Do you remember January 1st, 1997? I do, I was there…oh the horror!  This was my first taste of the drama of ASU athletics.  The UNDEFEATED Sun Devils had won the Pac-10 title and were on their way to the Rose Bowl to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes whose only loss was to Michigan in their last game of the season.  Here is the wrap-up:  With just over a minute remaining, Jake “the Snake” Plummer scrambled to lead the Devils to a 17-14 lead over the Buckeyes.  OSU got the ball, and began driving down the field, finding themselves on the 5 yard-line after some crappy penalties called on ASU.  With only 19 seconds – YES, 19 seconds – on the clock, David Boston walked into the end-zone untouched after blown coverage by Courtney Jackson (who’s jock strap can probably still be found on the 5 yard-line) to take the lead – 20-17.  Game Over!  Standing the bench seats in the stadium, in the corner directly above the aforementioned touchdown, we went from jubilant screaming and yelling to a deathly silence drowned out by the scarlet fans 50-plus yards away.  We could have been the National Champs!!! – Thanks Courtney.

What about the numerous “good” teams that Bill Frieder led onto the court only to flop below expectations – Ok, we made the sweet 16 ONCE, but what was that? Now we have Herb Sendek, who is doing a great job of re-building.  We can only hope the cycle will be broken…although that early exit from the NIT this year wasn’t exactly a good sign.

And how about the countless times that Dirk Koetter’s squads were listed as a #2 favorite (second to USC) in the Pac-10, to end up having a losing season? Koetter was Kut and now we have a proven coach, Dennis Erickson.  Please Dennis, let’s get this turned around!!!

And now baseball…well not now, but it is just the latest example.  Pat Murphy was brought into this storied club from Notre Dame to lead ASU to another championship.  He did that, but only Pac-10 championships (4 of them).  He got ASU into the post-season numerous times, but missed the expectations each time. This year was just one more sampling of the heartache a Sun Devil fan goes through each year.  The Devils were in the top 5 in the nation all year long…hell, maybe top 3.  They went into the post-season this year as the #1 seed – only to end up the first #1 seed to go 0-2 at Omaha since 1999.  Again…they didn’t lose 2 games in a row all season! – Hope be for next season, once again, due to the fact that this team is young.  Only 4 seniors on the squad (providing no one leaves early).  Best of Luck Esmay!

I love ASU, if you know me, you KNOW this.  I am always reppin the Sun Devils; whether it be shirts or my sweat-laden ball cap, I’m representing Maroon and Gold.  It is great to be a part of such a HUGE family.  In fact it is like being part of a family…at times, they make you so happy, and other times, there is disappointment…but, you still love them, you will still do anything for them.  It is just hard to go into each season with the high hopes (sometimes) – due to the stupid analysts and their predictions.

BUT…we love you Sun Devils, and we ALWAYS will.  Go Devils!!!

OK…this last line is being added for one reason and one only – superstition!  Prior to this line, when I ended with “Go Devils”, my word count was 666…that along with “Go Devils” was just a little too creepy…hope you understand.

Oh, and Go Devils!!!