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Part lV: Are you a Die Hard Sun Devil? Why?
Mike Howell
By , DieHardDevil.com
April 10, 2016 6:58 PM

This is the fourth and final installment of the, “Are you a Die Hard Sun Devil?,” project. It’s been a pleasure hearing the stories of so many great fans, players, alumni and people involved with Arizona State Football & Athletics.

Their is an incredibly strong and passionate ASU fan base which emanates from Tempe, across the country and around the globe. Regardless of where they call home, each fan has a unique story about their connection to the Sun Devils and the role that plays in their life.

Enjoy… and Forks Up!

(Jeep cover image by Raúl A. Monreal III) 

 

 

Die Hard Sun Devil

Pat Tillman does live in each and every one of us

Having been to every football game except one in the last 5 years has been awesome!!

What I truly love about ASU is having the Pat Tillman pride that is so evident and inspiring to the young and old. Every time I watch a football game, I always think that ASU has a “beyond this earth” advantage because Pat Tillman does live in each and every one of us.

Pat is our 12th man on the field. Not only was a great football player and scholar, Pat left a mark of integrity and instilled his legacy of what a true and great American should be, reminding us to always strive for excellence and to do our best, no matter the outcome!!

Pat Tillman gave all!! To me, that alone is the reason I will go down as a Die Hard Sun Devil for Life!! What a great example of dedication, desire and love in serving his family, fellow man and country to the end!!

#Go Devils!!!
— John Kelly

John Kelly with Taylor

Taylor and Dad, John Kelly

 

 

 

Die Hard Sun Devil

 

I’ve only missed one home game since 1971, the California game in 1980

Sun Devil football has been a way of life for me. My father took me to my first game in 1970 (the Peach Bowl team). ASU beat San Jose State that night, 46-10.

I had such a good time that my dad said, “We are getting season tickets next year.” Well, we’ve had them ever since. I’ve only missed one home game since 1971, the California game in 1980. My mother and father attended that one.

In the fall, we arrange our schedule around Sun Devil football in my family.  GO SUN DEVILS!!!

— Pat Gammill

 

 

Die Hard Sun Devil

When I moved to New York City, being a Sun Devil became about so much more

I grew up with the Maroon and Gold, and there was no doubt about where I would be attending college. To me, being a Die Hard Devil was always about supporting the university (athletics, academics and initiatives) in any way I could.

When I moved to New York City, being a Sun Devil became about so much more. While I still have my season tickets (football) though it’s difficult to make many games in Tempe, being a Die Hard Devil is now about being a part of, and building a community of Sun Devils outside of Arizona.

 

Brad Webb and Melissa Chisholm-Webb at their wedding in the Dominican Republic

Brad Webb and Melissa Chisholm-Webb at their 2014 wedding in the Dominican Republic

 

When I first moved to New York, I didn’t know anyone, so I attended an alumni event. I quickly became (heavily) involved in the local chapter. In doing so, I have met so many amazing Sun Devils from around the country who are now like family. I know that no matter what city I visit, I have someone to hang out with and toss the fork up.

To me, being a Die Hard Devil is about the passion of Sun Devil communities no matter where you are.

— Brad Webb (@NYCSunDevil), Class of 2007

 

 

 

Die Hard Sun Devil

99% Of my closest friends are Sun Devils

I was born into an Arizona State Sun Devil Family. Both of my parents went and met at ASU. They had football, basketball and baseball season tickets when I was growing up. Also, I was in the Arizona State Sun Devil Marching Band from 2001-2005 as well.

99% Of my closest friends are Sun Devils, and they have all been there for me throughout my life. It’s an incredible feeling knowing that the entire Sun Devil Nation has my back if I ever needed it. I wouldn’t change it for anything!

I eat, sleep and breathe all things ASU, 24/7.

— @NewDevilsOrder

 

 

Die Hard Sun Devil

Then one day in 2008, I received an issue of Sports Illustrated in the mail

I wasn’t “born as a Sun Devil”. Rather, as I like to say, I was adopted into the Sun Devil Family.

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in Stanford and San Jose State territory, most of my friends rooted for the Cardinal, the Spartans, or even the Cal Bears. But for me, since my parents didn’t go to any of the three schools, college athletics seemed a little more distant than the local pro teams. I enjoyed watching and following college sports, but I didn’t have a school to call my own.

Then one day in 2008, I received an issue of Sports Illustrated in the mail. On the cover of their College Basketball preview issue, they had James Harden and Briann January.

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Josh Liao and Whittany Horton

I’d never heard of either player, but I was suddenly intrigued by these student athletes at Arizona State. From that day on, ASU was always in the back of my mind when I watched college sports. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but I remember rooting for Harden and the Devils in the 2009 NCAA tournament. Little did I know that it would not be the first time I would root for the Devils.

The start of my senior year in high school rolls around in the fall of 2011, and I started thinking about which colleges to apply to. My dad introduces me to a friend of his who had graduated from ASU in the 70’s, and she suggests that I consider applying to ASU. I say, “I’ll think about it”, and send in my applications for the other schools. I eventually send in my application to ASU, but it’s one of the last ones I send in.

Spring time rolls around and college acceptance letters are being mailed to us. Despite being one of the last schools I applied to, ASU ends up being the first school that sends me an acceptance letter. From that day on, I felt like I was accepted into the Sun Devil Family.

Going to the freshman orientation and going on a campus tour only reinforced my belief that ASU was the school for me. I also found out that one of my uncles was an ASU grad from the 70’s as well! I ended up getting more acceptance letters, but my mind was set. I was already a Sun Devil!

P.S. My dad’s friend who graduated from ASU also said to consider “the school down south”, but my dad said “nope, he’s not living in Tucson.” I guess I should thank my dad for that one.

— Josh Liao

 

 

 

Die Hard Sun Devil

 I am a Die Hard Devil even after I die.

I am a Die Hard Devil even after I die. I was born and raised here, and one of my oldest memories is going to my first Sun Devil football game at 7. I was hooked forever. I married a Sun Devil! My kids go to ASU Prep School. My tattoos are ASU. Our lives revolve around Arizona State. I love being a Die Hard Devil!

— Brian Cea

Brian Cea, nephew Derek Weske and wife, Debbie Olson-Cea

Brian Cea, nephew Derek Weske, and Debbie Olson-Cea

 

 

 

Die Hard Sun Devil

 

I continue to bleed Maroon and Gold all the way from BIG 10 country

Being a Die Hard Devil is a Privilege.

I chose ASU, and not for football…. that was the bonus I did not know existed at the time. Sun Devil Football was exciting from day one, and I continue to bleed Maroon and Gold all the way from BIG 10 country.

I have been there through it all. From Nathan LaDuke, Jake Plummer, Terry Battle, Pat Tillman, Todd Heap, Zach Miller and even 2015’s Bercovici. I have been there supporting my Devils from the start.  

It’s easy really….. They are my Devils. Our Devils.    

— Tricia Taylor, 1992

 

 

 

Die Hard Sun Devil

 

 

I can still remember stepping onto the ASU campus for the first time

My Die Hard Devil story begins in the most unlikely of places: The Dirty Old Pueblo AKA Northern Mexico AKA Tucson.

My father moved us from Alabama to Tucson in 1989 to be closer to his family. Before I even knew about ASU and Ew of Eh, I hated everything about the city.

I was miserable, and so was most of my family sans my father. To make things worse, my dad’s family constantly cheered for this team called the Arizona Wildcats. Having come from the land of the Crimson Tide (admittedly the first college team I ever cheered for…Roll Tide), I had never even heard of those guys.

Watching my father sit there and enjoy himself cheering for this no-name team, while I was wishing I was anywhere but Tucson, took its toll over time. From that point on I decided I was forever going to cheer against the thing that brought my Dad and the rest of my family so much joy…The Wildcats!

Aimee Lavoie, Chris Montaño and Derek Velaski

Aimee Lavoie, Chris Montaño and Derek Velaski

Every time ASU and UA met up, I’d watch and cheer the Sun Devils on to victory.

My rebellion only got stronger with every dunk “Super” Mario Bennett threw down or every touchdown that Jake “The Snake” Plummer threw against those Rats.

In 1996, when I I went to my first Territorial Cup at Arizona Stadium, that was the first and only time Tucson smelled good thanks to the roses ASU pulled out after a 56-14 drubbing that night.

When my older sister, Angela, decided to go to ASU in ’92, I became an even bigger Sun Devil fan. She graduated in ’96, and I can still remember stepping onto the ASU campus for the first time. I could feel the Maroon and Gold blood pumping through my veins, and I knew at that moment, “I’m home!.”

After high school, I went to Pima Community College for two years to save money before transferring to ASU in 2004. I graduated in 2006 and have loved being a Die Hard Sun Devil every second since.

Go Devils and Fork the Rats!

Die Hard Devil
— Chris Montano
Class of 2006

 

Part lll

Part ll

Part l

 

Screenshot at Apr 02 12-09-52

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