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100 Day Sun Devil Football Countdown to Kickoff, #6: Camp Tontozona

A gorgeous sky above Camp Tontozona in 1984. (Photo: ASU)
A gorgeous sky above Camp Tontozona in 1984. (Photo: ASU)

The answer: Fresh mountain air. Pine trees. Spotty cell phone service. Team bonding.

The question: Can you name four things that have been missing from ASU fall camp the past several seasons?

Now that Camp Tontozona is back in the picture, Sun Devil fans can breathe a sigh of fresh mountain relief.

After the 2008 season, Dennis Erickson decided not to take his squad up to Payson in future camps. While that was both budget-related ($150,000 had to be raised from alumni and donors to ensure that the tradition could be revived) and due to the brand new indoor practice facility on campus, it left fans disappointed and wanting a return to the ways of the past.

"Camp Tontozona was simply about a bonding experience for us, especially as freshmen. For me, it was my indoctrination to college football," Jake Plummer said when the drive to return to Camp T was at a fever pitch. "It culminated in a Rose Bowl for us in 1996. It was Camp Tontozona that brought us together."

Legends were developed at Camp T. Our finest seasons in maroon and gold began in Payson -- from finishing second overall in 1975, winning the 1987 Rose Bowl, to winning ten games in 2007.

Now that Camp Tontozona is back on the agenda for Todd Graham, the Devils are in full "return to glory" mode. With record crowds attending practices and the big Saturday scrimmage this past week, it's clear that the fans are ready for the present to mirror the past, and for ASU to speak victory.

Arizona State put together a video looking back at the 2012 version of Camp T. It's well worth watching.

See the previous entries on House of Sparky's 100 day countdown here