Arizona State finally revealed the new, new Sparky Wednesday after a prolonged makeover process that included an unprecedented public acknowledgement of "yeah, that's our bad." ASU students, alumni, employees, season-ticket holders and other donors were able to vote on four different options and the Sparky behind door No. 3 was chosen as the most worthy candidate. But as most know, large mobs of angry fans have been known to make some pretty rash decisions over the years. The real question is, "Did we the people get it right when it was our chance?" Our panel of writers discuss:
Q: What are your feelings on the new, new Sparky?
Kerry Crowley: I think Arizona State really got it right this time around. The Sun Devil faithful were strongly opposed to the previous "New Sparky" design and it's quite obvious that change was needed. Instead of settling for a product that would make students, fans, alumni, and boosters unhappy, the university heeded the criticism and went back to the drawing board. Though the four options they came up with were far from perfect, people invested in the future of Arizona State were allowed to vote upon their favorite option which is what should have taken place initially. Ultimately, a more traditional and updated version of Sparky is what we have and the most important part about the new design is that Sparky is decked out in maroon and gold. Black is an alternate color for Arizona State, but it is not a part of the proud Sun Devil tradition. The "New Sparky" draws on the past and is still a reflection of the new era at ASU, so I think we'll see a lot more satisfaction from the fan base.
Cody Ulm: As long as those soul-sucking, anime eyes are gone, any new Sparky will be alright with me. But to the fans' credit, I really feel they picked the best of the limited options in this instance. While the changes aren't exactly earth-shattering by any stretch, they still breath some fresh air into Arizona State's beloved mascot (although I'm still wondering who was losing sleep about how Sparky looked two redesigns ago). More than anything, I'm just glad I won't be embarrassed any time I see this mustached gentlemen at any social functions. Who knows, I might even take a picture or two with him.
Nick Marek: I love it when universities try to change their look to stay fresh. Typically, it's hiring someone new or maybe upgrading uniforms but this time it was a mascot change. Though I am glad they did a second round of voting to pick the "New Sparky," I like the old look of Sparky and I'm going to miss it. The one the fans chose (Option B) was my favorite of the four but I'd much rather see the school trying to improve the athletic training facilities or renovate weight rooms. The fans got it right because out of the four, the smaller details like the eyes and eyebrows match best. I just wish we didn't have to talk about this. I love the old look of Sparky and always will. I think once I see a real life model of the "New Sparky", I'll come around more to the idea. It's also weird because all we've seen are pictures.
Cory Williams: All I can say is: Phew. The fans picked a great new Sparky that pays homage to the past and gives a nod to the future. ASU has greatly improved their process for reacting to fan feedback, and this was no exception. New-New Sparky will be a big hit and the naysayers are left with nothing but positive feelings about their alma mater. Everybody wins, and Sun Devil Nation gets stronger.
Ryan Bafaloukos: I think the fans ended up picking the right Sparky and even though the old one is near and dear to my heart, I can get behind this new design. Cody is right, the "soul-sucking, anime" eyes are gone, and they should never be seen in public again. If you compare the new Sparky to the old Sparky, they do not look that much different from each other, besides the size of the head. Both have menacing eyebrows, a smaller mustache, and a grin as wide as A-mountain itself. I like the horns on the new Sparky better than the old one and I think the overall, the body will look better. ASU did the right thing, it listened to its fan base. They admitted to failure and they sought to make it right.