ASU football the way it was intended: under the cover of darkness. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Arizona sun blazes across the desert sky, scorching pavement, cars, rooftops and pools across the valley. It is September in Tempe and the heat is ruthless. In many locations across the United States, Saturday afternoon is when college football kicks off, and alma maters take the field in the sun against the enemy. Not for Arizona State.
Out of necessity, night games have become a tradition at ASU. It is simply impossible for human beings to spend several hours in the summer sun - there would be casualties and within years, no one would attend Sun Devil Stadium. Now that we've all experienced what a night game can offer, I wouldn't have it any other way.
During my collegiate years, my fall Saturdays followed a fairly repetitive script. Wake up at 10:30 or 11, drink some water and gatorade. Possibly get a Chipotle burrito. Watch the second half of a crappy Big Ten game (I'm looking at you, Purdue). Set up multiple televisions for the 12:30 PM Arizona time "big games." Drink some beer.
Cheer loudly for random college football occurrences. High five my friends. Watch more football. Start watching 4:00 PM games. Hop on the light rail and head to ASU's campus. Drink some more at a friend's tailgate. Stumble into the stadium ten minutes before kickoff. Stomp the bus. Cheer wildly. Possibly leave at halftime to get Panda Express. Come back to watch more Sun Devil touchdowns.
Rinse, repeat. Sun Devil glory. Night games forever.
Sure, it's still 100 degrees at night. But at least you don't get a purple sunburn on your nose like I did at the 2005 game against USC. October 1st, over 100 degrees outside. The game was moved to the afternoon to accomodate ABC. The Sun Devils were in the sun the whole game. They wilted in the second half. It was brutal.
Night games forever.