ASU's Shaw should simply shut up

They're taking this rivalry thing way too far.

I mean, seriously, when you see someone with an Arizona State T-shirt, do you cringe in disgust? Do you lie awake at night in a cold sweat while contemplating about how much you hate the Sun Devils?

Probably not.

But if you're ever in Tempe and mention the words "University of Arizona," you're sure to get some angry stares and someone telling you the institution in Tucson is inferior.

With those thoughts, I was rather disappointed when I read Damian Shaw's column in ASU's student newspaper, the State Press, which was merely the latest attempt by an ASU fan to degrade the UA.

In this drab text, he completely humiliates himself and those associated with Arizona State University in a message to his "fellow hate mongers." Evidently, he's not the only one up north with too much free time.

Well, it is my privilege to respond. This tirade comes to my attention now because the Wildcat is playing the State Press in a charity basketball game in Tempe Friday and we wonder if this attitude is typical of ASU students. Additionally, our thoughts were on spring break when this came through on our fax machine and not on our school's intrastate rival.

The Arizona men's basketball team's early exits in the NCAA Tournament and their inability to make the championship game are another part of Shaw's attack.

So what? There's no need to start blowing trumpets all of a sudden when the Sun Devils sweep the Wildcats in a fluke year. And it's not like ASU has made it to the Final Four ever.

Eventually, he praises Damon Stoudamire, if you want to call it that, but then he writes that the other UA players "suck."

What clever word usage. Evidently, the extent of Shaw's vocabulary is whatever he picks up while watching "Beavis and Butt-head" episodes.

Get real, pal. The Wildcats' lineup was in the Final Four last year. They weren't all that bad. I don't like to repeat myself, but maybe he has trouble understanding that Final Four concept because his school has never been.

Without anything intelligent to write about basketball, Shaw turns his attention toward cutting down the UA football team. Somehow he has trouble with the concept that is simplified here for his learning level: Arizona = winning season last year, ASU = losing season. And he forgets to mention that the Sun Devils have only beaten the Wildcats twice in the last 13 years.

In all fairness, I'll give him something that resembles credit for pointing out the fact that ASU has been to the Rose Bowl while the UA hasn't.

But that's it. He goes way too far.

Somehow, he degrades the Freedom Bowl even though his team was sitting at home watching TV throughout the bowl season last year.

But wait, that's not all. This guy will go to any length to badmouth the UA even if he tries to evoke memories of Ontiwaun Carter's near-tragic injury in last year's UA-ASU football game.

This is where I lose it. This is where I conjure up memories of those frightening 15 minutes when a packed Arizona Stadium crowd prayed Carter was OK. This is where I rationalize with myself that UA fans would have felt the same sadness had an ASU player been injured in a similar manner.

This is also where we discover this guy will go to any length to degrade the Wildcats regardless of how tasteless he has to make it.

Obviously, they must be bored in Tempe. Oops, that's one of his lines. Don't I feel stupid.

Having responded to this embarrassment to collegiate journalism in such a manner, I am saddened by the thought that I may have wandered into the stratosphere of his intellect. But somebody had to. The ASU-UA rivalry shouldn't get to name-calling and immaturity that I've seen displayed sometimes in Tempe. It should be friendly and good-natured.

So whenever you have to deal with an ASU supporter that whines and cries about the UA, just handle it as best you can with as much class as possible.

That way, you're assured somebody will.

Eric Wein is a journalism senior and the assistant sports editor of the Arizona Daily Wildcat. His column appears periodically.

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