The Arizona State Sun Devils football team will be paying tribute to fallen U.S. Military hero and former Arizona State football player Pat Tillman with 1996-97 throwback uniforms, which they’ll be wearing tonight against the Oregon Ducks.
Aside from the fact that this is a pretty classy tribute to a man who was willing to put his country before his personal football career, I think we can all agree that it’s just nice to see Sparky the Sun Devil making his return to the Arizona State football uniform. Everybody loves Sparky, right?
Here are more details from Arizona State’s press release, and here’s an infographic showing all of the important details that Adidas wants you to focus on:
Inspired by Pat Tillman, the PT-42 uniform was designed to replicate the uniforms that Tillman and the 1996 team wore for their 1997 Rose Bowl appearance, while also paying homage to his military service as a U.S. Army Ranger. From the recreated font of the “Arizona State” moniker on the chest, to the PT-42 badge on the collar, to the period-specific Sparky logos and look of the helmet, adidas designers worked closely with Sun Devil Athletics, Marie Tillman and the Pat Tillman Foundation to deliver the perfect blend of a classic look with a tribute to the military and Tillman.
Further paying homage to Tillman, Sun Devil Athletics and adidas worked in tandem with the NCAA to receive special permission to have Tillman’s name emblazoned on back of every ASU player’s jersey for the game. Designed to inspire the team, the front of the TECHFIT baselayer features a photo-realistic image of Pat leading the players onto the field – the same picture featured in the Tillman Tunnel at Sun Devil Stadium.
Additionally, the back of baselayer features a quote from Tillman, “Passion makes life interesting, ignites our soul, fuels our love, carries our friendships, stimulates our intellect and pushes our limits.”
All in all, I’d say that it’s definitely one of the more unique ways that we’ve seen a sports team pay tribute to the troops. However, not many college football teams have a connection like this to one troop in particular, so this definitely works for the Sun Devils in my opinion. Plus, again: It’s just so nice to have Sparky back!
What do you guys think, though? Is this a fitting tribute to Pat Tillman? Aren’t you glad to have Sparky back?