This is the first in a new series here at House of Sparky where we profile people not typically heard from. Today we meet a man who if you follow ASU football on Twitter you are surely familiar with. Meet the man behind the Twitter handle, JediASU.
Name: Rob Reyes
Place of Residency: Pleasanton, California
House of Sparky: So my first question is where did the name Jedi ASU come from?
Rob Reyes: It is definitely an indicator of my two passions. First of all Star Wars, I have always been a huge, huge Star Wars fan. When I joined Devils Digest, I came up with an obscure reference called JediBendu, which if you read a the early drafts of the script it means a life-sized Jedi.
As I started to get more involved with Twitter I knew I had to come up with something a little more unique. I went with ASUJedi for a bit but it just didn't feel right so once I saw JediASU, it flowed so much better and it just stuck.
HoS: How did you first become a fan of ASU athletics?
RR: I have always said that my birthday is actually September 1996, that was the Nebraska game. I was a recent transfer from Tucson, I was part of the engineering school. One of the guys who I bounced at a club with said 'Hey my buddy has tickets, he's a Nebraska fan, we have to go and represent.' That night was my foray into ASU, not only was it my first game but it was my first activity as a student. That night was kind of a baptism if you will, that was how I got passionate about the school itself.
I suffered from clinical depression while I was at ASU. There was a lot of support from the faculty to get me help and to get me on the right path. I owe ASU my life, quite literally, because they saw something that needed to be addressed. That I am forever grateful for.
HoS: You had one of the more popular ASU Youtube channels, how did that come about and why has it gone away?
RR: So it has gone away because of copyright laws. The hammer has come down on me a couple of times so I have to be careful about what I post on there. I am trying to figure out ways to keep the channel alive without getting slapped in the face with a copyright infringement or worse. It isn't an issue to post highlights of earlier games, it is just with the newer games that they are coming down harder on.
It's an interesting balance because I know fans want it and the reason I started it is because I think ASU fans are the best and they deserve it. I remember back in the day there were Sun Devil fans who were serving in the military in Afghanistan saying 'You don't know how much your channel means to us.' So, that is kind of the obligation that I still feel to the fans, however I don't want this channel to disappear altogether. Like I said it's a balancing act, I don't want it to go away completely, I just want to make sure it still exists.
HoS: You mentioned the game in 1996 against Nebraska, what are some of your memories from that night?
RR: I remember parking at what is now Denny's, it used to be Club Rio. We were drinking a little bit so we walked across Rio Salado, we didn't walk across the bridge we actually walked across the riverbed. For me, I just remember a lot of emotion. I remember a lot of jumping around and hugging people. It was the loudest I have heard that stadium until USC, which was a few games later. It was quite the way to be indoctrinated into Sun Devil lifestyle.
That was the first time I had ever rushed a field. I remember tearing up some of the turf and taking it home. I had a bit of the turf and a bit of the field goal net for years, it even came with me to California. After that game you just knew your were part of something special.
HoS: When I say the words "Sun Devil Stadium" what are some of the first words that come to your mind and why?
RR: It may sound silly, but I kind of call it home. Wherever I go in this world, if I am talking college football with somebody and I show them a picture of Sun Devil Stadium, they will know how special it is to me. I have mad respect for Husky Stadium (Washington) and Kyle Field at Texas A&M is going to have am amazing design. I think we have that look too, and I think it's special between the Buttes, nobody else has that. But for me, when I see Sun Devil Stadium I call it home. This is where from a fandom perspective I am grounded.
HoS: In your time following ASU, who are some of your favorite ASU athletes?
RR: Man that is a tough one. As a fan there haven't been too many people in athletics that I have had the opportunity to meet. Juan Roque is amazing, he has always been very welcoming and open and I am lucky to call him a friend. There have been other players that have reached out to me directly, I did a video for Brandon McGee, Bo Moos and James Brooks, I did a highlight video for them. Even Jaelen Strong reached out to me and I did a video for him.
I'm trying to get out there more and meet more people and meet more athletes, but of the people that I know I think Juan Roque is definitely up there. Of the players that I see out there and I respect what they are doing, I think Jaelen Strong definitely epitomizes what we do. I think Will Sutton and Carl Bradford from the year before were doing that as well.
HoS: Aside from watching the action on the field, what is the best part about being an ASU fan?
RR: It's the community, I love the moment in time that we are in right now. Because not only can we share ideas and talk to each other. Social media has given me a way to meet people that I never would have otherwise. I have always maintained the attitude that Sun Devil fans are the greatest fans in the world and we deserve the best.
Everybody has open arms and a willingness to talk and hang out and I love that. It is a great social aspect, we are a big community of fans that are celebrating the same thing whether it be football, basketball or any sport, It's a great community to be apart of and that's what I love the most.
If you aren't already, we suggest you follow the man himself on Twitter.