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Rudy Carpenter: not feeling the love

Scott Bordow of the East Valley Tribune wrote an article questioning Arizona State's fans. Why does the fan base dislike Rudy Carpenter?

One reason might be the way he plays. Carpenter's antics - throwing his helmet in disgust, jabbering at opponents - don't always play well with the rank and file.

"I think sometimes with an emotional and excited guy, you either love him or you don't like him," Erickson said.

Carpenter also is viewed cynically for the manner in which he won the job, reportedly threatening to transfer if then-coach Dirk Koetter didn't name him the starter over Sam Keller.

"I do think what happened with Sam and the whole quarterback controversy played a big role," Carpenter said. "I think a lot of fans feel I'm selfish and a prima donna and somebody who cried until I got my way."

Carpenter wasn't a saint then, and he's not now. But his sins hardly outweigh his accomplishments, his passion and his toughness.

Carpenter certainly plays with a passion that is respectable and impressive. In my experience, however, I haven't seen his game step up when it was needed the most. Notable exceptions include the Insight Bowl shootout against Rutgers at the end of the 2005 season, and a great comeback against Oregon State in 2007.

The real question is, will the fan base grow warm to Carpenter before he moves on to the next level, or will his career mirror so many great artists: long gone before his true genius is admired? Stay tuned, for the answer will be clear before October arrives.