Rivalry Flashback: UA/ASU memories

The ASU/UofA game brings out a lot of passion in people. Fans await the game all year round. Many comment that their team could go 0-10 as long as they beat the rival. This is a series that tears families apart for one day a year. We gather some of favorite memories for this story.

Cat Tracks staffer John Schuster:
"It was 1982. I was living in Prescott and really didn't have a favorite yet. I sort of rooted for whichever team had been more entertaining. ASU was ranked No. 6 that year and was a pretty heavy favorite over a 5-4-1 Wildcat team.

"As I am watching the game I quickly find myself rooting for the underdog. Well Arizona comes out and dominates, winning 28-18. The win not only hurt the Sun Devils' ranking, but started the Arizona win streak over the Devils."

Former Wildcat linebacker LaMont Hunley:
"I remember a game where ASU came down here with a chance to go to the Rose Bowl. It was 1984 I think. The fans came down here with Roses. The whole city of Phoenix was down here I think. They did have more fans than we had because they knew they were going to the Rose Bowl for some time.

"Brian Holland had like an 80 yard touchdown and Max Zendejas kicked a bunch of field goals to win the game. You could just see their expressions on their faces as the ASU fans got as low as they could ever be.

"As a player you keep those memories with you forever. Hopefully you can pass on to the players now and I only hope they create some of those memories for themselves."

Chris Bonney, Cat Tracks Football Recruiting Editor:
"When I was just a wee lad growing up in Prescott, Arizona, (yes I am a hick!) I started liking the University of Arizona for two reasons. First, I watched a televised U of A basketball game and I heard what I thought were boos coming from the crowd. I was only like 8 years old so I asked my dad why the Zona fans were booing since the Cats were winning easily and he said, "They aren't booing, they are saying LUUUUUUUUUUTE, that's their coach, Lute Olson." It was great to see support like that.

"Arizona State is the place that I got my degree from and don't think that my entire family, every immediate member bleeds Rust and Mustard, doesn't give me crap about that little tidbit. I grew up in a strong ASU household with two parents that loved ASU. And that is my second reason for initially following U of A. Rebellion! My dad grew up in Phoenix loving the Frank "damn you Rutledge" Kush teams and my mom went to ASU for three years. Hell, I actually was hosted on an official visit to ASU back in 1991 when the Scummies were recruiting my brother!

"Even back then at the ripe old age of 14 I knew where the truth lied. I wore my cheesy late 80's style U of A football hat on my visit to hell to see Nebraska beat the Scummies. The ASU coaches were not too happy about it either. Here I was, a pudgy 14 year old kid eating their great food, drinking their free Dr. Pepper (unlimited quantities!) and sitting in their new skybox wearing a hat of the enemy. I loved it, I was hated by the hated and I lived it up. Final Score, Nebraska 18 and ASU 9. Final Score, Bonney 1, Marmie 0.

"In the end my brother ended up at NAU with all the hippies and I was grounded for pissing off the ASU coaches but I had my moment in the sun with the Scummie leaders. Larry Marmie never knew what hit him. He was fired after that 6-5 season and I like to think it was because of me. ASU went 4-4 after that fateful night at Frank Kush Landfill, and missed a bowl game!"

Former Wildcat running back Lamont Lovett:
"In the locker room it was real somber, it was real quiet. Donnie Salum was pacing around the room and started yelling nice words. Then he flipped over a table of Gatorade. The table hit another linebacker in the head and split him wide open. There is blood everywhere.

"Coach Akina looked at him and said, ‘that's the way to spill some blood for the Wildcats.'

"Everyone jumped up and got hyped and we went out there and proceeded to go out there and, well it was a very spirited game.

"We went out into the tunnel and there are all these boos. There at the end of the tunnel is Chris Singleton is pointing ‘we're number one everybody' with his middle fingers. I thought there was going to be a situation like we saw the other night in the basketball game, but he's just smiling as all of the fans are just taunting us.

"As soon as I walk out to the bench this dude starts yelling at me ‘hey number 34, hey number 34" and he is just riding me all game long. Here I am just a true freshman and I'm hearing it. "I soon learned that this game is played at a different pace. Guys play just a little bit harder in that game. I've been into it ever since.

"My senior year I recovered a fumble for a touchdown by the way."

Brad Allis, Cat Tracks Editor-In-Chief:
"I have a ton of great memories, but the one that stands out is the Chuck Cecil interception. I realize that many of you have a fond memory of that game, but it happened right in front of me.

"I was sitting in the old YMCA Knot Hole Gang. Back then any child 6th grade and younger could get a ticket for $1.00. They put you in the bleachers in the south endzone that are now designated the "red zone". I hated sitting there, but I understood that my dad wanted to save money. The seats were not that good and you had to ask permission to go to the concessions or to go to the restroom.

"I remember a lot of strange details from that day. I remember that we went to a tailgate very early. I remember some hawker selling this new product, ‘Silly String'. At that time it was brand new and I was amazed by it. I remember the Ohio State/Michigan game ending and watching televised wrestling. The television was black and white and picked up a nasty glare, so I watched the WWF underneath a van. Somehow I seem to recall my favorite wrestler at the time, Ricky ‘The Dragon' Steamboat losing that day, but can't remember if the opponent was Randy Savage, the Honkey Tonk Man or someone else.

"What I don't remember much is the game itself. All I remember is that play. I remember ASU was driving and an open man in the endzone the pass was on target but here came Chuck Cecil from out of nowhere. After he hit around the 35-yard line we couldn't see him anymore. There were too many players trailing the play. I was worried that he'd be knocked out of bounds. Luckily I was listening to the radio broadcast (I was a sports geek even as a child). The announcer didn't really need to tell me he scored because I could tell by the reaction of the fans and the players.

"As soon as the announcer confirmed what I already knew I went crazy. I had tried to save the silly string but went nuts. I was jumping up and down with kids I didn't even know and just started spraying the silly string like crazy. I emptied the rest of the contents right then and there, most of which fell back down of top of me. It was bedlam and a moment I will never forget."

Former Wildcat tight end Glenn Howell (1984-85)
"My brother played for Cal, so I was used to that rivalry. It was a very calm rivalry. A classy rivalry. I came down here and realized this was a nasty rivalry.

"You come out of the tunnel at ASU and you come out under their bleachers and the fans are throwing stuff at you. You didn't see that at Cal/Stanford.

"10 years later I'm at a bar in L.A. and this guy was bragging the he played at ASU. I went up to him and asked him what year he played and he said 1984. So I told him, ‘yeah, we kicked your butt that year.'

"We started talking, but it shut him down because we beat them. Those guys are still upset. I mean Van Raaphorst he's still bitter about it. That guy never beat us."

Former Wildcat safety Brandon Sanders (1992-95):
"I didn't understand it until I got out there. I was so upset about the year I redshirted. I didn't care about the scoreboard, I just wanted to hurt somebody.

"I almost broke Eric Gulliford's back. Coach Lynn gave me a thumbs up. I am going to exit the field and Eric Gulliford comes up to me and says ‘You almost killed me.'

"What's funny is year's later when I'm in New York playing for the Giants Felipe Sparks comes up to me and says ‘I remember watching that game and you almost broke Eric Gulliford's back. I thought his career was over.'

"That was one game where I did not care about the score, I just wanted to hit someone and let them know I was there."

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