Nov. 20, 2001
Throw out the record book, because on Friday afternoon at Sun Devil Stadium none of that matters. The U of A is coming to town and its rivalry week. The Devils have won the last two meetings and the seniors will do anything to make sure that streak goes to three. This game is unlike any other we play all season. The adrenaline lasts for four quarters, the crowd stays until the end, and who comes out on top means more than a win or a loss added to your record.
In my three years here I have never lost to U of A. With one more win I will never have to listen to another U of A fan give me crap about being a Sun Devil again. Any trash talking on their part will be put to rest with two simple numbers: 3-0.
This game is about more than pride. It's about more than satisfying the fans by 'salvaging' a season that has been nothing short of a complete disappointment. It's about how much you love to compete. It's about how important your job is to you. It's about representing Arizona State University, Tempe, your friends, your family, and all the ASU alumni. It's about beating U of A!
There is more trash talking, more hitting, more taunting, and most of all, more fun in this game than in any other in the conference. As a senior, my last home game means a lot to me. It becomes even more special because of our opponent. To walk out of that tunnel to the biggest, loudest crowd all season gives me a rush that I cannot even try to explain for fear that my description would fall pathetically short of reality.
Donning the maroon and gold of Arizona State is an unparalleled honor. To be one of the lucky ones that has the ability to put my fingerprints on this rivalry, and to keep the streak going is an awesome responsibility. It is one that all of the players, especially the older guys, take very seriously.
Make no mistake about it, the goal is to send the Wildcats back to Tucson in tears on the longest two-hour bus ride in America. Over the next week a lot of talking will be done in the media. In the end, the team that makes the most plays is the team that will win the game. The teams with the most discipline and the players who step up always win the rivalry games.
The Wildcat players can talk about guaranteeing a victory, and they can talk about how sure they are that they will win one this week in our house. The bottom line is that this isn't Berkley, and unfortunately for the Kitty Cats, we will show up on the 23rd ready to leave it on the field. By Friday evening my senior class will be 3-0. I hope you are there to watch it happen.
Nick can be reached via email at MurphysLaw84@aol.com.