The Optimism Of A Sun Devil

TEMPE AZ - SEPTEMBER 04: (L-R) Gregory Smith #17 head coach Dennis Erickson Vontaze Burfict #7 and Keelan Johnson #10 of the Arizona State Sun Devils lead teammates out onto the field prior the college football game against the Portland State Vikings at Sun Devil Stadium on September 4 2010 in Tempe Arizona. The Sun Devils defeated the Vikings 54-9. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Sun Devil football makes me so angry.

I love ASU football. Every summer, I look at the calendar before heading out into the unforgiving, blazing heat. July 20th? Only a month and week away from an undefeated record being put on the line.

A year with new players, new schemes, and a sense of hope that was lost by October of the previous season. I'm so excited about 2010: not because we're going to win the Rose Bowl, because we're not, but because hope is easy to come by when you have such a huge roster turnover every season. Hope is not hard to find when Steven Threet and Cameron Marshall are scoring touchdowns left and right.

The Sun Devils have a legitimate shot to beat Wisconsin on Saturday. Not because of talent, but because anything can happen on the college gridiron. ASU nearly took down a highly talented Georgia squad last season, and we were stuck with Danny Sullivan as the quarterback. Threet has already beaten Wisconsin as a member of the Michigan Wolverines, and that experience cannot be understated.

I have a confession to make. As an editor for SB Nation Arizona, I am called upon to provide analysis for all college sports in the Grand Canyon State. Just this morning, I wrote an article outlining what the University of Arizona must do to beat the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday night. Try as I might to feel otherwise, I felt dirty. Am I really willing to put my allegiance to ASU on the line?

This Saturday, I will lose my voice cheering for ASU to beat an excellent Badger team. I will limit my beer and brat consumption for one sole purpose: I am headed down to Tucson to cover the Iowa/Arizona game for SBN AZ. I plan to provide the highest level of integrity, and cover the game without bias. Do you realize, on the other hand, how difficult it is to cheer against the home team? A team with 70,000 screaming fans? Help me, Lord.

Show me salvation with a Sun Devil victory on Saturday afternoon. Lend me strength to fend off the feelings of compassion for Wildcat faithful. And, please, Touchdown Jesus, allow Iowa to leave Tucson with a hard-fought victory. But don't punish me, because I will never throw away my maroon and gold. I won't drift to the dark side. Go Devils.

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