3-Stripe Life: The Night ASU Football’s Maroon Monsoon was Born
Jeff Alba - DieHard-Apparel
By Jeff Alba - DieHard-Apparel,
September 23, 2016 11:08 AM

Birth of the Maroon Monsoon

It was an epic night on September 24, 2011. The #23 ranked USC Trojans were in town and the Sun Devils had lost the past 11 meetings between the two teams. It was a long, frustrating streak that was ready to be broken. 


2011 – Sun Devil QB Brock Osweiler lead ASU to victory over USC (Photo- Peter Vander Stoep,

ASU fans sensed that it could be the year.

The new-look Sun Devils had high expectations for the season with a very fast, athletic group led by gunslinger Brock Osweiler under center and Tasmanian Devil Vontaze Burfict on defense. Head Coach Dennis Erickson finally had his team primed and ready to make a legitimate run.

In its history, ASU Football had never strapped on a maroon helmet

For that USC game, the Sun Devils unveiled their new all-maroon uniforms for the first time since the ASU logo rebranding to the iconic pitchfork. In previous years, ASU had employed a maroon pants and jersey combination but always with the traditional gold Sparky helmet.

In its history, ASU Football had never strapped on a maroon helmet, so it would be a groundbreaking aesthetic for Sun Devil fans to take in. It also set the stage for a memorable night. From the moment the team charged out of Tillman Tunnel, they looked sharp and ready for the challenge of overcoming Troy.

Midway through the first half, those in attendance will recall an unusual gust of wind that carried its way around Sun Devil Stadium. The wind whipped strong enough to create small dust devils as a rogue raindrop or two fell from the sky. There was a sense of devilish momentum looming against the Trojans, and it seemed to reveal itself in slow motion when light debris swirled around Frank Kush Field.

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Sun Devil #7 Vontaze Burfict intercepts Trojan #7 Matt Barkly (Photo- Peter Vander Stoep,

Sun Devil #7 Vontaze Burfict intercepts Trojan #7 Matt Barkley (Photo- Peter Vander Stoep,

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Was this an ominous signal or was it the wind of change for the maroon-clad Sun Devils vs SC? It turned out to be a positive sign for ASU from the football Gods.

After that two-minute dust storm rolled through Tempe, the momentum shifted in the Sun Devils favor. Cameron Marshall scored three touchdowns. Vontaze Burfict gave his well-known finger point to Matt Barkley, and then proceeded to help the QB up after his interception. 

ASU breezed their way to a 43-22 victory over the Trojans. The USC demon was exorcised, and there was new belief in ASU Football.

The Maroon Monsoon was officially born.

ASU vs Cal

Adidas 2016 Maroon Monsoon Battle Gear

Adidas 2016 Maroon Monsoon Battle Gear

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When they open Pac-12 conference play Saturday night, the Devils will continue the annual tradition of sporting all maroon, this time against the Cal Golden Bears.

Close-up of this year's Maroon Monsoon helmet

Close-up of this year’s Maroon Monsoon helmet

Each year, there are a few tweaks to ASU’s maroon monsoon look which have usually revolved around the helmet, specifically the color and size of the pitchfork.This year, the Devils will go back to the smaller pitchfork on both sides of the helmet, but the fork itself will be black with a gold outline (similar to what ASU wore in the Cactus Bowl last year). 

This helmet sticker will flow better with the black pitchfork on the maroon pants, which is also outlined in gold.

Other notable differences will be Adidas’ 2016 version of the maroon and gold gloves along with white shoes. Once again, Sun Devil Equipment and Adidas have prepared solid battle gear for ASU Football to engage their latest adversary.

The forecast for Saturday night?  A Maroon Monsoon with a chance of victory and a 4-0 start for the Sun Devils.

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Maroon Monsoon History

Maroon Monsoon timelapse

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Going into Saturday night against Cal, ASU holds a 4-1 record in Maroon Monsoon games.

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  • 2011: ASU 43 – USC 22
  • 2012: ASU 45 – Illinois 14
  • 2013: ASU 62 – USC 41 (Kiffin fired)
  • 2014: ASU 26 – Stanford 10
  • 2015: USC 42 – ASU 14
  • 2016: ASU vs Cal ?

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DieHard Fact

In Game 2 against Texas Tech, the Sun Devils’ white helmet with the large black and gold pitchfork happened to be the 17th different helmet design that the team has used since Todd Graham took over in 2012.

See you Saturday night. #ForksUp

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