When we talk about the Valley of the Sun and all the communities that make up that metro area of more then 4.5 million, we sometimes forget that we have a large city within a city on the east side.
Arizona State University brings a population of 70,000 to already-large Tempe and this Thursday, that campus community grows even more.
For the first time, in all too long, Sun Devil Stadium may be sold-out, packed to capacity to see, in person, the game the rest of the country will be watching on television: second-ranked Oregon versus ASU.
A sell-out in itself is exciting and unusual, but it didn’t used to be. Sun Devil football was where everyone wanted to be in the ’60s and ’70s — the Frank Kush years — when winning was taken for granted. Then came all the pros and all the other distractions and sparky became an afterthought, but that’s changing, along with the uniforms, the logo and the new coaching staff.
In sports, things can change fast. Do you know that both the University of Oregon and Oregon State were, at one time, nearly removed from the Pac-10 for their pathetic sports records? The’re both in the top ten now.
And, Thursday night, the Devils want to prove they belong there too, in front of a lot of people.
I’m Pat McMahon.