Even for Wildcats, hate is a strong word

This week is a very special week for ASU students, to say the least. It’s called “Hate Week.” Sun Devil Football has its annual rivalry game against The Team Down South, UA, and bowl eligibility is on the line along with the coveted Territorial Cup.

Now, if you weren’t from Arizona, you wouldn’t understand why we use the word “hate” in the title. It would come off with the wrong message and make our school look bad by seeming like we hate our fellow Arizonans.

But it's not just ASU that has its own prolific "Hate Week." Ohio State will be playing rivals Michigan State and Michigan over the next two weeks, North Carolina defeated in-state rival Duke 66-31 last week and Clemson will play in the battle for South Carolina against the Gamecocks in two weeks.

In an age of sensitivity in the U.S., the word “hate” isn’t appropriate to use, especially in a college environment. We don’t actually hate the students down at UA and I’m sure ASU President Michael Crow wouldn’t condone any actions that support that notion.

We have our reasons to have a sibling rivalry with them. The Wildcats lead the all-time series with 48 wins, 39 losses and one tie. The biggest victory in the series was a 67-0 win by Arizona, the longest streak in the series was in favor of Arizona for 11 straight games and last year we got edged out for the Pac-12 South title 42-35 in Tucson and we’re looking for revenge.

However, we did win our first ever meeting 11-2 in 1899. Since we started playing each other every year in 1946, we have led the series 37-31-1. Since ASU became a university in 1958, we have led the series 31-25-1. The one tie was 24-24 in 1987 at home in Tempe.

Sure, we dislike the Wildcats, and have shirts made specifically for this game, but we have no reason to hate any player or student in Tucson. They haven’t done anything to cause us harm, and especially after the horrific events that have transpired in France, some people that misunderstand the nature of the rivalry might draw the wrong conclusion. We shouldn’t have any kind of celebration that involves hate.

We don't want our friendly rivalry to end up tainted like Alabama and Auburn's was just a few years ago in 2010 when a deranged Crimson Tide fan poisoned the famous Toomer's Corner oak tree on the Tigers' campus.

I understand that this week is a tradition, so let’s just rename it to something that makes it simpler and easier to understand. Perhaps “Rivalry Week,” “UA Week” or even “Claim the Cup Week.” Something other than suggesting we have no compassion at all for our fellow human beings just over a hundred miles to the southeast.

But don’t get it twisted Tucson; we’re still coming in full force to rally our troops against yours this week. We’re guarding "A" mountain 24/7 and The Inferno will be ablaze on Saturday afternoon. There is never a moment where any Sun Devil will ever have any pity for the kitty.

Related Link:

ASU, UA rivalry more problematic than fun

Reach the columnist at abkbundy@gmail.com or follow @abkbundy on Twitter.

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Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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