Part lll: Are you a Die Hard Sun Devil? Why?
Mike Howell
By ,
April 4, 2016 2:57 PM

With so many impressive responses from fans, alumni and players, we’re serving up a third installment of the, “Are you a Die Hard Sun Devil?” project. Forks Up and enjoy!

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ASU was basically in my backyard, and it was a childhood dream to be a Sun Devil someday.

Being a Sun Devil is an inner pitchfork pride which I’ve had my whole life. When I drive by Sun Devil Stadium, it still gives me goose bumps to see our American flag waving next to the ASU flags. Being an alumnus now, I have flashbacks of the amazing moments and memories I shared with friends and teammates.

Being a Sun Devil for me is having pride that I was born here and played here. ASU was basically in my backyard, and it was a childhood dream to be a Sun Devil someday.

I remember the very first hat I ever owned. It was an ASU hat, and I wore it everyday when I was nine-years-old. I can truly say that I have been a part of the Sun Devil tradition for 20 years now.

I now have my degree hung in my office. I’m a Sun Devil for life, and I will cherish the memories that I have lived and the memories to come forever.

Die Hard Devil
— Matt Miller #89
’06 Graduate

WR Matt Miller (2001-2005)




I came home from the hospital wrapped in a maroon and gold ASU blanket when I was born.

Being a Die Hard Devil for me isn’t something that was taught or learned. It was just a way of life… something natural.  

I came home from the hospital wrapped in a maroon and gold ASU blanket when I was born. Some of my first memories as a kid were at Sun Devil Stadium watching many of the greatest Devils that ever slapped that Sparky on their helmet under the great Frank Kush.  

It helps that I’m a Phoenix native and that there’s a built-in rivalry with the team (and my family who I am very close with) in southern Arizona.  It means staying classy when kicking their ass because that’s what was SUPPOSED to happen.   

“Die Hard Devil” means being there through thick and thin.

It means showing up for games, regardless of the team’s record, to support student-athletes who WANT to be Devils.

It means that six days after my mother passed away on Christmas morning 1986, I was in Pasadena to see ASU roll Michigan.

It means that Saturdays in the Fall every year come down to one thing… Show up. I’ve missed one game (2002 for a wedding that I was in) in over 25 years.

It means bleeding maroon and gold. That’s what it all means to me. I’m a Die Hard Devil. Forks the hell up…

— James Romo



To be a Sun Devil means to be elite in every sense of the word.

It is truly a family affair. Although a good portion of my family root for the school down South, when I got into the journalism school at ASU, all were proud. My mom played softball at ASU, and working for the Sun Devil Softball program just seemed to fit.

Farrington Stadium became my home away from home for three years. To be a Sun Devil means to be elite in every sense of the word, relentless and to belong to a family. It means going 110% everyday; exuding first-class on the field and in the classroom. It means performing at a level unparalleled to any other; and most of all, it means winning.

Every person at Farrington was there for one reason – to win. Because for those years I spent at Farrington, sometimes we won, sometimes we learned, but we never lost.

I grew up there. Most of my best friendships were forged at ASU, and I fell in love with a sport while learning from the best softball coach in the country. And I went to the best journalism school in the country. I’m extremely proud to be a Sun Devil.

— Kasey Kaler




My first memories as a child were watching fireworks after Sun Devil touchdowns from my bedroom window.

It’s hard to put into words. It’s not just a hobby or a sport for me, it’s a passion!

My first memories as a child were watching fireworks after Sun Devil touchdowns from my bedroom window. When we won the 87′ Rose Bowl I cried like a baby. My mom asked why I was crying. All I could say was “I’m just so happy!!”
By the time we made the 97′ Rose Bowl I was a walking, talking, eating, sleeping Sun Devil Football junkie! I also cried like a baby after that game as many of us did.
Over the last 20yrs my interest and devotion to Sun Devil Nation has only grown. I’ve been lucky to meet and become friends with many former players and some legends. I still get knots in my stomach and chills down my spine every time I walk into Sun Devil Stadium. I can’t wait until our upgrades are finished and our state of the art stadium is packed with maroon and gold cheering fans!

Besides the health and happiness of my family and friends there’s nothing that brings more joy to my life than Sun Devil Football!

— Joe Morgan




My first game was September 21, 1996

Why am I a Sun Devil diehard? I’ve been going to ASU games since I was 11. In fact, my first game was September 21, 1996, ASU vs #1 Nebraska. I was sitting in section 223 row 1. Those were my uncle’s tickets that he had had since 1976, which was when they added the upper level.

The main reason, however, I’m a diehard Sun Devil is because from the tailgating to the ride home, it’s time spent with my family and nothing is more important than family. GO DEVILS!

— Martin Meza




Jake Shefield (2011-2015)

Jake Sheffield (2011-2015)

When I recall to my times at Arizona State University, My mind tends to vividly flash back to walking through the Tillman tunnel on a warm humid Saturday night waiting in anticipation to storm the field with all my Sun Devil brothers.

I remember hearing the inferno above stomping to ACDC “thunderstruck” and feeling the energy that circulated around Frank Kush stadium. It felt almost like an eternity waiting for the gate to spring open, but once they did it felt like a blur.

Clouds of smoke engulfed us but as we pushed through the smoke I just remember looking up as the fireworks exploded overhead and seeing Sun Devil nation up on their feet going crazy. I lived for game nights but being a Sun Devil entailed so much more than suiting up and going into battle with my brothers on Saturday nights.

Being a Sun Devil was a persona you decided to live. We were the blue collard hard workers, we were servers first before anything, we set an example and we lived by our standards and didn’t accept anything less. We held one another accountable. We were leaders not only the field but off the field as well. We encompassed the grind, and we believed in our mission and strove to fulfill our purpose.

Tempe will always be my second home, and every-time I visit, it feels like I had never left. I bleed maroon and gold and happily wear a sparky on my chest. I am a Sun Devil for life. Fear the fork

— Jake Sheffield (DT, 2012-2013)



I also somehow convinced my wife to move our wedding date outside of football season.

As a third generation Sun Devil, I’ve been supporting the maroon and gold since birth. Also representing my city, where at one point, we had three generations working for the City of Tempe at Diablo Stadium.

Soon we’ll have the 4th generation of Sun Devils as my kids, too young to attend college, already know how to throw the forks up and give a big ‘A-S-U, A-S-U…’ chant. Honestly, they’ll be able to go to any college they want, but if they want me to pay for it, it’ll have to start with Arizona and end with STATE.

A few things to point out is we have a dog named Sparky. I also somehow convinced my wife to move our wedding date outside of football season, my way of avoiding anniversaries from landing on game-day. Out of my ASU collection, I have my ‘The Nebraska Game’, ticket stubs. That night I had a close call, having to duck out of the way of a goal post, as it made it’s way out of the south entrance of SDS.

I definitely owe my career and positive outlook on life to what I accomplished before and after my time at Arizona State. It’s with so much pride that after games, I’m a fan singing the Alma mater because I know what it really means to ‘hail thee, Arizona State.’

— Wesley Franco 05′
100% DieHard Devil



Here’s what’s crazy, I’m not an Arizona State alum

I was born in Phoenix in ’76 and became a Sun Devil fan because my dad was a huge sports fan. He would watch and listen to ASU Football games as well as some basketball games.

I just became fascinated with ASU at a young age. As a child, I actually got to meet one of the players. He put his football helmet on me, and I got my picture taken with him.

Even though I later grew up in California, I always had my heart at ASU.

I wouldn’t go to my first ASU football game until 2004 when I took a vacation to visit some of my family. It was the ASU-Cal game in which Andrew Walter broke the Sun Devil record for TD’s. I remember how exciting and intense that football game was! After that game, regardless of the outcome, Sun Devil stadium felt like home!

I grew to become an even bigger Sun Devil fan. I started going to ASU home games once a year and away games such as Stanford and Cal, which were only a couple-hour drive for me. I participate in the Touchdown Tailgate Parties that ASU alums host which gives me a chance just to meet and hang out with fellow ASU fans.

For the past 10 years now going on 11, I’ve been doing Pat’s Run. It’s my way of saying thank you to a great American hero, a great Sun Devil, and our men and women in the military as well.

I’m so Die Hard that my friends call me Sparky. I race BMX and have customized number plates with the pitchfork and Sparky on them. Oh, and I have ASU alumn Eric Sogard’s autographed authentic Oakland A’s game jersey,

Here’s what’s crazy, I’m not an Arizona State alum, but I’m very passionate about the Sun Devils. I’ve been told by ASU alums that I’m actually more passionate then some of their fellow alumni and students.

Hearing that is an honor.  

— Mark Ofenloch


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