You think David Letterman invented lists? Phooey. We got lists. For instance: Five Things People East of the Mississippi Can Tell You About Arizona State, Which, If You Can Believe It, Is In the Rose Bowl.
1) Arizona State is either in Tucson or Tempe, although it could be Santa Fe.
2) Jim Lampley never has Arizona State scores.
3) The morning paper never has Arizona State scores.
4) Nobody cares about Arizona State's scores anyway, except two shuffle-boarders in Yuma with blue hair.
5) Luis Zendejas kicked for Arizona State, and his brother, Max, kicked for Arizona. Or was it the other way around?
However, by virtue of the Sun Devils' 49-nada plundering on Saturday of Cal and Joe Kapp, who was sacked earlier in the week ( Kapp, who will step down at the end of the season, may be the only man ever to lose his job in part because he opened his fly at a press conference), ignorance of Arizona State will from here on in be decidedly uncool. Therefore and herewith, we offer a speed course on the best program you never heard of. You got a No. 2 pencil ready?
Part I: Obscurity U.
Arizona State is the only college football team currently playing on the dark side of the moon. The mirage in the desert—bikinis, Beamers and Buffy's Bank Americard—is sixth in the nation, but nobody knows it. For example, two weeks ago Arizona State, then ranked No. 6 by the AP, played No. 7 Washington, so you take a lap around the Sony remote. CBS had Miami-Florida State. ESPN went with Penn State-West Virginia. ABC aired Oklahoma-Kansas (before cutting away to LSU-Mississippi), which is unspeakable, but under the current TV college football plan thought up by Bert and Ernie, ABC couldn't have broadcast Arizona State-Washington, anyway. And Ted Turner's SuperDuper-Station had...had...Navy-Notre Dame. A Rose Bowl berth was being fought for in Tempe, and WTBS showed two losing teams playing Battleship.
And guess what? Nobody east of Phoenix cared. "We didn't get a single call or card or complaint from any fans," says WTBS sports director Rex Lardner. Ditto CBS. "Nothing," says CBS spokesman Mark Carlson. Arizona State football is Sally Fields before she got the Oscar. "I don't think anybody knows we're alive," says defensive end Jim Reynosa.