College sports are and always have been an indispensable part of the undergraduate experience.
You have a mild breakdown during midterms, you pay an arm and a leg at the campus bookstore, maybe white-wash the A and attend (or watch from the comfort of your dorm room) the ASU football games.
More than anything else, the ASU-UA sports teams’ rivalry is a hallmark of life at ASU.
While rivalries between big schools aren’t exactly rare (or quiet — think of Michigan-Ohio State or Alabama-LSU), the Territorial Cup series is as friendly and as healthy a rivalry as we could possibly hope.
There may be trash talk and family squabbles when siblings go off to different universities, but at the end of the day, the competition tends to bring out the best in us. From academic disciplines to Residential Life contests to sign students up for fitness programs, the traditional rivalry extends to nearly all facets of the University.
It’s always exciting to see the two schools’ athletic teams go head-to-head, and it brings old high school friends back together, albeit on opposing sides of the field.
There’s a feeling of anti-Wildcat pride inherent in going to ASU. It may not reach every single person affiliated with the University, but it may as well.
Even when the Sun Devils don’t triumph in the football game against UA, there’s still the basketball, mens’ club soccer and the hockey team (ASU has beaten UA’s hockey team every time they’ve played in the past four years). If you’re not into sports, maybe the chess team is more your cup of tea. There’s competition there, too.
The rivalry is an important part of keeping up school spirit. Each individual competition funnels into the larger scheme of things.
As the football season really kicks up, we should strive to maintain a healthy rivalry, without launching into an overemotional state that results in drunken misbehavior that can get people killed, which (allegedly) happened after an Alabama-LSU game back in 2008.
Even the most ardent ASU fans can stay friends with their UA counterparts. There’s nothing wrong with passion when it comes to sports, but don’t take it too far. It’s a top-notch athletic competition, fueled by a long history that goes back to 1899.
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