THE SPARKY PROJECT #1: ASU’s Chance to Prove it to Sun Devil Nation
Mike Howell
By ,
March 13, 2013 6:12 PM

DieHardDevil respects and supports the many leaders throughout the Athletic Department and the University in the mission to build and sustain an exceptional Football and athletics program. However, our allegiance is entirely to Sun Devil alumni & fans like us. There’s a lot of Maroon & Gold passion across the country, more than we expected to find when developing the DieHard Devil “movement.” We continue to put all of that Sun Devil lightning in a bottle in order to set a higher standard and stronger identity of a true Sun Devil fan.

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It’s been 12 days since the official introduction of ASU’s new Sparky. Although the new design was created with good intentions, there has been an overwhelming backlash from students, fans & alumni. Some of it has been constructive, some hasn’t. But this development has proven once again that the passion and pulse of Sun Devil fans is real… And it matters. For the university, it’s imperative that the fan base has assurance that their collective voice is heard; because if not, you’ve lost them. Every DieHard fan needs to believe that his input and involvement matters to the success of the program. That’s what strengthens and inspires Sun Devils to make a difference and make big ideas real.

With that in mind, DieHardDevil announces the THE SPARKY PROJECT, which is Home Base for fans to share exactly what’s on their mind as a result of changes to the gameday Sparky and the nature of the announcement. Many fans have already taken the initiative through facebook, twitter, emails and phone calls to voice their thoughts, concerns and opinions. ASU’s Student Body President has even gone so far as to generate enough signatures to file an official complaint with the university. However based on conversations with school insiders, the opinion is that the University simply doesn’t think there are enough people taking exception with the new Sparky to look at the issue more seriously.

THE SPARKY PROJECT is the solution. This serves as the unified front for fans to share their collective voice to advance change. If you have an opinion, be heard. It’s also a convenient, centralized tool for decision makers to further understand fan reactions and to review popular suggestions, ideas & solutions to the challenge of having a Sparky that most fans would embrace.


Everyone’s Voice Matters






To the unsatisfied fan who think it’s meaningless to speak up, that is the Arizona State of the past. This is for the fans who demand the best from their team and their university and in turn are willing to give their best as fans. If you don’t believe your voice is heard when you have something to say, that’s simply not true. Take the near hire of June Jones as ASU’s Head Coach to replace Dennis Erickson in December of 2011. When word leaked about that possibility, Sun Devil fans took to social media, made phone calls & sent emails to Michael Crow, Lisa Love and the Athletic Department. Some fans even drove to Sun Devil Stadium to be heard. The possibility of that hire perpetuated a feeling of disconnect from the fans and their university. Nonetheless, the fans took it upon themselves to make it their problem and work toward a solution.

Within hours Jones’ name was dropped from consideration. That led to the hiring of Todd Graham who, regardless of the circumstances that landed him at ASU, has become a leader in restoring pride and expectations for Sun Devil greatness. Like improving from #120 in the country for penalties in 2011 to finishing #8 in 2012, the culture surrounding Sun Devil Football has seen a paradigm shift. And had it not been for fans like you who spoke up, none of these valuable changes would have occurred.

In her 1957 Novel, Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand wrote, “The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity.” This moment is an opportunity for the New American University to make a significant stride in bridging the gap between the university and it’s livelihood, the Sun Devil fans. They can prove to the fans that this is their Team and send a clear message, “We’re in this together.” This is exactly what gives each fan a sense of ownership and loyalty to their program. This is how a Sun Devil alumni & fan receives a phone call from a representative of the Sun Devil Club and says, “Yes, of course. Sign me up.”

As DieHard fans, we can rest knowing that we gave our best and used our voice in an effective, constructive way. The rest is in the hands of ASU.


DieHardDevil. Are You? Prove it.






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